You’ve never seen him (or her) before — the guy across the room smiling at you. And he’s hot, not because he has a chiseled jaw or even a full head of hair, but because he’s unabashedly looking at what he likes. You! Now what?
If you’re not in a relationship, you can’t wait to find out! If you are in a relationship, this is a test. How strong is your commitment, the thing that keeps you faithful?
You are likely to stay committed as long as you think you can get more of what you want where you are than you could get elsewhere; and you’re likely to break your commitment if you decide you can get more of what you want some place else. So, what do you want? Chances are, neither a chiseled jaw nor hot sex is at the top of your list. Knowing what IS on your list — as well as his — can keep you both satisfied, rather than feeling stuck. It’s not just a matter of staying or knowing that you will; it’s a matter of knowing that you want to.
You don’t commit once and for all; you are continually choosing.
And commitment is a two-edged sword. It helps you through the tough spots in a healthy relationship; but it can also keep you wallowing in an unhealthy one. So, before you run off with some guy who looks like he stepped off the cover of a romance novel, think about what you appreciate and enjoy. And if you’ve lost sight of that, reconnect and invest in yourself … and as you do, you’ll be investing in your relationship as well. That’s the only way to be satisfied — with anybody!
Nurture yourself and your sweetheart. Don’t leave each other hungry and vulnerable to somebody who shows up with a tantalizing morsel. It might not matter, until it’s too late to return the morsel, if they offer the rest of what’s wanted. In a moment of temptation, if it seems like you can get more of what you want someplace else, you might jump at the chance before evaluating the whole package or the consequences of jumping.
When you’re hungry, the grass on the other side of the fence looks greener, even when it’s not. And when you’re thoroughly satisfied, no matter how green the grass, it tempts you not.
Satisfaction, then, is the key to commitment. If you know what satisfies you, you can go about getting it from your partner … rather than getting frustrated by a vague, but nagging, desire.
Here’s what you want long term — personalize it until it fits:
I want somebody to …
~know me to the core
~respect me for who I am, not what he needs me to be
~respond to my needs because he wants to
~and I want be able to reciprocate wholeheartedly
If you’re not getting what you want from your sweetheart, you resent not getting it or you’re still looking (maybe both). So, sparing your partner the truth is not really sparing him. Be honest, first with yourself.
The best way to stay faithful is to stay satisfied. We’re not talking about mere sexual fidelity; we’re talking about staying true to your vows, your sweetheart, and yourself, about loving somebody the way you’ve always wanted to be loved.
As long as you’re satisfied — or hopeful — you’ll invest time and energy in your partnership; and that investment will yield a return. If you get healthy and happy, your relationship just might … but if not, you’ll have the courage to walk away, rather than jump the fence.