Commitment is a choice and it creates trust
In romantic relationships, we’re often asking ourselves if our partners love us enough; if we can trust them to always make us a priority; and if they would be there when we’re hurting.
We don’t always realize we’re asking these questions because it’s a subconscious activity. But it reflects in our words, feelings, and actions. If you’ve ever felt hurt that your partner didn’t seem to prioritize you, then you know what this is about. And we’ve all been there.
That subconscious activity is completely normal because commitment and trust are the foundations of all successful relationships.
But what exactly is commitment and how do you show it?
The most popular definition of commitment is emotional and physical faithfulness. And while that’s a big deal, commitment can — and should — be shown in the little things we do daily. Like dropping your phone when your partner needs your attention, showing up on time, reserving your deepest emotional connection for your partner alone, and so on.
Let’s go on a date…
The trust and commitment date
Suggested location — If you can meet in a place that reminds you of the first time you fell in love, great. Otherwise, any tall building with an awesome view will do. And if you want to do it at home, you could play the trust exercise of blindfolding one person while the blindfolded individual trusts the other person to lead them.
Discuss what trust and commitment look like in your relationship. Talk about how you can build more trust. Let each partner mention what commitment means to them, then discuss it to gain clearer understanding of each other.
Affirmation — Keep eye contact as you take turns reading this out loud to one another.
Conflict is good
Good couples never fight. They don’t ever have conflict because they’re wired for each other. When you’re with your better half, you won’t fight. Ever. If you’re having conflicts with your partner then you’re probably with the wrong person.
Do you believe all that? You shouldn’t because it’s a myth. Normal couples have normal conflicts — that’s what you expect in an imperfect world where two imperfect people come together to build something great.
If anyone ever tells you you shouldn’t be fighting, don’t believe them.
Conflict is what makes your long term relationship normal; you can’t avoid it, just learn to address it well.
But there’s a balance. The opposite side of the “never fighting couples” is the “always fighting couple” and that’s not good either. Research from The Gottman Institute shows that couples on both extremes of the spectrum tend to be disaster couples.
- There are two things you can do to strike a balance:
Stop avoiding conflicts. If you do, you’ll be secretly nursing hurts and it will be disastrous the day those hurts reach their tipping point and explode.
- Manage conflict when it comes.
Let’s be honest, conflicts aren’t funny. Especially when they’re heated and your relationship isn’t matured. But what’s the best way to manage them when they come?
Start with understanding the goal of conflict. The goal is not to win or to make your points clear, but to achieve mutual understanding. Making mutual understanding your target for every conflict will become less daunting and more exciting because they present opportunities to get to know your partner better.
The conflict management date
This date aims to discuss conflicts before it arises. The best time to prepare for battle is before the enemy strikes.
Location — Anywhere you can speak privately is fine. Take turns finding date locations — if one person found the first one, the other should find this one. A picnic, quiet restaurant, or even your own backyard is okay.
Discuss your differences and similarities in the following areas. Where your differences seem so much, try to see if you can reach a compromise.
- Neatness and organization
- Preferred sexual frequency and quirks
- Discuss any other area you feel you may be different.
Keep the passion burning
Far too many couples are not having the amount of sex they want.
For most couples, passionate sex starts to die when they kiss dating goodbye and decide to get married. It shouldn’t be so, but the statistics are mind boggling.
The reason for this decline is work, kids, and the other stressors that come with adult life. How much sex should married couples have? One study from Chicago university shows that 80 percent of married couples have sex a few times a month or more, 32 percent report to having sex two to three times a week. But what should your sex life look like?
You can’t judge based on statistics, it’s entirely up to you. Some couples have sex more than three times a week, some are even celibate and are fine with it, so it’s really up to you.
How much sex you should have doesn’t depend on what others are doing, but what you and your partner are comfortable with.
Discuss with your partner to see what their optimal sexual frequency is. And if you both agree to have more sex than you’re currently having, one powerful thing you can do is increase the passion in your relationship. One common trait of couples with declining sexual lives is the absence of the passion they used to have in the past. Having regular passionate kisses, public display of affection, and being mindful and romantic have been found to be helpful in this regard. Also, note that sex doesn’t have to be romantic with red lights and music all the time. The busyness of daily life won’t allow that. Sometimes, it will be long, passionate sex, and most times, it will just be a quickie.
The sex and intimacy date
Suggested location — Find a romantic place. It could be public or private, but make sure it feels romantic.
Discuss what each partner likes about your present sex life and what they’d like to try. Ask questions like what is the best way to let you know I want to have sex? How much sex do you want us to be having per week? What turns you on, etc.