I love hearing love stories. Stories of people who have remained in their relationships through the odds and are still going strong. I think calling their relationship ‘love stories’ is putting it mildly. It might be more appropriate to call them triumph stories. To my mind, couples staying together in our day and age is a daily struggle.
I am surrounded by stories of failing relationships. Don’t get me wrong, I still see triumph stories. I have often asked people who stay together despite obvious challenges why they are still together. The answer is always a variation of one word: commitment.
Relationships endure when both partners are committed to staying together. You may choose to call it loyal love. That is, an attachment to someone until your purpose with that person is achieved. This commitment is always possible after one has made a vow to remain together. Little wonder that the promises exchanged during the wedding is referred to as a vow.
A vow is a solemn promise. One dictionary calls it a pledge, a commitment. It is like saying this is what I surely will do. Little wonder that the bible frowns at divorcing at every sort of ground. Your yes should certainly mean yes. A person who does not take his promises seriously or whose word you cannot take to the bank will definitely not make for a good marriage partner.
A couple who are committed to each other, will see beyond daily squabbles and transcend beyond daily difficulties. But, commitment does not come per chance. A person who generally has difficulty trusting others will find it difficult committing in a relationship.
Each time I think about the relationship between trust and commitment, I remember a scene from the animated movie where Ali asked the princess: ‘do you trust me? Then jump’. I think commitment is a leap of faith. It is a belief that your partner willl be there with the safety net when you do the jump. Your partner will be there because you believe he won’t stand around and let you hurt yourself.
Yet, commitment is not blind. It is not something you offer just because you are in a relationship with someone. Yet, it is not something you hold back and wait for the other party to offer first. Commitment is not selfish. This could be why during the wedding both parties exchange vows at the same time.
Of course in real life one person may become committed to the relationship before the other, or one maybe more commited to the relationship than the other, but the fact remains that if at some point in the relationship both partners must be committed to one another if they want their relationship to last.
So, if you have found someone you want to spend the rest of your life with, you do well to ask yourself: can I honestly make a vow of commitment to this person? What things in the relationship would make it impossible to keep to this solemn commitment? If you do find any, now is a good time to discuss it with them.