Commitment: Liberation or Prison Sentence?

Waking up next to the same person every morning can be less than thrilling. You have heard their stories, some of them you might even know by heart. You are opening your front door to the same face, no matter how beautiful it is; versus kissing a new  face for the first time.

Yet waking up to that same person also holds the key to being deeply and truly seen, to feeling less alone in this world and to knowing that there is someone who has your back and carries the sometimes heavy weight of the world with you.

Do we need to be fully committed to this person to be able to count on them? The author Neil Strauss says this, “Without commitment, you cannot have depth in anything, whether it’s a relationship, a business or a hobby.” I agree. Depth and expertise come from choosing and sticking with one thing and investing in that one thing.

Commitment requires dedication, requires choosing; it is an action, not a passive occurrence. Unlike falling in love, which seems to happen to us, loving and commitment are an act of will, not of chance. We choose to love and to commit and then we act accordingly, whether we feel like it or not. Feelings are fleeting; intentions give us a guiding post for when we do not feel like doing what we promised to do.

We know that it takes about ten thousand hours of practicing that thing we want to be good at. Being good at relationship takes time. Could I become skillful partner by having multiple partners? you might wonder. Of course, but being with the same person has a distinct advantage. You are becoming not only an expert at the art of relationship, but also an expert at this one person. What an amazing privilege and honor!

I leave you with a quote by Criss Jami author of “Venus in Arms”, “To say that one waits a lifetime for their soulmate to come around is a paradox. People eventually get sick of waiting, take a chance on someone, and by the art of commitment become soulmates, which takes a lifetime to perfect.” 

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Rudi Lion MFT
(805) 453-4826

2020 Alameda Padre Serra
Suite 217
Santa Barbara, CA 93103

Near Santa Barbara Mission and downtown Santa Barbara, close to 101 freeway, easy access from freeway, wheelchair friendly, easy access from Goleta and Carpinteria. Click for Driving Directions.

Skype counseling sessions available to remote locations.

Specialties include couples therapy, EMDR, short term therapy, trauma therapy and PTSD therapy.