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What Kind of a Commitment Do You Make to Commitment?

Oct 12, 2007
We do not often think about it in the context of dating, but a lot of words have multiple meanings. Let us take a look at one of the big words that comes up fairly often in the dating world and think about how the various meanings can affect our own (and other peoples) reactions when we hear it.

While many folks make beautiful, loving connotations when they hear the word commitment, many others treat it like it only has four letters. So many people act like it is a dirty word that sometimes it seems like it should be. How did the word commitment get such a bad reputation? Well, let us take a look at the ways we use it in everyday language.

1) Commitment = the act of locking someone up in prison. Well, sure. No one wants to have their long-term relationship compared to a prison sentence. If love and marriage are compared to jail time, it is easy to see how some people might develop an aversion to the idea altogether!

2) Commitment = being put into a mental institution. Again, there are some not-so-nice parallels that can be drawn between what goes on in an asylum and what goes on in a whole lot of long-term relationships. Crazy is crazy, after all. Still, a trip to the psych ward is not necessarily what we mean when we talk about being madly in love.

3) Commitment = sending a legislative bill to be reviewed by a committee. O.K., now that just sounds incredibly boring. While we do not need our relationships to be full of non-stop action, we do not particular fantasize about boring ones, either.

We also talk about committing a crime, committing acts of violence, and committing a blunder. No wonder so many people have all these negative ideas about commitment. It has been ingrained in us for years!

Since we are taking a closer look at the word, let us review some of the kinder, gentler meanings.

1) Commitment = a promise of something to be done in the future. Now, that is a much brighter version of the same word is it not? Promise is such a happy, hopeful word; and it seems so much more fitting when describing love.

2) Commitment = dedication or loyalty to a cause. Dedication is certainly a positive trait, and one that is so helpful in a relationship. Love and dedication go hand in hand in a healthy romantic relationship.

3) Commitment = the trait known as sincerity. The best way to find true love is to be you. A commitment to sincerely being you means it is easier to make a commitment to someone else down the road.

Words are a lot like relationships. The way we look at them determines what we see. If we are looking through a negative lens, then we get an up close and personal view of the negative aspects. If we find a more positive point of view, then we are more likely to see the good. This is true of commitment, just as it is of pretty much everything else.
About the Author
Caterina Christakos is a dating coach and writer with a B.A. in Psychology and extensive graduate study in Marriage and Family Counseling. To learn how to choose better relationships go to: seductiondiva.com
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