I am a woman born 1949 and my quest is to find a mindmate
to grow old together as a mutually devoted couple
in a relationship based upon the
egalitarian rational commitment paradigm
bonded by intrinsic commitment
as each other's safe haven and secure basis.

The purpose of this blog is to enable the right man
to recognize us as reciprocal mindmates and
to encourage him to contact me:

The entries directly concerning,
who could be my mindmate,
are mainly at the beginning.
If this is your predominant interest,
I suggest to read this blog in the same order
as it was written, following the numbers.

I am German, therefore my English is sometimes faulty.

Maybe you have stumbled upon this blog not as a potential match.
Please wait a short moment before zapping.

Do you know anybody, who could be my mindmate?
Your neighbour, brother, uncle, cousin, colleague, friend?
If so, please tell him to look at this blog.
While you have no reason to do this for me,
a stranger, maybe you can make someone happy, for whom you care.

Do you have your own webpage or blog,
which someone like my mindmate to be found probably reads?
If so, please mention my quest and add a link to this blog.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

178. Creating Commitment - 3 - The Engagement Phase

Creating Commitment - 3 - The Engagement Phase

This is the continuation of entry 176

The purpose of the engagement phase is to verify during a lengthy period of time, if the behavior of the partner is consistent with his verbal agreements.    A man could have agreed to the framework, conditions, obligations, definition of unacceptable behaviors for several reasons:
1.   He could have consciously lied to manipulate me to accept him.
2.   He could have agreed sincerely but without having a clue, what he had agreed to or what it means to me.
3.   He could be gullible and easy to be superficially influenced.   He could have sincerely meant his answers at the moment of agreeing, but not as a real expression of his own personality, and other influences can just as easily have changed his mind before meeting or while being together.
4.   He could have agreed in full theoretical consent, but having too many weaknesses and personal issues, he is not able to comply with what he would like to do.
5.   His subjective baseline could be so different from mine, that we both define and interpret the same behavior in an incompatible way and therefore every agreement based upon using the same words was a misunderstanding, as the words do not mean the same.

In all these cases, a man's behavior would be inconsistent with my expectations based upon the engagement pact.    Therefore the best method is spending at least a month together in a nice and quiet place, where there are not too many distractions.   Getting tired by daily sightseeing may lead to the experience, how someone behaves under stress, but it impedes deep communication.    If one month is not enough, then this could be repeated or if the distance is not to long, then again there can be many days spent together.

For me, the purpose is to verify the theoretical answers from the decision phase :

1.  Do we really share values and attitudes?
Do we really agree in our definition of commitment and what obligations it means?  
Are these obligations a strong intrinsic motivation to self-control and accepting discomfort to be true to agreements?
What determines his behavior more, impulses and desires or moral imperatives and the preserving of his self-esteem as a decent person?
Is being bound by an agreement a moral imperative for him?
Does he ever hesitate to fulfil obligations or adhere to an agreement?
Is equality of the genders a high intrinsic value for him or does he only treat me as an equal for extrinsic reasons?
Does commitment change his subjective identity, does he stop perceiving himself as a single man with a woman attached and start perceiving himself as half of a bonded devoted couple?
Do we agree on a common baseline in evaluating behavior, attitudes and entitlements to fulfilling needs as being either a fair deal or selfish?

2.  Does the man have a conscience?
How does he react, when I give him feedback, that I feel hurt by something that he has done?   Does he react at all or is he indifferent?
Is my feedback for him enough reason to consider to change his behavior?
Does he feel responsible for the consequences of his actions?
When he commits a transgression, does he acknowledge it and does he feel guilt and contrition?
Does a transgression make him meek and humble, until he has earned to be forgiven?
Is he eager to earn forgiving? 
Does he suffer, as long as I have not forgiven him?

3.  Can I trust him to be reliable and predictable?
Does he consider himself bound by the obligations of commitment and by agreements under all circumstances or is he easily excusing himself for breaking those obligations?
Can I trust him, that if he has agreed to do or not to do something, that he will really stick to this?   
Is he sincere and honest or does he hide important information from me and act slyly?
Does he make himself predictable by keeping me informed about his circumstances, plans and ideas before acting?
Can I feel safe with him without the preoccupation and worries of unpleasant surprises at any moment?

