Dating : Relationships Won’t Make You Happy

h2>Dating : Relationships Won’t Make You Happy

Considering all of the time, energy, and commitments we make trying to secure relationships, I’ve come to notice that most people have very, very little follow-through and are generally quite reserved when the time comes to actually settle down and enjoy one; we bounce around from person to person, always trying to find what we feel will make us truly happy, that perfect relationship for us, and I think this radically misses the point of relationships. For those who don’t know yet, relationships are for people who are already happy. I say this not to be dismissive of the pain of others, but because questioning present and future happiness is one of the surest ways to find uncertainty, and uncertainty breeds insecurity — which is the enemy of healthy commitment. We want to commit to someone because we’re comfortable and secure in the fact that we’ve chosen what we want and who we want and we’re ready to stick with it, not because we’re uncertain and the person we happen to find ourselves with is simply what’s available or what eases our pain and fills a void of black emptiness within us. That void should be filled by our actions and our lives.

This isn’t to say that unhappy people don’t deserve relationships, but I am saying that unhappiness, discontent, and insecurity are all toxic to relationships in the long haul — they’ll all make them much more difficult.

It’s okay to admit that we’re not quite ready for a relationship and still have a long way to go working on ourselves, before we can get to a place where we can enter a new relationship with clear judgment and a sound mind.

Often times, people don’t want to be happy and settle down. They’re caught in the perpetual ambiguity of relationship purgatory, and a big reason for this is, I believe, is that they’re yet to find happiness within themselves. It’s hard to imagine ourselves contended, tranquil, at peace, and generally happy, now or in the future, with someone else, when we’re not happy with ourselves. Thus they find someone who makes them feel happy and they cling to that because they haven’t done the footwork and learned how to be happy by themselves.

Then, a few months in, they get cold feet, they second-guess themselves, their former unhappiness rears its ugly head and shows itself for what it is; the disease was merely dormant, not cured, so to speak. Then the relationship becomes an often lopsided battle of one person trying to prop up the other.

This is actually truer than I think most people are willing to admit. Settling down and having a loving, lasting relationship is a choice that most people are simply too terrified to make, or they make it for the wrong reasons and then end up spending the entirety of the relationship asking questions…

  • “What if I picked the wrong person?”
  • “What if they become someone I don’t like?”
  • “What if I end up unhappy?”
  • “What if this becomes extremely difficult later on when we’re married and live together?”

People will rationalize these kinds of thoughts with anything that might support these theories. Basically, there’s a three-step process, which is usually along these lines…

  1. I’m so happy, I’ve found someone…
  2. Cool, this is getting serious…
  3. Oh shit, this is getting fucking serious! What if things go wrong? I’m not sure if I like this. Can I get out? What if I lose my investment? What if I end up alone or not finding someone better?

These questions can haunt us. Happy people don’t worry about these things as much, though these creeping thoughts can still find themselves in our respective streams of consciousness on occasion. When we approach a relationship from a place of happiness and certainty in our choice — which means that our choice is one that compliments our lives, rather than defining it — the whole process looks different. We have our lives together, we have our security, and we’re able to understand our relationship as generally a good thing, unblinded by the potential biases we possess to view our relationship in a certain light in order to cover up an aspect of our insecurity that makes us uncomfortable.

Fear of commitment comes from settling for less than we think will make us happy, but it also comes from not knowing what will make us happy or if we can even be happy. That’s the trick..that’s what we need to figure out before we embark on the relationship voyage, what it is that will make us happy as individual people so we don’t need the other person like a drowning person at sea clinging to a floatation device. The good news is, this makes building your relationship something you can do best when you’re single — before that future relationship has ever come along. Cliche as it may sound, we need to practice loving ourselves and our lives, fostering happiness as a process to be both learned and mastered before we can explore the wonderful world of sharing our happiness with another. Most people seek out relationships to not feel alone or to ease pain, and personally, I think these are the wrong reasons to be looking for someone. The process is simple: first, find and foster love and happiness, then become successful before ourselves, in our own eyes, and then we find someone who compliments what we’ve built to share our lives with.

This is the key to a successful relationship…find happiness first, then share it with the right person once we get there. Happy people should be quite, well, happy to commit to us if they like us, and we can rest assured in the fact that they’ve chosen us out of want rather than need. Think of relationships as the icing on the cake of life, the thing that completes us once we’ve completed ourselves; it can only complete an already-complete process, when we move from one stage of life to the next, and only then are we ready to graduate into the world of commitment — once we’ve done the work.

So, I tell my friends, the number one thing to look for in a significant other above all other things, the one non-negotiable thing is that they should be happy themselves. It just makes everything infinitely easier.

© 2019; Joe Duncan. All Rights Reserved

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