Thursday, May 13, 2010

What is commitment in a relationship?

I don't know why relationships have been on my mind lately. In the past my thoughts were all about money, but there's been abundance in my life for a while now. Maybe it's because I haven't been in a partnership in a long time, and I am feeling ready for one--not hoping or longing, just ready. Because I haven't had any partnership issues I've become an observer of others' partnerships.

A friend is separating from her partner for a while. Fear of intimacy seems to be the culprit, as it often is. When she first began the partnership, they both wrote down a series of commitments to each other. When she read them to me they seemed, how shall I say it, a bit fairy-tailish. They were committing to being romantic and nice and I forget what else. I remember telling her that I thought when you get into a partnership you are bound to push each other's buttons. There will come a time when you downright hate each other. That's when commitment needs to show up.

If I were starting a partnership, the commitment would be for neither one of us to leave the partnership if we were angry or afraid. It wouldn't be about the relationship lasting forever, as I don't believe that's what relationships are about. Some of them outlive their usefulness. If the relationship doesn't support my highest good, then I don't want to participate in it. But I tend to leave when I'm angry, because I don't feel valued or appreciated. That's my stuff to work out--my abandonment issues. Others tend to leave when they are afraid. Rushing out of a relationship is just as detrimental as rushing into one.

I now know that partnerships will bring up all the anger and fear so that these issues can be healed. Expecting a partnership to be all about romance and having fun is putting serious limits on it, that will keep it at a very superficial level. Staying put when all your demons come up, and having a partner who is committed to stay with you as you walk through the dark night, is where true intimacy lies. My intention is to be such a partner so that I can attract one. We shall see...

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