Everything You Need To Know About A Committed Relationship

Figure out how to conduct yourself and what is expected of you to enjoy a lasting bond.

Reviewed by Dr Nancy B Irwin, PsyD Dr Nancy B Irwin Dr Nancy B IrwinPsyD facebook_icontwitter_iconlinkedin_iconyoutube_iconinsta_icon
Written by , Integrated MA, Certified Relationship Coach Sneha Tete Integrated MA, Certified Relationship Coach Experience: 4 years
Edited by , BSc Shatabdi Bhattacharya BSc linkedin_icon Experience: 2.5 years
Fact-checked by , MA Sangita Goel MA

There is no better joy in life than being in a committed relationship. We all yearn for meaningful and long-term relationships. However, a fulfilling relationship needs a lot of effort on both sides. Though everyone has different expectations from their partners, most people agree on one thing: commitment in a relationship.

When the exhilaration of dating someone new wears off, we are faced with the essential decision of staying exclusively with each other. Although the meaning of commitment in a relationship varies from one relationship to another, it is voluntarily agreed upon by both partners.

Learn more about the significance of commitment and how to spot the signs of a committed relationship in this article! Keep scrolling.

What Is A Committed Relationship?

A man proposing and committing to his lady love in front of Eiffel tower.
Image: Shutterstock

Committed relationships are based on a promise of love, trust, faith, devotion, and honesty. Such relationships are mutually agreed upon by both the people involved.

Relationship commitment extends beyond mere exclusivity and is unique to the choices of the people involved. You both accept the decisions you make in such a relationship and promise to uphold the tenets of the relationship you both agreed to. Commitment in a relationship provides a sense of security and control to both the people.

There are various types of committed relationships – close friendship, courtship, long-term relationship, marriage, and or civil union. A romantic relationship demands deeper commitment as compared to a familial bond or a friendship.

Why Is Commitment Important In A Relationship?

Your intention directs your attitude toward a relationship. If you are going into something for only having some fun, you will have a casual relationship. Such a relationship will never be long-term because once the fun ends, so will the relationship.

Thus, you should be aware of your intent and commitment towards each other from the beginning. Only by ensuring both the parties are on the same page will you be able to save yourself from heartache.

Commitment is synonymous with long-term. Your bond extends beyond just having fun – your commitment to each other shows that you both will be together through the good times and the bad. It is this intention to commit that prolongs your relationship, allowing it to continue.

The feeling of control and security that you gain through such a relationship can be beneficial in several ways. Take the example of raising children. Children are quite the responsibility for any couple – they are dependent and require your care. Your commitment provides both of you the strength to make the decisions for your children, giving them the freedom and protection to grow.

So what does it translate to in the present-day scenario? Apart from declaring your relationship commitment to each other, you both should be aware of the things you are committing to.

There are no specific rules for commitment – you both are the ones who decide what you will be committing to. Every relationship is unique, and so are your decisions and choices. Your promises can be about anything – trust, faithfulness, openness, or monogamy – in your relationship. Of course, your promises should also cover money issues, household responsibilities, childcare, etc.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Be vulnerable and communicate your needs before deciding to commit. Open up to your partner about what you want from the relationship and set your boundaries.

At the core, how well you keep your promises directly translates to the success of your relationship.

Are You Ready To Commit To A Relationship?

A boy and girl looking at each other with an intention to commit to each other.
Image: Shutterstock

It can be a tricky thing to know if you are ready to take the next step and commit. When you have had prior relationships, you have some experience in this matter. With these experiences, you know what you are looking for in your partner.

For someone new to a relationship, relationship commitment may be a daunting experience. If you are looking to stay in the relationship for a long time – rather than only short-term fun and excitement – you are most likely looking for commitment.

Pay attention to what you have to offer and expect from each other. In a happy relationship, you must continuously invest your time and effort in the relationship.
If you look closely at your relationship, you may notice you already are in a committed one. Read on to know more.

protip_icon Quick Tip
If you are ready for a commitment and want to talk to your partner about it, make sure you talk to them in person and in private. It will help have a clearer and better conversation.

Signs You Are In A Committed Relationship

Simply assuming the traditional labels of ‘significant other’ or ‘spouse’ is no longer sufficient these days. Communication retains its status of being the best way to decide whether your relationship is a committed one. Some signs demonstrate a strong possibility of commitment. Before taking your relationship to the next level, you can look for these signs:

1. Spending Quality Time Together

A couple smiling after spending quality time with each other.
Image: Shutterstock

Spending quality time is one of the biggest signs of commitment. Participating in some regular activities such as watching TV together or chatting over a cup of tea can also be meaningful. With a busy daily schedule with work, travel, and housework, there is hardly any spare time left for most of us. The fact that your partner puts in the effort to spend time with you is a good sign.

