You are currently browsing all posts tagged with 'Commitment'

Let It Go

  • April 30, 2013 at 5:28 pm


Have you ever been out with a couple and thought to yourself, they shouldn’t be together? Maybe it’s because of how one of the partners treated the other, because they constantly argued or simply an energy you picked up on, but you didn’t say anything because technically it’s wasn’t your place to. However, what do you do when you’re the one in the relationship that’s not working out? Do you end it? Do you stay in the relationship hoping things will change or do you stay in the relationship because it’s easier to maintain the status quo than it is to leave?

Recently, I had dinner with a friend and his girlfriend. The girlfriend was very much committed to the relationship, even being willing to move to another state to sustain it. My guy friend on the other hand had clearly checked out of the relationship. He was seeing his future as a single man and longed for his freedom. Problem was he wasn’t quite sure how to end the relationship. He was too emotionally involved, his family knew and liked his girlfriend and he didn’t want to break her heart. So four years later as she’s contemplating marriage, he’s still trying to figure a way out of the relationship. Whenever the break-up does happen, it’s not only going to be devastating for her but both of their lives will be changed forever. Does this sound familiar to you?

It didn’t have to be this way. Usually within the first six months to year of a relationship, the parties involved are aware of where they see the relationship going. This is the point where the person who may not see the relationship going long-term should let the other person know how they feel. Breaking up with someone is never easy, but if it has to be done this is the time to do it. Before feelings become intensified and the other person can walk away with little to no baggage. However, when you stay in the relationship for an extended amount of time thinking you are “preserving the other person’s feelings” or because it’s easier to stay in it than to leave, you are not doing what’s in the highest good for yourself or your partner. If you really loved him/her, you would let it go. Let them have the freedom and opportunity to meet someone else who will love them in the way you are not able to.  It also gives you the freedom and opportunity to attract the type of love and relationship you truly desire and deserve.

This advice also works in reverse. If you are in a relationship with someone and within the first six months to a year into the relationship you sense your partner’s feelings are not as strong as yours or if you and your partner’s vision of the relationship’s future is not aligned, this is the time to have a serious conversation with him/her and gain an understanding of where he/she is. After having this discussion, it is up to you to give it some critical thought and decide if this relationship is right for you. Is it worth your time? Don’t allow guarding your heart to be someone else’s responsibility when it is yours.

Are you in a relationship where it’s been challenging for you to depart? Have you ever been in this type of relationship? Do you have any advice you’d like to share with someone in this situation?

Photo: Edgar Dacosta / Flickr

The 3 C’s: Chemistry, Commitment and Communication

  • April 23, 2013 at 8:45 am

If you’re a woman or an engaged or married man, you most likely have heard about the 4 C’s:  Cut, Carat, Clarity and Color. Although these C’s may be important to know if you’re about to embark on a marital relationship, are you aware of the C’s that will help you sustain a relationship before and during marriage? In my recent blog, “Why Do Americans Need To Be Married?” I shared with you what psychologist Steve Brody called the 3 C’s: Chemistry, Commitment and Communication. Let’s discuss why the 3 C’s are important in building and maintaining a healthy relationship:

  • Chemistry: It’s challenging for a relationship to thrive and flourish without chemistry. Chemistry is the emotional glue that makes you connect and want to stay with a person. Some people experience chemistry as a spark, that “being swept off your feet” feeling. Others experience chemistry as a feeling of connection or “knowingness” they are supposed to be with a certain person. However you experience chemistry, the important thing is for it to be present in the relationship.
  • Commitment: Everyone knows relationships can be challenging with two people coming together having distinct personalities, backgrounds and life experiences. Add to that life’s ups and downs along with spontaneous situations and circumstances and you can have a recipe for disaster to any relationship. Even if there is a lot of chemistry in the relationship, if there is no commitment the relationship will not last. Commitment isn’t just about staying in the relationship but truly being there for each other, supporting each other in reaching goals and becoming the best person each can be. Commitment is also about staying true to your partner. Safeguarding your relationship from outside influences. This could be from family members who don’t like your partner, friends who don’t get along with your partner or members of the opposite sex who may seduce you to cheat on your partner. Being truly committed gives your relationship the ability to weather the storms of life no matter how tumultuous they may become.
  • Communication: Effective communication is the “secret sauce” of maintaining a healthy relationship. It is a known fact that men and women communicate differently. Because of this, miscommunications within relationships happen frequently. A lack of communication is also harmful in sustaining a healthy relationship. So how can we get communication to work for us instead of against us? By having direct oral communication, we can easily stop making assumptions and thinking our partner can read our minds. Notice I stated direct oral communication. In this day and age, technology has made it easier and quicker for us to communicate, but text and email communication is still nowhere near as effective as oral communication whether in person or by phone. Communication allows each partner to share their needs, desires and expectations. This knowledge is necessary in allowing a relationship to survive and thrive.

Instituting the 3 C’s in your relationship will ensure both parties remain happy and fulfilled and your relationship will be a stronghold providing you with love and security for years to come.

Do you have the 3 C’s in your relationship? If so, what do you do within your relationship to strengthen them?

Photo: Pink Sherbet Photography/ Flickr

If Engaged, Am I Still Single?

