How to Show Commitment in a Relationship Without Making Mistakes

Updated on June 29, 2019
Glenn Stok profile image

Glenn Stok shares his insight about relationships that he learned from his studies of social behavior and from personal experience.

You want a permanent relationship to enjoy years of building memories, but for some reason, you miss out on the vision of a lasting relationship.

Think about it—you have no problem developing relationships. However, for some reason, you keep avoiding making that commitment. It gets more difficult as time goes on and the older we get, so the sooner you figure out what you want—the better.

The first step is to make up your mind. You have to decide if you want to be alone the rest of your life or if your goal is actually to have a permanent partnership that improves with time.

This list of solutions will help with a commitment to your relationship as a lifelong pursuit.

Source

Commit to Planning a Future Together

The biggest mistake you can make is not having a plan and focusing on the goal you want to achieve. You need to know how you want your relationship to proceed. You need to know where it’s headed.

Do you know in your own heart what you want? It’s possible that you're just letting time go by without any determination to build a lasting relationship. Does that make sense?

There are reasons for this. First, answer these two questions:

  1. Do you want to achieve the happiness of being in a loving relationship where you and your partner are managing life together as a team?
  2. Or do you want to remain single all your life and deal with life’s trials and tribulations all by yourself?

Whatever it is, it all goes back to knowing what you want in life. The easiest way to get in touch with that, is to look ahead. Imagine how things will be in the future.

Visualize a Future With Your Partner

I made that mistake in the past. I tended to neglect considering the future. My pattern was that as long as I was happy in a relationship, I accepted the status quo without actually having any desire to imagine if this is what I wanted for the rest of my life.

That was a drastic mistake. If I had imagined my girlfriend as my wife, it might have given me the vision I needed to commit to an ongoing relationship. The act of visualizing your future in an existing relationship helps you appreciate what you've got.

Discuss the Future Together

I discovered this concept much later in life, and I let many years float along in a couple of long-term relationships that went nowhere. That is, we had no plan to build a future together.

If I had visualized the future, had imagined what might come of it, or had imagined my girlfriend as my wife, I might have been motivated to make a commitment.

Sharing these thoughts and discussing a vision of a future together, a couple may have something concrete to develop.

Getting into discussions of what you both see as your future helps reinforce the relationship. That not only shows that you have a serious attitude, but it also lends itself to planning a future together.

You might even have the opportunity to communicate whatever anxieties you have about it. You both probably have unspoken concerns. Getting it out in the open can have very positive results.

Pay Attention to Reality

Once we realize that we are involved with someone special, the relationship strengthens and can begin to grow.

That includes being aware of your own feelings:

  • Are you happy with your relationship?
  • Is it something you desire to have the rest of your life?
  • Is there anything troubling you? If so, can you deal with it for the sake of keeping the positive aspects of it?

Being aware of reality can help strengthen a relationship. However, if we overlook the positive things and if we don't give any thought to the entire process, then we are just letting time pass by until the relationship eventually ends.

Even a good relationship will end if there is no determined plan to make it permanent and for both parties to agree to that. I can say that, from my own experience. Most of my relationships have been good ones. I just wasn't allowing myself to be aware of reality. Don't make that mistake.

You can build a strong relationship by being in the moment at all times. You need to keep our eyes open and be aware of what you’ve got. If you think about what you expect out of life, rather than focusing on what you already have, then you might very well be fooling yourself. Expectations may never come to be, but the reality is already here. Hold on to it.

"A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be."

— Albert Einstein

Beware of Life's Rude Awakening

Here is a concept that I came up with:

"The best relationship is with someone with whom you don't have a personal interest."

There absolutely is a meaningful explanation for why a relationship can be great if you have no interest in the other person. I had a psychologist friend confirm this idea.

It’s because there is no judgment. When you have no personal interest in someone, then you have no reason to judge that person. That can go a long way to having a happy relationship.

However, if you have no interest in the person, then where is the relationship headed? That’s why I refer to this concept as: “Life’s rude awakening.”

It's almost like a catch-22. Isn't it? Well, with a little appreciation for a committed relationship, maybe this can be made to work.

People can be devoted to a relationship even when they have no interest in one another, as long as they have an interest in building the relationship itself. Both of them can have different perspectives on life, and yet can be 100% committed to each other.

What this means is that you may not see eye to eye on everything in life, but as long as you appreciate each other for what you both are, and you relate well with one another, why throw that away?

Source

Consider What's Important

We need to be clear with what we want.

Even though we think we want to settle down with someone, we may not be conscious of a fear that stands in the way. We may have a fear of our destiny—not knowing what's ahead.

We may also be dealing with some confusion in our minds because our need to settle down may not be as urgent as our desire for it to happen.

It takes some deep thought, and requires honest consideration, to determine what our actual values are:

  • Do we value our freedom that comes with being alone?
  • Do we enjoy quiet solitude in the evenings and when we sleep?

On the other hand, is it more relevant to feel we are one of a team of two? Two partners who are there for each other through thick or thin.

Think about it. That thought process might change your life.

Two Ships That Pass in the Night

That’s an old adage, but it has a lot of meaning here. It’s not often that the right one comes along. When she does, it’s helpful to know it. It’s essential to recognize that we have an opportunity to create a life we want with a great partner.

Don’t let her get away!

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.

