Before you head out on that first date, the only promise you and your date make to each other is that you’ll actually turn up. At the back of your head, you’re not even sure that you’ll stick to this promise. After all, you’re pretty darn nervous and you’ve never even met the guy, so what does it really matter if you break a promise?
But once you’re in a long and lasting relationship with someone who you can see yourself growing old with, it’s high time to start making a few promises that you will definitely keep. These promises are designed to build trust, friendship and love. They are meant to show just how much you care for one another, and how much you value your relationship.
1. You Promise To Listen To One Another
Communication is at the heart of many things in life, including a relationship. Without the ability to listen to one another, couples will find it hard to evolve, compromise and generally continue being together.
But it’s important to remember that communication is a two-way thing. For as much as you want your own voice to be heard, it’s important that you listen to what your partner has to say too. Listening to them means understanding; it means taking onboard what they are saying and working out a compromise or a solution with them.
2. You Promise To Let Each Other Be Themselves
When we first start dating someone, we can see that they have a few disagreeable traits. But we assume that it’s okay, because we can put these things right later on.
But “putting things right” is not okay, because you got together with them and not an altered version of them. Nobody likes to be changed; it’s important that you respect and love someone for who they are. Let them be themselves, and encourage them to be who they are.
3. You Promise To Find Time For Each Other
“Honey, you still haven’t read my thesis. Could you read it tonight?”
“Aww, I’m sorry. I’m going out tonight with the girls. I promise I’ll give it a look over when I’m making dinner tomorrow.”
“You said that six weeks ago.”
“Aww, kiss kiss.”Life does get hectic, especially in 2015, when the man and the woman are both expected to have careers. But you really can’t afford to get complacent with your relationship. Finding time for one another is important, even after a long, exhausting day at work. If you both fail to find the time for one another, you might find that your relationship is hitting some rocky terrain.
4. You Promise To Stick By Each Other When Things Get Rough
It’s absolutely fine for you to be there for one another during the sunny days. If your man is doing really well at work, you’re happy and supportive of him. But what happens during the rainy season? Will you be there with an umbrella, or will you be hiding away from the storm?
A lifelong commitment to someone means being there during the bad times, as well as the good times. It means nursing them when they are sick, and supporting them when they’re out of work. It means cheering them up when they’re feeling blue, and helping them cope with the loss of important people in their life.
5. You Promise To Respect Each Other
If you’re heading out for the night with your friends, have some respect for your partner by returning home when you said you’ll be home. Moreover, if you’re a total drunken mess, sleep in the spare room, okay? And when they call … answer the phone!
6. You Promise To Each Other To Stay True To Yourselves
Before we get into a relationship, we often have our own individual goals. We want a successful career, financial security; we have a projected path of self-development, and perhaps we even want to go back to school to do an MBA.
But when we get into a long-term relationship, it can be very easy to forget about all these self-development goals. Instead, we slip into a life of pyjamas, cuddles and ice-cream. It’s important, though, that this doesn’t happen. Your partner got together with you for you, and they want you to continue being who you were. They don’t want you to lose sight of your goals, simply because you’ve grown comfortable in life.
7. You Promise To Compromise
In a relationship, there are times when you might have to compromise over something as simple as choosing what to watch on television tonight, or when you have to compromise over something as complex as how much your partner should drink.
Before you get into a long-term relationship, you should make a vow to one another that you will settle disputes peacefully and work hard to reach a compromise. If you don’t, each argument could turn into a ferocious and bitter war where no one wins. And you don’t need us to tell you how messy this could be.
*And after you’ve had a fight, one of you has to order pizza.
8. You Promise To Be Each Other’s Cheerleader
It’s one thing for you to be excited about your small victories in life, such as a promotion at work or a new dress that you bought at the sale, but it’s equally important that you celebrate your partner’s victories too.
Although the fact that he struck two under-par on the golf range might mean absolutely nothing to you, it means a whole lot to him – and he wants you to get behind him. So rather than play with your hair and sarcastically say “great”, you need to make a solemn vow to get behind one another and cheer each other on. It’s a team effort, people.
9. You Promise To Keep Things Exciting
You might think you’ve done the hard work in getting together, but thinking like this means you’ll both become complacent and drift into a life of 9-5 monotony. Do you really want to do the same humdrum thing, week-in, week-out? Of course you don’t!
If you expect your partner to be happy with a life of stultifying routine, you’ve got troubles. Yes, life can get really busy, but it’s important that you work on your relationship and keep things exciting. You can do this via surprises, or impromptu trips, such as a camping trip straight after work on Friday.
10. You Promise To Look After Your Health
If you live alone with absolutely no ties to anyone else, you can do whatever you want with your body. You can pig out, each night as much as you want, drink as much as you want, and smoke as much as you want.
But when you’re in a relationship, you have a commitment to the other person to stay healthy. They love you and want to spend as many years together with you as possible. They don’t want to see you go to rack and ruin, to the point where you can’t even play ball with your kids anymore without wheezing and fainting. It just isn’t fair. So ditch the junk food and hit the gym, ok?