Got my coffee in hand and I’m excited to be writing this post for you today. I’ve been getting some questions about interest lately and I want to share my opinion on the subject.
Today’s post is going to focus on COMMITMENT and why it’s the most important factor when it comes to dating and relationships. A lot of people focus on interest levels which in my opinion is a mistake.
I’m sure you see or know certain people in your life that just seem to ‘get it’. They have healthy relationships, they never have a problem dating good people, they have the dating life you wish you could have.
Well in my experience, the people with the BEST relationships tend to understand that commitment is the #1 factor. They know through experience that ‘signs of interest’ don’t really mean a thing…
Now a lot of websites and forums out there that focus on attraction and dating talk a lot about interest levels. I had a friend tell me the other day that he can never tell how interested a girl is because it never seems to be consistent.
Well, yes! This is why interest doesn’t mean anything in the long-run. Interest comes and goes.
If you’re stuck looking for interest levels of people you like, then you’re going to be too caught up in your head trying to figure out how he or she feels about you at any given time.
In other words, you’re seeking reactions and that’s a big no-no in the dating game.
Did they text you today? If so, are they texting you a lot or a little? Did you text first or not? Have you heard from this person recently? Do they come to your dates or are they bailing on them?
These are just a small number of questions that you’ll have running in your head IF you keep focusing on interest.
Let’s Focus On Commitment
In my experience and seeing it happen to everybody else, it’s much better to focus on commitment instead of interest.
As you can see from the questions above, all of those factors will be running through your head when you’re trying to figure out the interest level of a said person you like.
But the reality is that it’s truly impossible let those be a gauge of how interested a person is.
What if the person texting you is simply bored and lonely today? What if the person you’re texting was raised to be nice and hence responding out of respect? What if the person texting you is an insecure attention whore that leads everybody on?
These are all important questions to ask yourself as well IF you’re focused on interest-levels.
So, I figured out that it’s much better to just FORGET about interest levels and instead focus on COMMITMENT.
Because let’s be honest here – someone that commits to you is probably interested in you. The more they commit, the more you can assume that they’re interested.
But if you’ve ever taken relationship coaching from me, you’ll know that I stress for you to not assume things because assuming incorrectly can lead to a bad situation.
Examples of Commitment
So I simply focus on commitment as it’s the most important factor in dating and relationships.
What is commitment then?
For me, I look at commitment as any sort of action that the guy or girl does where they go out of their way for you.
This could be as simple as driving to the date spot. This could be as small as texting you during the week curious about how you’re doing and interested in seeing you. Coming over and making dinner or baking cupcakes is another level of commitment that’s great.
In regards to the texting example above, you need to be careful about this one. If you’re always the one texting first, then that’s a bad sign because it’s you putting in the effort and not your partner.
So I don’t want you to take out your phone and start texting your partner everyday about how they’re doing. Not only will this get old fast, it can come off quite needy if you’re always the one doing it.
Relationships are a two-way street. You must keep this in mind.
There have been times when I stopped texting a girl, and then she never texted me – and we never saw each other again!
You might be thinking, “well Rick, why didn’t you text her? She was waiting for your text…” and my response is always the same – relationships take TWO people to work. If she’s not willing to put in any effort to text me, then that just shows me she isn’t a good partner.
Look at it this way – relationships are about commitment. If it’s always me texting a girl, where am I going to be able to gauge her commitment?
The answer is that I’m not. Since I’m always the one putting in the effort first, I never truly get to see how committed she is.
Therefore, if a girl isn’t willing to pick up her phone and text me first just as much as I do, then that’s a sign that this girl probably isn’t the type to keep any sort of commitments at the moment. It’s best not to pursue.
Higher Levels of Commitment
Higher levels of commitment could be honesty – opening up and telling you about their past. This is a big step in commitment that a lot of people don’t look for early on.
I personally get people to open up to me about their past before I even date them because I like to know who I’m dating.
To do this, I first talk openly about myself. I don’t mind talking about my past relationships and my life journey. Women love stories and the more you open yourself up and share who you are, the more she’s going to open up.
But again, there are always cases where this can be wrong. You need to have a good filter and be a judge of a good character. But this comes with experience and can be tough. So the best piece of advice I can offer on this is to just simply listen and think with your GUT.
If your partner is sharing with you about how no one can date her and you’re better off finding someone else and all that, then this is a sure sign that your partner has insecurity issues. It might be wise to not commit to this person right now.
But if your partner is opening up about their journey and is positive about life in general, then this is a great sign. Share some information about your life story and build that connection.
