How are you choosing to commit to someone?
One thing is for certain – the way we choose to commit to each other is changing. We might love the tradition and security of marriage, or we may instead choose to have a committed union minus the ‘death do you part’ expectation. Perhaps we want a life partner but don’t want children, or perhaps we consider non-monogamy an option over the longer term. As our society accepts and embraces new forms of relationships, so we find ourselves with choices around who we commit to, what that looks like and then how to navigate it in somewhat unchartered waters.
Key measures for growth and fulfillment
However, despite what each relationship looks like from the outside, there are still key factors that are necessary to ensure both people are contained in a loving, authentic and constructive union which encourages growth and both inter-and independence. Open dialogue, trust, constructive conflict, intimacy, respect, fun, physical connection, appreciation and an acceptance of who each other is and what baggage they bring into the relationship are all crucial elements of long-term satisfaction. And as Esther Perel discusses, an acceptance that our partners is not going to always satisfy our every heart’s desire, and that it’s ok to have other sources of fulfillment in our lives apart from our significant other.
Perhaps you and your partner are interested in pursuing a more conscious relationship now, or further down the line. This concept has evolved from traditional, to modern, to conscious relationship types where you can show your wounds without fear of judgement, where you commit to work on yourselves in relationship and have the space to grow into your highest selves. Instead of being a unit primarily structured to raise the children, pay the mortgage and live functionally together, there is a realisation that a couple needs to commit to more than that to thrive both individually and together. Conscious sex in the forms of Tantra and ancient yogic practices are also seeping into the West as long-term couples find their sex lives stagnating.
What to do before making your commitment?
Engaging in a process of discovery and understanding of your partner at the outset of your commitment is a great starting point when considering marriage or a longer-term commitment. Instead of waiting for things to become intolerable or at breaking point, why not have some useful tools and insights to take into your future together and be able to address issues as they arise in a healthy constructive way. At Elysian Psychotherapy Clinic couples can come and explore their relationship in a safe space, and come away armed with empathy, understanding and practical ways to navigate their own unique relationship.
Contact Kristin for in-person or online sessions. Online material is also available upon request to undertake some of this self-discovery on your own.