Deep-six doubts and alternatives

That would be a good definition of commitment: dismissing doubts and alternatives in the name of enjoying relationship more.

George S. Pransky, PhD

What causes relationships to fail? Until recently, I assumed that relationships fail because people have grown apart or because they have been rejected. Sometimes I am marveled at how long some couples can stay together. I have not been able to do that.

Where do we learn how to be in relationship? What skills does man, * or woman need to be in relationship? Where, when or from whom did I learn to be in relationship?

First of all by observing. How do my parents deal with each other, how do my friends' parents do it? How do people in love behave? How do they treat each other? Why do they break up?

Then we just tried out what it is like to be in a relationship with each other. We flirted with each other, cared for each other. We, that was a girlfriend and me. We tried out how being together works. We got to know the tingling and the feeling of well-being, the feeling of belonging together, the warmth, the wonderful kisses and hugs, the trust, the feeling of being strong together, the security, the curiosity about each other and the energy that came from our closeness.

I also kept falling into the trap of not wanting to commit for long. At the time, I didn't know how to optimally handle an argument or even a conflict. In my younger years, my conflict strategy was to get the heck out of there. I didn't argue much, I walked away. On that basis, a lasting relationship is not doable.

My perception was, "there are many fish in the big ocean" or "to every pot there is a lid." These were comforting words from my grandmothers. I used these "wisdoms" as an argument/explanation for me why I didn't bother to stay in a relationship. After all, why should I, when there are so many fish around? And maybe she and I just weren't right for each other.

But what if she was?

Today I have other role models in addition to my parents and my environment. Tony Robbins, for example, emphasizes again and again that it is important to ask those who have a great, loving and lively relationship, even into old age. The central question is, "How do you do it?".

George S. Pransky writes in his book, "The Relationship Handbook. A simple guide to satisfying relationships." about the experiences that saved his relationship. He, too, had an "aha" moment by realizing how his relationship could be different. A relationship in which the partners value and enrich each other, are happy together and where tenderness is present.

A sentence from his book that stuck in my head advises to consciously get involved in commitment. I understand commitment here as a self-obligation. Pransky writes that when we "dismiss doubts and alternatives, we feel more joy in our relationships."

I no longer want to doubt whether I am the right one, or whether you are the right one. I no longer want to look around for alternative options. I want commitment. I want to engage with each other and learn alongside my partner. I want to live in a loving relationship that values each other. It feels right to me that attachment grows stronger, ever stronger, when doubt has no room. How beautiful is a love that has no alternative. Simply love.

What do you want?

Karl Goldstein


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