These actions of sharing who you are and opening yourself up builds commitment. It shows that you’re human, shows that you’re imperfect. Any little action that focuses on making the relationship better for the both of you is commitment. And you need to appreciate these actions.
Actions Speak Louder Than Words
The actions you take in the beginning of the relationship will always set the foundation for the relationship. Get this part wrong and you’ll end up in a toxic relationship.
But get this right and you’ll have developed a strong connection in the beginning which will lead to better things down the road.
Experience helps with this. Being able to see the types of actions you’re getting will help you determine whether this will be a good relationship or not.
This is why most relationships that were developed using pick-up lines, Tinder and other shallow mediums rarely work out – there’s a lack of honesty in those approaches.
But when you’re leading the relationship through your REAL self, such as with stories and sharing parts of your life, this honesty is something that people connect with naturally.
This is why I don’t look for interest in women. Just because she appears to be interested right now doesn’t mean she’ll be in 10 minutes.
I focus on commitment. I open up, share my opinions, let her relate with me a bit and then I share some more. This connection becomes a snowball effect and it just builds and builds.
Healthy, long-lasting relationships are built on commitment, not interest.
Just because this person you’re with wants you right now doesn’t mean they’ll want you tomorrow.
Sometimes people that you’re dating are only dating you because they’re bored.
This is another big factor you must keep in mind.
By testing for their level of commitment (such as cutting back on your texting habits), you can see if they take action to reach out to you and show that commitment.
With this knowledge, think about some other ways you can check for commitment.
Like I said above, sometimes people date out of boredom.
They’re using you to pass the time.
Don’t be used. Don’t be manipulated.
Learn how to become the best, most attractive version of yourself.
It’s killer for relationships. Go here:
Beautiful article!! Out of all you have written (and I have read everything) this is the one I have connected with the most.
The boredom/loneliness issue has been one are I have wondered and questioned often in my on again off again relationship.
Thanks again :)
Thanks so much for the comment :)
Jack Bill says
Aopefully this post isn’t too long and you get a chance to answer it.. So I was dating this young early 20’s girl in college for a couple months we recently broke up but here’s the story I’m curious whether its doomed or it can be salvaged. . I had no idea what bpd was or what came along with it but the first few months were really good she was really passionate about me , told me alot of nice things ” you were the only person I was looking forward to seeing when I came back” ” im so happy we talk I thought you were cute last year but I had a bf” etc etc. . Everything was really nice , a few months in she started opening up saying she had BPD , she used to cut herself, was raped twice when she was younger .. father left her and came back when she was older, unstable house hold drugs etc..all these unbelievable events that you wouldn’t associate with someone who just turned 20, anyways she was really insecure and jealous about things I couldn’t control.. ” a girl coming and sitting beside me in the café” etc. . Anyways at one point during the relationship I went out with friends during an “on off period” just went dancing had fun. . Only to come back and see that I was taken off Snapchat , FB , insta etc. . All outlets. I was confused .. my # was blocked for a good day or so.. i eventually got to her asked her why she did it.. “she said to get my attention” anyways she “broke up” with me for about a day we got back.. rinse repeat for about a month .. i wouldn’t hear from her for a weekend or something then she would send a long winded txt saying things like” I’m not healthy” “this isn’t good for either of us” very long and drawn out, I don’t know if she was trying to scare me away or she was trying to explain her inner deamons which i just couldn’t feel or relate to..I said okay if you say so type thing.. she ends up coming back a few days later.. I then start to ignore her txts closer to feb because she essentially broke up with me so i was like okay ill stay back. . She ends up working for about 2 weeks to get back into my good books.. so at this point it’s mid February and she comes over and says let’s take it slow .. were talking about boundaries. . I say like your the only girl i want etc. . So okay all is good right? Not quite 2 days later i go over as her phones dead to talk to her .. we get into a little argument .. she says we shouldn’t do this. . So she worked 2-3 weeks to win me back only to drop me 48 hrs after saying will work on things? Kind of rubbed me the wrong way almost seemed like she just wanted to end with the power.. anyways based on her hold cold push pull in the past .. I honestly thought she was kidding because of how many times she said something like that.. anyways i give her 14 days no tx ting but she still would see me and flirt in