So you’ve found “the one.” Good for you. Now, what kind of commitment do you want with this person? It would behoove you to give this some thought because when it comes to relationships, one size doesn’t fit all. We’re all unique with different histories, experiences, wounds and vulnerabilities so it’s ludicrous to think that we will all fit into the same structure. So, instead of just accepting the standard paradigm of what a relationship “should” be, then trying to pound yourself into it, you would be wise to explore options with your partner.
Wouldn’t it be great to choose what works best rather than just accept what society, your parents or friends want? Imagine this: you’re in love; you want a commitment with this person. After deep reflection and exploration, you and the one you love come to an agreement about how you want your relationship to work, keeping in mind that there’s no right way. Just your way.
When deciding upon an agreement, you are honest and true to yourselves; no one is coerced. You set up parameters for how you will be together, then fully commit and give it your all. If over time, you’ve grown and changed (hopefully) and your initial agreement no longer works, you revisit it, and revise it to suit the people you have become rather than the people you once were. An agreement means you have customized your relationship to suit who you uniquely are. In doing that, you give yourself a much better chance for happiness.
Open your mind, take it off the tunnel vision of marriage for a moment. Because if you’re thinking that those marriage vows are going to keep you happily together, you’re wrong! The divorce rate and rampant cheating proves that point. Customizing your relationship, on the other hand, has a much better chance of success.
That’s not to say that marriage never works. Of course it does…for some. And if it works for you, then by all means, go for it. Here’s the deal, anything the two of you agree upon is fine, including marriage. I’m simply advocating choice rather than marriage being the automatic default. We need flexibility in our relationships; rigidity breeds discontent. Breaking free of the old way takes an open mind and courage. There are many brave pioneers who have stepped out of the mold and are happily living in unconventional couplings. The marriage vow “until death do us part” just doesn’t work for everyone. Witness the high divorce rate in first (50%), second (67%) and third (73%) marriages. Not to mention rampant infidelity.
Why not take some time, explore options and come to an agreement about the terms of your relationship? If you can’t come to an agreement before you commit, that tells you a lot about the future of your relationship. In the long run, the prognosis is probably not very good. Oh, you might stay together out of pure obligation, but being happy? That could be another story altogether.
Check out my book, The Affair: From Breakdown to Breakthrough, A Therapist’s Real-life Journey, for more great tips and insights about relationships. You can buy it on Kindle worldwide from all Amazon websites, including www.amazon.com