Are Love Promises Sustaining or Mere Illusions?
Love promises have been around for as long as romance appeared. These future commitments usually happen during moments of intense passion or fear.
Those who make love promises likely want to fulfill them. However, they aren’t always aware of how likely they are to honor that commitment in the future. Thus, they sometimes become lies.
A good part of the trust in a relationship arises from the possibility of believing in one another. Inconsistency fractures relationships, as it damages the ability to trust. Love promises create expectations people don’t always fulfill. Are love promises a good idea? Is it best not to make them?
Romantic love promises
Although it’s paradoxical, love promises serve the purpose of creating a sense of stability in the person who expresses them. “I’ll love you forever” is a statement intended to give certainty and forge long-term expectations. The same goes for “I’ll never find another you” or “You can always count on me”.
Marriage is the formalization of a series of promises. A covenant whereby each partner undertakes a series of behaviors towards their partner. The expectation is for the relationship to last forever. Nevertheless, some people interpret these promises as part of the love folklore. They understand that a person who promises most likely means what they say. However, things could change in the future.
Furthermore, other people cling to such promises like a castaway clings to a lifesaver. A person who’s already lacking affection, is dependent, or identifies union as the ultimate fulfillment of their vital desire may take on the promise in a much deeper and decisive way.
Love promises and conflict
Some love promises are more complex because people state them after a conflict. Usually, they’re about not repeating some objectionable behavior. “I’ll never lie again” or “I’ll never cheat on you again,” for example.
These aren’t actual love promises, though. In fact, they can lead to a radical loss of trust when broken. They also help shape toxic relationships, in which a person’s word increasingly loses value.
The main effects of broken promises are disappointment and communication breakdown. This is because what the other says ceases to be credible and pacts begin to lose value. It leads way to an inadequate type of dialogue in which chides, lack of faith in one’s partner, and the feeling that words don’t mean a thing takes precedence. This breaks a relationship, which must be based precisely on dialogue.
Forgive or revalue the word?
Cycles of broken love promises often end with new promises, acts of incomplete compensation, or non-granted forgiveness. There are times when someone can’t honor their promises due to an exceptional circumstance. The fact that it may not be possible to fulfill a commitment doesn’t mean you’ll never achieve it. In such cases, forgiveness gives way to a new pact, which a person fulfills this time around.
In spite of everything, it’s a good idea to evaluate the true weight of a promise in a relationship. Stability, peace of mind, and even affection are associated with it. Nothing makes a relationship stronger than trust and dialogue.
Thus, perhaps the solution doesn’t lie in fulfilling love promises but rather in thinking carefully before making them or doing so in terms that you can actually keep.
As a rule, love promises that include “always” or “never” represent serious challenges. This is because nobody can maintain stable behaviors. Thus, people must keep this in mind before claiming they’ll be able to do so with another.
In relevant issues, it’s important to properly measure the scope of the content of promises. It may be necessary to delimit it in a more precise way in time or to condition it to circumstances that may arise. Revaluing a promise will help you build a healthier relationship in which illusion prevails over disappointment and faith over despair.
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De Dios Larrú, J. (2017). Educar para la promesa. Quién: Revista de filosofía personalista, (5), 7-21.