Many mentees, readers and clients have asked me:
"I'm in a relationship with a terrific guy/gal but it's been 3 years (or 2, 4, 5 or more years) and he/she won't commit. I'm not getting any younger. Dr. Diana, what can I do?"
Well, I've helped so many people through the commitment process that my new relationship advice book, Sealing the Deal, is devoted to that very topic. This article is excerpted from Sealing the Deal and will help you move forward when your partner can't/won't COMMIT. I will share two powerful exercises that will build self-esteem and move your love life forward to commitment.
Perhaps you've met the One only to see him or her come on like crazy, and then pull back for no apparent reason. So all of a sudden, everything becomes murky and uncertain in terms of your relationship. Are you a couple or not? Has your partner met someone else? Why are they running hot and cold? Do you have a future together?
Should you have "the talk" about where things stand? Maybe you blurted out something about the future only to find your heart sinking as your Beloved pulls away and actually leaves you. And you wonder, Is it me? Is it my partner? Will I ever have a committed, solid and lasting relationship?
Maybe you are in a long term ON-AGAIN, OFF-AGAIN relationship where one or the other of you periodically withdraws or sees other people. Have you ever been involved and in love with someone for months, or even years, only to find that they simply cannot or will not take that next step into living together or marriage?
First, you should know that the average time for a couple to move from dating to a committed relationship, with a future that includes living together or getting married, is from nine months to four years. All this varies considerably from couple to couple. But, research shows that in the U.S. and England it's about three years. Usually, if things drag on in an uncommitted state much beyond a few years, the relationship will tend to go downhill and eventually die.
If you've been with your partner in an exclusive relationship for at least two or so years and he/she shows no signs of wanting to make it permanent by getting married, the first thing you have to do is to decide if you are really committed to having love in your life? Are truly committed to yourself and your dream of a committed, married relationship?
My question to you is this: if you are not going to be there for yourself, who will be?
It's important that you develop your sense of SELF-WORTH if you expect your partner to really value you. In Sealing the Deal, I devote three entire chapters to not only building self-esteem but also setting the stage for commitment; how to have the talk so he will listen; and what to do if he/she won't commit. Throughout the book I share my own personal stories and those of others who built up their self-worth from NOTHING and then were able to form committed, lasting love relationships.
Get Started With Step One: Give The Following Sentences Five Different Endings: