Abbie and Henry, who wrote recently about living together as a young couple, sat down to listen to the commitment poem and the interview with Nick Brewer and then thought they would give us their thoughts. It’s only fair we share them with you
Like playing the guitar, a committed relationship takes time and practice.
Things will go wrong, both early on and later as the relationship develops, but what makes a relationship work is figuring out what went wrong and how you can make it better.
Sometimes its little things and sometimes it’s a bigger thing that makes you want to call it quits, but it’s being able to work through those moments that make a relationship strong, if you both want that relationship to work, you can, with patience.
Because it does take time, people often talk about commitment as draining, as if it’s some kind of chore or obligation placed upon you by an outside source. In fact, nowadays many things we do are imagined as relying on motivation to achieve, like going to the gym or doing work, and it’s easy for commitment to fall into this trap.
Instead, it can be much easier and more beneficial to frame it as a continual project pursued as a team.
Commitment is not a one-step process.
Whilst it can seem like starting a new relationship is the hardest part requiring the largest amount of effort, the need to commit to your partner never goes away and maintaining that commitment is where the true challenge lies. In some ways, truly accepting the fact that a relationship takes practice, can make the idea of motivation to make the relationship work, and needing to find that motivation, easier to handle.
Motivation for all things comes and goes, but what a relationship needs is discipline. It might sound strange, but supporting each other to get up early in the morning every day, finding the energy to still have important, connected conversations and to help your partner when you yourself aren’t feeling great, are ongoing.
Each one is a challenge and a choice.
For us, building the habit to make what can be the harder choice in that second, but the better choice in the long run, is the first step on the way to true commitment. You commit to someone every time you ask them how their day was, what do they need, or do the washing up for that third day in a row without fussing, because you can just see that they really don’t need that in their life right now.
If you can see that in yourself you don’t need any motivation to be committed because commitment stops being a challenge and becomes a reward.
Commitment doesn’t happen when times are easy, or on special occasions like Valentine’s Day.
Valentine’s Day can make you feel like a relationship is all about big gestures, giant bunches of flowers, expensive jewellery, but it’s actually about being there for each other, as you always are. It should be a day to recognise and celebrate your relationship as a whole, and your love and commitment to each other, not as a day to feel pressured into showing off.
Abbie & Henry
Have a listen to Nicks poem on Commitment below!