Engagement in relationships

Engagement in relationships

Affective relationships are often an important part of our liveswhether they are family, friends or lovers. We sometimes consider these as the most fundamental to our well-being. These relationships are characterized by a union based on love. But, what is love really?

Many things have been written about the fundamental components of love. We usually distinguishthree : passion, trust and commitment. All are important for maintaining a good relationship.So its creation and maintenance must be one of the priorities of all those who wish to live in a relationship.

We will consider in this article the commitment to relationships. This is the most controversial of the three components of love. Commitment is generally considered a good thing. But to what extent is this true?

Before you try to find out if engagement in relationships is beneficial or not,we must first learn to distinguish this from the other two components of love.Deepen.

What is commitment?

Commitment is the willingness of people who make up a relationship to stay together. All relationships require a certain degree of commitment. There are, however, many differences. The commitment to a parent, a friend or a spouse will obviously not be the same. We will usually require more engagement in a relationship than in a friendship.

In other words,commitment is a kind of social contract that both parties accept.To say we are "friends", "fiancés" or "spouse" is what would seal the contract. The problem is that the terms of this contract are generally not explicitly stated by both parties. The characteristics of this contract are often defined by what the company considers that both parties must respect.

The main purpose of engagement in relationships is to maintain some security and control over these. We can maintain a series of expectations about the behavior of the other part of the relationship when this social contract exists. This will help us anticipate situations that may arise. And to act accordingly.

At the level of evolutionary adaptation, themaintaining control and security in relationships would help in many aspects of existence. For example, in the case of couples, a relationship based on commitment would help to raise children. Indeed, children are born totally defenseless and need the constant care of their parents. When, at certain earlier moments in the history of humanity, the load of the baby was not the responsibility of two adults,the chances of survival of the latter were very limited.

Engagement in current relationships

How does this facet of couple relationships translate today? We generally consider that having a commitment involves several things:

  • Do not be unfaithful. Unfaithfulness is often a compelling reason to end a relationship.
  • Intent to maintain the relationship in the future. If one of the people thought to break up with the other, we would consider that the couple has no commitment.

Is it something good or bad?

We will find that many relationships are characterized by some toxicity if we observe closely around us. One of the possible explanations is that theengagement in relationships can be the heart of most problems. In theory, this could be due to three factors inherent in the commitment:

  • Theimplicit social contract
  • Theexpectations that implies
  • Thecontrol over others

Let's see each of them.

The social contract

We refer, when we speak of implicit social contract, tonon-explicit conditions that we consider to be fulfilled in a couple. Couples generally do not clearly state what they expect from each other. On the contrary, they start the relationship by having a series of ideas about how each should "behave".

So thateach interprets differently what commitment implies in relationships.Thus, while one of the parties has an idea of ​​the couple, the other can think in a totally different way. It is therefore easy for conflicts to arise because of an initial misunderstanding.

Social expectations

Another fundamental aspect closely related to the previous one is the emergence of social expectations. Having a commitment to another personleads us to have a series of ideas about how she should behave to please us. The problem appears when someone does not meet our expectations. So that we feel cheated.

The two parts of a relationship will usually try to meet each other's expectations. However, thiscan be achieved at the expense of our own needs. This way of acting will tend to trigger a feeling of alienation by the other and ultimately to not feel free.

Need control

Finally, engagement in relationships can generate some need for control over others. This would happen when we seek to be sure of our partner. The problem is that control can generate emotional dependence, so that the other person feels suffocated and insane.

Let's not forget that autonomy is a vital necessity of the human being.We can not expect others to act according to our criteria. A relationship based on the subordination of one over the other breaks completely with this feeling of freedom. This will only cause discontent and unhappiness for both members of the couple.


Commitment is never more than a simple agreement between the parties that make up a relationship.heborn should not become a central part of the relationship even though it is an important aspect. It can, in the extreme, cause more harm than good.

Most engagement issues are resolved, however, if we are able to explain what we expect from the other person.heEastalso necessary to learn to let our spouse free. These two skills are fundamental to having a relationship that makes us happy.

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