Tips to Help You Get a Commitment in Your Relationship

Updated on July 3, 2018
MsDora profile image

MsDora, Certified Christian Counselor, has spent three decades empowering young and adult women to pursue positive, productive womanhood.

There is no legal way to make an individual commit to a relationship, but there are several ways to increase the chances of getting that commitment. First, be sure that:

  • you want to hold on to the relationship for the right reasons;
  • you desire to be with the person just the way he or she is;
  • your partner is as satisfied and happy with the relationship as you are.

If you are wanting commitment from someone who seems like the perfect mate for you, and he or she remains in the delay mode after you think you have made that clear, be patient just a little bit longer. Consider the following suggestions before you give up. Whether or not you get the commitment, you will learn more about you, about love and about life.

Painting (1900) by Edmund Blair Leighton.  Edited
Painting (1900) by Edmund Blair Leighton. Edited | Source

1) Be Clear About What You Want and Why

You may have given some hints about your desire to settle down and about the great lifetime mate you think your partner would be. You may even mention two of your other friends who began their relationship nine months after you did, and have already made commitments to each other. People do not interpret facts the same way. Some even avoid interpretation; they like straightforward communication.

Suggest that you have a conversation to discuss your relationship and your future. State clearly what you want, and go the extra mile to say why. It should be because you love each other and desire to spend your lives together. Do not be shy about your longing to love and be loved completely.

Listen to what your partner says and clarify what you think you heard with, “So you’re saying that . . . “ (No criticism allowed). The ball is in the other person’s court to throw back or throw out. He or she may simply be not ready, or the response could be that the feelings and desires are mutual—was just afraid to say it first.

Your own involvement with life and ability to take care of yourself make you more desirable.

— Lifestyle Seminars on Friendship

(2) Avoid Seeming Desperate

Begging and pleading is not the way to obtain someone’s commitment; neither is overdoing what you consider to be deeds of love. Chances are that many of your performances will not count for love, if your partner does not appreciate them.

Suggest that you both learn love languages from Gary Chapman to understand how you want to be loved, and the best way to express love to each other. Be balanced in your show of affection; avoid over-doing and over-giving. Over-exertion is not attractive and it can render you undesirable; so can desperation.

Be consistent and joyful in your show of love, and make it obvious that you enjoy life apart from the relationship. Happiness is attractive.

Playing the role of the other person is often very helpful. It doesn’t necessarily change anybody’s mind, but it does help each of you understand each other. And it may actually bring you closer.

— Lifestyle Seminars on Friendship

(3) Show Understanding for the Excuses the Other Person Presents

What may sound like “just excuses” to you may seem like good reasons to the other person. You cannot evaluate them if you don’t understand them. eHarmony lists several including:

  • issues with an ex
  • someone else in the picture
  • feeling pressured
  • fear of losing money in a divorce
  • avoiding responsibility

In Lifestyle Magazine, the author suggests role playing as a way to discover and understand the excuses. The one who wants commitment presents the arguments for the other who is the delay mode; then the one in the delay mode presents arguments for the one who is ready for commitment.

Then without a critical or demeaning tone, you may offer help over the excuse hurdle with assurances of personal support or support for professional counseling.

(4) Maintain Personal Values

Surrendering your values in your effort to keep the relationship may work against you. It is not unusual for some to participate in immoral acts including the violation of their sexual values as a way to increase their chances for commitment. Better to give up on the commitment than give up the principles you choose to live by, or you will be expected to continue the same bad practices with or without commitment.

On the other hand, you gain respect for holding on to your values. It tells the other person that you appreciate your self-worth; that you are committed to your personal standards; that you can be trusted to remain true to your commitment. Your integrity may be the deciding factor that you are the right one.

(5) Give Yourself a Time Limit

The relationship cannot remain in limbo forever; so decide how much more time you can give it. Set the ultimatum for you, based on goals you have set for your future; not for the other person to pressure him or her into a decision. The scenario will be that you have to make a move by a certain time, no pressure on the other person to do anything.

