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What commitment means to me …

What Commitment Means to Me …

Ok, as promised … the answer to the big question of what commitment means to me:

“again, what does commitment means to you Erika? deep attachement?
perhaps you could give us examples…”

What does commitment mean to me? Call me traditional, I won’t mind, this is what commitment means to me:

1. Commitment means permanent: It means I’m bonded to a guy for life. It means we are putting our lives together, come what may. It means I can count on the fact that I’m going to wake up with him tomorrow, and next month, and next year, and many years from now.

2. What Commitment means is that the relationship trumps: It means we are both committed (duh) to the relationship. It means we are both committed to finding ways for both of us to get our needs met and be happy. It means if we have a fight, we are both committed to working it out rather than running for the exit. If we are in a polyamorous situation, our relationship trumps all the other connections, and we attend to it first, even if that means being monogamous.

3. Having kids: I’m excited to have children. I’m excited to do a lot of other things too, such as travel, start a business, and so forth. I’m confident we can do it all, and he is too.

4. Radical honesty and authenticity: It means we’re going to be more honest and authentic and transparent with each other than we ever believed possible.

5. Relaxation and surrender: Part of the reason commitment is so important to me is that it’s the only way to surrender fully into a relationship, which is something that is very important to me. In other words, the “doubt” dial is turned to zero.

6. It’s a “we” thing: We are a team, and I can count on that, day in and day out. Yes, of course we have our own individual feelings and interests, but we are committed to being a team. We hold each other’s needs equal to our own.

7. No “compromising”: We stay in communication until we find outcomes both of us are happy about. Compromise leads to resentment, whereas what I’m talking about is having faith that there’s always a way to get both people’s needs met in satisfying way. It just might take a little creativity and flexibility about the form of things.

8. Shared purpose: Honestly, I don’t even see the point of a relationship if people don’t have this. A relationship needs a bigger purpose than just the two people’s individual needs in order to have true staying power. For me, this will probably end up being some form of joint relationship coaching situation.

9. Full presence: One thing I’ve noticed about non-committed situations is how difficult it is to maintain full presence. Until people have made the decision to be together permanently, there is a tendency for some energy to be distracted off in other relationships, etc. I’m no longer willing to settle for the wishy-washiness of that because after a person has experienced full presence with another person, it’s really difficult to go back to anything “halfway.”

10. Having my feelings cherished: This is a feminine energy thing. If I don’t feel good about something in the relationship, I expect him to stay in connection with me until we find something that does feel good for both of us.

The long and the short of it is that I’m holding out for a man who is going to be a team with me forever. A man who is offering a good deal for my life. When it comes to commitment, anything less than everything is nothing.

This is why I endorse Rori Raye’s “no girlfriend” rule. I don’t want to be a girlfriend, I want to be married. I see the rewards of commitment from the right man as far outweighing the rewards of “keeping all my options open,” but I refuse to settle for less than full commitment. So I will play the field and practice abstinence until that is a reality.

And I must say, it’s been a lot of fun playing the field … for the most part, I’ve been having the time of my life :-)

****************************

p.s. A girlfriend and I went out to Americano earlier this week, and some guys approached us. One of the guys saw my friend a little later and said to her, “I’d really like to go out with your friend (meaning me), but it seems like she is expensive.” And that is exactly the response I want guys to have to me.

Now, mind you, I didn’t explicitly say anything to him about holding out for the right guy, not being available for casual sex, etc. But nowadays I subcommunicate all of that with my whole being, so I don’t need to say it. This is a good thing because I’m screening guys for their level of sincerity and readiness for a real relationship from the very first interaction.

About the Author:

Erika Awakening is a Harvard Law School graduate and former practicing attorney. She left the rat race to become a location-independent entrepreneur, holistic life coach, blogger, speaker, healer, and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT tapping) expert. Erika Awakening is one of the world's foremost experts on eradicating limiting beliefs and lifestyle design on your own terms. Learn more about Erika Awakening

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Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Here’s taking all the guess work out of it for me Erika… mature, focused, intentional, devoted, present, peaceful, studied, youthful, happy, committed… I blend OSHO with Barack Obama… and give it over to God… all of me… the unfinished parts as well as what’s in the way… no struggle… no looking back…

    http://laughingsquid.com/candid-photos-of-barack-obama-on-flickr-of-his-first-100-days-in-office/

    Love,
    ~Gayla

  2. Dan says:

    “But he still needs to pick up the check … lol :-) It’s an emotional thing, part of feeling like a woman when I’m out on dates. It’s not about the money, I give back in other ways. There is nothing romantic for me, though, about a girl picking up the check, and I *love* romance :-)

    A guy with a strong abundance mentality isn’t going to care either.”

