I’ll be one of the first people to admit that I LOVE being in a committed relationship. When I date, I date for the sole purpose of eventually finding someone I want to commit to. However, that’s the thing most people don’t get. Dating someone and committing to someone are two totally separate things and the latter should not be rushed into or expected before some time has gone by and you have really gotten to know the person.
In undergrad I used to meet guys all of the time and a nice selection of them would be interested in going on a date or two to see where things would lead. People who honestly understand and can keep it real with what dating really is should know that any guy or girl you meet and “start dating” most likely has other guys or girls lurking around that they have been or currently are dating.
Guys won’t tell us this because there’s a stigma involved with keeping it real when dating and letting a woman know that she isn’t the only one in the running for their affection. As much as we may want to deny it, women don’t really take the knowledge of competition very well and would much rather catch an attitude and walk away over just letting things run their natural course. It’s not that guys lie, it’s that not too many women can handle that very honest truth and they want to keep us around.
As women and because guys don’t tell us the whole story, we often fool ourselves into believing that a guy is committing to us to some capacity during the dating period. For whatever reason, we then enter a phase of “pre-commitment” with a person who “isn’t quite yet our SO.” I know I started this paragraph saying “women” but men can also be guilty of this as well.
Pre-commitment, in short, is setting yourself up for failure and it only happens when one person has spit the line, “I’m just not trying to commit right now” or any variations of this that also includes the “I just need to get myself together before I can do a relationship” line. In return, we report back to our friends that “while X isn’t our gf/bf, we’re talking for right now.” Come again?
Actually, I understand keeping your friends in the loop about what’s going on. My thing is when another fine specimen of a human being approaches you and you shut them down because “you’re talking to someone.” I need someone to please explain to me what “talking to someone” is and why it warrants someone to not “talk to” other people. In my book, “talking to” still means you’re single and dating and when you’re single and dating you can “talk to” whoever the hell else you want! If I want to “talk to” Tom, Dick, and Harry I’m going to talk to Tom, Dick, and Harry until one of them decides they want to step up to the plate and take me serious enough to commit with and to me.
But how can you tell when a person is ready to commit? Honestly, I believe they tell you. Before entering into a relationship, they will either let you know how exclusive they want to be or you ask them to make sure you’re on the same page. My pre-commitment #epicfail told me every time I brought the topic up he wasn’t ready. I was mad at him at the time for wasting my time but he was honest. I look back and see it was my fault for chasing a fool’s dream and being to quick to commit to someone who “just wasn’t ready.”
I don’t really think there is a wrong or right person with this. A person has every right to not want to commit to you and we don’t have the right to demand or expect commitment from them. Commitment is a two-way street and if you feel you’re on a one-way road then pre-committing isn’t going to make things happen faster but only add more stress and expectation to a situation you already want more out of. As hard as it is to do, don’t be so quick to get sold on one commitment phobe and keep your options open until you have the same level of commitment you want.
About Carla Clunis
You can find more of Carla’s musings on love and relationships at www.theheartmalfunctions.com where she blogs about the ups and downs of dating and relating.
—— By: Carla Clunis