4.  Is he not only capable but also comfortable with constructive communication?
Is he capable and comfortable with solving all conflicts by using rationality, logic and giving evidence?
Does he voluntarily talk about every topic, until there is a solution, that is rationally convincing to both, no matter, how long it takes?
Does he show signs of how he experiences and perceives profound communication about the relationship, each other's personality and introspection, the dynamics of the interaction and such?   Is such communication more a joyful part of commitment and closeness or an unpleasant chore for him?
Does he make claims beyond his own introspection about facts but does not give evidence? Does he bother to convince me rationally or not?
Can he be influenced by rationality, logic and evidence, does he listen with interest?
Does he say, what he means and mean, what he says?
Does he trust me enough to reveal his true self without attempts to pretend being someone, who he is not?  
Does he admit his weaknesses and accept support?
Do unresolved conflict bother him, until harmony is restored or does he just get distracted and is not bothered?

5.  Does he value, respect and appreciate me and consider me as truly equal?
Does he attempt to please me for the purpose to lure me into bed as fast as possible, or does he show, that he values, appreciates and needs me predominantly as a true friend, companion, mindmate?  
How much does he express his need for a relationship, how important is a relationship for him?   When he is without a partner, does he suffer from loneliness or is he content?   
What price is he willing to pay for having a relationship and is the price in accordance with his need for it?  

How much does he value and appreciate my personality, how much does he need me for who I am beyond my body?
How many benefits does he expect to get from being with me and am I worth to give me benefits in return?
Does he make attempts to dominate, do I have to resist and to defend my equality?
Does he express his wish to dominate or does he feel entitled to dominate, while he does not dare to attempt it?
Does he take me for granted or is he motivated to invest efforts and sacrifices in kindling and improving the relationship?
Does he attempt to be right and does he want me to be wrong or is he more motivated to cooperate to find convincing evidence and information, so that both can learn?  
Does he cooperate or compete?  
Does he compare himself with me to experience himself as better or superior?  
Does he take my statements for serious and at face value?   Does he acknowledge, that I mean, what I say and say, what I mean?  
Does he receive and react to what I say, or does it bounce off unheard?

6.  Does he share all decisions?
Does he share all decision, that have an impact upon me or upon the relationship?   
Does he inform me of all external facts and introspection about needs and emotions, before deciding?   
Does he also ask for all my information concerning the decision?   
Does he accept to decide by rationality and logic and participate in it?

7.  Does he care for my needs as much as for his own?   
Does he care, is it important for him, that the relationship is as beneficial for me as it is for him?   
Is he interested to know, what I subjectively experience and perceive as beneficial?   Does he ask, when he does not know?
Does he notice my emotional reactions to how he treats me?    Does it matter to him?
Are sharing joy and supporting each other valuable benefits for him?
Is he motivated to avoid hurting me?
Am I a utility or are my voluntary acts of caring appreciated and wanted?
Does fair compromising include to first communicate to make sure, that we are fully aware of each other's true needs?
Does he trust me and take it for serious, when I inform him of invisible emotional needs, even when he does not know them and therefore lacks empathy?
Does he act impulsively driven by his own needs, desires and whim or does he consider me first, before acting?
Is it possible to reach agreements and compromises, that he perceives and experiences as much as I do as a fair deal ?   Is he as a consequence content with what I do and give voluntarily or does he keep on feeling entitled to get more?

8.  Can I feel at ease, relaxed and safe with him?
Do I feel under pressure with him?   Do I feel stress and tension?   Can I influence him to reduce pressure and stress?
Am I the target of anger, rage, aggressively expressed demands, intimidation, blaming?
Does he have the patience and trust to allow me to care for his needs as much as I can, when I can and as much as it appears fair?
Does he feel justified to use coercion to get, what I am not supplying voluntarily?
Does he act in defiance to what I ask and suggest?
How does he behave under stress and discomfort?

The above are certainly not everything, that I would need to find out, but the gist of it.   This phase is finished, when both reach intellectual and emotional intimacy.   Intellectual intimacy means to be satisfied with the checking the answers.   Emotional intimacy means to really feel at ease and close together, without any nagging awkward feeling caused by overlooked red flags or denials and wishful thinking.   

When there is real emotional and intellectual intimacy, the time has come to seal the bond of full commitment by getting physically involved and start the third phase of being a unit.