Falling in love is great. But staying in love is difficult. When you meet someone who sweeps you off your feet, makes your skin tingle, and ignites deep feelings, the next logical step is to get into a committed relationship with them. After all, isn’t cementing your bond and planning your life ahead the most beautiful part of being in love?

Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Relationships have become rather complex these days with many factors impacting their success or failure.

In some relationships (most people will say), commitment means being exclusive. Not seeing anyone else romantically. However, the opposite isn’t necessarily true: agreeing to be exclusive doesn’t automatically mean that you’re committed to a relationship. You’re simply only going to date one another for the time being. But a commitment takes things to the next level: you’re ready to dedicate yourself to being a good partner and seeing where this relationship can go.

Committed relationship

6 Stages of Committed Relationships

Some theorists disagree on the exact name and number of the stages couples progress through, there is a general consensus that couples go through some version of the following stages. Not everyone goes through all the stages and some couples may go through them in a different sequence, but for most couples this is the normative experience in a long-term committed relationship.

1* Romantic Love stage

Romantic love is wonderful, easy, and effortless. It is very spontaneous and alive. The feelings and perceptions that go through both people are that we are one; we are the same. You are perfect. I can give and receive love with little or no effort required. There is a tremendous emphasis on maximizing similarities and minimizing differences. There is a belief and expectation that you will provide most or all of my wants, needs, desires. There is generally a high degree of passion and feelings and expressions of romance come easily and often. The partners think about each other constantly, and make much eye contact and are very affectionate when they are together. Many people experience this as living in a state of near-constant bliss and infatuation. There is a belief that these feelings and experiences will go on forever, that ‘we will never disagree on anything’, and that somehow fate or forces larger than themselves have brought them together.

2* Adjusting To Reality stage

It is a slow leak, other times a sudden and complete blowout. But either way, something happens which causes a minor or major conflict in the new relationship. Sometimes the trigger is living together and having to share household chores and experiencing personal habits up close. Sometimes it is an act of deception which is discovered. Sometimes it is planning a wedding, buying a house, or sharing finances. Whatever the cause, after the conflict occurs, it becomes impossible to continue the fantasy that this person and this relationship are immune from struggle, from effort, from reality

3* The Power Struggle stage

As the disillusionment of the Adjusting to Reality stage deepens, the couple tends to have more disagreements. Minor issues blow up into larger arguments. Yelling appears for the first time, if it ever will. Both partners dig in their heels and defend their positions on issues fiercely. Each person digs in their heels and protects their turf. This once-tender effortless loving relationship has become a battleground and evolved into a daily Power Struggle. This is a typical stage in the development of a long-term committed relationship.

4* Re-Evaluation stage

The Power Struggle is physically and emotionally draining, and if the couple can survive, they move into the next stage, of a conscious Re-Evaluation of the relationship. Whereas the original commitment one makes is typically based on projections of fantasy, this Re-Evaluation takes into account the reality and fears and defenses of each person. Do I really want to stay with this person? You know who this person is now, you know their limitations, and you know the range of which they are capable of improving or getting better. Knowing all that, do you still want to stay? That is the question that gets answered during this stage.

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5* Reconciliation stage

In this stage, after the distance of the Re-evaluation, if the relationship has survived, there is a re-awakening of interest in getting closer and connecting again. Knowing all that they know, coming from reality and not fantasy, there is a decision to have the willingness to try once again. There is an open acceptance of the conflicts and differences in the relationship, but they are approached with a different attitude: they are used as opportunities for learning about oneself and the other person. They are catalysts for growth and change. There is a recognition that the differences are real and won’t go away, and that neither person can really change the other.

6* Acceptance stage

The final stage in a committed relationship, which researchers estimate less than 5% of couples ever reach, is one of complete Acceptance. There is an integration of the need of the self and the needs of the relationship. Each person takes responsibility for their own needs, for their own individual lives, and also for providing support for their partner. A high level of warmth is present. The couple is able to maintain a balance between autonomy and union. Conflicts still arise on occasion, but as a result of the struggles of the previous stage, the couple has figured out how to resolve most conflicts relatively quickly. Resentments are few.

Stages of committed relationship

Signs Your Partner Is Committed to You

1* They Make Sacrifices

Committed partners make sacrifices for each other and don’t expect favors to be returned, at least not immediately. They have a more long-range view of things and make decisions based on what’s best for the relationship, not what’s best for themselves as individuals.

2* They Portray You in a Positive Light

People in committed relationships tend to portray their partners in the best possible light; they minimize their flaws and emphasize their positive attributes.This can sometimes make them delusional about their partner’s negative qualities, but as long as those things aren’t harmful, it keeps people happy in their relationships.

3* They Meet Your Needs (and Vice-Versa)

Those who choose to be in relationships are committed because they are meeting each other’s needs. Everyone has different needs (e.g., some people desire sex every day, while others want a partner who’s comfortable with giving them some independence), so if partners are meeting each others’ needs, they are likely very committed to the relationship. If you are trying to find a way to make your partner more committed, do a good job of meeting their needs.

