Commitment is something many people want, but some people struggle with. It is an emotional feeling that connects love, friendship, family, work, and our inner selves. It is something that keeps us honest and loyal, and also something that makes us feel secure in the knowledge that our partner will always be there for us, no matter what. The reality of commitment is that it is not always the easiest thing to do. Commitment is more than doing something. It is more than taking on a task or responsibility. It is also more than getting married, starting a family, or buying a house.
On the one hand, commitment is essential for long-term relationships. But it can also be an obstacle to maintaining healthy relationships. It’s like this: there’s the commitment that’s made before you meet someone, and then there’s the commitment that’s made after you’ve spent time with them. You could look at commitment as the “first” kind of relationship, and then after time, you’re committed to the relationship, too.
Non-committal partners can come in many forms, and one of the ways of identifying them is by their actions and words. When they say they care about someone, they rarely actually mean it. When they say they don’t want to get into a serious relationship and then proceed to do so, you need to be wary about their intentions to avoid getting hurt. Here are five ways to handle a non-committal partners.
Place yourself in their shoes.
It’s important to recognise that there is probably a reason for your partners commitment issues. Your partner may have been hurt badly in previous relationships and be wary of getting too emotionally invested in case they get hurt again. Alternatively, they might have enjoyed the single lifestyle and they’re struggling to settle down. Many people like the independence that the single life offers, enjoying being able to do whatever they want whenever they want, and now they’re trying to adjust to being tied to one place permanently. They may even be wary of you if you’ve hurt them in the past, but you’ll only come to realise this if you take a step back and imagine what they must be thinking and feeling.
Try not to overthink.
Some partners are just more laid back with the idea of commitment, but to them, it isn’t a big deal. It might not be a reflection on you and your ability to be a good partner or a good match. If your partner tends to talk to other people on nights out, or goes to lots of parties with lots of single people, it doesn’t mean they’re not interested in you. They may just enjoy the adrenaline rush of meeting new people. The more you overthink and believe this is a reflection of your worthiness, the more upset you will become. Instead of bottling it all up, talk it through with your partner and let them know you’re uncomfortable. They may not have realised they’re doing anything wrong, so have a casual chat and keep a cool head.
Give them space.
If you have tried to talk and they don’t seem to be meeting you halfway, give them some time to think on their actions. Relationships are often about compromise, but compromise can take time to agree to, so don’t keep pushing. The more you push, the more they’ll move away from you, especially if they enjy their independence. The last thing you want is to come across as clingy, so be mature and show them that, even though you’re not totally happy you also respect their limits. Eventually, they should come to respect you too, but in the meantime, just make sure they don’t walk all over you!
Similarly, ultimatums will make a non-commital partner feel trapped and unable to escape. Their life needs to be on their own terms, so giving them strict terms and conditions won’t work on them. If you need to resort to an ultimatum, they’re probably not the right person for you anyway. An ultimatum is only one level below a threat, and that’s not a healthy relationship. Relationships are often about give and take, and if they’re not giving you anything but only taking, it’s time to think of an alternative path.
Don’t force it.
Ultimately, if it’s not meant to be, it’s not meant to be. A partner that can’t fully commit to a relationship shouldn’t be in a relationship, and if they don’t understand that, they need to learn it by themselves. Non-commital partners are independent by nature, so a lot of the time, there’s just no helping them. Sometimes the best thing to do is call it quits, or totally reevaluate your relationship.