Once you’ve past the relationship stage of infatuation and gone through romantic love you’ll hopefully land in your commitment stage. For most people there will be one more stage they’ll have to navigate and that’s crisis and recovery. Although we’d all like to believe and hope that our relationship will be lived out in fairy land, the reality is that for most people we have to navigate some rough waters.
It’s also important not to confuse commitment with intimacy. Although many times they are related, in some instances they just aren’t.
In your commitment stage each of you will have made a commitment to each other that you would consider unbreakable. But, unless you have both made sure that divorce is not on the table, the possibility of using divorce to solve your problems can raise it’s ugly head. Remember that 70% of all existing couples will break-up!
So what makes commitment different from romantic love?
The difference will actually boil down to the difference between making a commitment and experiencing love. The first is making a decision and the other is feeling. The first you take action and the second you are not actively involved. One is easier and the other takes more effort. One is very satisfying and the other is exciting.
Sometimes we want both, and sometimes we can have moments of both. But, for the most part, romantic love diminishes as commitment love grows. In this stage you’ve made the decision to love your partner, no matter what. You will love your partner, honor them and respect them, through thick and thin, til death do you part. When you partner is driving you nuts, you still love them. When your partner doesn’t make the right decisions, you love them anyway. When your partner doesn’t take the job you them to, doesn’t cook the way you want, doesn’t celebrate your birthday the way you want or speaks disrespectfully to you – you still love them.
Divorce isn’t an option. Commitment is the option that you and your partner chose to live by and honor each day of your lives. Commitment is difficult. Romantic love is easy. But, commitment offers deeper joy, more intimacy and greater hope for your future.
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