Waiting but Not Forever

Painting (1896) by Gordon Coutts
Painting (1896) by Gordon Coutts | Source

Several factors may help you decide your time limit, for example:

  • Age (Are you both young enough to wait longer? Is the time on your biological clock running out?)
  • Length of Relationship (Do you think you have had enough time to assess the relationship potential? Is the wait frustrating you?)
  • Your career [or retirement] goals (Does the uncertain wait hamper your decision to move forward with your goals for college, job promotion or relocation after retirement?)

After you have considered whatever issues you include in your time factor, it is your judgment call to let or not let the other person know when that time will be. If you tell, he or she may make a decision based on your time to move, and on the judgment that losing you is not an option.

Commitment and the Internet

Do you think that online dating undermines commitment?

See results


Some individuals will benefit from these suggestions. Hooray!

For those who still do not get that commitment, keep on living. Cut the ties according to your time frame. Embrace the pain and heed the lessons you learned in the process. Commit to taking care of yourself and carrying on with your life.

Recover and reset with new strength for new adventures. It may not be easy, but commitment to your own progress will pull you through.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Questions & Answers

    © 2015 Dora Weithers


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      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        4 years ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks, Swalia. Commitment is still essential in meaningful relationships.

      • swalia profile image

        Shaloo Walia 

        4 years ago from India

        interesting hub! liked your take on commitment..that's how it should be!

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        4 years ago from The Caribbean

        Sujaya, glad that you like the article. Thanks for your feedback.

      • sujaya venkatesh profile image

        sujaya venkatesh 

        4 years ago

        good insight offering meaningful relation

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        4 years ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks, Glen. You're right. In the end each individual must choose to move or not move forward.

      • Glenn Stok profile image

        Glenn Stok 

        4 years ago from Long Island, NY

        Great hub. Anyone who is finding it difficult to make a commitment would find a lot of useful tips from you here.

        Sometimes people are satisfied with the relationship, and are happy with the other person, but yet they still are stuck. Communication goes a long way. But one also needs to look deeper into their own feelings too. They need to question their own reason for not moving not forward.

        Congratulations on winning this year's Hubbie award.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        4 years ago from The Caribbean

        Peach, thanks for your comment. You speak truth.

      • peachpurple profile image


        4 years ago from Home Sweet Home

        commitment to marraige or with your partner is essential to have a lasting relationship

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        4 years ago from The Caribbean

        Missy, thanks for your comment. Sometimes the right one comes just as your settling in to the idea that he doesn't exist; even if he doesn't, you have the the right attitude for being a healthy single. Bet to you, going forward!

      • Missy Smith profile image

        Missy Smith 

        4 years ago from Florida

        This was a really useful article MsDora. I think I'm alright on everything. I am very open; I never leave things unsaid. I'm clear on how I feel without being over dramatic. I definitely don't play the desperate role or beg. Even so, I still haven't found the right one for me, and I may never at this point in life. I think I can live with that at 43. :))

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        4 years ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks, Ann. Our first commitment should be to ourselves; you're right about that.

      • annart profile image

        Ann Carr 

        4 years ago from SW England

        Great advice, Dora. Relationships can mess people up and one has to stay true to oneself. Marriage or not, commitment is important.


      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        4 years ago from The Caribbean

        Flourish, I agree with your pointers. Thanks for your feedback.

      • FlourishAnyway profile image


        4 years ago from USA

        Definitely listen to the excuses. Consider asking the person to write it all down. We have a tendency to hear what we want to. Online dating does seem like it allows for easy escape.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        4 years ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks, Frank. I appreciate your valuable feedback.

      • Frank Atanacio profile image

        Frank Atanacio 

        4 years ago from Shelton

        clear concise, and useful advice for obtaining commitment Ms Dora.. easy to follow and it does make sense :)

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        4 years ago from The Caribbean

        Faith, thanks for underscoring that commitment is serious business. Your feedback is valuable.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        4 years ago from The Caribbean

        Alicia, thanks for your kind comment. Glad if someone is helped.

      • Faith Reaper profile image

        Faith Reaper 

        4 years ago from southern USA

        It boggles my mind today how people are in a relationship one day and then on to where the grass is supposedly greener, but I truly believe when they enter into a serious relationship, especially marriage, they must understand what it means to commit to each other. I know we made a covenant or vow before God, and I take it serious.

        MsDora you have presented another useful article here and much food for thought for those attempting to understand what true commitment entails.

