An excerpt from The Art of Falling in Love about commitment.
Commitment is the bedrock of love. It is the decision to continue a relationship, to love someone and to maintain the love. It constitutes a measurement of how strongly we value our relationship. When one is committed to another, it means that he or she will always be there with the other person — no matter what — and will always be there for the other person.
Commitment keeps lovers together when life and its circumstances try to pull people apart. It gives safety and assurance. Committed lovers know that passing emotions — anger, sadness, frustration — never foretell the demise of the relationship. It means that no matter what one feels as she walks out the door in the morning that she is coming back. No pitfall, no person, no situation will be allowed to separate committed lovers.
We want the intimacy and the passion that makes love magnificent, but we just as strongly want to know that our lover will be with us tomorrow and a thousand tomorrows after that. We want to know that the other person is with us through thick and thin. Good times and bad. When we deserve our lover and when we do not.
In a truly loving relationship, we have an unalterable need within us to have absolute confidence that both of us are committed to maintaining our relationship. We have a need to know without any doubt that neither of us would ever let another person or anything come between us, no matter what. We have a need to believe with assurance that each of us is certain of our love for the other, that our love will last for the rest of our lives, and that our relationship will be stable. We have a need within to know that each feels responsibility for the other. Moreover, that neither person considers the possibility of the relationship ever ending.
Romantic love without commitment is like leaping from a plane without a parachute. You may experience the most intense physical sensations and maximum emotions of your life, but it ends badly.
Very, very badly.