By Jane Garapick for YourTango.com.
This isn’t an ultimatum — it’s just a way to tell your partner what you want in your relationship.
We all want to feel like our partners are committed to us. In fact, a recent study commissioned by Benenden Health, one-third of the study participants said that they would feel more optimistic about their relationships if their partners showed them more commitment. On top of that, most married participants were significantly happier than their single fellow participants.
So now that science has proven an obvious truth about couples in relationships, what do you do when you aren’t getting the level of commitment you want from the person you’re dating? Here are three simple steps you can take to move towards the kind of committed relationship that you really want:
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Step One: know what level of commitment you want. Like most things in life, if you’re unclear about what you really want out of a relationship then you’re going to have a tough time getting it. Life tends to deliver to us exactly what we focus on, so if you’re not focused on what you truly want, then it’s time to define for yourself exactly what commitment looks like to you. Does it mean dating exclusively? Do you want an engagement ring on your finger or is a verbal profession of love good enough for you? Are you the type of person who feels that it’s not a true commitment until you drive off in the limo with the “just married” sign taped on the trunk? These are all questions that you need to answer honestly with yourself. (And to get started on your own personal journey to true love, download Jane’s complimentary guide “Find Your True Love: 10 Simple Steps to Getting the Love You Want … and Deserve.”)
Step Two: know your timeline. Relationships take time to develop, but you don’t want to wait forever for things to move along. Typically, this time restriction is felt more by women who want children and are approaching the latter part of their prime child-bearing years, but this is not always the case. Why waste time with the wrong person when it’s clear that you aren’t heading towards the kind of committed relationship you really want? Even in your early years with your whole life ahead of you, if you’re staying in a stagnant relationship, then all you’re doing is blocking the way for the right person who really does want the same kind of commitment that you want. So make sure that you are clear in your own mind about just how long you are willing to wait for things to progress to where you want them to be.
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Step Three: figure out whether you both want the same commitment. Your partner cannot read your mind. If you feel that your relationship is not progressing the way you’d like, then it’s important to bring it up to your partner. Don’t look at this as an ultimatum — which has such a negative connotation — but more as properly communicating with your partner about what you want in life.
If you can’t communicate your needs and desires, then you’re going to have more problems in your relationship than this one. And if talking about commitment with your partner scares him or her off and you find yourself single again, think positively. Now you’re open to meeting someone who shares the same need for commitment as you and you’re on the path to finding a healthier, happier relationship.
Just know that it really is all about you. You are in control of your own destiny where a committed relationship is concerned. If you and your partner are in different places regarding the level of commitment you want in your relationship, then you need to be honest with yourself and decide for yourself the actions you’re going to take. It’s your love life; you might as well make it what you really want.
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Jane Garapick knows firsthand what it’s like to have a broken heart, a broken dream and a broken you. She writes about adventures on the rocky road to finding the right love www.gettingtotruelove.com. To get started on your own personal journey to true love, download Jane’s complimentary guide “Find Your True Love: 10 Simple Steps to Getting the Love You Want … and Deserve”
This article originally appeared on YourTango.com: 10 Reasons Men Get Married Even If They’re Not In Love.