        I agree about not waiting too long, for that is a big red flag if he or she is just stringing you along for just the sake of having a girlfriend/boyfriend (is that what they call them nowadays -lol) or fear of being of alone.

        God bless you

        Up ++++ tweeting, pinning and sharing

      • AliciaC profile image

        Linda Crampton 

        4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

        Thank you for sharing your advice, Dora. I think that your suggestions are excellent and that they should be very helpful for people wondering about commitment in a relationship.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        4 years ago from The Caribbean

        Patricia, I think I know what you mean--companionship okay, commitment not necessary. Our first commitment is to ourselves now. Thanks for sharing.

      • pstraubie48 profile image

        Patricia Scott 

        4 years ago from North Central Florida

        Such a well thought out series of suggestions. I am at the point and have been for many years where I do not want a committed relationship. My life is centered around my friends and family . That is not to say that if the right person came along I would not go out with him to a movie or dinner...but I do not want a relationship that would mean moving in with me..not at all. Way past that :D

        Great suggestions as I mentioned. Voted up++++

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        4 years ago from The Caribbean

        Shauna, our commitment to ourselves is important. We make the right choice when we give up relationships that pull us down. Thank you for sharing and the best to you, going forward!

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        4 years ago from The Caribbean

        WMW, thanks for reading and giving your feedback. I appreciate you.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        4 years ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks, Jackie. Your encouragement means a lot to me.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        4 years ago from The Caribbean

        Audrey, thanks for reading and commenting. I appreciate your affirmation.

      • bravewarrior profile image

        Shauna L Bowling 

        4 years ago from Central Florida

        Interesting, Dora. I've been married twice. My last husband was not a partner (I was the bread winner and paid all the bills). He made that apparent when I told him to either share in the duties of the relationship - and all the sharing that entails - or leave. He took the easy way out and is now on wife number five.

        Some people want their cake and eat it too. That doesn't work with this little girl!

      • profile image

        Weltchek Mallahan 

        4 years ago from Baltimore, Maryland

        You might lose some people but honesty is pretty much the only way to go.

      • Jackie Lynnley profile image

        Jackie Lynnley 

        4 years ago from the beautiful south

        I will agree with you on our value of marriage (you go girl!) and I absolutely love your photos! Great article and as always so well done! ^+

      • brakel2 profile image

        Audrey Selig 

        4 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

        Hi MsDora I know many people, including myself who wanted a commitment and did not get it. I broke up with the person and wish I had not put five years into the relationship. Another person put two years before he ended it. Your ideas are excellent and very practical. Hanging onto relationships too long is futile. Sharing, Blessings, Audrey

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        4 years ago from The Caribbean

        Well Manitata, commitment to one who is married to someone else surely complicates things, but such scenarios are not uncommon. However, for every problem, there is a way to work through it. Thanks for your kind comment.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        4 years ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks Sally. I know that we understand each other. We can relate to both scenarios where commitment is valued, and where it is not. I appreciate your affirmation.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        4 years ago from The Caribbean

        DashingScorpio, your comment is very meaningful. The reason you cited are popular among those who do not want to commit. You have a wise handle on this matter. Thanks for your message.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        4 years ago from The Caribbean

        Bill, I hear you! I have to repeat that though the attitude of many has changed, the values remain; they lose who do not place value where value is due. I share with you how privileged we are to have been born when words like commitment carried more weight. Thanks for your comment.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        4 years ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks, Word. So shall I start my own savvydating? I appreciate your encouragement.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        4 years ago from The Caribbean

        Eric, your commitment and re-commitment is in itself a lesson to your children. They're blessed to have you to advise them. All the best to you, your wife, your children going forward! Thanks for your input.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        4 years ago from The Caribbean

        Jill, your comment may be unromantic but wise. I agree with every word. Thanks for your wise counsel.

      • manatita44 profile image


        4 years ago from london

        Well, Dee, Lots of interesting ideas and some morals in between including patience. This is not a movie, obviously, but it still reminded me of mines. The two lovers are going through struggles similar to what you describe.

        Movies tend to show the woman's feelings before that of the man. Bias, perhaps?

