What does “commitment” mean to me, and why?
I think I covered this fairly thoroughly in my last post, but as a refresher:
I define commitment as dedication to sustaining and continuing the relationship (even if it needs to change nature or substance over time).
I used to say that I was bad at commitment, mostly when I was thinking in the monogamous sense, that commitment meant staying with one and only one partner and not letting my thoughts stray. Obviously, at a certain point in time I had to revise this because this definition simply does not work for polyamory.
When I think of commitment, I think of my parents. My parents have been married (monogamously) for let me see… 31 years. They love each other and have worked through their share of problems, both with each other and with raising my sister and I. And even now that my sister and I are full-grown adults out of the house, they are committed to each other, to giving each other space to be exactly who they are, even though that was more limited when my sister and I were still living at home.
I also think of my uncle and aunt. They have been divorced for somewhere between 15 and 20 years now, but they were committed to raising my cousins in a healthy environment. They were committed to finding peace with each other, even after growing apart, partially for the sake of my cousins, but partially for their own good. They have been each other’s fans for a long time now. Their relationship changed drastically, but they still worked to sustain and continue their relationship as human beings.
I have these models of longevity in commitment in my life, which may explain why I prefer longer term relationships, even if we end up transitioning to friends or acquaintances after we decide to no longer be together. It also may be why some of the longest friendships I’ve had in my adult life have been with my former metamours; just because we no longer had a shared partner, did not mean that we weren’t committed to each other.