Commitment

People insist that “commitment” is essential for a relationship to work. I agree. I don’t understand why people confuse “commitment” with “monogamy,” though.

Commitment:

1. a : an act of committing to a charge or trust: as (1) : a consignment to a penal or mental institution (2) : an act of referring a matter to a legislative committee b : mittimus
2. a : an agreement or pledge to do something in the future; especially: an engagement to assume a financial obligation at a future date b : something pledged c : the state or an instance of being obligated or emotionally impelled <a commitment to a cause>(Merriam-Webster)

Can someone please point out to me where, in that definition, monogamy in a relationship is described?

When I commit to a relationship with someone, I commit to being there for them. I am “obligated and emotionally compelled” to do so. I commit to being honest with them. I commit to not breaking whatever ground rules we have laid out for our relationship. I commit to respecting them. I will NOT commit myself to someone who does not understand that I cannot commit to monogamy; it would be lying to them if I let them believe that monogamy was something I could do. I don’t like lying. It’s not nice.

You want to tell me that, okay, what you really meant was “fidelity” or “faithfulness”?

fidelity: 1: a. the quality or state of being faithful b. accuracy in details: exactness (check it)

faithful1: obsolete : full of faith, 2: steadfast in affection or allegiance : loyal, 3: firm in adherence to promises or in observance of duty :conscientious, 4: given with strong assurance : binding <a faithful promise>, 5: true to the facts, to a standard, or to an original <a faithful copy> (check it)

I’m just as steadfast in my affection towards someone I love as any monogamous person. I adhere to my promises. I am brutally true to the facts. . .ah! There it is! The “standard”! That’s where I don’t fit. No, no, I’m definitely not standard. I guess I’m not “faithful”. Oh well.

But, I AM committed. To more than one person. Don’t you dare try to tell me I’m not, or insinuate that I have “commitment issues”. Or do. I’ll know you’re wrong.

P.S. Go ahead, say it straight: monogamy is required to make a relationship work. Right. And everyone in a functional relationship is completely monogamous. Go read a book.

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7 Comments

  1. I don’t think it matters whether you want to be faithful or not, as long as you’re clear about it. I’d never have a non-monogamous relationship because I get jealous and I suffer. So if a guy tells me, I can’t be monogamous, I tell him, that’s fine, goodbye. It’s the liars I can’t stand. That said, I do think inability to be monogamous is one way that some people avoid being emotionally available. Maybe not you,though.

    Reply
    • I completely agree with the need to know what works for you and what doesn’t. I don’t think that nonmonogamous relationships are good for everyone, and if you know that it’s not for you, that’s awesome.

      Liars are awful, monogamous or not. Nobody wins there.

      And, while I do think that some people use nonmonogamy to avoid being emotionally available, it is not the story of every nonmonogamist. Polyamorists are EXTREMELY emotionally available, based on my experience. They love love, but they are, by definition, nonmonogamous.

      Reply
  2. the key here is honesty. as long as you are honest in a relationship, then it’s ok. i know, i respect a woman who likes and respects me enough to be brutally honest with me. i would rather they do that then lie to me just to spare my feelings. i can’t honestly say if i could be monogamous or not. i mean, if i could be lucky enough to get more than one woman to love me, i would consider it..lol but, i would probably be monogamous by default..lol

    Reply
    • Absolutely! Honesty is so, so important. And that includes being honest with yourself and your partner(s) if you prefer monogamy. There’s no use in telling someone that you’re okay with their nonmonogamous ways if, in reality, you are not.

      Reply
  3. I just started a blog, and the first thing I wrote about was pretty much the exact same thing as this post! Just happened to stumble on yours after I put it up.
    I agree with you so much about the difference between commitment and fidelity, but I don’t know if I could have those serious commitment feelings about more than one person at once. I suppose even things like jealousy and relationships are rooted in culture and society though.. maybe its nurture as opposed to nature?
    anyway – not to spam you but if you want to look at what I wrote about it its at http://www.sexandotherstuff.wordpress.com

    Reply
    • I’ll definitely be taking a look; it’s nice to meet friends online! 🙂 Funny how we all find the same things to think/write about even when coming from different places, eh?

      I’ll be honest; when I opened a relationship for the first time, the intent was to keep it strictly sexual with other people, and keep emotions limited to just my guy and I. I didn’t see love coming – it just sort of happened, and it happened without me falling out of love with my boyfriend. I realized I was in love with two people at once, and they were both strangely comfortable with it (they became good friends), and, well. . . it worked and made us all happy.

      Reply
  1. Jada Smith on Relationships | Love Times Infinity

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