Commitments are overrated. Ask me why and I’d point you to the divorce courts. With its overwhelming statistics, one could easily become pessimistic about starting a relationship. The myriad reasons why couples dissolve their relationship is mind-boggling. The situation is appalling and that shouldn’t be you. So yes, commitment is way overrated. Then what gives? If an enormous event that culminates in an emotional gesture of saying “I do” isn’t enough, then what is. Everyone wants to have a successful, healthy relationship. The only problem? Most people have no idea where to start.
It’s a common issue that many couples face. But over the past few years, I’ve learned that three things can make a massive difference in the quality of your relationship.
Here they are.
Would you substitute preparation for a vow, promise, or commitment in your world of academics, sports, business, or medicine? I bet you wouldn’t. Then why do many people operate from the premise that a promise can replace the need for preparation in the realm of relationship? In retrospection, we find out that it was crazy to think that we could promise, vow, or commit ourselves into a successful future. We should have known better but often we’re blinded by the imbalance of chemicals in our heads. Never again. Experiences in other areas of our lives have taught us better. Preparation is the key to success. Preparation in all facets: mentally, emotionally, financially, physically, and spiritually.
Good students know they must prepare for exams, not just stare in the mirror and promise to do well. In every arena of life, preparation is the key to success. This is true for relationships as well. Society has ignored this indisputable reality due to what is marketed. Very few people prepare. Most people are content to commit. As Andy Stanley states, “When it comes to relationships, commitment is way overrated. WAY. Promises and commitments are no substitute for preparation.” So if you’re thinking of being with someone, make sure it’s this: preparedness- check.
Clear and realistic expectations
Bad information breeds unrealistic expectations, which lead inevitably to disappointment and disillusionment later. You can’t build castles in the air and expect your partner to fly and go live in them. That’s bunkum.
In a culture where we are bombarded with expectations to be rich, lose weight, look younger, look sexy—look perfect— it’s easy to lose sight of what’s important. Are you deciding to be with someone? Get your mind straight. Renew your mind and reinvent your beliefs. Your values, beliefs, and standard are the only yardstick for clarifying your expectations. Not society’s standard. So the questions are: what are you looking for in your partner and vice versa. Be sure to know what your partner is looking for in you, in the present and the future. If your expectations are possible to reach a compromise, great, you may
proceed with the relationship. However, if it’s all nebulous and unrealistic, kindly think otherwise. You don’t have to settle.
Some important relationship expectations to discuss when deciding to be with someone are: respect, monogamy, finances, insecurities, intimacy, sex, communication, among others. These expectations should be discussed before you decide to be in the relationship. You can’t assume your expectations are going to align with your partner’s. That is a recipe for disaster. Your expectations could be his/ her entitlement and vice versa. Clarify your expectations. I agree with Cynthia Pickett, LCSW, LADC when she said, ” I don’t believe there’s room for expectations in any relationship.” You can’t start expecting stuff once the relationship has started. There are only deal- breakers there on afterward. Talk to your prospective partner, discuss these things, and don’t settle. I have a list of my ideal woman. My unicorn of a woman. She doesn’t exist but there are some requirements I wouldn’t compromise on. There’s are others I wouldn’t even think them over.
So he’s asked you to be his girlfriend, you know you’re prepared. Now check your expectations. It could save you a whole lot.
Trust and Honesty
In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson:
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” There’s no greater deception in a relationship than pretending to be something you’re not
You shouldn’t need to change who you are just to make someone happy. Nor should you change your personality, appearance, or anything else just to feel loved by your partner. That’s not healthy. If there’s one piece of relationship advice that’s changed my life forever, it’s to be yourself and become the right person. If you feel the need to change who you are to be in a relationship, it’s not worth it. It’s impossible to have a healthy relationship if it’s built on lies instead of trust. Putting up a facade to please someone means you don’t have their best interest at heart. Even if it’s something you only do around his friends. It’s not worth it. Trust begins with self- acceptance. Loving yourself for who you are, scars and all. Being naked with yourself is imperative for building self-confidence. Consequently, loving and being yourself at all times. It’s about how you feel about relationships and who you may have to be. These decisions are yours to make. You may argue that your prospective partner is untrustworthy and several reasons to justify your pretense. I’m sorry to break it to you, you may be the root of it all. Trust begins with yourself.
Petty, irrelevant suspicions have their roots in self-mistrust. You can’t trust your partner if you don’t trust yourself. So, in deciding to be with someone, have you addressed your trust issues. Have you accepted your flaws? Have you had that honest conversation with yourself? Your relationship will certainly benefit as a result.
You may want to believe that you could have a long and loving relationship with a wild party freak or a handsome ignoramus… but it won’t work out.
You can’t overlook the importance of compatibility in a relationship. In deciding to be with someone, you need to check the compatibility box. Maybe you find him extremely intellectually engaging, but
physically you’re not on the same page. Are you aligned in your goals and dreams? Did you know there are four kinds of compatibility?
Spiritual: Healthy relationships should always begin at this level. This should not be overlooked. Are you compatible with the levels of purpose, motivation, interests, dreams, and personality?
Intellectual: Does your partner excite you mentally? Can you have intellectual discussion without feeling ennui?
Physical: Are you chemically synched with your prospective partner? You need to have chemistry and attraction to one another.
Emotional: There needs to be a “click” when you’re together. You need to feel safe and fulfilled.
Looking back at your last relationship, did you check the boxes for each of these types of compatibility? Or maybe you only checked some of the boxes. Identifying a lack of compatibility early can help you see that a relationship may not be worth pursuing long-term.
No relationship is perfect. Problems are inevitable. However, you’d have a greater chance of checking these off your list as you decide to be with someone. These are suggestions within your circle of control. Let go of judgment and stop worrying about everything you can’t change. Focus solely on what you can. Each of these points has improved every aspect of my dating life for the better. As a result, I’ve found it much easier to create an incredibly healthy relationship with someone I genuinely love.
So if you want to do the same, start by prioritizing preparation, trust, honesty, compatibility, and authenticity in every single one of your relationships. So what are you waiting for?
Author: Steev Vhoo