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What is a Commitment?

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 10 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Commitment Relationships Divorce What Is

Commitment. It’s the thing men are supposed to be afraid of in relationships and women crave. But after you’ve made a big commitment once and it’s ended in divorce, there can often be an understandable reluctance to make another big commitment.

But what is commitment? What does it involve? More than that, why should we be scared of it?

What do we Mean by Commitment?

The word commitment means many things to different people, and there are many levels of commitment. At heart, though, it all boils down to the same thing – just going out with, or being with, one person.

That could be anything from going out with someone and seeing them once a week to living with someone or marrying them. Ultimately, it’s about trust. When a couple makes a commitment, they’re saying they trust the other person enough to believe they’ll keep their promise to only be with them.

So really, when we say commitment, we’re saying trust. After divorce, that can be a commodity that’s in short supply. All too often marriages end in divorce because that trust has been broken in some way. It doesn’t mean that an affair has ended the relationship; there are so many ways to break trust. But overall it makes it much harder for new relationships. They have to overcome that hurdle. So then, what is commitment?

How Can You Reach a Commitment?

A commitment takes time – trust doesn’t happen overnight. It has to build, often over a long period as you grow closer to someone emotionally, and it goes it small steps. Divorce tends to leave people of both sexes distrustful, so if you’re in a relationship with someone who’s gone through a divorce, don’t be surprised if it takes them a while to become emotionally close.

In dating, the longer you’re with someone, the more time you spend together, and that builds the trust factor, especially if there are no arguments. Commitment comes from that closeness, when you both decide you want to just be with that person and not be with any others in a romantic or sexual sense.

That doesn’t mean you’ll jump right into marriage or living together. Often it’s an unspoken thing, just the natural progression of a relationship, but it can be best to bring it out in the open and discuss where you stand together and where you both want to go in the future.

It can take many forms, from beginning to sleep together all the way to a wedding, but rushing it is a good way to stop things working properly. Time is the critical factor in commitment – and in relationships. The longer they last, the stronger and more committed they should ideally be. But commitment is a fragile thing, and you both need to be aware of that. It’s not easy, and like everything else, you need to work at it.Essentially, a commitment or a committed relationship is whatever you and your partner choose it to be. Whether it’s dating exclusively or more, don’t hurry it, and don’t do it without thinking first!

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