MsDora, Certified Christian Counselor, has spent four 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.
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 Reasons 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:
Read More From Pairedlife
- 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
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.
Regardless of What Does or Doesn't Happen, Don't Forget to Keep on Living!
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 content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2015 Dora Weithers