    Makes sense. Also, conventional “dating” doesn’t necessarily mean only going to restaurants or having drinks…a guy might bring a girl somewhere or invite her to do something active where there isn’t really a “check” to get.

    Here’s a question: Are women attracted to money and fancy things as status cues at all?

  3. Anonymous says:

    “no girlfriend” rule? how are you ever going to know if its a good match before making a lifetime commitment?

    You’re just going to try to intuit it before you’ve spent much time together? That’s bound to work perfectly.

  4. Erika says:

    Hi MH,

    The words “give back” and “repay” have two very different feels to them (for me). “Give back” is fluid, and it may mean making dinner for him, having him over for nice wine at my apartment, giving him a backrub, or whatever feels good to us in the moment. “Repay” sounds like an obligation and an accounting, which for me takes all the romance out of it.

    I agree that people should pay attention to their own feelings and intuition first and not put the other person on a pedestal.

    It’s a losing strategy for men or women to “give in order to get.” (You can read about this on Rori’s blog.) A guy who is worried about a woman “taking advantage” of his generosity is not giving from a place that’s going to feel good to him over time. I recommend both men and women give for the sake of giving, and not with the expectation of receiving something specific in return.

    Better not to give at all if we are going to feel resentment about it later. Each of us will experiment, of course, to find what feels good to us.

  5. Anonymous says:

    “Let’s put it this way: a guy who meets a girl and knows that she is or could be his match is not going to care about spending money on her as long as he feels like she’s sincerely enjoying his company and appreciating him.”

    actually a guy with enough self-worth will not care too much or worry if a strange women he just took on a date enjoyed herself or not, what matters is if he enjoyed his time. Everybody should think of themself first before putting the other person on a pedestal. sounds to me like you want an entertainer.

    “There is nothing romantic for me, though, about a girl picking up the check, and I *love* romance :-)”

    Romance is about “I’m /was thinking about you”.

    I’m curious to know, “how” you will repay your man or express your romanticism towards him (sex does not count cuz it ain’t a “gift” or something to be given).

    best
    mh

  6. Erika says:

    But he still needs to pick up the check … lol :-) It’s an emotional thing, part of feeling like a woman when I’m out on dates. It’s not about the money, I give back in other ways. There is nothing romantic for me, though, about a girl picking up the check, and I *love* romance :-)

    Let’s put it this way: a guy who meets a girl and knows that she is or could be his match is not going to care about spending money on her as long as he feels like she’s sincerely enjoying his company and appreciating him. A guy with a strong abundance mentality isn’t going to care either.

  7. Erika says:

    Yeah, spot on, Dan.

    I’m not pursuing money at all. Entropy picked up on that in his comment way back when about chivalry.

    You’re right: I want a guy with the confidence to say, yeah she’s got a high self-worth, but so do I, so I am her equal and I can win her. Couple that with sincerity, staying power, and follow-through so that we can have an enduring partnership.

  8. Dan says:

    Interesting way to put it, Erika, which is that you’re screening. And I totally believe you by the way, I know women get hit on all the time, as does any guy who’s been learning about this stuff in any serious degree.

    What if it’s an issue of frame control? Basically, from our perspective, the way to get attraction from girls is simply to have the dominant frame, a frame that isn’t cracked by a woman’s screening behaviors.

    When a guy gets the “expensive” vibe from you (by the way I kind of think that’s a cool vibe to put out), it’s great for screening guys who don’t believe they have it in them to impose their frame on you…and money is more of a superficial excuse.

    Aren’t you just waiting for the guy whose sense of self worth says “she might be expensive, but I am SO AWESOME that she won’t care whether I spend money on her or not”? Aren’t you pursuing that kind of thing more than money? Because I know women are more attracted when they read self-esteem in a guy’s eyes and a strong frame in his head more than when a guy picks up a check.

  9. Erika says:

    Dan,

    I agree with your compatibility approach, that’s all I’m really saying anyway.

    Completely disagree with your interpretation though. Lots and lots and lots of guys show superficial interest in me. That’s fine, I appreciate it, it’s nice … but the guy I’m going to invest my emotions and life in is the one who knows I’m his match.

    If a guy says I’m expensive, maybe he knows I’m not his match, which is cool. There’s only one out there, so I don’t take it personally. But it also means he knows there’s no point in pursuing me for more superficial stuff like casual sex. Which is great. If that’s what he’s about, there is exactly zero point of us going on a date, etc.

    It may be hard to appreciate from a guy’s perspective, but we get hit on ALL THE TIME. If we didn’t “screen” for sincerity, it would be ridiculous and we could never keep up.

    - Erika

  10. Dan_Brodribb says:

    “One of the guys saw my friend a little later and said to her, “I’d really like to go out with your friend (meaning me), but it seems like she is expensive.” And that is exactly the response I want guys to have to me.”

