Get the facts before you commit yourself

There is never a beginning without an expected end. That is the essence of life. A birth will bring death, and the beginning of a relationship will eventually meet the end. However circumstances surrounding the end can sometimes be prevented. In the world of relationships, there seem to be more ends than there are beginnings. It is as if people don’t even let themselves begin the relationship. On the other hand, there are those who begin a relationship without knowing all the facts about their partner. Here is an example to which most college students can relate: changing majors. A student might briefly research the major of choice. After researching, they commit themselves to a major they know very little about. But first, how does a student choose a major?

A major may be chosen for one of two reasons: a person knew a little about the subject matter, enjoyed it and wanted to learn more. Or nothing was known about the subject matter, but the title of the major sounded enticing and a desire to learn more was present. Either way, there is a certain degree of curiosity and intrigue surrounding the new major, or in our case, the new dating partner. In either case, major or dating partner, the decision to pursue further information stems from a snap-judgement. The initial judgement is based on the first impression, which most know is made within the first 1-3 minutes of contact. After the initial meeting, the two people may start dating.

The dating process can also be referred to as the information seeking stage of a relationship. Whether a person realizes it or not, information is being communicated at all times. Large amounts of information are communicated early in the dating process. The type of information that is communicated may reveal some things about a person, but the meaningful information, such as opinions and feelings are reserved for people whom the communicator trusts.

The problem arises when, after hearing only the initial communications, people think they know each other and commit themselves to relationship. It is as if they have skipped the intensifying stage of a relationship which entails serious self-disclosure. It iss also the stage when most couples discuss the level of commitment that they have towards the relationship. The initial feeling of companionship and the feelings of mutual adoration are very powerful indeed.

The couple has now jumped directly into the integrating, and in extreme cases, the bonding stages, the two stages that define the couple. A commitment has been made to a person about whom little is known. From this point on, the relationship only has one option: to end. The question is; when will this happen?

Eventually, the individuals involved in the hastily formed couple will realize that they, in fact, know little about the person whom they are committed. Personal information is slowly revealed, which is a good sign that at least the couple is communicating. However, when a bit of negative personal information is revealed, the impact is much more damaging because of the level of commitment involved. There is a good chance that the relationship will end depending on the magnitude of the impact.

Relationships are delicate in the beginning stages. Eventually, a relationship can grow into a strong bond between two people which involves a high level of commitment. Unfortunately, commitment is often confused with an emotional bond and this may be the reason that people are quick to commit to a person about whom they know very little.

Nonetheless, this is only one path which a relationship may follow. Commitment is an amazing aspect of a relationship, and is also very powerful. Do your research, then commit. Don’t commit post haste, or the time spent could be a waste.

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