In today’s world of dating (hanging out, hooking up, Facebook official, Tinder, etc.), it can be difficult to define what it means to be in a committed relationship. Every person has a different take on what it means to be committed.

Commitment has to be a decision that both partners have come to. It can’t be one partner making all of the rules or setting all the requirements. It should be an agreement between the two of you about what you need in the future you want to share together.

As we’ve blogged about in the past, love alone might not be enough to save your relationship. You also need mutual respect, compromise, understanding, and a willingness to ask for help when it gets tough.

Here are a few things that people in committed relationships typically do:

Stay faithful & loyal: A committed couple stays faithful to each other. They don’t stray when the opportunity arises or when their relationship gets difficult. It’s about being dedicated and loyal to your partner through it all. Commitments made with the absence of loyalty are hollow and doomed to be damaged by broken promises.

It’s easy to be committed to your relationship when everything is going fine. Thomas Bradbury, a psychology professor who co-directs the Relationship Institute at UCLA, states that as time goes on and a relationship changes, each partner needs to say “I’m committed to this relationship, but it’s not going very well. I need to have some resolve, make some sacrifices, and take the steps I need to take to keep this relationship moving forward.”

Be there for each other: Being there for your partner doesn’t mean that you get to choose which parts you want to be there for. It means being there through the ups and downs, whether it be emotionally or physically.

Trust each other: Without trust, no relationship can survive. Trust levels need to be established in many different areas of your relationship: with each other, with finances, with your children, with secrets, and with family decisions. If you or your partner has done something in the past that makes trusting one another difficult, you should consider seeking the help of a therapist so that you can get help moving on from those trust issues.

Committed partnerships aren’t easy; they require courage, imagination, integrity, and responsibility from both partners. Most people don’t enter into a relationship as fully developed in all of these areas. It requires both partners to work together to make the relationship work.

If you’d like to set up a time to meet up with Reka, you can contact her by phone at 402-881-8125, by email at, or via Twitter or Facebook.

photo credit: I wanna hold your hand via photopin (license)