A committed relationship is defined as an interpersonal relationship based upon agreed-upon commitment to one another involving love, trust, honesty, openness, or some other behaviour.
When I read that definition, it struck me that a lot of us are in relationships but we have no shared understanding of an agreed-upon commitment. The picture that came to my mind was the agreed-upon commitment I have with my phone company, thus my relationship with them clearly states that I can use my phone to make calls and consume data if I pay my phone bills, among other things. The clarity of those parameters has allowed me to stay with my service provider for years without any issues at all. But with some personal relationships, I find that I have been trying to make calls for services that don’t seem to be paid for and vice versa.
For every relationship we find ourselves in, be it with a lover, a friend, a parent or a child, there are agreed-upon commitments that we must honour to keep that relationship healthy and thriving. To one, love may mean spending time, to another it may mean giving gifts. If both parties do not share that understanding, then the relationship suffers because the one who wants time doesn’t appreciate the gifts and the one who gives the gifts doesn’t understand why the other is so hard to please.
Have you ever assumed someone to be your best friend, but they did not feel the same way about you? When you found out you were only one of thier friends it must have hurt. We must spend time to discuss the agreed-upon commitments that we have, and reach a place of shared understanding with all those we are in a relationship with. Don’t let assumptions linger as it will weaken the foundation of understanding and indeed commitment. Know where you stand with each person and give them the best of what your relationship agrees, and accept the best they have to offer you.