4* They Speak in “We”

Someone who feels committed speaks about themselves as “we.” For example, if you ask a committed person, “What did you do this weekend?” rather than respond with “I took the dogs on a hike,” they’ll say, “We took the dogs on a hike.

What does commitment mean in a relationship?

Commitment is nothing but people’s conviction to stay together. It is part of the relationship that provides safety and security, so couples can openly express their thoughts, feelings, and desires.

Commitment is needed in all kinds of relationships. But, in general, it’s romantic relationships that require more commitment than friendships.

Commitment isn’t a legal contract. But, when you label yourself as a couple, there is a mutual and unwritten understanding between the partners.

The exact clauses of this understanding are never explicitly stated. Nonetheless, as a part of a committed relationship, it is expected that both the partners love each other, be loyal, and stand by each other in tough times.

Why Is Commitment Important In A Relationship?

Your intention directs your attitude toward a relationship. If you are going into something for only having some fun, you will have a casual relationship. Such a relationship will never be long-term because once the fun ends, so will the relationship.

Thus, you should be aware of your intent and commitment towards each other from the beginning. Only by ensuring both the parties are on the same page will you be able to save yourself from heartache.

Commitment is synonymous with long-term. Your bond extends beyond just having fun – your commitment to each other shows that you both will be together through the good times and the bad. It is this intention to commit that prolongs your relationship, allowing it to continue.

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Signs of committed relationship

1* You Plan for the Future Together

If you consider that the average life expectancy is between 70 and 80 years of age and that a third of that time is spent sleeping, the fact that you and your sweetheart talk about how to spend the hours you have remaining together is significant. When you’re single you can make decisions based on your wants alone. In a committed relationship, however, it matters what the other person wants to do and where they see themselves in the future. So if you and your partner are making plans together, there’s a good likelihood that your relationship is in for the long haul

2* You Spend Significant Time Together

One of the very first signs of commitment in a relationship is when two people spend lots of time together. Outside of normal working hours and with all the things you could be doing in a day, there usually isn’t much time left over to spare. And since time is one of the few commodities that none of us can get back, the fact that you and your significant other choose to make time for each other on a regular basis is a good sign that you’re both committed

3* You Vacation Together

Vacations usually happen over the course of several days and can sometimes take several weeks, so if you’re going to take company along you’ll want to make sure you really like them. You’re also making memories that last for a lifetime. Generally speaking, people who take vacations together not only enjoy each other’s company, but are happy to make memories together, so if you take vacations together it’s a good sign that you and your love are truly committed.

4* You Enter Into Contracts Together

I think it’s fair to say that going into a major contract (other than marriage) with someone, such as buying property or a car, is a sign that things are pretty serious between you and your boo. The reason why contracts are such a big deal is that they’re generally much harder to get out of than they are to get into, so most people take care when signing on the dotted line and expect to be committed for a long time.

Can You Be In A Relationship Without Commitment?

Yes, you can be in a relationship without commitment. It is a casual relationship where both the parties enter with the mindset of having fun or merely to see where it will lead without any expectations. However, if one person becomes emotionally involved in such a relationship while the other does not, it can end badly.

In a casual relationship, communication is of utmost importance. As there is no commitment, the question of monogamy can arise in such a relationship. Prioritize your preferences and decide for yourself if you are all right with an open relationship.

Often, an open conversation with your partner can help you in such a case. Instead of assuming things will fall into place, set some ground rules and boundaries for yourself and communicate them to your partner.

Do you want your partner to show commitment in a relationship? Check out the next section for some rules that will help you take your relationship to the next level.

How to Stay Committed in a Relationship

1* Be best friends with your partner

Still wondering, how to stay committed in a relationship?

As per study, the people who share deep friendship with their partners reported considerably larger levels of happiness as compared to the spouses who didn’t share such a bond.

So, try being best friends with your partner!
True friendship not only fosters commitment but also helps in keeping the spark alive in the relationship.

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2* Talk about your dreams and desires

Talk about your dreams and aspirations regularly with your spouse. This will help you to stay on the same page as your partner.

When you talk about your dreams and goals with your partner, they know that you count on them in the foreseeable future.

This helps in boosting trust and dependability in a relationship.

3* Do not get into a blame game

One of the most important things to remember is never getting into a blame game, even when you are very angry with your partner.

If you feel that the situation is heated up, it is better to take a time-out and talk later when both of you are in a receptive mood. It is then that you can discuss what went wrong to avoid the issues in the future

4* Appreciate your partner

It is important for both partners to feel acknowledged and appreciated in a relationship. Commitment is impossible if one feels unwanted, undesired, or disrespected.

If you appreciate your partner, they will know that you admire them. It will help boost their self-esteem and their desire to stay committed in a relationship.

Thanks for reading, please share to educate others and don’t forget to like and comment your opinion in the comment section. See you next time and have a wonderful day