public.. so on day 14 i txt her basically saying were you serious she was like yeah.. ” I don’t know what i want to do with my life etc”but also I would get mixed signals like she would kiss me we’d make out blah blah .. i dunno it was so hard to decipher , like was this just a game.. from past relationships the guy used to try make up in a big way flowers etc. . Was me just showing up to talk , showing I didn’t really want to put effort in to “have her” I don’t know. . Anyways throughout that time more mixed signals.. in my eye at least we didn’t really txt for a good 10 days but then one day we just happened to go eat in the cafe at the same time. . She starts grabbing my hand putting it near her V .. throwing her legs over me. . Touching my D.. like I didn’t know what to think. . Which made me reach out to her via txt cause her words weren’t matching her body language. .. so i was like ” I don’t think we should do that in public if you wanna get over me” .. “she’s like yeah i just forget that were broken up ” in my head im just like???? All that’s happened is shes left me floating in this denial phase saying things like “i like you , but we can’t be together” ” i don’t want to hang out , it will confuse things. .. its really hard to not have sex with you” just massive push pull msgs… that left me believing well im gonna “win” this girl back because it just seemed like a reverse psychology video game.. which only made me “chase” or reach out more to “change her mind” anyways after a day or two of short txting “expressing” my feelings .. “she starts to say things like I need time to think , give me a day to think about it” … she txts me the nxt day saying she had a dream about me yelling at her……. ummm ok? I push a little harder ” you base your dream off real life” so I push a little harder. . She then says I like you , but were done we aren’t anything. . We shouldn’t be txting. .. i was like hmm okay I didn’t think it was a problem but okay. . Shes like please dont txt me , im really stressed blah blah… it just really took me for a whirl after all the mixed signals…. she kinda left me in the denial phase based off indecision? Or being nice? I’m honestly not sure.. but it just always seemed like a game , like I was gonna seduce her then we would have make up se* and be all good.. but me being so wrapped up in the mind games it just made me look desperate and needed. . I kinda felt she reeled me in but I dunno. . Is there a recovery? Alot of ppl would say move on in life which I’m prepared to do but as “crazy” as she was I liked it she would behead a girl for looking at me .. just very passionate and caring about me.. as valid as reasons were for splitting do i just ignore her when I see her.. she made it clear to not txt.. as much as “she likes me” .. i also suggested that social media thing she did was in the past.. she agreed said yeah will add each other back. .. i went to add her back and she declined haha.. at one point I was in control then lost the wheel and the car crashed quite bad , help me brother.
Well when she told you all those things about her, why did you continue to see her? She was basically telling you that she isn’t ready for a relationship and wants you to know that you shouldn’t take this relationship seriously. So you just need to take responsibility for how all of this turned out. It’s 100% your fault. You tried to build a relationship with a woman who wasn’t anywhere near ready. So that’s all on you brother. Next time when a woman is telling you all this dark stuff, that’s when you know to keep things friendly and casual. You DO NOT pursue relationships with people who are not ready, period. Because if you do, that really makes you just as messed up as her.
This is why I hate the whole BPD label because you’re now probably going to think every girl with BPD is crazy. But that isn’t true. I know people with BPD who work very hard at having a normal, stable life. They aren’t messed up at all like this girl.
But yeah the problem you have rests on your shoulders. You tried to pursue a relationship with a girl who isn’t ready. That’s it.
Jack Bill says
Fair enough I’ll take the responsibility but why would she work so hard to get me back , only to break up with me 48 hrs later. Or why say “text me” then if I text she wouldn’t respond? I’m just having a hard time understanding the smaller details. I see the big picture. Realistically how would I go about hitting the reset button? If possible.
I don’t know why. That’s part of the point I’m making. I don’t have all the answers, nobody has all the answers. What I do know is that we need to just worry about our own selves. We have no control over what other people think and say. Your ex could be feeling strong for you at one point, and then 5 minutes later not want you at all, and then want you again 5 minutes after that. Emotions are an untamed beast in most. So the big picture is just not worrying about this unpredictable behavior because you can’t do anything about it. It’s out of your control. Just don’t worry about it.
As for the reset button, that button is just for you to keep doing your own thing. I would suggest you don’t go out and see her. I would suggest that until she actually makes an effort to come over to your house and see you, you just don’t take her seriously.
