In the 2020s with both members and non-members of the church alike, commitment in relationships and marriage has become weak and strained. And harder to find and maintain than previous generations. While there are numerous societal shifts and factors that have contributed to this development, a primary contributor to this problem is technology and the immediate gratification that comes from it. With Facebook, Instagram, Match, Tinder, You Tube, Tik Tok, online gaming, etc., people and relationships are seemingly plentiful and available immediately like ordering fast food. You can simply click and swipe and instantly find many interesting, attractive, new potential partners, 24/7/365. This technological convenience has created an intense, destructive “grass is greener” effect. In any relationship (including a marriage), the initial excitement and infatuation will soon calm down, often after just a few months. Technology then allows a person in an otherwise decent and healthy but less exciting relationship to stray (cheat), end their relationship and go chase after new infatuation elsewhere. Yet, in spite of these trends, we have learned that committed marriage is the Lord’s way for men and women. So, how can you become a more commitment-oriented person. Someone who is able, wanting, and willing to commit and remain with a good, decent person in a relationship and marriage? Here are some ideas...
Tips to Become More Commitment-Oriented:
*Pick well: the first and most essential step in being and staying committed to another in a relationship (and hopefully a marriage) is to choose a decent, healthy person to date and commit to. If you don’t pick to be with an emotionally available person who basically has their life together, it is a bad idea to commit to them at all. Of course, you have to be a good pick yourself from your side as well. Otherwise, relationships with one or both partners being unhealthy usually ends very badly. For more ideas on picking well, check out these previous articles on the subject:
*Learn about and understand the natural course of committed relationships: The most important thing here is to understand, normalize, and expect the excitement, butterflies, and infatuation feelings from the beginning of the relationship to fade. In its place, the relationship naturally transitions over to a more friendship and commitment-based focus, called a “companionate relationship”. Even though you can strive to add and keep as much spark in your relationship as possible, it will never like it was in the beginning. And that is OK. And predictable. If you understand this, when the new butterflies calm down, there is no need to panic. It doesn’t mean you suddenly have a bad or unfulfilling relationship. It definitely doesn’t mean it’s time to find a new person. It just means you have been together for a while and this is the natural and normal course of things. Learn to predict and appreciate this, versus see it as a crisis.
*Learn about and pattern your relationship after spiritually strong role models: The more you learn about and pattern your relationships after gospel ideals and gospel-centered marital role models, the better. Basing your relationships and future marriage on gospel themes will by definition emphasize commitment, fidelity, and a focus on a healthy relational partnership including the Lord. Learn about what the church has to say about marriage and marital ideals and pattern your relationships accordingly. You can start here at this links from the official church website:
In addition, look for happily married church members who are also strong and committed in the gospel. They can role model for you how it is done in an ideal, Christ-centered way. Look for such couples in your ward or Stake, as well as from certain general authorities. Suggestions: Elder & Sister Uchtdorf and Elder & Sister Holland. When you identify and pattern your relationships with relationally and spiritually successful couples, you have a great head start and advantage. You will be well on your way towards building and keeping a healthy, happy, committed relationship and eventual marriage.
If you don’t commit to being a more committed based relationship partner and spouse, you could easily find yourself getting caught up with the bad trend of disposable people, relationships, and marriages. Technology, immediate gratification, and other bad societal trends today work against having and keeping a relational commitment. To fight against and reject these ungodly trends requires and awareness of the problem, as well as a determination to learn and choose a higher way. You can do it. You can be a more committed person that gives their relationship the best chance possible to succeed, thrive, and last. I encourage you to approach your relationships accordingly for the best results. And remember that
“…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.”—1 Corinthians 11:11.
P.S. If you can questions, comments, or a future article request for me, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|2021-10-09||Randy Gilchrist||Dating, Healthy relationships, Communication|
About the author
Hello, my name is Dr. Randy Gilchrist (aka "Dr. G"). I am a licensed clinical psychologist, a licensed marriage & family therapist, and a certified hypnotherapist in private practice in Roseville, CA (www.dr-rg.com), practicing since 1997. Also, I am happily married in the temple (Manti) since 1996 and have 4 sons. I am a volunteer writer and contributor to LDS Dimension. I use my training, education, and experience to share insights with LDS Dimension on all things of interest to the LDS dating community. Please read my articles and columns on this site to assist you in your online dating journey. Also, to be considered for an answer in a future Q and A column, please email me your dating/relationship oriented questions to email@example.com. Finally, I also offer a powerful, effective worldwide custom hypnosis recording service just for LDS Dimension members for weight loss, pornography, and many other issues of concern to those in the LDS dating community (please learn more now at www.dr-rg.com/lds; email me questions to firstname.lastname@example.org).