What’s More Important – Love or Commitment?

rings Tennoji Hei

I used to be such a starry-eyed believer of love. I thought that love conquered all – and that as long as you shared that feeling with someone, it meant that the relationship would last, In the theory of fairytales and movies, this may be the case, but in North American reality – not quite. Instead, love is only one of the many ingredients needed for a long-lasting partnership. But the concerning issue is – people put so much weight on the feeling of love, a feeling that inevitably changes, takes different forms and can get blinded easily.

A partnership is not just about the emotions and feelings of love. A partnership is about commitment, and being responsible to that commitment regardless of what the external variables of the time are. It’s about the commitment to choosing decisions that will serve the relationship even when it would “feel” better to not. Married or not married, when you decide to enter into a partnership with another, commitment means you act with integrity, respect and care –even when your emotions are telling you otherwise.

Because love isn’t enough. Let me clarify, love, in the way most of us define it, isn’t enough. Love isn’t what makes you decide to not act out your desires when someone attractive starts showing you attention (and you haven’t had sex in months). Love is not what makes you apologize and give your partner a hug after an argument (even though inside you know you’re 100% right). Love is not what makes you weather the storm when disaster strikes (which it will). Love is not what makes you decide to treat each other with kindness, respect and empathy during a breakup or divorce (you’d be surprised how quickly love can feel like hate at that time). No, it’s not love. It’s commitment. It’s the responsibility to keeping your commitment. Not just to the other person, but to yourself.

Love, and that giddy feeling in your stomach may be what guides you when you’re feeling great about the apple of your eye. But what steers you when you’re going through an ebb, or a rough patch? Can you depend on love at that point?

Love isn’t rational. It can’t be controlled. If you allow a feeling that is so emotional and malleable dictate your behaviour, you’ll realise quickly that it only pans out when things are up, not when they’re down. Commitment on the other hand, will guide you through both. Commitment is not dependant on the heartstrings, it’s dependant on a conscious choice you make – and that, is something you have complete control over.

Photo credit: Tenoji Hei

6 Comments

  • Reply January 11, 2012

    William

    Very insightful article – thanks! :-) But doesn’t marriage play an important part in assisting and sustaining committment?

  • Reply January 31, 2012

    Lindy (Linda from another post)

    This is a “keeper” which I will share…thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences.

  • Reply July 22, 2013

    D

    I’ve never understood why people always consider Love as a separate entity from Commitment/Partnership/Companionship. I’ve always believed that Love goes beyond that butterfly-in-the-stomach feeling. My high school English teacher mentioned to us once that Love is a choice – much like the way that happiness is a state of mind (not pertaining to those who are clinically depressed, etc, of course). So it always upsets me when people tease the two concepts apart. Love IS Commitment. It’s a conscious process of choosing to be with someone. Anything less than that is lust of infatuation, and does not deserve to be called Love.

  • Reply May 3, 2015

    A

    Just came across blog and I completely agree with D’s comment. Love is a commitment and not emotion or feeling. You can’t separate love and commitment. Because they are one in the same. When you love someone…truly love someone, you are committing yourself to that individual through the hardships all relationships go through. Having to endure. Love is a conscious choice but we can at times allow our emotions to control it. Unfortunately, we’re driven by our emotions and feelings at times.

  • Reply September 16, 2016

    Masculine Profiles

    Isn’t love a commitment? That’s how I understood it, but maybe I was looking at it in a different context.

  • Reply December 10, 2016

    kristianne ornieta

    Thank you for being a blessing. It is auch a shame that many couples choose to end their relationship for their claim that they have fallen out of love. Indeed, commitment is about choosing the same person over and over again through all his/her imperfections and flaws. Although i have to admit martyrdim is another thing.

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