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Can You Commit To A Relationship?

Part 10 of 12 from Wake Up and Win! Turn Off The Autopilot

(continued from last week…)

Commitment To Relating

Commitment is a cornerstone of all relationships. Without it there can be relating, there can be communication, there can be interaction, but there’s not really a deep level relationship.

Relationships exist within a foundation of boundaries so that people know what they can and cannot expect from each other. Since commitments by their nature involve that which is relatively unchanging, and since the very nature of your life is change, commitments should help us stick to the fundamental components.

One of the phrases I heard that really is about this and works well for most of us is, “Keep It Simple Stupid” – the KISS principle.

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Keeping it simple is still up to defining what is simple for you, what is easy for you, what works for you. And what may be simple for you may be different for someone else. If people assume commitments between you within your relationship with them, you then are responsible to communicate clearly. You need to make sure those things they are committing to are clear to both of you, and that you want to live up to that commitment.

Understand that. Know that. Relationships in which you don’t keep your commitments will not work. Hiding behind appearances doesn’t work. You can’t just assume things will automatically go the way you want. Those assumptions that you and the other person are making may or may not gel together.

Assume things only when the details are clear to both of you. Only when you have that clarification, when you’ve communicated well, where you and they both understand, can you then assume those commitments that you’ve made can be fully lived.

Choosing Not

There is the option of not making commitments. You can do that. But this formula doesn’t work. Because if you’re not willing to step up, if you’re not willing to be real, to be honorable, to say what you stand for, loneliness will be part of your life. People will avoid you because they can’t trust you, they can’t see the commitment you’ve made to them and to the purpose and to your lives.

A commitment, like an agreement, is something you first make within yourself. It can take the form of involving another person but the real commitment is one you’ve made to yourself–about being honorable, about living values, about having excellence. Whether the other person sees you doing that, or agrees with the way you do what you do is a whole other story. Making an agreement within yourself is where it begins.

There’s nothing mystical about this. You don’t have to look very far for an example. If you said you were going to do something and you didn’t; if you have work to be done and you just don’t do it; if you’re in a relationship and you have agreements about what the house is supposed to look like and you always leave it up to the other person, you’re not living up to your commitments. That’s a choice. You don’t have to do this. No one can make you do it. It’s a commitment you make to participate in a certain way because you’re part of the system.

If you work for a company, you’ve made agreements and commitments there to do certain things because they need them done or want them done, and that’s part of your job. If you don’t do those you’ve broken your commitment. And you will pay the price for that eventually.

There is a best time for nearly all things. So you need to pay attention and be in stride with what is the timing. Keep your commitments. Be responsible. Step up. It makes your life significantly easier.

(to be continued…)

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