Keen Category: Love Advice
Time to relax – you've got the relationship you wanted. He's committed. He's professed his undying love for you and you can kick back now and enjoy the moments. Yes? Well, actually – no!
Nowhere in the world of relationships does it state that once the commitment is made, the work stops. This is when the real work begins. Relationships are the most difficult animal in the world to feed, nurture and maintain.
Here are some quick tips on how to keep the commitment in your relationship:
Choose your battles
Just as dealing with any two-year old, there are some things that just aren't worth the fight. Yes, there will be spats because of our egos. But is it more important to you to make sure he is on time, or is it more important that he respects you? If he calls and says he's going to be late, he respects you. If he is consistently late and keeps you waiting, then there is a problem.
Don't force the confrontation
When he's ready to talk, he will. If you force it you're asking for a blow-up. Of course you have needs and your need to talk is important. However, no relationship is repaired by screaming, yelling and pointing fingers at each other. "Can we talk now?" is fair enough. If the answer is, "About what?" then you know that he's still not willing or ready to talk.
Recognize an apology
Acknowledge an apology, even if it is subtle. We're people and we don't like to admit when we're wrong about something. When he offers to do something for you, or is intent on cleaning the yard – this is his way of admitting he was wrong, and it's his apology to you. Thank him. Do you really need to hear, "I was wrong"? His actions will demonstrate this.
Keep the romance alive
This is a critical point. Romance is part of the animal of your relationship and it requires three square meals a day, and snacks. It's imperative that you feed this aspect of your relationship. Love notes are great; Victoria's Secret is fine – whatever you choose to do, keep it romantic.
Laughter is the best medicine for the soul. In the midst of a heated spat, step back and take a good look; isn't this something that you two should be laughing about?
Finally, if you are afraid to be yourself, you most likely manipulated the relationship to the commitment stage. Go back and re-read the books that got you there in the first place. You had to have missed the chapter on "Be Yourself". If you're suddenly tip-toeing around because you're fearful that he'll leave, chances are he does think you're someone that you pretended to be: patient, tolerant of his bad behavior, non-controlling, etc. Do yourself a favor and toss out the "how to grab a man" books and start over. If you weren't yourself to begin with or you had ulterior motives, you've already got a doomed relationship.
Of course, there are more tips that could be added to this list, but these are worth noting and trying. And if maintaining a commitment becomes a slippery slope, you can always consult with an advisor to get back on solid commitment ground.