Bookmark and Share

Online Dating Magazine > Columns > Dating From the Inside Out > 18

Dating From the Inside Out
by Susan S. Davis

The “C” Word: Understanding Commitment

I used to think that my mother’s viewpoints on relationships were arcane. But as I mature, I realize now that in actuality, and at their core, they were not. In reality, the same theorems and behaviors that were successful during her time, can actually be successful now, if used to their advantage. Of course, not all of them can easily be stringently applied, but there are some basic ideas that still make sense today.

One of the last things my mother told me was “Never assume anything.” She had learned, the hard way, that in relationships, just because something “seems” to be so, that doesn’t mean it actually is. For example, just because someone sees you on a regular basis, you can’t assume that they mirror your feelings for them; they may have an entirely different view of what you mean to them than you do of what they mean to you. So, if you are feeling rather complacent and beginning to think that you are in a “relationship,” you must realize that unless you’ve had that conversation, you really aren’t in a relationship. This means that both of you are free to see whomever else you choose.

And when sex is added to the mix, it just makes the whole “relationship” conundrum more confusing. This is why it is so important to consider the consequences of the various stages of a relationship before advancing to each level.

Why is commitment necessary for some people to continue in a relationship? For some people, in order to justify the investment of time, spirituality, mentality and emotion, they need the assurance that the other person is on the same page, and, for them, that means some form of commitment.

While many couples are content with living together, some people still contend that marriage is the ultimate commitment. According to a Rutgers University report, though slightly more than 44% of the single men profiled, agreed that they would only marry someone if they lived together first, there was no evidence to indicate what percentage of partners who lived together actually got married.

Close to a third of the men in the study had lived with someone in the past or were currently cohabiting. The top ten reasons that men, in particular, are reluctant to marry, included:

1. They can get sex without marriage more easily than in times past

2. They can enjoy the benefits of having a wife by cohabiting rather than marrying

3. They want to avoid divorce and its financial risks

4. They want to wait until they are older to have children

5. They fear that marriage will require too many changes and compromises

6. They are waiting for the perfect soul mate and she hasn’t yet appeared

7. They face few social pressures to marry

8. They are reluctant to marry a woman who already has children

9. They want to own a house before they get a wife

10. They want to enjoy single life as long as they can

In a nutshell, the above brutal honesty basically says that when someone is not ready to marry, depending up on the particular situation, this is what they may be thinking: "I'm fond of you, and I want to live with you for the following reasons. First, it will make it easier for me to enjoy regular sex. Second, I want to protect my assets - assets I'd have to share with you if we got a divorce. Third, you already have kids, and I don't want to support them. Fourth, I'm waiting for my perfect soul mate to come along. Until I meet that person, I'd like to live with you."

When people were profiled for a reaction to the above, many said that the most galling of all, was the admission that some people are “waiting for their true love” to come along. After that happens, they’ll be motivated enough to marry, buy a home, and have children. Until that happens, they are more than content to enjoy all that domestication has to offer, without the commitment of marriage.

While the information found in the study can appear to be incredibly insulting, it seems to be the truth. This is why people who are marriage minded, should be aware of their goals in that regard, and decide as early in a relationship as possible, whether the time invested will be worthwhile for them. In other words, if marriage is important to someone, it is best to determine what a potential partner’s thoughts are on the subject of marriage as soon as possible.

Many people are content with cohabitation, and some aren’t, but are actually more fearful of “scaring someone away” if the subject of commitment, let alone, marriage, is brought up. The fact of the matter is, usually, if one party isn’t getting what they want out of a relationship, unless the other components outweigh the missing component enough, the relationship will most likely dissolve, eventually.

What it comes down to is that each party needs to determine if their relationship needs and requirements are realistically being met on an acceptable level, by whatever situation they are in.

For example, if either party is sacrificing important needs in order to be with the other person, then it is time to re-evaluate the situation enough to balance it out. Ignoring feelings or situations usually leads to more unpleasantness, so it is best to confront the issues as they are and deal with them. One may “risk” the “loss” of someone in doing so, but realistically, if someone isn’t truly happy with a situation, it may not be such a “loss” anyway. Obviously, as long as the situation is acceptable, there is no need to readjust. But if it isn’t, then it is time to assess the situation and deal with it honestly. Only then can each party be assured that they share the same goals in that regard and will fulfill whatever their relationship needs may be.

Susan S. Davis is a published book author and writer, currently doing research for a romantic screenplay she is writing. Her Dating From The Inside Out column is published every Tuesday.

> - The best approach to find the one. <

All Online Dating Magazine content, including the content on this page,
is © copyright by Online Dating Magazine and may not be
republished or reused in any form. You do have
full permission to link to this article.

Do you agree or disagree with this article? Have
more to add? Submit a Letter to the Editor today or post a comment below.


blog comments powered by Disqus

Privacy Statement | Code of Ethics Statement
Bookmark Online Dating Magazine at

>View Online Dating Magazine Singles Travel Adventures<

Online Dating | News | Columns | Features | Dating Services | Niche Dating
Online Dating Directory | Dating Humor | Quick Tip Articles | Online Dating Industry
Industry History
| Online Dating Reviews | Reader Reviews | Dating Videos | Book / DVD Reviews
Reader Letters | Self Improvement | Experiences | Newsletter | Interviews
Top 10 Lists | STD Info Center | About Us | Advertise
Media Center
| FAQ | Search | Contact | Dating Promotions

Dating Cartoons | Dating Jokes | Funny Dating Videos | Dating Games

Online Dating Magazine Needs Your Help!

All content on this Website is ©copyright by Online
Dating Magazine. All Rights Reserved. The content
on this site may not be reused or republished.

Are you an online dating site Webmaster? If so...
If you are looking for free dating content you can republish, click here



Advertise on
Online Dating Magazine



Stay Up to Date:

Follow Us on Twitter

Follow Us on YouTube

Follow Us on Facebook


10 Most Viewed Articles:

Online Dating Tips
Opposites Attract
Online Dating Safety Tips
Rose Colors
Guys are Weird
Dating Games
Online Dating Reviews
Creative Date Ideas
Long Distance Relationships
Dealing with a Breakup

Other Resources:

These links will take you away from Online Dating Magazine.

Google (Google Your Date)
Research Dating Service)

MailOrderBride Guide

Note: Online Dating Magazine does not sell text links anywhere on the site, so please don't email asking about text links. Any links we have are affiliate links, resources we find useful, links to other sites we run or long-time magazine sponsors. We do have graphic ad options in our Advertising section.