Pastor Bill Kiefer, pastor and blogger, talks about how spending time together with his wife is the reason their commitment has been long-lasting. He says, “We did go through some times of misunderstanding early on. We worked at finding out why and corrected the problem. Each time we did, it strengthened our commitment and our relationship. It also took spending time together. I know couples who have been married many years but they both had jobs and developed separate interests. They never spent time together, so they really did not know one another. Such a marriage will not last (i).”

2. Meeting Each Other’s Needs

Each person has their own needs: emotional support, companionship, or even satisfying sexual desires. If your partner is trying their best to meet your needs, they are most likely committed to this relationship. Conversely, if you are attempting to get someone to commit to you, try meeting their needs. You will find it works wonders.

3. Supporting Each Other During Tough Times

A couple holding hands to support each other in tough times.
Image: Shutterstock

Committed relationships are often long-term relationships. With the various ups and downs of life, you will expect your partner to be there as your strength and support through it all. If your partner is the first person you think of during challenging times and vice versa, you are most likely in a committed relationship.

4. Going Out Of Your Way For Each Other

Caring for someone will have you going out of your way to help them out. It is more than an obligation. In fact, it just feels right.

Taking time out to listen to them voice their frustrations, giving them a ride home when it is out of your way, or even skipping out on your lunch break to run an errand for them are a few examples. If you find your partner doing these things for you, you have found yourself a keeper.

5. Sharing Secrets

Things like giving them a spare key to your house or sharing your secrets with them demonstrate ultimate fidelity. When you share such information with someone, you are allowing yourself to be vulnerable. It also shows the faith you have in the other person.

While it can strengthen your relationship, it is best to practice caution when sharing your confidential information such as passwords or PINs with another person unless you are in a committed relationship.

6. Getting Invited To Family Functions And Celebrations

A family gathering can be seen where everyone is enjoying while sitting at a dinning table.
Image: Shutterstock

Going steady with someone involves getting to know their family and friends. Your partner will naturally want to show off your relationship to the ones dear to them. They will also want others to get to know you and appreciate you the way they do.

If you find yourself getting invited to family celebrations and functions, your partner wants you to meet the family. You can also get to know your partner better by interacting with their loved ones.

7. Vacationing Together

People go on vacations to relax and rejuvenate. When it comes to vacations, one would only prefer to go with someone whose company they enjoy. You can make several happy memories and get to know each other better. If you take frequent vacations together, it is a sign that you and your partner are committed to each other.

8. Planning Your Future Together

In most committed relationships, people make decisions based on the likes and dislikes of their partners. Planning things together in a way that accommodates both your needs is significant in a committed relationship. It matters to both of you what the other desires to do in their future. As commitment is a long-term deal, planning for your future together can be a good sign and provide a sense of stability.

Now, let’s find out if you can be in a relationship without commitment.

Can You Be In A Relationship Without Commitment?

Yes, you can be in a relationship without commitment. It is a casual relationship where both the parties enter with the mindset of having fun or merely to see where it will lead without any expectations. However, if one person becomes emotionally involved in such a relationship while the other does not, it can end badly.

In a casual relationship, communication is of utmost importance. As there is no commitment, the question of monogamy can arise in such a relationship. Prioritize your preferences and decide for yourself if you are all right with an open relationship.

Often, an open conversation with your partner can help you in such a case. Instead of assuming things will fall into place, set some ground rules and boundaries for yourself and communicate them to your partner.

Do you want your partner to show commitment in a relationship? Check out the next section for some rules that will help you take your relationship to the next level.

How To Get Someone To Commit To The Relationship

1. Commit Yourself

To gain anything, you first need to start giving. It is a rule especially true for commitment in a relationship. If you feel that you are ready for commitment, communicate that to your partner in clear terms. You can then find out if you both are on the same page.

2. Value Yourself

If you do not value yourself and set appropriate boundaries, how can you ever expect someone else to see your worth? Valuing yourself shows the other person that you do not need them to feel emotionally secure. You may want them, but you do not need them.

If you act like a doormat, you will allow others to exploit you. Only someone who knows their own value can set the foundation for a healthy, committed relationship.

3. Wanting Vs. Needing

True love is a choice. It is not an emotional crutch you need to get through your life. It is all about wanting to be with the other person by choice.

When you are emotionally stable and love yourself, you will attract someone who wants to be with you. Don’t treat your partner like an emotional band-aid that you need to survive. This can make them feel suffocated in the relationship. Instead, work on becoming emotionally secure and independent. This way, you will want to spend your life with your partner in a healthy way.

4. Know Why The Other Person Does Not Wish To Commit

Most people avoid commitment because it is intimidating, have had a bad experience before, or are looking for fun.

