Originally Posted by Eponine
I think honesty and respect are part of commitment, but not all. I also think you can have different kinds of commitment, including commitment to your friends.
To me, "committed" is the opposite of "casual", but not the same thing as "exclusive" at all. Commitment means we wish the relationship to last as long as it can, and we should work together to solve any problems in the relationship. It's not something we can (or should) walk away from easily, but it's not the "till death do us part" kind of deal either. We should try to keep it working, but if somehow it's not rewarding to us anymore, it should end.
I've done quite a bit of research on commitment in mono vs. non-mono/poly relationships. One difference between them is mono people tend to see commitment as final and permanent, a lifetime bond, a guaranteed future together, while non-mono people tend to see commitment as a free choice
and are more aware of the fluid nature of relationships.
Elaine Cook's thesis "Commitment in Polyamorous Relationships
" is also a good read.
I agree pretty much with all you say. But I'm curious, when you say non-mono people tend to see commitment as a free choice, do you mean that they are freely choosing each day to continue that commitment, as opposed to choosing to make the commitment once and then feeling bound by it? Because as one who would identify as mono, if pressed for an answer, I would say that my commitment to a person absolutely is
a free choice, but that by the very definition of the word, there is then some obligation to follow through. To me, commitment means nothing if we decide the next day that we are no longer committed.
I would say this raises the question of divorce. I made a commitment, but then filed for divorce. In thinking it through, I would have to add that the commitment XH and I made to one another did have some basic terms of agreement: we are committed to X, Y, and Z. When he broke those agreements, it nullified the commitment.
So I would add to my above definition that I believe a commitment inherently includes some terms of agreement.
The link doesn't work. It gives me a 404 File Not Found. Can you copy and paste? I'd like to read it.