Originally Posted by Octopus
How can I better explain that one can indeed be committed to one's partners while having relationships with others?
You've already identified that "committed" is a term that comes with baggage. People will use this to mean "long term agreement" or "sexual exclusivity" or "till death do us part under punishment of eternal torture"... you get my drift.
My response when people use these open ended terms like "commitment" or "love" is to ask them what they mean when they use them. Are we talking about life long contract to live with someone? Sexual exclusivity? Sharing bills? We are all grown ups here, we can actually use words which describe what we are talking about. Press people to explain TO YOU what it is that they mean.
Letting people hide behind catch-all words like this allows them to be intellectually lazy. I prefer to challenge people to actually be clear about what they are asking me and what stances they will rally behind.