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Committed Relationships for Baby-Boomers
There are many stages of intimacy and relationships; most people rush through all these stages: casual dating, serious dating, committed relationships, and a lasting relationship so fast that they don’t even recognize that they are separate and individual stages of intimacy.
Each stage has a purpose towards learning about one another and developing greater intimacy between the couple. To rush through these stages without allowing the necessary time to unfold and learn what one needs to know in order to make a realistic and accurate assessment about their potential partner is the biggest error people make in developing relationships.
“To the spiritually mature, commitment is the equivalent of freedom because it bestows authentic happiness that cannot be taken away. When we make an unconditional commitment to something, the energy response from the universe matches us at the point of our commitment. Commit to love today, to peace, joy, and well-being – and grace will be at your service.”
~ Michael Bernard Beckwith
Intimacy is a state of baring one’s inmost self in friendship; this takes time—lots of time. There is no way to rush intimacy. Yet, most couples spend a few dates, maybe a few weeks getting to know one another and make a heart-felt commitment without knowing if they are truly compatible—in my opinion, the most necessary ingredient for a happy, long-lasting union. (See more on intimacy here.)
Once the couple has realistically looked at whether they have similar values, morals, beliefs and goals, only then should they make a life-long commitment to one another.
To make a commitment with another human being is to surrender one’s independence, to give up the single life in favour of a perceived better life sharing their hearts and souls, their goals and dreams with another.
Making a list of one’s important relationship criteria, especially one’s morals, values (honestly, loyalty, etc.) & non-negotiables (i.e. non-drinker/non-smoker, no abuse, etc) and using it as a guide for conversations during the dating period to clarify what you want in a relationship, and by your potential partner’s answers and actions you can gauge whether they will be a good fit for you.
To make a commitment is to bind oneself to a certain code of conduct such as monogamy and faithfulness, to consider another’s feelings, wants, needs and desires when making plans and decisions, to care for and treat another human being tender and lovingly.
To make a commitment is to agree that this is a binding decision—no turning back when the going gets too tough. As A. Justin Sterling in his book, What REALLY Works With Men, ‘divorce…is just a euphemism for “quitting.”’
The only way to ensure that the going won’t get too tough is to thoroughly know one’s self and the other before making that commitment. This takes time—lots of time. Through talking, sharing experiences, observing behaviour one can make a realistic assessment as to whether they and their potential partner truly are ready to take that next step in their relationship.
As Maya Angelou once said, ‘if someone tells you who they really are, believe them’ the first time.
In his book Soul Mates: Honouring the Mysteries of Love and Relationships, Thomas Moore, says, ‘A soulful relationship is not a simple gift; it asks for concentrated cultivation.’
Don’t marry the person you think you can live with;
marry only the individual you think you can’t live without.
~ James C. Dobson
‘Commitment’ is the only ‘C’ in the Part III section on committed relationships in my manuscript The 8 Cs of Relationships. You can read my essay on commitment here.
Sometimes, but not always, commitment entails Marriage. You can read my essay on marriage here.
Once you’ve made the commitment to spend the rest of your life together there’s no guarantee of ‘happily ever after.’ Now the work begins – Maintaining a Lasting Relationships through the final ‘C’ – cherish your partner.) I discuss this further in Part IV of my upcoming book The 8 Cs of Relationships.
For more information on when The 8 Cs of Relationships will be published (anticipated publication date late 2023) and where to pre-order your copy, please fill in the form here.
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