There’s Nothing Wrong with Wanting a Committed Relationship
Dating is complicated in today’s world. Online dating and dating apps have changed the way in which we view dating and the ritual of dating. With this significant cultural shift, it appears that serial dating is more “on trend” than committed, long-term relationships.
As a result, I’ve noticed a lot of shaming toward women (more so than men) for desiring committed partnership. I myself experienced this in the past and have witnessed many women around me, including friends and clients, who have felt similarly. The inability to be transparent and honest about wanting a healthy, committed relationship seems to stem from a fear of appearing too needy, too interested, or just too much when it comes to dating and intimacy. These insecurities have always been present in the realm of dating but are now exacerbated because of technology’s influence on dating.
There’s nothing wrong with casual dating. And there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be in a committed relationship. We all have the right to explore dating and romantic relationships in any way that feels good to us. And that can evolve and shift depending on where we’re at in life.
But this post is for those who deeply desire a committed relationship and feel the social pressure of having to settle with serial dating, one-night stands, and emotionally unavailable individuals.
When I was single, I too, boarded the serial dating train and dabbled with the dating apps. Sure, it was fun and exciting to have an endless amount of matches and potential people to date. And it certainly made for entertaining stories. But at the end of the day I found it exhausting. It seemed to me that most people were really just looking for a fling. Nothing committed or deep.
Because of these experiences, I began to believe that this was just the way it was when it came to dating. I just needed to settle with casually dating. Finding a longer-term relationship probably wasn’t likely.
What happened was that I became dishonest with myself about what I truly wanted. I wanted to be in a loving, committed relationship. And I felt guilty for that.
It felt like I needed play it “cool” and be okay with half-interested guys and the one-night stands. It was this performance of, “yeah this is fun and exciting. Why would you want anything else? Who needs monogamy?”
Eventually, I grew tired of the dating scene and took some time to focus on myself.
During that time with myself, I realized I felt shame for wanting a healthy, committed relationship. And that shame was keeping me stuck in the belief that it wasn’t possible to find one. When I started becoming honest and truthful about what I really wanted, it came to me.
I know it almost sounds too easy but it’s a true story. Now you’re wondering, ‘how did I get there?’
I began to set clear boundaries when I started dating again. If someone showed me they were half-interested or emotionally unavailable, then I was out. It was hard at first, because like many women feel, there’s hope that things could change—“maybe they’ll become more committed over time”, “maybe if I show them how great I am, they’ll be more interested”, etc.
I also adopted the famous quote from Maya Angelou as my mantra, “when people show you who they are, believe them the first time.” This served me well. I set an expectation for people to show up just as much as I was and needed. The more I believed in what I wanted out of a relationship and honored that, I ended up meeting a really wonderful partner who I’m still goin’ strong with.
We really do attract what we believe and what we accept (or tolerate). If we only accept less than what we deserve, then that’s what we’re going to get. If we aren’t clear on our worthiness and don’t believe it’s possible to find a partner who will meet our needs, then we’ll probably get that too. The mind is a powerful vessel.
Wanting a committed relationship doesn’t make you weak or needy. It just means your human and you long for connection and intimacy—which we’re hardwired for!
You can find a healthy, committed relationship even in this crazy world of modern dating. It takes staying committed and truthful to what you want and seeing it through by having firm boundaries and values in dating. As with all things in life, if you’re clear on what you deserve you will begin to attract it.