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Making a Commitment
Making a commitment should never be entered into lightly or without a real
understanding of exactly what the rules of commitment are. Often times after
a couple has been together for a long period of time, one or the other will
decide that they want to make a commitment and they want their partner to
make a commitment as well. Commitment is a natural next step in any relationship
that has lasted for any length of time.
A commitment is more than cohabitation. It is far more than just having
toothbrushes in the same bathroom. It is more than sharing the same dinner
table and the same bed. All of these things can and do happen without either
party really making a commitment to the other.
When a couple decides jointly to make a commitment to one another one or
both of them often see that commitment as an end. Commitment usually means
marriage and often times men and women will see the marriage ceremony as
an end to the long process of searching for the 'right one'. But marriage
is NOT "the end and happily ever after". Marriage is a beginning. A commitment
has been made, vows have been taken and the REAL commitment has just begun
for both of them.
Those who are single are well aware of the fact that the world does go 'two
by two'. The objective of the entire dating process is to find the one who
will make you a part of that 'two-by-two' world. Nobody wants to have to
do this dating thing forever. They want to make a commitment and have another
make a commitment to them.
Marriage is a contract. It is a contract that is written on paper, signed,
witnessed and filed at the courthouse. But like all contracts, it is only
as good and as binding as the two people who have agreed to make the commitment.
Divorce is the legal method of ending the marriage contract and the divorce
rate is out in the stratosphere.
Commitments come on many levels. A high school girl might agree to 'go steady'
with her high school boy friend. A twenty-something age couple may decide
to cohabitate. But marriage is supposed to be a permanent commitment.
Marriage means that two people have agreed to far more than cohabitation.
They have agreed to join their lives and their fortunes (even if those fortunes
are in the form or weekly salary checks). They have agreed to support each
other. They have agreed to stay together through good times as well as through
bad times. They have committed to helping each other become the best that
both can be.
The commitment of marriage is more than just agreeing to be monogamous...although
that is part of the commitment. It also means agreeing to stay when one discovers
the other has maddening habits. It means giving and receiving understanding
and support. Marriage is one of the...maybe THE...hardest of all human
relationships and commitments to keep.
Even though one party in a relationship is ready to make a commitment (make
the relationship permanent) they should never try to push their partner into
making a commitment until the partner is ready. Commitments aren't easy to
keep for a lifetime and no one should enter into them unless they are prepared
and feel ready, willing and able to keep a commitment.