Enjoyed ur article I most say and has being very educative. Just feel I share an experience with u and need u to advice me on it. Have known a girl for close 3 years, became close to her like 6 month after I met her thru her friend Wic was my friend. I liked her the first monet I set my eyes on her and had this connecting feelings for her buh as at den was still trying to get close to her because I wanted to study and know the type of person she was b4 pouring my mind out to her. To cut the long story short we became very close after a year we met and I saked her out unfortunately she just started seeing somebody else den and I guess the love was still burning and all so she turned dowm my request and was like why didn’t I ask her out b4 now that she just started seeing somebody and she has fallen in love with him, that if I had asked her out earlier she would have accepted and all that. So I had to keep my distance buh we were still friends and was calling her once in a while until I noticed if I call some times a guy would pick her phone call and b like who do I want to speak to and who I was to her and all that, later on the babe was no longer picking my call and if she picks she would give some excuse that she was busy and I should call her back
And if I try to call her back she would not pick again. So I decided to stop calling her. I guess towards to a year after we last heard from each other she contacted me and was like she had tried reaching me that’s she could not get thru cos I was off line for close to six month and all, we got to see and we talked and I told her I still had feelings for her and I asked if she was still seeing her boi friend, from her responds Iknew tinz were not going on well. So she explained to me that the guy was not treating her right and he does not trust her and all of that, that she was tired and she was no longer interested. So I started wooing her to date me, she was like if I had asked her out b4 her present boy friend that she would accepted Bcos she liked me and she was not seeing anybody den, she also said she was lonely and was really in need of somebody that why she went out with the boi friend den. To cut the long story short, she accepted to date me and she was like buh would give her time to break up with this guy, I accepted. In all of this the girl and her so called boy friends where not in good terms so I was expecting her to call it quiet btw dem and I insisted that she should since she was like she did not want the relationship again, she told me she is trying to be careful with her boy friend that she knows he is not interested in it either but he does not want to be the one to say it’s over and that was what she was running from to. So she pleaded and asked me to just be patient with her so I kept calm and was minding my business, she was always calling me and I called her too, she showed interest and was committed until we had a little misunderstanding and she got upset about it, even b4 dis misunderstanding I noticed she had chanced, for a whole day she did not pick up my calls I pleaded with her we got back together buh I noticed there was something not right, I talked to her about it and she was like every thing was fine that I am just worrying over nothing. I was still not convinced so I had to call her and she opened up that her boy friend had come to plead with her and after so much pleading she just had to say she has heard, so I asked her so what would happen to us, she was like we are still good and she still love me buh that the guy in question was just so all over her that she had no choice than to say she accept him back. She den told me that norrin serious is btw dem that she has told him she was no longer interested ans since he was not listening to her she has no choice that to deceive him by telling him she has accepted him back. To cut the long story short I notice after a while she no longer calls me has she has being doing, most times if I call her late at night her line would be busy, we don’t talk, connect has we used to. So I noticed they have started seeing each other back and I guess she still love him and all, so I called her and told her that I ave decided and I wanna know what her decisions is, that she can’t eat her cake and have it that she has to pick one person btw me or the other guy, she was like she know what she is doinf that I have to be patient and all, I den told her that I can’t cope with the feeling of knowing the girl I love is loving someone else and as it is she is taking the other guy of greater importance than I am to her so she has to decide on who she wants to be with. I told her if she wants to be with me she has to break up with the other guy and if she wants to be with him then she should lemme know so I can forget about her and look for my luv else where. Most tell u that decision was a hard one to make. She was ok that she has heard and she was gonna get back to me on her decision. Am still yet to hear from her on her decision buh I don’t think it’s gonna be in my favour. The situation has being really heavy in my heart and that why am shearing it to get advice and know what u feel about it all. Thanks!
I hope you have the time to read this one . its short, but a little complicated for me! I’m going to make this long story very short.
3 and a half years a go I met this girl and we became friends and I found out that she is moving on from her last relationship and was still in Love with the guy! so I decided to just be friends with her. she started liking me. she didnt talked about that guy anymore. she always paid attention to me and she always was showing me that she likes me.
but at that time I wasnt there where she was and I Liked someone else actually. after 6 months I started having feelings for her . we became more close and about a month later I told her that we should start dating but she said we are good friends and she was not going to date me and that was when I stuck in her friend zone! time passed and I couldn’t resist any more so I stopped seeing her . she dated someone else for a moth we got back together after she broke up and nothing had changed so we stopped seeing each other again for 6 months. she got lonely after another break up but this time she was madly in Love with that other guy. again after 4 months we stopped seeing each other for another 6 months. this time I was seeing someone else too. she became jealous and her cousin told me that its a good time for me to move up and ask her out . I did. but got rejected again. we stopped seeing each other again for 9 months. during this time I was determined not to answer her calls or reply to her messages. but every 2 or 3 week she sent me messages that she misses me . she sent me songs that was about missing and love and I was the one and… I was sure that she had feelings for me. we started seeing each other. she Kissed me for the first time.we spent some romantic nights and etc… but those kisses didnt happen any more. we fought a lot and she kept telling me that I just run away , that I dont fight for her. I cant really read her. she is kind to me when I dont pay attention to her. but when Im normal its like she’s a friend. she does’nt kiss me and she says that Its soon and she is not there yet. what can I do to make this work. I really Love this one!
