Do you know why you can’t seem to keep those New Year’s resolutions? Because you’re afraid of the commitment. You have to make a commitment to yourself to keep that resolution. That’s a scary thing to do. But if you’re too afraid to commit to yourself, how can you commit to someone else?
A commitment between two people can mean many different things. What it boils down to is an agreement between two people to put some effort into being a couple. [Don’t confuse this with compromise. That’s a totally different beast.]
I think it’s important to have some ground rules for this experiment. Blending two lives together can be dangerous so it’s good to be careful. Agree to disagree. We can’t agree on everything. What would we talk about? It’s okay to like different things, different people. Don’t expect a person to give up their friends to be with you. That’s not fair to anyone.
It’s important for two people to remain two individuals while celebrating the things that bring them together and exploring the new territory of their differences. Our differences don’t have to be fuel for arguments. It’s what makes conversation interesting. If we are always in each other’s space agreeing on every little detail, each person gets lost in the WE. The relationship will run you to ground, leading to resentment, arguments and unhappiness. Differences are what make each of us unique and attract us to each other. They should be celebrated and respected.
What if one of you has kids? When do they become part of the commitment? Or do you keep them a separate part of your life? Our family and friends are part of who we are. They should be shared and celebrated as well.
Before we get lost in the details of togetherness, you have to get to the commitment. How do you know if you’re ready to take that step? How do you face that fear? Are you the frequent flyer who offers the whole tamale to anybody who stands still long enough? Or do you hold out until the one you want seems so far away you have to pray for a miracle? Maybe you’re so afraid of taking that step that you hide from making the decision while opportunities pass you by.
Some things we know without doubt. Get gas when the tank’s on E. Answer the phone when it rings. Dial 911 if you can’t stop the bleeding. Can we ever be sure we’re ready? Maybe not. But I’m willing to take that chance. Even if it scares me …