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Why We Look For Happiness in Romantic Relationships

Why We Look For Happiness in Romantic Relationships

The answer may surprise you.

You see others happy, you see that glow in their faces as they pass you by with their partner, and you say to yourself, “If only I can have such, I will be happy”, and you deem this the ultimate reaching point for experiencing happiness.

This leads to you feeling unfulfilled and waiting for “the one”. You believe you would be happy and fulfilled when you find “the one”. If this sounds familiar, it could be that you are waiting for happiness. We have all done this, and continue to do it in some form or fashion. Society tells us that if we aren’t in a relationship, we can’t be happy.

Your friends and family may be asking you when you will be married or have children. The pressure to live up to this can be very daunting as you seek to balance your own needs with that of fulfilling the societal expected timelines for being in a relationship. If it sounds familiar, you are not alone. For many years, I viewed my happiness as being tied to being in a relationship.

Imagine the devastation I experienced when I got divorced. I remember saying to myself, “I will never be happy again”. Yet, I have lived on to experience a better life than what I had when I was married. I didn’t imagine it was possible…that happiness could come to me again. So if you are going through a break-up, be encouraged, you will be happy again whether in a relationship or not.

True happiness for you comes when you realize you have enough to offer the world, and while it will be nice to have a partner, your sense of happiness isn’t tied to this. However, it is important to understand why we link romantic relationships with happiness. Psychologist often speaks about the inherent need in humans to being validated. This means having someone who values you and supports you in your well-being.

What happens then if you are in a relationship that doesn’t have this?

You may develop low self-esteem and confidence and may not see yourself as having worth. However, if you are in a relationship where you are validated, you blossom, you achieve goals and reach self-actualization. This is what I was taught in college. As a newly single person, a strange thing happened. I realized there were many single persons I came across who felt validated, were reaching for their goals and pursuing self-actualization.

On further research I realized, it doesn’t take a romantic relationship or at times any relationship to feel validated. The validation comes from, primarily — YOU. That’s right, you read correctly — YOU.

When you begin to appreciate, love and treat you, the way you deserve to be treated, you will be drawn to others, who will treat you the way you need to be treated. Even if that relationship doesn’t work out, and they walk away, while it will hurt, it would not lead to you losing a sense of you. Having a strong network of friends or mentor can also offer the validation we need and spur us on with the support and encouragement we need to help us along the pathway.

I was amazed at the number of single persons I met who were happy. I expected them to be unhappy. They didn’t accept societal script and determine their happiness on relationship, but their happiness was first impacted by their self appreciation and further realizing that they had a purpose in this world and pushing on to achieve this, even in the absence of romantic relationships.

I was amazed. We have been scripted to believe that happiness only truly exist in the context of a romantic relationship. I know of many persons who stop living, waiting for “the one” before pursuing a goal, a purpose. At times, when “the one” doesn’t appear, the dream dies with their non-appearance. There is a larger percentage of single persons now, in this century more than any other before — whether through never being married, divorced, widowed.

The belief of waiting for a relationship to make one happy could doom one to a long term period of unhappiness. Happiness is a choice. There will always be the day-to-day stressors, event stressors and a wider range of other things. Choosing to be happy will be needed to go through life.

While a partner can hopefully help and encourage through the journey of life. Making the partner responsible for you being happy is dooming the relationship to its demise before it even begins! As no one can make another person happy all the time. I choose to be happy here and now.

Closing Thoughts
When we look around, we may not have the relationships we want, we may not have other things we need, but every day make the choice to be happy now. Waiting for an unknown and unpredictable future may doom one to a lifetime of unhappiness! So step out into happiness now… it is waiting for you!

  Author: Ria Vanessa Caliste | Source | Photo by Ave Calvar on Unsplash


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