Ok, as promised ... the answer to the big question:
"again, what does commitment means to you erika? deep attachement?
perhaps you could give us examples..."
What does commitment mean to me? Call me traditional, I won't mind, this is what it means to me:
1. Permanent: It means I'm bonded to a guy for life. It means we are putting our lives together, come what may. It means I can count on the fact that I'm going to wake up with him tomorrow, and next month, and next year, and many years from now.
2. The relationship trumps: It means we are both committed (duh) to the relationship. It means we are both committed to finding ways for both of us to get our needs met and be happy. It means if we have a fight, we are both committed to working it out rather than running for the exit. If we are in a polyamorous situation, our relationship trumps all the other connections, and we attend to it first, even if that means being monogamous.
3. Having kids: I'm excited to have children. I'm excited to do a lot of other things too, such as travel, start a business, and so forth. I'm confident we can do it all, and he is too.
4. Radical honesty and authenticity: It means we're going to be more honest and authentic and transparent with each other than we ever believed possible.
5. Relaxation and surrender: Part of the reason commitment is so important to me is that it's the only way to surrender fully into a relationship, which is something that is very important to me. In other words, the "doubt" dial is turned to zero.
6. It's a "we" thing: We are a team, and I can count on that, day in and day out. Yes, of course we have our own individual feelings and interests, but we are committed to being a team. We hold each other's needs equal to our own.
7. No "compromising": We stay in communication until we find outcomes both of us are happy about. Compromise leads to resentment, whereas what I'm talking about is having faith that there's always a way to get both people's needs met in satisfying way. It just might take a little creativity and flexibility about the form of things.
8. Shared purpose: Honestly, I don't even see the point of a relationship if people don't have this. A relationship needs a bigger purpose than just the two people's individual needs in order to have true staying power. For me, this will probably end up being some form of joint relationship coaching situation.
9. Full presence: One thing I've noticed about non-committed situations is how difficult it is to maintain full presence. Until people have made the decision to be together permanently, there is a tendency for some energy to be distracted off in other relationships, etc. I'm no longer willing to settle for the wishy-washiness of that because after a person has experienced full presence with another person, it's really difficult to go back to anything "halfway."
10. Having my feelings cherished: This is a feminine energy thing. If I don't feel good about something in the relationship, I expect him to stay in connection with me until we find something that does feel good for both of us.
The long and the short of it is that I'm holding out for a man who is going to be a team with me forever. A man who is offering a good deal for my life. When it comes to commitment, anything less than everything is nothing.
This is why I endorse Rori Raye's "no girlfriend" rule. I don't want to be a girlfriend, I want to be married. I see the rewards of commitment from the right man as far outweighing the rewards of "keeping all my options open," but I refuse to settle for less than full commitment. So I will play the field and practice abstinence until that is a reality.
And I must say, it's been a lot of fun playing the field ... for the most part, I've been having the time of my life :-)
p.s. A girlfriend and I went out to Americano earlier this week, and some guys approached us. One of the guys saw my friend a little later and said to her, "I'd really like to go out with your friend (meaning me), but it seems like she is expensive." And that is exactly the response I want guys to have to me.
Now, mind you, I didn't explicitly say anything to him about holding out for the right guy, not being available for casual sex, etc. But nowadays I subcommunicate all of that with my whole being, so I don't need to say it. This is a good thing because I'm screening guys for their level of sincerity and readiness for a real relationship from the very first interaction.