Are You Too Committed In Your Relationship?
It takes two people to make a relationship work. One committed partner is not enough.
You have heard about commitment-phobic people, that is, men and women who cannot commit to a relationship. But do you realize that too much commitment is also a problem?
Too much commitment happens when someone goes into a relationship with absolute determination to make it work.
Researchers report that partners who base their self-worth solely upon the outcomes of romantic interactions may experience depression and anxiety and ultimately undermine their relationships.
Over-commitment can actually endanger the relationship in the long run, negatively affect self-esteem, create volatility and defensiveness, and this kind of commitment doesn’t equate with closeness in the relationship.
The kind of over-commitment I’m talking about is characterized by relationship-contingent self-esteem (RCSE).
It’s normal for people in relationships to feel committed and invested, to think of their partner along with themselves, but RCSE goes way beyond these romantic feelings.
People with high relationship-contingent self-esteem feel bad about themselves no matter what negative thing happens, no matter how inconsequential or who is at fault.
They tend to react emotionally and impulsively and are unable to separate themselves from the event or the relationship. These negative feelings can lead to increasingly defensive behaviour and hostility, jeopardizing both the health of the relationship and the mental health of the parties involved.
However, no matter whether you’re in a relationship, looking for one, or having repeated, failed romances, you can learn to meet your needs in healthy ways. You can learn to recognize signs of an unhealthy relationship.
You can learn to control your thoughts and actions, understand your feelings and how they drive your behaviour. You can learn to let down barriers to true connectedness. You can develop or pursue a truly passionate and progressive romantic relationship.
You can come to understand what may be standing in the way of an authentic, committed, and loving relationship for yourself.