Well you’re making the typical mistake of trying to lock down a girl. That’s not how dating works these days. I purposely friend zone myself and show my awesome qualities so that women will make the moves and lock me down. I suggest you do this from now on. The old way of dating just isn’t effective.
But what if you stop texting her or stop pursuing her to see if she responds, while she is doing the same, then you both want the other to pursue but nobody does it
First things first: stop fantasizing about what could be going on. These are just fantasies in your head. You really have no idea what she is thinking. So to think about future events and scenarios and whatnot is very poisonous for the mind. The other point is that you could be right! But that does you no good. In all of my experience, when a girl isn’t texting the guy, she just really isn’t interested. Relationships are 50/50 and if she’s not willing to put in some work, then she’s not worth dating. Find a girl that appreciates you and is willing to work for you. You’ll be much happier in the long-run.
Be honest with yourself, in nearly all cases it is quite obvious who should respond. If you don’t believe that things are as clearcut as that, you are only making up excuses. So, if you are that type of person that overthinks everything, send her a message, and leave her an opening, but set a boundary and stick to it. If she doesn’t come around, don’t pursue. Remember, respecting yourself is key!
Hello, we broke up abt a month ago bt some things made us be in touch. She is giving me this hot/cold behavior but I go with the flow instead. To cut the long story short she was insecure but accused me of it among other things which I did and I’m improving myself now. A mutual friend told me that she said she wants me back tho she pushed me away… it was more of dump u b4 u dump me. I’ve tested her to cook me some coffee which she agreed willingly, to see me off to work she agreed. she’s from a single mum brought up by grandparents. If I say I don’t love her I’ll be lying… somehow she is around me yet we are exes. the other day caught her going through my texts after borrowing my phone. please help me out here
Great article and I am trying to take your advice. I am seeing this girl with bp for three months. She has been honest with me the whole time. She’s has different fb accounts and she stays on the internet till 4am cuz she can’t sleep. She does do sneaky stuff like clear her call n text log but I never caught her on anything. Some of these stories I read scare me. She doesn’t go out much if we don’t hangout. I hope thay doesn’t change in the future. Anyway everything seems great so far but she had a bad spending spree and she has no job. I want to help her but am afraid if she using me for that reason. She says she doesn’t want me to help her but I feel she say that to make me feel guilty.
Stop feeling guilty. You gotta ignore that stuff. She is right in that you aren’t supposed to help her. No girl wants a man to help her. I wish I knew why men think that women want help? Because I just don’t get why men think this. So yeah, don’t help her. Like you said, things are going well. So don’t change anything. But I personally would never date a girl who isn’t working her ass off to get her self a job. That’s just foolish if you want my opinion.
Hey Rick. I help her a little bit. She can’t work cuz she is on disability. She can’t sleep n wake up in morning. But yes so far everything seem good. I enjoy reading your advice.
Hi Rick – Long after this article was written but I hope you will reply! Been seeing a guy for 2 years now. We have a beautiful relationship, we don’t argue or fight. We are both divorced – me 9 years him 2. I have 3 boys, him 2 girls but we don’t mix our families. His girls live overseas.we took 9 months of cultivating our relationship before we even met family members. We live separately, and see each other mostly when my children are with their father. We have lots of common interest and the relationship is very easy, and compatible. He needs to spend time overseas to see his kids so this is a complication, but we are working around it by me visit while he is there ect. The uncertainty we are now faced with is the levels of commitment due to past issues. He was married to a narcissist. The marriage left him very scarred. Eg: he says he doesn’t want to grow old with someone – doesn’t want to get married – doesn’t know what Love means. I have been very accommodating of this as I know what his marriage did to him. Having said this he has shown many signs of being committed as you have mentioned in your article. He cares very much for me by doing things or me, by reaching out, calling and taking me overseas when he needs to travel. He calls us companions, but we do also share a very deep intimate, social and emotional connection. I also don’t necessarily need to be married but I do want to know that I am with someone who feels mutually committed whatever that means. I want to know that one day we will still hopefully be taking walks together. Is this wrong of me to think like this and nothing in life carries any certainty? Should one just take life one day at a time and enjoy each day and moment for what it is? I am trying very hard to navigate this because it would be a pity to love our precious connection.
You’re thinking just how a woman should think. Nothing wrong with that. All you really need to say to him is something like “I want you to know that I’m happy with what we have. As long as this continues, I’ll always be yours and I hope I’ll be enough for you. I don’t want to share you with other women ;)” No mention of marriage or anything, just letting him know that you want to be his ownly woman.