    I wasn’t there, but if a woman told me she was getting that response from the guys, I wouldn’t interpret it as a good thing. It means to me she hasn’t shown why she’s worth whatever energy the guy chooses to invest and more.

    I also have found it personally helpful–especially for people lookng for a long-term relationship to leave the notion of the ‘screening’ frame behind and focus more on a ‘compatibility’ frame. It’s a subtle shift, but feels more win-win to me.

  11. Erika says:

    “Abstaining is turning out to be really powerful for me too! I get tempted like crazy and it’s beyond wild to be approached by many, many smart, sexy, fun loving, etc. etc guys and just to keep checking in with my authentic no to more than a dance or more than conversation… it’s mind blowing to hold myself so safely that I know I’m making space for a very incredible and beautiful committed loving relating partnership…”

    Anonymous 6:00 pm, thank you for that. You brought tears to my eyes.

    It means a lot to me, in the midst of all the naysayers, to know that another woman is trying this and discovering for herself just how freeing it is to say “no” to anything that doesn’t feel like what she really wants deep in her heart.

  12. Anonymous says:

    BTW; Abstaining is turning out to be really powerful for me too! I get tempted like crazy and it’s beyond wild to be approached by many, many smart, sexy, fun loving, etc. etc guys and just to keep checking in with my authentic no to more than a dance or more than conversation… it’s mind blowing to hold myself so safely that I know I’m making space for a very incredible and beautiful committed loving relating partnership…

    watching all these fragments of myself tempted into self betrayal is amazing…

    I’m listening to the deep gut feeling of saying yes from a full surrendered, fully loving, inwardly committed structure…

    xoxo

  13. Anonymous says:

    Hi Erika… yes… commitment matters… not just for two people… it’s worth extends far beyond the two people with the commitment… it holds boundaries for anyone else who might be a sexual partner to the committed person… it allows for deepening communication… deepening healing… and love to transparently hold everyone… people can’t really heal as long as the commitment is unknown… and everyone suffers from a kind of dishonoring that takes place because of the role shame will eventually play.

    I know you will succeed in peacefully manifesting a commitment that is in total integrity with the highest good of all concerned… and soon we’ll be reading your blog about deepening into love, the spiritual wonders of marriage, the blessings of motherhood and the peace of friendships with women that are extraordinarily beautiful!

    xoxo!

  14. Erika says:

    hi Market,

    I don’t eliminate guys who have a different career or profession.

    At the same time, I feel myself drawn to the community for both expressing my views and for relationship purposes. My intuition has suggested for a long time that I’m meant to be partnered with someone who shares this passion with me.

    I’m open about what form, exactly, he will take.

    Thanks for raising a good point.

    Love,
    Erika

  15. Market says:

    The ‘Shared Purpose’ seems a little awkward. Why eliminate guys because they’re inclined to have a different career or profession?

  16. Erika says:

    Awww… are you, Anonymous, sweet-talking me? lol ;-)

  17. Anonymous says:

    Erika, honey, please put Entropy back into your brosephroll list.

    Gracias,

    ;-)

  18. Anonymous says:

    why not live together? why do you need to sign a paper that does not benefit a man at all ?

    furthermore you claim that women do not want casual sex and that they seek commitment, stability and security. If that is true, then why in most societies many laws and rules and systems were brought up to control women’S sexuality? why do women who sleep around lose respect from men? why is women’s sexuality so dangerous when it’s let loose ?

    could it be that mama’s babies are sometimes dady’s maybes and that women are not as “commitment” and “monogamously” oriented as people thought they were ?

  19. Erika says:

    Lol :-)

    It doesn’t feel contradictory to me at all. I date many men and have sex with none of them — until there is an emotional connection strong enough that we both want to get married.

    With all due respect to your article, it seems to be coming from a mindset of scarcity and fear.

    When I marry, I’ll be contributing as much to the union in my own ways as the man will. He’ll be getting the best deal on earth: me.

    ;-)

    Ok, I’m off for a shower and then a quiet evening out with Mr. Big Guy.

    xoxo,
    Erika

  20. Anonymous says:

    well I liked your win/win approach in regards to compromise, much like steven covey

    however “So I will play the field and practice abstinence until that is a reality.” that sounds contradictory unless you plan on not sleeping with a man whom you are dating…are you able to not sleep with another man or have anything sexual unless you are 100% sure that he is long term material? or is it your prerogative to change your mind a year from now?

    btw here is a very informed and condensed answer as to why american men should NOT get married in america and not with an american women as well.

    it’s a good rebuttal to modern day north american no fault divorce, alimony child support marriage:

    http://dontmarry.wordpress.com/

    best

  21. Linmayu says:

    It’s amazing how much what you’ve written resonates with me. Just f’n amazing.

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