After you have dated someone for several months, it is natural to wonder about your relationship s level of exclusivity. After all, most long term relationships seem geared toward commitment at some level. However, left unspoken, many people have a tendency to think that their partners feel the same way they do. They are often surprised to discover that their partners feel differently.
Are you and your dating partner equally committed to each other and to your relationship? In this article, we ll explore how your past relationships may signal your own inherent aversion to commitment. Plus, we ll describe a few of the obstacles on the way toward enjoying an exclusive, loving relationship.
Is Your Past Telling?
When pressed, most people will claim that they would like to pursue a committed, loving relationship with someone who feels the same. However, our past relationships often betray our claims. That is, the people we have dated in the past may have exhibited behaviors that seem inconsistent with a committed relationship. When there is a trend of such behaviors, it may imply that we are not looking for commitment.
For example, assume that you have dated a string of people who have been consistently unfaithful. Rather than leaving them, you have remained in those relationships until they have imploded of their own accord. The willingness to stay may be mistaken for commitment, but can actually imply a self sabotaging tendency.
Ghosts Of The Past
The older we get, the more emotional baggage we carry. Ideally, we are able to dispel most of it and get on with our lives. However, many people collect the baggage from the past and carry it with them into new relationships. Unresolved, this baggage can sabotage the new relationship. Unless we take the necessary time to resolve past transgressions, forging a healthy commitment with another person is unlikely. In effect, we need to achieve closure and leave the ghosts of the past in the past.
Fulfillment, Then Commitment
Nobody else can make you feel fulfilled about yourself. It comes from within. Seeking it from someone else puts undue (and unfair) strain and pressure on that other person. That said, once you feel okay with who you are as a person, it is much easier to develop a loving relationship that is built upon mutual commitment.
At this point, you should look for consistencies between you and your dating partner. Do you share the same ideals about morality? Are your long term goals and desires compatible? Is your partner coping with any personal issues such as addictions, health concerns, or other problems? Uncovering the answers to these questions is the next step toward a committed relationship. And it requires communication.
Being Upfront With Your Partner
In dating relationships, many people have a tendency to avoid direct communication about issues. Exclusivity and commitment are good examples. Sometimes, one partner assumes the other feels the same about the level of commitment or, lack thereof in the relationship. Other times, one partner may fear the answer and simply avoid asking. In both cases, the ambiguity can create a major problem.
If you are in a relationship and want it to be exclusive, you need to be upfront with your partner. Maybe they feel the same as you; maybe they don t. But, uncertainty will only exacerbate the issue. Assuming that you are ready for a commitment, clearly communicating as much to your partner is the surest path toward enjoying a fruitful, loving relationship with each other.
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