Do you make commitments? If so, to whom do you make commitments? What do you make commitments about? What does making a commitment mean to you?

Do you honor the commitments you make? Do you expect others to honor their commitments? Absolutely? Mostly? Nearly always?

I have recently been rudely awakened to the unfortunate reality that commitments made by partners in committed relationships may not mean what they used to. I am outraged and alarmed to say the least!

For the last several years articles have appeared in traditional magazines and on the Internet reporting on the surge of workplace romance between happily married men and women.

Do you know about the Internet chat rooms geared specifically for married people like Yahoo’s “Married and Flirting” or Microsoft’s “Married But Flirting”?

Previously, shortly before her death, I had the great pleasure of interviewing Shirley Glass, Ph.D. on my radio show. Dr. Glass is considered one of the world’s leading experts on infidelity and the author of NOT “Just Friends”: Protect Your Relationship from Infidelity and Heal the Trauma of Betrayal.

Dr. Glass explains that there is a new crisis of infidelity occurring in the workplace. “In the new infidelity,” she says, “one doesn’t have to have sex to be unfaithful, and infidelity is not between people who are intentionally seeking thrills, as commonly believed. Good people in good marriages-men and women who say they are happily married-are unwittingly forming deep, passionate connections before realizing that they have crossed the line from platonic friendship into romantic love.”

What is happening to honoring commitments and agreements in committed relationships today? Perhaps in this new world of high tech information, instant gratification and instant messaging we have misplaced the art of creating and honoring commitments and agreements.

What is commitment?

When we talk about love and commitment we are really talking about attaching to or connecting with people and things. We connect to ideals, institutions and beliefs; to our families, pets, circle of friends, acquaintances and co-workers; to our community and the planet; and, if we are really blessed, to one very special love.

When we are able to connect we feel joyful and content. Poor connections can make us feel angry, sad and truly miserable. And the lack of meaningful connections or attachments in our lives can make us feel despair and empty inside ourselves.

What does it mean to make a commitment?

When we make a commitment to another person we are making the agreement to be present and available—physically, mentally and emotionally.

We make agreements by exercising our personal choice. We communicate directly to others about what we will do, how we will behave and what they can reasonably expect from us, and we are willing to be held accountable.

We honor the agreements we make by choosing the behavior that is driven by our values. Someone once said, “Our personal values are the set of principles we live by and continually develop as we live our life. Principles are like lighthouses—we can either use them to guide us or we can choose to go against them and smash into pieces on the rocks!”

Whether you are a committed couple or an amazing singleton, let’s educate ourselves about agreements, commitments, boundaries, conflict, and fidelity. Let’s start risking being our deepest most magnificent selves! Join me and let’s start today!

Remember, only YOU can make it happen!


Original Content by Jackie Black, Ph.D., BCC ~

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