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If You're Guessing What Commitment Means To A Woman, You're Wrong

by Ellen "Jelly" McRae 23 days ago in breakups / love
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What a woman means when she says she wants commitment

Is this what commitment looks like? | Image created on Canva

Every man, at some point in their relationship with a woman, has a conversation about the c-word. 


And every man, at some point in their relationship with a woman, gets screwed over by the c-word. 

Because you either understand what they mean by it or you don't.

Commitment or a lack thereof seems to be one of the most contentious topics for a couple to navigate. Of all my friends, there isn't one who hasn't walked away from a relationship because:

  • They either couldn't get on the same page about commitment.
  • They couldn't express what commitment meant to them.
  • Or they couldn't get their lover to commit in the way they wanted.

It's exhausting. Why? 

Because everyone has their own idea of what commitment means to them. Whilst there might be a dictionary definition, the interpretation wildly varies from person to person.

If you're battling with your significant other about this idea of commitment, let me help you figure out what she means when she wants more commitment from you.

She wants to know if you forsake others

This is the only time I will get technical with the definition of commitment. 

If we stand by the dictionary meaning, commitment implies making a choice whilst forsaking other options. You pick one thing and forget about the rest.

Between a couple, this means you don't cheat on each other.

Now I know we could debate the meaning of commitment. Every couple has their own idea of what it means to them. 

For some, cheating doesn't exist. You can't cheat on someone if they have permission to hook up with other people.

This is the situation where we have relationship "rules". 

Rules might not be the right word. It's all the values and expectations you have jointly decided for your relationship.

Your rules might be where you can be with other people, or have an open marriage, for example. Or it could be that cheating breaks the relationship, and is your relationship deal-breaker.

It's your relationship, your rules.

But some women want to know whether this is a relationship rule for you, with the relationship you share. Or is it not?

Are you at the point of forsaking others? Will you ever forsake others?

Please decide.

She wants you to decide some sort of future

Thanks to all those wonderful romance storylines in television, film and literature, we assume:

Commitment = Marriage

And whilst I don't want to criticise the writers who have come before me, so many have portrayed women seeking commitment as women seeking marriage. 

So it's kind of their fault.

Let's be clear. The two concepts (marriage and commitment) are independent of each other.

And the "future" is one of those relationship concepts that also doesn't mean marriage. When a woman is asking about your future commitment, it's wrong to assume marriage.

What she wants to know is: Do you see a future between you and them? Is there:

  • The possibility of marriage?
  • The possibility of what married couples do - kids, house, etc?
  • The possibility of having children?
  • The possibility of buying a house together, or making significant financial investments together?

Note the word 'possibility'. Is it something this relationship might have, or not?

Saying whether you can see a long-term future with a woman is a significant sign of commitment. We value this as information to make our judgements about life and our relationships.

We know it's not legally binding, by the way. 

Showing your commitment in this form doesn't mean we start shopping for the white dress. And a woman who does interpret it this way is the one at fault here.

If you didn't say it, put a ring on it, or ask the big question, she's the fool for assuming.

She's wondering whether you're ever moving out of home

There is nothing less attractive than a momma's boy. 

I hate the term because so many men who happen to be close to their mother get labelled with this, even though they don't meet the cliche rules.

But then there are some men who can't leave the nest. 

They can't seem to find their independence. Nor do they express any desire to move away from the safety of where they grew up.

When asking for a commitment from you, often we're wondering whether you have any plans of standing on your own two feet. 

It's asking about a commitment to yourself, committing to a realistic future where you can be on your own. 

She's wondering if you can commit to any situation that means leaving your comfort zone.

Call it a test, if you will, but a fair one. 

If you can't commit to leaving home, how can you commit to a future?

Marriage and kids don't even come into play when you're still living at home, by the way. Most women don't want to move into their partner's parent's home with them. 

It's not romantic. At all.

She wants you to put her first in certain situations

Part of being a committed couple means committing your time and energy to your relationship. 

It means putting your relationship first over other people, situations and circumstances.

It doesn't mean your relationship is always first. A woman who thinks that is an irrational one who hasn't got a solid grasp of reality.

But knowing you're willing to put this relationship ahead of other things in life shows your commitment. 

You know what it takes to make a relationship work. 

It shows you're willing to do the hard work. And you're matching the commitment of your partner who's already doing the same.

Again, this is an instinct that kicks in, and, if you want to get technical, another test. 

We don't want to breed with someone who can't be there for us when we need it, for example. We want someone we can trust to be there for us when the going gets tough.

She's tired of justifying having no labels

Some of the reasons why a woman wants commitment from you are purely superficial. 

Men can do the same thing by the way. We grow tired of our loved ones, family and friends, wondering what our relationship is. 

  • Are we friends? 
  • Boyfriend and girlfriend? 
  • Life partners? 

It might all sound like labels, labels, labels. And who cares about labels?! 

But these labels matter to a woman who isn't feeling like her man is committed to her.

Sometimes the label is just to get people off her back. 

Often she will tell you this, so no need to guess. But sometimes it's a label she needs.

It's a dating convention for a reason. We think it's because society tells us to. In reality, it's more so the couple themselves can gauge their level of commitment to each other and what that means to them. 

It helps make those "rules" I was talking about earlier.

She wants you to make a big commitment

I can't ignore the elephant in the room. And I'm not going to pretend women don't want marriage, kids, a house and a gigantic promise you will be together forever. 

Sometimes commitment means exactly the way the stereotype says it means.

How do you know though?

Every woman tends to know what she wants, and what she wants from you. It's the same feelings you have too. You know what commitment means to you and how committed you are to the person you're with.

Whilst sometimes you need to guess, you're better off asking your partner. There's no other work around here. 

Don't try to trick her into telling you without saying the words. 

Avoiding the conversation with some extreme workaround is a surefire way to head for disaster.

Don't play games with commitment. Every game has a winner and loser, right? 

And guess which one you will be.


About the author

Ellen "Jelly" McRae

Writes about romanceships (romance + relationships) | Loves to talk about behind the scenes of being a solopreneur on The Frolics | Writes 1 Lovelock Drive | Discover everything I do and share here:

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