RelationshipsВ can be fulfilling, but they can also be hard. Everyone looks for something different in a significant other and finding the right match requires work on both sides. The bubble of the first few weeks ofВ dating someone new can be exciting, but it may lead to bigger questions about commitment. Kelly Campbell, professor of psychology at California State University, San Bernardino, spoke with MyDomaine about identifying the signs of real commitment in a relationship.В
Before you can determine the seriousness of your relationship, Campbell explains it is imperative to be able to have conversations about tough subjects with your partner. вЂњYou should have a clear idea of what being 'committed' means to you and learn about your partner's definition,вЂќ she told us. вЂњAlthough the meaning of commitment may seem obvious, it's important to gain clarity. For example, one person might believe inВ open relationships, and for them, commitment means honesty about sexual partners but not necessarily sexual exclusivity. If the other person is not on board with that definition, they might end the relationship at that point.вЂќ
As a self-proclaimed firm advocate of clear communication, Campbell mentions that one of the most taboo topics she has observed is the relationship itself: вЂњIt is understandable that people don't like to have that type of discussion. However, being a mature adult means you are comfortable discussing uncomfortable topics and can do so in a clear, direct, open manner. If you aren't there yet, it might be time to work on that skill!вЂќ she emphasized.
Once you've gotten communication down, Campbell suggests these more tangible signs indicate that you are indeed in a committed relationship.
They Portray You in a Positive Light@saasha_burns
People in committed relationships tend to portray their partners in the best possible light-they minimize their flaws and emphasize their positive attributes. This can sometimes make them delusional about their partner's negative qualities, but as long as those things aren't harmful, it keeps people happy in their relationships.
They Speak in "We"@yummertime
People in committed relationships speak about themselves as вЂњwe.вЂќ For example, if you ask a committed person, вЂњWhat did you do this weekend?вЂќ rather than respond with вЂњI took the dogs on a hike,вЂќ they'll say, вЂњWe took the dogs on a hike.вЂќ
They Meet Your Needs (and Vice-Versa)@waityouneedthis
People in committed relationships are committed because they are meeting each other's needs. Everyone has different needs (e.g., some people desire sex every day, others want a partner to provide for them financially), so if partners are meeting each others' needs, they are likely very committed to the relationship. If you are trying to find a way to make your partner more committed, do a good job of meeting their needs-do it better than anyone else could.
They Are Highly Satisfied@bontraveler
The strongest predictor of commitment is satisfaction. If you are highly satisfied, you are often committed.
They Think Their Relationship Is Better@waityouneedthis
Committed partners tend to believe their relationships are better than other people's relationships.
They Don't Pay Attention to Others@kristennoelcrawley
People in committed relationships don't pay attention to potential alternative partners. They don't even notice attractive people around them. Researchers call this process devaluing alternatives.
They Make Sacrifices@yummertime
Committed partners make sacrifices for each other and don't expect favors to be returned, at least not immediately. They have a more long-range view of things and make decisions based on what's best for the relationship, not what's best for themselves as individuals.