Communication Tips to Help You Talk Commitment Even When You’re Not Ready for Marriage
Lindsay and Brian have been dating for about a month now. They’ve been spending every weekend together. Both of them are beginning to wonder if this is turning into something more.
This is an exciting time for Lindsay and Brian. They are having fun together and their growing intimacy is welcomed by both.
Neither Lindsay nor Brian wants to rush things though.
Lindsay doesn’t want to scare Brian off or make him think that she’s pushing him to get serious. At the same time, she would like to be certain of the level of commitment he has to her and their developing relationship.
In the past, Lindsay has tried to talk with boyfriends about commitment and it’s never gone well. They always seemed to get nervous and never want to agree to anything. This usually left Lindsay feeling unsure and the guy often stopped calling her soon after the commitment talk.
She doesn’t want to ruin things with Brian. But, Lindsay does want to know where she stands with him at this stage of their relationship.
There’s a time in a dating relationship when a person starts to ask him or herself this question:
Is this getting serious?
What that often means is, could this new relationship turn into something longer lasting?
The person may begin to wonder and worry if his or her partner feels the same way. There could also be concerns about fidelity.
For whatever reason, when you’re just dating you might not feel comfortable directly asking your partner the questions that may be flooding your mind.
Instead, you may start to guess at how he or she feels about you. You may begin to make assumptions about your partner’s feelings and intentions based on your interpretation of his or her words and actions.
This will get you into trouble and cause you pain just about every single time!
The only way for you to know whether your partner is as serious about your dating relationship as you are is to talk about it.
The last thing you probably want to do is to rush things or– worse yet– to lead your partner to think that you want to rush things when you actually don’t.
You might not know where this relationship is headed and that is perfectly okay. In fact, it’s very wise to acknowledge this to yourself.
At the same time, there might be particular topics that you’d like to create agreements about with your partner.
For example, You may want to know if your partner expects the two of you to go out together every weekend. Of course, there will be schedule changes and unexpected events that come up. But, what about the majority of the time?
How about intimacy and sexuality?
If you two have become sexually intimate, you probably want to talk about whether you are now monogamous with one another or if there some degree of openness when it comes to sexual partners.
Be courageous and talk about these things with your partner.
You could start out a conversation about fidelity, for example, with a statement like this:
I am really enjoying dating you and I especially like being sexually intimate with you. I’m not sure where this will all lead and I don’t want to rush anything, but I’d like to come to some kind of an agreement with you about monogamy. Here’s what I’d like….
Perhaps one of the worst things you could do is to agree to something with your partner because you think that’s what he or she wants to hear– you hope that you can come to terms with this, but you are not sure that you can.
Take the time to sort through how you feel about this new relationship on your own. If you and your partner are talking about a topic– like sex, for instance– and you feel uncomfortable or triggered by something that is said, ask for some time.
You can honestly tell your partner that you would like to be very clear about how you feel about this subject and that mostly feel confused. Set up a specific time during which you two will talk about this again.
You can be honest about how you feel– even if it’s very different than how your partner feels– and not end the relationship.
When you both stay open and really listen to what you each want, you can more easily see that there are solutions that lie somewhere in the middle of what you want and what your partner wants.
When you talk commitment, you don’t necessarily have to make a promise that you two will stay together for a particular length of time or that you will eventually get married.
You may not know what you want yet.
Go within and find out what you do want for right now in your budding relationship. Talk with your partner about the level of commitment that you would like at this moment.
This will undoubtedly change as your relationship changes so be willing to be flexible even as you are also clear about what you want.