“There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when it’s convenient. When you’re committed to something, you
accept no excuses, only results.” ― Ken Blanchard
Everyone has some commitment issues because making a commitment, especially to another person, can be frightening. Making a commitment to someone else often brings up a lot of our own issues. It is normal to have some fear and anxiety. Dealing with these fears and concerns within the early stages of the relationship with a partner who is well intentioned will indicate your state of emotional maturity. Personal, intimate and romantic relationships require a connection and a commitment. The connection and commitment require both partners to be available and present within the relationship. Whatever type of relationship it is an agreement has been reached that both parties will remain committed and connected. This is the intention both parties should bring into the relationship. The degree of active intention, integrity, commitment and connection of one or both partners will determine whether the relationship survives or not.
When a relationship runs into trouble it is the integrity of connection or bond that is ultimately tested. If the relationship fails, often how you deal with the grieving process will tell you a great deal about yourself providing you enter the process with a degree of awareness of what is actually happening. How a person handles both intimacy and separation can reveal a great deal about someone’s character. Very often individuals with issues around commitment have major problem dealing with both forming meaningful connections and dealing with separation or the disconnection that occurs at the end of a relationship. Remember, if you have done your inner work you will be much better prepared for the challenge of finding a meaningful relationship but undertaking the work does not mean an instant or automatic success.
People who have commitment issues are very often in a hurry to find love. In their quest to fulfill their fantasy and the desire for a romantic connection, they form superficial bonds quickly that are inappropriate. Or they fiercely protect their own boundaries while invading or encroaching on their love interest’s boundaries at the outset of the desired relationship. If you are overly protective of yourself it is very difficult to begin form a meaningful bond or connection. Usually people with commitment issues do not let the relationship progress naturally or take it natural course. This is because they are more interested in themselves. They are more connected to themselves and their own relationship fantasies instead of being able to honestly negotiate, enter and conduct a real one.
Often such relationships are initiated with a rush for intimacy and a strong sexual connection. They create intense sexual, passionate and emotional bonds which while appearing to be real are actually very fake. Consequently, the relationship cannot progress or grow because it is based on their fantasy, not reality. In the meantime, the person who has been the subject of this intense attention, great sex and passion is expecting the relationship to move forward and become more meaningful. What they thought was a special connection turns out not to be very special at all because it had no real substance. Sooner rather than later it becomes clear that what looked at felt special was superficial at best, an emotional con job at worse. It was not real but based on naive hopes based on false or misinterpreted information or fantasies.
Sometimes people are so desperate and anxious to find love they are seduced by the fantasy that a real connection exists with these emotional imposters when in fact it does not. They discover the experience and the behavior of the other person was not real; it was just a very slick, well-rehearsed presentation. The person has no staying power in terms of wanting a real relationship they merely give the idea or concept lip service. They can talk about love and relationships a great deal and they may well spend a great deal of time thinking about finding the ‘perfect love’. Some of these individuals can even be self-proclaimed ‘relationship specialists’ or relationship coaches but they themselves cannot commit to the long haul or do the necessary work that is required to maintain and pursue a real relationship. There are many people who will pretend they are genuine and may express sentiments that lead you to believe they are prepared to do what it takes to make a partnership a success but in reality have their own selfish agendas. Frequently these people have deeply engrained fantasies that make them truly believe that successful relationships are effortlessly created or make grand promises but cannot deliver a genuine commitment to another person. If you do not ask your potential or current partner questions about their relationship history you will not know if they are likely to have commitment conflicts and this a crucial information because if a person has demonstrated they had issues around commitment in the past it is very likely they will continue to act out those issues in the future.
Everything begins with you so you need to think very carefully about the areas where you failed to pay attention previously and contributed to the failures of your past relationships. When you do not understand your own romantic history and needs or do not pay attention to your potential partner’s relationship history you are setting yourself up for heartache, distress and repeated emotional disappointments by default.
- If you believe you are special in some way or your relationship will be special and ‘love will conquer all’ then you will not apply basic commonsense to the partnership and your expectations will be unrealistic.
- If we have unhealed issues and are struggling (consciously or subconsciously) to free ourselves from the past then we cannot fully connect with another person in the present.
I have been involved in a relationship where my ‘partner’ was connected to fantasy not reality which ultimately resulted in a great deal of frustration and disappointment. A person connected to fantasies is not a viable person for a committed relation; in fact those who are obsessed with fantasies of love may have Narcissistic tendencies so it is a good idea to look out for other potential red flags. Making a relationship a success requires a genuine commitment because in the real world a successful relationship does not just ‘happen’ overnight. The best foundation towards a firm relationship commitment is to have thoroughly dealt with any emotional baggage or issues from the past.