  • March 26, 2013 at 2:15 pm

“Lasana, I have a question for you” said my friend on the phone to me this week. “I was having a battle of the sexes debate with some friends a few weeks ago and someone asked the question, ‘If I am engaged am I still single?’ The pro-single debaters argued that on your taxes, it doesn’t say anything about engaged. The marital status boxes read ‘single, married, divorced or widowed.’ Further defending their point, they explained there are several people who will still engage in intimate activities with an engaged person who may not do so with a married person. The anti-single debaters criticized these comments responding if a person has told someone they want to spend the rest of their life with them, they should no longer see themselves as single and hold themselves accountable to their partners.” “So Lasana,” my friend continued, “in your opinion, which group is right?”

Taking the points of both sides under consideration, I decided I most agreed with the pro-single debaters. It is a fact that until an individual is married the government formerly recognizes that person as single. No vows have been taken and no official papers have been signed. Engagement is the final stage a couple enters before officially merging their lives and assets together. It is the stage when the relationship should go through a final evaluation. Any lingering questions should be asked. Arising issues should be discussed. Compromises that will benefit both parties should be made. Engagement is not a stage that should be taken lightly. Successful completion of this stage will yield a strong foundation for a fruitful marriage. Conversely, this stage can also cause the dissolution of a relationship. Although it may be painful, I strongly feel it is better for a relationship to disband during the engagement stage than deal with the complex emotional, financial and legal ramifications of a divorce.

The anti-single debaters did have a major point I agreed with. If an individual has told their partner they would like to spend the rest of their life with them, then emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually they should be preparing themselves to make that commitment. In doing so, they should be as accountable to their partner as they would want their partner to be to them. If an individual thinks it is still acceptable to date or see other people intimately while engaged, my question would be to this individual “Is your partner aware of this? Would you find this behavior acceptable from your partner?” If the answer to either of those questions is “No” then it is glaringly clear the behavior is unacceptable. The idea of “what my partner doesn’t know won’t hurt them” or “until I take those vows, I’m still completely single” is setting the future marriage up at a disadvantage because that individual is being deceitful to their partner. Secrets, lies and betrayal are not the types of foundation that will yield a strong and peaceful marital union. If an individual still finds dating and/or being intimate with other people of value to them, then they should remain single. It is unreasonable to partially commit to another person. In this case, engagement and marriage should be delayed until both parties are fully ready.

Which side are you on? If a person is engaged, are you pro-single or anti-single?

Photo: Lemonjenny/ Flickr

Why Do Americans Need To Be Married?

  • November 23, 2010 at 9:03 am

This fall the Pew Research Center, in association with TIME magazine, conducted a nationwide poll surveying 2,691 people exploring current marital trends and the modern American family. The results of those findings were published in an article TIME entitled, “Who Needs Marriage? A Changing Institution.” That article instigated an eruption of media attention on the subject. CNN.com asked, “Is Marriage Becoming Obsolete?” and both MSNBC.com and The Washington Post answered the question by stating that “Four in 10 Say Marriage Is Becoming Obsolete.” Several of my friends having read these articles text, tweet, Facebook messaged, emailed and called me to find out, “Did you read this? What do you think? Is marriage becoming obsolete?”

As most of us already know, the type of value placed on marriage in previous generations, is not the same type of value our current generation places on marriage today. This is the result of several factors:

  • The High Divorce Rate: With the US divorce rate being as high as 50%, most men and women in our generation are not running to the altar in the way they did in the past. Our generation is more cautious when it comes to marriage and takes more precautions before doing so.
  • Women Empowerment: As women are able to attain higher education and obtain job and financial security, they no longer look to their husband to fulfill this role. Now finding a marital partner with a similar socioeconomic status is deemed more desirable.
  • Birth Control: The advent of the birth control pill and other contraceptives evoked a sexual revolution where women are able to have sex with less concern about having a child out of wedlock.
  • Lack of Societal Pressure: As sociologists mentioned in the TIME article, marriage is no longer the “ultimate marriage badge” or the “demarcation of adulthood.” Society accepts that one can have a happy and fulfilling life, obtain a successful career, enjoy a balanced personal life, and even raise children without being in a marital situation.

Despite these conditions, the interesting fact is that people still do want to be married. According to the Pew poll, six in ten Americans still want to be married and although 44% of Americans under 30 believe marriage is heading for extinction, only 5% of those in that age group did not want to become married. In fact, the survey found Americans were more pessimistic about the nation’s education system and its economy than it was about the future of the American family. With such a contradiction, perhaps a better title for TIME’s article would have been, “Why Do Americans Need To Be Married? With sociologists even noting that Americans are among the highest in the Western world when it comes to their marriage and remarriage rates (additionally, the American divorce rate is higher than most European countries). So why do Americans need to marry?

It is my belief that America will not become a country of cohabitating couples because our country was founded on Christian principles and highly values freedom of religion. What religion do you know that does not value marriage and family? Therefore, the institution of marriage is not becoming obsolete (at least not in America). In order for this to happen, the fundamentals of American values and principles would have to dramatically change and I do not see that happening anytime soon.

So if the value placed on marriage has changed but marriage is not becoming obsolete, what is it becoming? It’s evolving. Marriage is no longer primarily an economic and social institution. It’s now a personal union based on the spiritual, emotional, physical and mental partnership of two equal parties. That’s why in an upcoming blog, you’ll see me talk about what psychologist, Steve Brody calls “The 3 C’s: Chemistry, Commitment, Communication.” These are the current values people are seeking in a marriage today and what is necessary to maintain one. Therefore if you think marriage is becoming obsolete or extinct, think again.

Do you think marriage is becoming obsolete? Why do you think Americans need to be married?

Photo: epSos.de / Flickr