Frank Kermit: Credibility creates commitment

When someone comes to me for coaching to figure out why they are still single despite being able to attract a number of partners to date, I start coaching them with an assessment of what happens on those dates to look for actions and behaviors that may be turning off potential life partners. Most people are often unaware of the things they may be doing or saying that causes the other person to halt any potential commitment.

One of the behaviors that I often spot is how a person lacks credibility in the way they communicate, which I believe to be a source of why they may be able to attract a lot of dates, but none of them turn into a serious commitment. Although there are people who are commitment-phobic (who self sabotage a potential serious relationship because of a deep rooted fear that a committed relationship is related to more pain than it would bring pleasure), this is not always the case when dealing with people that WANT a serious commitment and associate being single with being in pain.

An easy way to summarize a lack of credibility is whether or not someone is caught breaking his or her own rules. It does not matter what your rules are per se; what matters is if you break your own rules. For example:

If you mention that family values are important to you, but you are caught trying to get out of a parent-teacher meeting, you lack credibility. In the mind of your date, if family values were as important to you as you claimed you would be willing to attend the parent-teacher meetings regardless if it means having to attend with your ex, because it is about your kids (your family). You lack credibility.

If you mention that you do not like seafood on a date, because you sense that your date does not like seafood and you want your date to like you, but you are caught ordering seafood at a later time because you forgot what you said that first meeting, you lack credibility. In the mind of your date, if you are willing to lie about something small because you wanted to be liked, then you likely will lie about something big down the road to avoid the possible conflicts it would bring. You lack credibility.

If you mention on a date that you do not have sex unless in a committed relationship, and then proceed to have sex with the person you are seeing before any serious commitment has been established because it felt right, you lack credibility. In the mind of your date, if you are willing to go break your rules just because you felt like it in the moment, how is your date suppose to trust any promise you make, if there is a chance you will break your promises because of the way you may feel in the moment. You lack credibility.

It is not the facts that you would rather avoid dealing with an ex, ordered the halibut, or had sex sooner than later because it felt right. What you are being judged on is that you said one thing (your rules) and did another thing (your actions). This lack of congruence is what are scaring people away from getting serious with you.

Think of it this way. A serious relationship can be a risky endeavor. A person may risk their children (having an unfit step parent can affect custody not to mention the safety of the children), their resources (what people lose in a divorce), their financial credit (sharing of debt repayment), even their very way of life (image the ways of losing your profession because you made a bad partner choice). So if someone is looking to find a person to make a commitment too, that commit must be earned. Lacking credibility because of the way you break your own rules destroys the desire to commit. Credibility-Creates-Commitment.

Frank Kermit, MA, CH, is a dating-and-relationship coach, certified trauma counsellor and certified hypnotherapist. He is an author, speaker, matchmaker and relationship columnist for who appears regularly on Dr. Laurie Betito’s Passion on CJAD 800 AM, and other programs. Learn more at or call 514-680-3278.

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