I feel as though a lot of people who read my articles are under the impression that I am suggesting eventually someone is going to come into their life and every puzzle piece will simply pop into place. Doves will fly out from behind you, a chorus will follow you around on every date, you will find a bag with 10 million dollars in the street, which you will use to move to Pleasantville, U.S.A.
Sorry, it doesn't work that way, and I never claimed that it did.
Life is messy. Relationships are messy. I have said in past articles that love is not all you need. You need mutual respect, compromise, sacrifice, understanding, the willingness to work at it and stand by him or her when times get rough. You need to be willing to be by their side not only during the bright days but also during the dark ones. To encourage them to become the best version of themselves, but also to love and accept them as they are today.
To be under the impression that the perfect person will come along is to be under the impression that relationships do not take work. When, in fact, no relationship has ever worked without work itself. When I look around at my parents, grandparents, or other couples who have been together for decades -- I am often surprised by how different they are from each other. None of them will tell you that they have been married for 30+ years because the pieces just fell into place. None of them will tell you that they are free from fights, disagreements, or conflicts.
None of them will tell you that they will stay together forever because, hey, it's easy. None of them will tell you that they pledged their life to the other because being with them is sunshine and rainbows every single day.
But, that's the thing about love. When you love someone -- when you really love someone, it's not a matter of convenience. It's not only something you feel when times are good, it is the very foundation of staying together when times are not as good. When they are bad. When life is tough. That's when you pull those you love closer, not push them away. It's the cornerstone of your willingness to fix something you might feel is broken instead of just throwing it away.
You are committing to someone's whole self. You are not just committing to them under the condition that they stay young and beautiful -- because they will not. And neither will you. You are not just committing to them until someone better comes along -- you are committing to the idea while neither they nor your relationship is perfect -- this is the person you want to be with. You are committing to their very being. To the idea that the two of you are the consistent center and your circumstances simply orbit around you.
You do not commit to someone because things are perfect, you commit to them in spite of the fact that they're not.
Commitment is not just an arbitrary word to be found in the dictionary. It is not just a statement of temporary monogamy. It is a pledge, a vow, a way of living that embodies honor and integrity. Commitment is not a rule, or a regulation -- it is an action.
Commitment is not the act of losing your freedom; but exercising it to choose who you want to give your most valuable gifts to:
Your time, your emotions, and your heart.
Sorry, you'll never find the perfect person. But, you will find the right person, once you realize that the two do not have to be the same.
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