Commitment is Hard
I think we take for granted just how odd it is for people to get into relationships.
You’re basically promising that you will be faithful to this person and stay together unless some major boundaries are crossed.
And maybe on the surface that seems fine, but you eventually have to ask yourself, “Why them? What cockamamie thing is this person going to do? Why do I have to put up with their crap? Why does my attraction to them wax and wane? What thing that I don’t value am I going to have to endure?”
It’s a lot like piano. You could learn it if you want, but if you’re not committed to being proficient, when you eventually meet obstacles, you will take them as messages to give up.
Being interested in something doesn’t mean that your interest is going to be consistent. But that’s a major issue when it comes to relationships today.
We jump into relationships with people because of the initial fire. And when the fire dies down a bit, neither party tries to fan the flame.
Then the fire dies out and people decide to stay in the cold dark room for some time before they pack up and leave for another fire, another relationship and another disappointing end when the fire is extinguished. Some never leave the room.
As unconsciously as we fell in love, we unconsciously want to fan the flame. We don’t want to actually decide to do it. It almost seems… unromantic.
And while it is unromantic, it is the only practical thing to do to maintain the romance.
If you want to be good at anything, you have to commit to it. That means that you will face challenges, annoyances, difficulties, pain and suffering. But if you face it, you will be good at it. If you don’t, you just won’t.
But making a habit of being non-committal is a surefire way to mediocre relationships and a mediocre life.
The things you are best at are things you struggled with the most. And while you may have a natural talent for certain things, that’s an excellent way to rest on your laurels and let the world pass you by.
Raw and early talent can be a trap. Look no further than the top ranked high school basketball players who often fail to make it in the NBA. And it doesn’t only exist in basketball. You see it in soccer too where top academies produce great talents that end up being traded to second and third-tier teams.
Some prospects make it to the big time. Some don’t. Talent isn’t enough because talent isn’t as rare as we think it is. We all have something that makes us special, and that is why we are not special.
What is rare is one’s decision to commit to something; to say to a job, ability or relationship that there will be difficulties and challenges, and I am happy to face them.
But a lot of us are afraid to do this. We want guarantees that our sacrifices will pay off. And that’s because we live for pleasure and edification.
When we admit this to ourselves, it gets pretty difficult to escape the fact that we get into relationships primarily for selfish, self-serving reasons.
You’re trying to get yours while your partner is doing the same thing. Clearly, this is a recipe for someone’s feelings to get hurt.
So what is the solution to this? If we see the importance of commitment, but are still afraid to do it, what do we do?
I mentioned it earlier; we have to stop trying to get stuff just to edify ourselves. A great life isn’t going to be found in getting everything you want. So many luminaries and celebrities have warned us about this, not just in words but in their untimely demises.
Jim Carrey famously said, “I wish everyone could get rich and famous and everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that’s not the answer.” If you’ve had any success in your life, you’ll see that this is true.
A great life is found in what you’re giving and a relationship is perhaps the most intimate way you could ever serve anyone.
It’s an opportunity to give love and to give of yourself. It isn’t done for your benefit, although giving love does feel pretty good. But in this commitment to another to give love, the fire never dies and the room you both share will be warm.
And, of course, it takes two. If both parties aren’t committed, then there is no point. If both parties aren’t respecting each other’s boundaries, there is no point. If both parties aren’t nurturing one another, there is no point.
The more you and your partner do this, the better everything gets. If it truly isn’t a functional relationship, you both can part ways with no sore feelings.
But as I said before, you can’t be good at anything if you aren’t immersed in it and ready to embrace the good, the bad and the ugly. Everything and everyone has a good, bad and ugly to them.
So who are you willing to commit to? Who do you want to know inside and out as you allow them to know you inside and out?