A dating relationship is, basically, a testing ground for compatibility. However, many people go into them believing they are entering into an instant “commitment for life” without ever having that conversation with their dating partner.
While there generally is a certain amount of expected commitment in a dating relationship; as in, not seeing other people. This should never be assumed, as everyone has unique views on what dating means to them. These are important conversations to have. Things like needs, desires, boundaries, life goals, dreams, etc… are all the kinds of things that should be discussed while you are dating, and prior to making the commitment. Until there has been a discussion about a long-term, or “life partner” desire and a commitment has been agreed upon, they’re isn’t one. The “commitment for life” does not come in until you “pop the question” and/or have the actual conversation if marriage is not your thing. In dating, there are no guarantees.
Many people enter into dating without knowing whether they are even ready for a “real”, committed relationship. Because dating is a testing ground, it’s certainly one way to find out. Some may find that they are, indeed, ready, while others will discover they are not. What you might think looks like compatibility when you start out, may not look like compatibility several months to a year in, (or even longer depending on how fast or slow the pace of the dating is). You do not know what a dating relationship holds, until you get into one and start exploring.
Too often, when one person feels that either there is incompatibility or they are still not comfortable being in a committed relationship, the other person is crushed thinking they were never loved. A person doesn’t generally leave a relationship because they no longer love that person. They leave because they’re conscious needs are not being met, or, they realize, they have a lot more work to do on themselves yet.
Dating tends to bring up a lot of emotional and/or past trauma triggers. How the indivuals are able to deal with these, when they come up, can make or break the dating relationship. Some people will hide from these triggers because they are painful. Others, will dig in and try to fix them. Some, will refuse to talk about them. Others will we brave enough to start the conversation. For those that are unwilling to deal with the triggers, the person who starts the conversation, may be viewed as the bad guy. Yet, those that are willing to work towards a committed relationship, will view the conversation as a springboard towards resolving issues and be willing to take action. Based on a person’s known, or unknown, commitment level, these responses could vary. Surface level conversations, do not bring a deeper connection. In a committed relationship, both parties have to be willing to get uncomfortable, dig in the dirt, and uncover the issues/fears that need to be worked on together.
Here are some signs that a partner is not ready for a committed relationship:
- They are not willing to open up about their personal lives, dreams, goals, fears, etc…
- They are unwilling, or unable, to share or express their feelings.
- They do not wish to acknowledge, accept, hear, or respect your feelings (especially, when they don’t match their own).
- They put you in charge of the relationship.
- They have expectations, yet are not openly sharing them with you.
- They will not accept, respect, and/or acknowledge your needs and desires, along with their own.
- They expect you to give up parts of yourself (without a conversation or your consent), in order to be with them.
- They are unwilling to accept you for who you are.
Now, the last one (accepting you for who you are), can be kind of tricky. The tricky part would be, whether the person knows who they are to begin with. If a person enters into a dating relationship, thinking that the other person will make them happy, complete them, or accept the things about them that they have never accepted about themselves, this is where the real trouble comes in.
A person can only love and accept you to the extent that you will are willing to love and accept yourself. If you have not done the work to bring yourself to this place, it is not fair to expect the other person to do the work for you. One of the biggest issues in self-esteem that I’ve seen (including in myself) is the idea of not feeling worthy, or being good enough. Another person cannot make you feel a way that you don’t already feel about yourself. They only serve to bring to the surface that which you have buried. Someone who knows their full worth, will not be affected nearly as much as a person who feels worthless when things go wrong in a relationship. The mistake many people make is thinking that they will find their own value or worth in someone else. While a dating partner may make you feel good on the outside, it’s really is your job to learn how to make yourself feel better on the inside.
Making excuses, and simply saying “I can’t”, will not get you any further than where you have been. Claiming “I’ve tried everything”, is generally, and for the most part, untrue. Have you really tried everything? Or have you just tried some things, and maybe even the same things over and over, with little to no success, and given up? These are some good questions to ask, especially if you feel like you are wanting to go into a committed relationship.
Now, here’s the real question:
What would happen if you chose to commit to yourself?
What would happen if you took charge of your own happiness, instead of placing it in someone else’s hands? What if you’re self worth, did not depend on the opinions of others? How would your life change? And how successful do you think you’re partnerships would become as a result? It all begins with you.
Not sure where to start? Start by asking all these questions, and see if you already have the answers. If not, Google it. There are tons of YouTube videos that discuss these topics in depth. Libraries and bookstores are filled with books in the self-help arena. Counselors, psychologists, therapists, life coaches (hi), etc…these are all people that are willing to help. Regardless of what anyone else has told you in the past, there is absolutely nothing wrong with reaching out for help. A better feeling you, makes for better relationships. It’s a win-win. One that you can be in control of, if you choose to be.
Dating may, or may not, be for everyone. Being in committed relationships may, or may not, be for everyone. It really just depends on the person and their desires, needs, and readiness. In dating, you can uncover these and decide which direction you would like to go forward in, or backwards, if need be, in order to be able to move forward again. Neither is right or wrong, unless you make them right or wrong. Having these key conversations with yourself, and others, can certainly help you decide which is the right direction to go for you.
If a commitment is what you desire, why not start with you?
~ Jody Pogo :o)
The information shared in this blog is based on the writer’s own knowledge, research, and life experiences of the topic. It may or may not resonate or match with your own ideas or beliefs. Either is ok. All that is asked is that you respect the information shared, regardless. Any strong, blatant, opinion-based comments for the sole purpose of creating drama will be removed. If you do not like the content here, feel free to scroll on by. This is a forum for creating conversation, learning, and inspiring positive growth and/or change. To those who enjoy this content, thank you. You are the reason for this blog.