        In the light of what you said, your 'several factors' are important. In my scenario, there is one more. It's worth mentioning, as in my experience, it occurs startlingly regular in ordinary life. That is to say, one partner is already married.

        Nice and wholesome Hub with some great pointers. Much Love.

      • sallybea profile image

        Sally Gulbrandsen 

        4 years ago from Norfolk

        MsDora, I could not agree with you more.

      • dashingscorpio profile image


        4 years ago from Chicago

        Voted up and useful!

        "There is no legal way to make an individual commit to a relationship..."

        "Set the ultimatum for you, based on goals you have set for your future; not for the other person to pressure him or her into a decision."

        Those two statements are pearls of wisdom & worth their weight in gold!

        In order for him or her to be "the one" they will have to see you as being "the one". At the very least a "soul-mate" is someone who (actually wants) to be with you!

        The goal is to find someone who shares your same values, wants the same things for the relationship as you, naturally agrees with you on how to obtain those things, and last but not least there is a mutual depth of love and desire for one another.

        Two other things worth noting is for some people anything short of marriage is not a commitment! The reality is the commitment comes BEFORE there is a marriage. Very few people would choose to marry someone who they knew were dating and having sex with other people.

        It's also important to note the differences in how our genders are raised. Very few men grew up playing with dolls or pretending to be fathers, nor dreaming of their wedding day!

        Most young women who want to be married during their 20s are more often than not to find their male counterparts not to be in the same space.

        They just moved out of their parent's basement or a college dorm room!

        For most 20 something year olds the idea of marriage, a 30 year mortgage, and having children is like watching their lives flash before their eyes!

        In my opinion there are two basic reasons why men don't propose.

        1. Timing (They're not ready and they're happy with the way things are!)

        2. You're not "the one". (He believes someone out there is better for him)

        One major mistake a lot of young women make with #1 is they believe by getting with someone early (late teens) and staying with him through his mid 20s will position themselves for being there when he is "ready".

        By the time they realize it's really of case of #2 they feel like they've thrown away so many years. It's also not uncommon for a man to end a long-term relationship of several years and get engaged to another woman he's known for less than one year. Why?

        He (believes) she is "the one"!

        Very few women have a hard time accepting the fact that (they) are not "the one". "It must be something wrong with him" or "He doesn't know what he wants." A man will stick around for comfort reasons.

        Setting ultimatum for (yourself) is the key to staying true to yourself.

        The last thing anyone should do is pursue someone who does not want to be with them! That's a recipe for heartache! One man's opinion!:)

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 

        4 years ago from Olympia, WA

        Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Dora. I don't know what to make of the world...I really don't. Words like commitment are not valued today, or at least they are valued much less. It is far too easy to fall into a relationship and far too easy to leave one. I'm glad I was raised when I was raised. :)

      • word55 profile image

        Al Wordlaw 

        4 years ago from Chicago

        I like this Dora, for it was very well put. Relationships would last longer and better if they heeded this superb advice. You share a lot in common with savvydating on this one. Voted up! God bless

      • Ericdierker profile image

        Eric Dierker 

        4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

        Great stuff. I need all the help I can get when being asked for advice from my 3 single twenty something children. This is important information to help break it down to manageable portions.

        It was also a good reminder for me to constantly re-commit to my decade and a half wonderful marriage. I am so blessed to have someone committed to me.


      • The Dirt Farmer profile image

        Jill Spencer 

        4 years ago from United States

        Hi MsDora. You always have such good advice -- practical yet sensitive. And it's applicable to dating that starts online or in person. I think that there are many partners we could be happy with. So much depends upon timing, and often people hang on to relationships thinking their loved one is the one and only, when in reality they could love someone else just as well. That sounds rather . . . unromantic, but I don't think it really is. Our hearts are big!

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        4 years ago from The Caribbean

        Sally, I appreciate your commitment. While it is true that the attitude of many toward marriage has changed, the value is not ours to change; that remains. Thanks for raising this issue.

      • sallybea profile image

        Sally Gulbrandsen 

        4 years ago from Norfolk


        Interesting and thought provoking. I imagine when you refer to a commitment that you are referring to marriage and if so, I wonder whether the same value can be placed on marriage as it once was. Sad as it may seem I don't think it is. It seems all too exchange one model for another.



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