Commitments...?

Now if any word needed repurposing in its use today, in the sense of relationships, commitment is probably that. These days, we either get into relationships were aren’t fully committed to, or we commit until we don’t feel like it anymore, which more or less ruins the point of being committed. 
The notion of commitment is agreeing to be dedicated; inclusive of a futuristic projection. A commitment to a job restricts prancing to another at the speed of a conveyor belt. 
Understandably, requesting someone to be committed to another human being is a big ask. Some consider it an unreasonable request. 

Illustration: Alissa Wortley

In a life of variety, people change, situations change; we ourselves are subject to change. 
To critics of a monogamous union, swearing your commitment is deemed a tight cage on freedom-- Like what?! When you absolutely have no idea how it's going to turn out?

Beyond that, there is the risk of what can be termed 'Opportunity Cost'. People in relationships can attest to meeting strangers and wishing they were single, just to have the opportunity to explore another option. It isn’t unusual for us to think that we could do better, however, such thoughts breed impediments to commitment. As mortal species with limited time and dreams of living, it isn’t startling that making a choice when we think we have multiple options can be difficult.
This wills our relationship in a quantum superposition where we are committed and not committed at the same time. 

Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, depending on how you choose to see it, the game of commitment is much like a piece of cake: You cannot have it and eat it. 
If we want to enjoy the ecstasy of what we imagine a healthy romantic relationship, commitment is a must or we settle for running an open relationship. This way, we know exactly where we stand.
Naturally, we tend to expose more of our innermost selves when we feel safe, and there is nothing safer than a committed partner because they guarantee us a future. This is opposed to the one-night stand that might never call back, but can paradoxically be a refuge for some of our more sensitive sides. We know we wouldn’t have to see them again so it is as though they never existed. 

Source: Pinterest

On the road to commitment today, we face challenges that generations before us would be able to relate to. 

  • For example, is it okay to keep in contact with an ex now that smartphones have made them so accessible? 
  • Where is the line between a friendly conversation with a person that possibly likes you and flirtation? 
  •  Are you even allowed to reply to messages from such people? 
  • Then we also have to ask, when is the right time to commit? 
  • Most people we meet are talking to a number of people at the time we meet them. Are they supposed to leave it all the moment we indicate our mutual interest, or is there a test-drive period?
  • Some people admit that a girl must have at least a few windows open to save her from men that date you for four years and back out at the end with your youth in their pocket. Is there any merit to this statement, and what does it mean for the modern dating culture?

As it stands, it appears the matter of commitment can have no blanket solution. Depending on the individual and their fears, it can be approached in so many different ways. Surely, refusing to commit has its effect on our relationship, but committing can also have it effects on our personal life. It isn’t unheard of that people say they don’t like to commit because once they have invested all their chips in one person, it makes them a lot more erratic and even controlling. Such people struggle to deal with the risk. 

Credit: Anna Taberko

To avoid these problems, rather than looking at commitment as something owed to us by virtue of being in a relationship, it can be looked at as a milestone to hit in the development of the relationship. It should be looked at in the same milestone marriage is considered as. Before the over-romanticization of relationships, it wasn’t uncommon for people to court more than one person before committing to any by way of marriage. In modern dating culture, there is barely any difference between committing to a relationship and committing to marriage; for some people, it’s all a lot too soon and can come off as overbearing.

 Commitment should be seen as a step taken by both parties in the relationship to dedicate themselves to making things work after they have come to know each other. It should not a prerequisite to getting to know each other in the. Thus, many relationships are saved from the entangled mess it can be. Just like Rome, the house of commitment is not built in a day.