The Difference Between Couples Who Are Committed And Those Who Aren’t

"Commitment isn’t that complicated. You’re either committed or you’re not.”

This was Zaz’s reply to me in a recent conversation we were having about what commitment means. And I agree with her sentiment, but for a lot of couples, it’s not so simple.

Like love, it’s a word we all use and assume our partner shares our definition, when that’s not always the case.

Outside of being married, there are so many types of relationships these days that it’s unclear where you stand unless you’ve talked about it.

This is why it’s important for couples to not shy away from conversations about what commitment means to them.

So what is it really that makes you committed? What sets committed couples apart from those who aren’t?

Here are a few things that came to mind:

1. They Have A Vision

Okay, you’re committed, but what are you committed to?

Committing to exclusivity and committing to work through whatever problems might come your way, regardless of how big they are, are two very different levels of commitment.

They also both come with two very different expectations for how things will unfold down the road as well.

Couples who are committed share a vision for the future of their relationship. That vision helps them clarify their purpose, so they can intentionally take steps to move in that direction.

Not only does it bring clarity, but it gives them the motivation they need to make it happen as well. In moments of doubt and frustration, they can lean on the importance of being committed to something bigger than the temporary feeling of the moment.

2. They’re Dedicated

Contrary to how a lot of couples approach it, your commitment isn’t determined by the phase of the relationship you’re in, but by your dedication to the vision you share.

There are couples who, after dating for a year, go through a major challenge and come out stronger on the other side, while there are couples who have been together for years, live together or are even married who break up when facing the same issues.

They may be enjoying the relationship, but they may not be committed to making it work when things get tough.

I recently read a quote that said, "Commitment means staying loyal to what you said you were going to do long after the mood you said it in has left you.”

The best indication of your commitment is what you do when faced with a difficult season.

Every relationship has them. Sometimes those seasons last a day or two and sometimes, those seasons last a few months or even years.

Those who aren’t committed choose to leave when they’re faced with a stormy season they don’t know how to handle. To them, it’s not worth the effort.

Those who are committed face those same stressful seasons.

They feel the same frustrations, confusions and overwhelm, but they understand it’s only temporary and instead, choose to focus on finding a way to make it work.

For them, it’s not a matter of “IF we can make it through the storm” or “SHOULD we try to make it through the storm,” it’s a matter of WHEN and HOW we make it through the storm.

Their belief is that it’s only a matter of time before they find a solution to their issues, so they get creative in finding ways to make it work. They end up finding solutions that couples who are quick to give up never find because they didn’t try hard enough.

3. They’re Transparent

Many couples have an assumed commitment. They haven’t spoken explicitly about what commitment means to them or what they’re committed to, but they assume their partner is as equally committed to the relationship as they are.

That’s a big assumption, considering your future together is hinged on it.

Couples who are committed value the comfort and security of knowing their partner is equally excited about their vision and equally dedicated to bringing it to fruition because they’re transparent about their intentions, needs and fears.

Neither of them ever have to guess where the other stands because they are proactive about letting each other know.

It’s a conversation a lot of couples have a hard time discussing because they’re afraid of finding out their partner isn’t on the same page.

They’re afraid they might be unequally committed, making them look either weak because they’re more invested, or making them look careless about the relationship because they’re less invested.

It’s an understandable fear, but the uncomfortable truth is less painful in the moment than the disappointment of your assumptions being proven wrong years down the line.

Couples who are committed are willing to push past the temporary discomfort and be transparent for the sake of the health of their relationship in the long run.

At the end of the day, commitment is less about just seeing where things go and more about being honest with yourself about what you want and sharing it with your partner so you can both work towards pursuing it together.

So what are your thoughts? Are you and your partner on the same page about what commitment means to you or do you have an assumed commitment?

Or, how has your relationship changed when you were able to get that clarity about where it was going? Leave a comment and let me know!