- in Commitment
“A busy, vibrant, goal-oriented woman is so much more attractive than a woman who waits around for a man to validate her existence.”
~ Mandy Hale
This can be a tricky strategy.
On one hand you want him to commit because you have been dating for a while and you are ready for the next step. It “feels” like he is ready for the same by what he says and does. On the surface you are a “couple” but are worried that he is not “committed” to the relationship. You want to make sure that you are both going in the same direction and that you are not wasting your time. You want reassurance that you are the only one and that he is serious about being with you.
Be honest about your relationship needs.
First, let him know that you want a relationship. Talk to him about what that means to you and that it includes a “commitment” to something more than a friendship. Ask him how he feels and if he has considered it. Let him know that a relationship is important to you and that you don’t want to waste time with someone who does not want the same thing.
Be mindful that he does not feel manipulated by a threat to leave if he does not commit. This can go one of two ways. He could tell you that he does not like to feel pressured and that if you want to leave, you can leave. He could possibly commit based on the thought of losing you.
What you say is as important and how you say it. Don’t back him into a corner and give him an ultimatum. You don’t want to force him into something that he is not ready for. Give him space to be honest with you.
Timing is extremely important.
Make sure you have time and privacy to talk this through with him. Make sure that you are both sober and that this “talk” does not happen while you are being intimate. You want him to give proper attention to what you have to say. It is important that he gives you a clear and honest answer regarding your question about moving to the next stage in the relationship. Make sure that you are both clear as to what “commitment” means to each of you.
If you have been waiting for him to commit and take the relationship to the next stage, it might be time to have a talk with him and let him know that you have been on hold for a while. You want him to know that leaving is an option for you if your needs in the relationship are not being met. A commitment is important to you and you feel it is time for him to decide whether he is on the same page as you are.
If he is not able to commit and keeps you in a holding pattern, you will need to make a decision.
This is never easy because you will wonder about the “what if’s” of the relationship. If he is not willing to commit, you might have to let go. He could realize how much he loves you and come back willing to commit to a relationship. If you let him go, give yourself a couple of weeks to grieve before you move on. This way he has some time to think about the impact of losing you and he might come back.
Don’t keep waiting on him months after you leave. Move on and keep going forward with your life. If he really values you and the relationship, he will act sooner than later. Remember, it is his loss if he thinks you will wait for him and you have moved on.
Ileana Hinojosa, MLA, LMFT – www.themindfullife.net
Maybe we think that if they are afraid of losing us it will force them to express their feelings to us on a deeper level.
Maybe we think they will all of a sudden realize how great they have it with us in their life if we walk away. This will never work and will end up causing unnecessary pain and suffering in the long run.
- First of all, if you walk away and don’t get the response you are hoping for then you didn’t avoid the hurt you were trying to prevent at all and in fact, may have sabotaged something that was going well otherwise.
- Second of all, this is highly manipulative and passive and suggests that your fear of confrontation and insecurity will eventually cause problems in the relationship.
- Third, if the relationship is not at the point where they are ready to commit then it’s not at the point where they are ready to commit.
Maybe they will never be and forcing the issue only results in destruction of trust and a dynamic of control within the relationship.
The fear of abandonment is a difficult one as is the fear of rejection.
Often there exists a feeling that we can have this need met though stated commitment, reassurance or perhaps though issuing an ultimatum.
None of these strategies work to fill the void we are seeking to fill through forcing our partner to commit to us. We must address where these fears come from in order to gain the self-reliance and confidence that will assist us in creating a satisfying union with another person.
Forcing someone to commit to us will break our trust in whether or not their assertions of love were honest or because we dragged it out of them.
Also, their power does not belong to you just as yours does not belong to them. Taking it from them creates an unhealthy power dynamic within the relationship.
Direct, honest, emotionally vulnerable communication is the glue that secures a healthy relationship.
If you are unable to tell your partner that you desire a deeper level of commitment from them and don’t feel as though you have it, then you are already in trouble. Work to be secure enough in yourself as well as confident that you deserve to have your needs met within the relationship.
Resentment is built through unspoken needs and invisible hurts that are never addressed.
Resentments become relationship poison and it should be our goal to address old ones and not create any new ones.
If your partner doesn’t commit to you when you feel they should and you are contemplating addressing this within the relationship then you need to look at why you desire this from them, whether or not the relationship is something you both wish to continue anyhow, and what this commitment offers you that you don’t already have.
Chances are, your answers to these questions will illuminate something about yourself that can strengthen your relationship without ever having to say a word. Confidence, after all, is highly attractive.
Kate Kelly, MSW, LCSW – www.willowcreekwellness.com
It can be so frustrating to be dating a man and wanting more.
Even more so when you want a commitment but he doesn’t. You think to yourself, “Maybe if I walk away he will commit.” Initially, this sounds like a good idea. However, it’s a really risky move, and here are a few reasons why:
According to William Glasser, the only one you can control is yourself.
You can only give others information. Therefore, you can not make your man do anything, whether that is committing to you or picking up his socks. You can only give him information. However, that information is perceived by someone other than yourself and your intentions may not translate. Walking away informs him you are not interested in committing, and doing so could backfire and lead to a break up rather than a commitment.
Trying to get him to commit because it's what you want is a form of external control psychology.
External control psychology is thinking you know what's best for someone else and attempting to control the outcome based on this belief through punishment or other means. The more it is used, the more relationships are harmed or destroyed. (information based on William Glasser’s Choice Theory in his book “Counseling with Choice Theory”). Even if he does commit after you walk away, you may have damaged the relationship.
Finally, if he does commit after you’ve walked away the relationship is then essentially based on a lie or fear of losing you rather than communication and mutual goals for the relationship.
It’s difficult to anticipate how this will impact the relationship, but it's safe to say its a risk that could end the relationship.
Instead of walking away, try to be open and honest about your intentions and hopes for the relationship.
Have a discussion with him about both his and your intentions, the purpose of dating, and what it means to both of you to be in a committed relationship. This does not guarantee he will commit, but if he does, your relationship will be stronger for it.