© 2018 Glenn Stok

Comments

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    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      13 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Jo Miller - You noticed an important issue I was discussing. It meant that I was living in the moment, and that made me content with the relationship. The only missing part was considering it to be permanent because I didn’t think about the future.

      That was a long time ago, and I learned from that what a mistake it was, causing me to overlook the possible great future we both may have had together.

    • jo miller profile image

      Jo Miller 

      13 months ago from Tennessee

      I was struck by this comment in your article: "I tended to neglect considering the future." I'm not sure I ever dated anyone for any length of time without considering that. After one failed marriage, I decided I was perfectly content to spend the rest of my life, not alone necessarily, but unmarried. I waited a long time to remarry, but as soon as I met my husband I knew right away this was someone I could imagine a future with.

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      13 months ago from Long Island, NY

      DredCuan - If I didn’t make myself clear in my prior reply, it’s always important to accept the bad with the good. Life does not only contain good times. Those who allow themselves to learn from past experiences will come out ahead.

    • dredcuan profile image

      Dred Cuan 

      13 months ago from California

      I'm not pleased to know that you had bad memory from the past. I think what is important now is the learning curve. And of course, to maintain positivity despite of a negative situation right? As my favorite quote goes.... "Everything happens for a reason!"

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      13 months ago from Long Island, NY

      DredCuan - I also believe in those wedding vows. And I like how you think. True commitment can only be real if one accepts sharing the bad times as well as the good times. People tend to give up too quickly if things don’t go exactly as they expect from a partner. I’ve made that mistake in the past.

    • dredcuan profile image

      Dred Cuan 

      13 months ago from California

      Lol I'm just sharing my experience. Yes, I do believe that relationships are not only for good times, but also for bad times. Like what the usual wedding vows of a Catholic priest for the soon to be newly weds, "in sickness and in health till death do us part". Well this is only applicable to those people who wanted to have a serious relationship.

    • TessSchlesinger profile image

      Tessa Schlesinger 

      14 months ago from South Africa

      Sorry. My apologies. I didn't realize. And, no, I'm not self-centered. I hardly come to hubpages these days, and I thought it had been weeks.

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      14 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Tessa - In response to your last comment, you must be kidding! Are you so self-centered that you can’t give another person respect for their time? You are not the only person leaving comments in my articles, and it takes time to catch up across all my articles.

      In addition, you left that other comment at midnight my time. I was asleep. Now it is Saturday morning and I have weekend plans going on soon with friends, but I’m taking a little time to review some comments so that I can approve them and reply.

      You need to be a little more conscious of the world and what’s going on for other people in your life, or else you will find everyone below your esteem.

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      14 months ago from Long Island, NY

      DredCuan - Very well said. I especially like the part where you explained about handling all the ups and downs when committed to a relationship. That is how it works, or at least how it should work, if the relationship is to be successful.

      I think you explained my other reasoning in a better way by defining it as friends. That has to come first anyway, before lovers.

      Thanks for your thoughtful remarks.

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      14 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Tessa - I understand your feelings and it is unfortunate that you had negative experiences with the men in your life. However, I hear the same complaints from men about women.

      Studies can be skewed to reflect one side or the other based on the audience being questioned. When analyzing surveys it’s always important to notice the source in order to avoid inaccurate or misrepresented information.

    • TessSchlesinger profile image

      Tessa Schlesinger 

      14 months ago from South Africa

      Glenn, if you are not going to post anything further from me, please remove my original post. Your response makes it seem as if I'm still married. I haven't been married for 32 years and I have not been involved with any men since I wwalked out of my marriage. I provided evidence for what I said.

    • dredcuan profile image

      Dred Cuan 

      14 months ago from California

      I believe that a successful relationship starts with a commitment. Once both side find themselves committed to each other, they can handle all the ups and downs of the relationship together.

      You've cited too that "The best relationship is with someone with whom you don't have a personal interest." Well, my point of view about it is be with somebody who's rather a friend than a lover. A friend whom you can show who you really are. Somebody who will accept you. Cause sometimes, when we are into a relationship, we normally put our best foot forward just to get their attention. To achieve our personal desire, our personal interest which may eventually result to inconsistency on our part.

    • TessSchlesinger profile image

      Tessa Schlesinger 

      14 months ago from South Africa

      Hi Glen, I posted a response and I don't know if it went amiss or you chose not to post it. In any event, I got divorced 31 years ago and have never been near a man since.

      If you google it, you will see that most women regard relationships as too much work for too little reward. In all respects, they do most of the work. That has been shown by many studies. At a certain point, they must walk out.

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      14 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Thanks Dora. I’m sure both men and women can develop an appreciation for one another.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      14 months ago from The Caribbean

      Not a man, but I get your "best relationship" concept. Appreciation, not only interest, can form the base for a meaningful relationship. Good counsel altogether.

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      14 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Tessa, Even though you feel the way you do, I have to give you credit for making that commitment.

      Emotions can be a heavy burden, but hopefully as time goes on and you both experience life as a team, you might discover it worth it after all.

    • TessSchlesinger profile image

      Tessa Schlesinger 

      14 months ago from South Africa

      I have to say that your title caught my eye. Speaking as a woman who was only married for 5 years (and there was absolutely nothing in it for me), it's not an institution I would try again.

      I just don't think the 'rewards' are worth the effort.

      I would rather be on my own than have to carry a man emotionally.

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