Have an honest talk about the reasons why they do not wish to commit. If they are afraid and need time, decide whether you can give it to them. You have to choose if they are worth the wait. If they only want to keep things casual between you two, you need to rethink your relationship.

Do you think you are ready to commit to your partner and want to take things further? Find out how long you should stay in a non-committal relationship.

How Long Should You Stay In A Relationship Without Commitment?

There is no specific rule or time frame for how long you should stay in a relationship without commitment. Whether you want to stay or let it go depends on you and your feelings.

You can ask your partner if they are willing to take the next step of dedication in your relationship and commit to each other. Although sometimes they may be on the same page as you, that is not always the case.

If your partner is unwilling to commit to you, hoping that they will change their mind will not work. Committing to a relationship requires a desire to be together for the long haul. It is not your job to convince your partner to make such a decision – nor will you be a hero for changing their mind. Unlike romantic stories and sappy movies, embarking on such a journey will only land you with a broken heart and disappointment.

Ask yourself if you are getting what you truly desire from such a relationship. Are you giving up more than what you are getting? In the end, is everything you are doing worth it? Is it making you happy? The answers to these questions may change throughout your relationship, and you may need to re-evaluate your decisions accordingly.

You should consider leaving when you are no longer happy with the way things are going. Rather than allowing your unsatisfied desires to turn into resentment, you can make a healthy choice and move on.

The signs of lack of commitment in a relationship may manifest in various ways. The next section lists them.

Signs Of A Lack Of Commitment In A Relationship

The following signs can indicate a lack of commitment in a relationship.

1. Inconsistent Communication: A lack of consistent and open communication about future plans, feelings, or concerns.

2. Unwillingness To Compromise: Reluctance to compromise or make sacrifices for the relationship’s growth or well-being.

3. Emotional Distance: A noticeable emotional disconnect or withdrawal, leading to reduced intimacy or bonding.

4. Fear Of Taking It To The Next Level: Hesitance to increasing the level of commitment to take the relationship forward may be manifest in unwillingness to settle down.

5. Lack Of Effort: Unwillingness to work on relationship problems or make efforts to resolve conflicts effectively and amicably.

Infographic: Top 5 Signs You Are In A Committed Relationship

People perceive commitment differently. And even if you have spent a long time together, it’s tough to fathom the depth of your relationship. Commitment is all about choosing each other again and again, no matter what. While the signs and stages of commitment are hard to define, and there are no hard and fast rules, you can still rely on a few obvious signs to understand which way you are headed. Check out the infographic below to learn more.

top 5 signs you are in a committed relationship (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

A serious, committed relationship is built on a solid foundation of loyalty, trust, and respect. Love and honesty are pillars of this relationship, and depending on their strength, the bond of togetherness can either flourish or tumble down. So, make sure that you and your partner are loyal when you are in a relationship, love each other genuinely, and have utmost faith in each other. Finally, you must hold each other to the highest standards. This relationship is not just a mere connection or attachment but it holds significant value to you and your partner, so always nurture it and try to maintain the intimacy.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a relationship and a committed relationship?

In a casual relationship, one can stay without any expectations. Relationships of this kind may not be necessarily long-term or monogamous. However, committed relationships are built on trust and longevity, and are based on love, faith, and honesty.

Is dating considered a committed relationship?

In most cases, dating may not be considered a committed relationship. This is because it lacks a sense of commitment and is only an initial state of a relationship where both the partners are getting to know each other. However, it may progress towards a committed relationship.

What is the difference between attraction and commitment?

Attraction is the intense feeling between two partners and may have hidden motives like prioritizing oneself over their partner or even a desire to satisfy one’s own needs. One can be attracted to many people. But commitment, on the other hand, is a conscious decision to stay together. Commitment is almost always monogamous.

Do you have to live together to be in a committed relationship?

There is no rule that partners in a committed relationship should live together. It entirely depends on the situation and their choices.

Key Takeaways

  • Committed relationships work based on a promise of love, faith, and honesty.
  • They happen when a couple agrees upon a certain level of commitment to one another.
  • There are no specific rules for commitment in relationships, and every relationship is different and unique.
committed relationship

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

A committed relationship is a strong bond between two people who are devoted to each other. Watch this video to get advice on how to make it work!

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Dr Nancy B Irwin

Dr Nancy B IrwinPsyD

Originally from Atlanta, Dr. Nancy Irwin graduated from UWG in 1977 with a Bachelor of Music in Opera Performance. She moved to New York City in 1985 to pursue a career as a stand-up comedian. She worked all over the country and abroad and moved to Los Angeles in 1994 when she heard that Hollywood needed more blondes.

Read full bio of Dr Nancy B Irwin