Continuing Commitment in Romantic Relationships

1. Create a commitment statement, similar to a mission statement. A commitment statement outlines the purpose, values, and goals for the relationship. It may also include rules, requests, and boundaries that strengthen the relationship and keep it safe. What are we about? What are my requests and expectations? What am I bringing to the relationship? How are we defining commitment?

2. Greet each other personally and physically each day. Not only does hugging and kissing feel good, it gives us an oxytocin boost and facilitates bonding and closeness.

 3. Talk and stay connected about hopes, dreams, stresses, etc. These topics are future-oriented; talking about the future can strengthen the current commitment.

 4. Spend  quality together. Making time for each other, just to check in or to have a date can strengthen the bond and reinforce your dedication to the relationship.

 5. Foster your friendship. Friendship is a commitment. Friendships require cultivation, patience, understanding, and empathy. When all else fails, fall back on your friendship.

6. Memories and traditions expand commitment. Doing special things together builds and honors traditions that are important to building meaning and significance. Create positive corrective emotional experiences together.

7. Share spiritual or religious activities together to help promote individual and relationship connection. Talk about your values, hopes, aspirations.

8. Practice small act of kindness for the one that you love.  While it may be easy to take advantage of what your significant other gives for the benefit of the relationship, everyone desires to feel acknowledged. Doing a chore, bringing home a special gift, or sending a loving message are all simple but effective ways of showing respect and dedication.

 9. Talk about how you met and the many reasons you fell in love and decided to connect. Reflecting on reasons for committing to one another in the first place can renew desire to capture and preserve the relationship.

 10. Make time for physical intimacy.  This ultimate expression of commitment should be a special time that both of you can share, and it need not be sexual (although that can be wonderful too).

11. Be flexible and willing to listen, adapt, evolve together. Be aware of the fluctuations in desire, closeness, intimacy, etc.

12. Admit you are wrong (!) This takes humility and practice, but do it!