: a promise to do or give something
: a promise to be loyal to someone or something
: the attitude of someone who works very hard to do or support something
Full Definition of commitment
1a : an act of committing to a charge or trust: as (1) : a consignment to a penal or mental institution (2) : an act of referring a matter to a legislative committee b : mittimus
2a : an agreement or pledge to do something in the future; especially : an engagement to assume a financial obligation at a future dateb : something pledgedc : the state or an instance of being obligated or emotionally impelled <a commitment to a cause>
Source: Merriam-Webster’s Learner’s Dictionary
I have had numerous conversations about marriage and commitment, the most recent with a friend explaining how I didn’t feel the need to be married because of my commitment to my partner and relationship – hence the title of this post. Since I was about 16 years old, I felt that I didn’t want to get married – or rather felt that I didn’t need to. I felt that if I was in a loving, committed relationship then that was ample. I also felt that if I did get married, it would be once only and that my commitment to my spouse was for life – til death do us part – so to speak. I also feel that the marriage is between the two people involved and not anyone else. I feel that however anyone chooses to celebrate their marriage is the sole decision for the couple involved. I had always wanted a small ceremony or best yet – to elope! It has sparked numerous conversations, expressing of opinions and perspectives and I respect them all and also hoped mine were also respected. I have always been unconventional to the chagrin of my parents.
I have never felt the need to be married despite being with my partner for 19 years but last year I read a book by Elizabeth Gilbert titled Committed which helped me to grow better accustomed to the idea of marriage. She was writing about marriage because she had been married once before and so had her partner. They both agreed not to marry again but they hit a snag. The ultimatum was that they needed to get married in order to be able to stay in a relationship together in her country of residence. Elizabeth Gilbert worked through all her thoughts and misgivings about getting married in order to come to terms with getting married again. You can read the excerpt of the story here: http://www.elizabethgilbert.com/books/committed-a-love-story/
I wasn’t afraid to get married – I just didn’t feel the need to. As I read through the book, some feelings and themes resonated with me and enabled me get to the point where I felt I was ready to get married but still didn’t feel the need to. I felt that my partner had been patiently waiting and loving as I had yet to come to agreement with him on the topic. I felt is was important that I come to the decision on my own, not as a result of other people’s persuasion.
We planned a family holiday – our first overseas trip to Seattle to visit family and then Hawaii – somewhere I have always wanted to go! As a result of going to Hawaii, I realised that we could get married while we were there and about a month before we were due to leave for our trip, while we were visiting one of my dearest friends – I mentioned to my partner that we could get married in Hawaii to which he readily agreed and said “Ok, let’s do it!”. I had always had the desire to elope and Hawaii provided the perfect opportunity to do so! It was the biggest hint for my friend but he didn’t quite pick up on it! My immediate family had their suspicions when we announced we were going to Hawaii but weren’t entirely sure because we were going to Seattle prior to Hawaii. As a result, I started planning our wedding along with our holiday! I still feel that you need to have the commitment to each other and your relationship before the marriage. I feel that without the commitment, there is no marriage.
Most of my friends and family felt that my partner and I were ‘married’ as we had been together for many years and also have a family together. Although some family members have asked when were we going to get married – to which I would always reply “We’re not.” Two of my sisters also suggested that I could have a ‘commitment ceremony’ to which my partner and I both didn’t want. I felt the marriage ceremony was a formality for me but our preference would be a marriage ceremony over a commitment ceremony. I also feel strongly about marriage equality and wish that I lived in a country that embraced it – it’s still a work in progress!
As a result, we didn’t tell anyone of our plans – not even my cousins that we visited and resided with while in Seattle! On the first morning in Hawaii, we had a lovely wedding ceremony at Waialae beach in Kahala. We lived my motto of Laugh, Love, Live! and enjoyed our special time together as it became our first family holiday overseas, wedding and honeymoon all rolled into one! It was perfect for us, we had a lovely ceremony officiated by Leah Noble
, our celebrant. In my email correspondence with Leah, I already felt connected and couldn’t wait to meet her – she emailed the same way as she spoke! She was warm, friendly and very engaging. Leah made us feel at ease as soon as we met and highly recommend her! Leah picked us up at our hotel, drove us to Waialae beach, married us and took photos – that’s what we call service!
When we arrived back home, even though I couldn’t reach her until late that evening, I called my mum to let her know first before we told other family and close friends. It has been a year since that has happened and we have enjoyed celebrating our first year of marriage and 20 years together. We have very fond memories of our first trip to Seattle and Hawaii and look forward to many more years celebrating our love and commitment – a journey that we’ve always been committed to sharing together!