In our quest to build healthy relationships, we require commitment – from both parties. Regardless of the relationship we are committing to -partner, friend, loved ones – the essentials are the same:
- Our thoughts about commitment align. Gary Zukav says that when we commit to a relationship, we put ourselves in another person’s keeping. We have trusted them to have our best interests at heart, and promise, in return, to do the same.
- Our actions follow our words. Commitment is the underlying belief that “I can count on you.” The choices that we make when it comes to committing time and effort into our relationship come through in what we do.
- We maximize the good. There are always going to be times in relationship when we feel frustrated, disappointed or annoyed. When our sense of commitment is based on trust, we turn towards maximizing what is positive about the relationship and minimizing the negative. John Gottman refers to this process with couples as actively being grateful for the good qualities in our partner versus building resentment towards our partner for their negative qualities.
- Commitment requires depth. When we commit to a relationship, we also work towards the results of that relationship and are invested in its success.
Commitment to our relationships is both an individual promise and a shared one. The act of commitment is foundational for a healthy and meaningful relationship.