When it comes to relationships, we tend to place a lot of responsibility on the other person. They are often given a tremendous amount of responsibility, with maintaining our happiness as their expected “job” duty as our significant other.
The problem with this job description is that it is truly impossible to fulfill. Nobody that we are in relationship or interact with can manage this level of responsibility. We have to discard this job description, and give the role of managing our happiness, to ourselves.
If we are unhappy as a single person, we are guaranteed to be unhappy in a relationship. So many times we think that we will “finally be happy” and get to “enjoy life” as soon as we enter a relationship. WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! This is a terrible misperception of love, one that has surfaced through society, movies, books, and of course social media with all the pictures of smiling couples and “happy” date nights. But we do not and cannot really see what is going on for these couples behind the lights and cameras. Pictures do not always reveal the real picture.
So, how do we manage this role of “our happiness”?
First, we have to love ourselves with even more love than we expect someone else to provide. How will our relationship work if we are unhappy with ourselves? And if we are currently unhappy, we really need to focus on the source of this discomfort before involving anyone else….
Second, we have to be comfortable and in full acceptance of our singleness. This means STOP SEARCHING. Just be. Enjoy your life as it is and trust that if and when you are able to enter a relationship, it will happen.
Third, we keep working on ourselves. Exercise, eat right, take care of yourself. Spend more time with family/friends, and set goals that are accessible and attainable. Seek personal fulfillment and not material or inter-relational fulfillment which will always disappoint. We are the best caretakers of ourselves, and we should attempt to master this before expecting anyone else to even try.
And finally, when the day comes that we meet that awesome person and we eventually fall in love, remember that they are only human and do not hold magical powers or the capacity to keep a smile on your face and pep in your step everyday and moment of your life. This is such an unreasonable expectation, and one we should not want to bear either.
We have to keep taking care of ourselves despite the relationships we find, or do not find, ourselves involved in. Children, careers, misfortunes, setbacks, and most of all: OURSELVES, cannot become our excuses for living unhappy and unfulfilled lives. We must move past the perception that our happiness is in someone’s control, or is governed by our circumstances. Remember that our circumstances can change in seconds, but our happiness should be consistent and reliable, because we never know what we are going to face in this life, but we need to viciously guard our happiness.
Happiness is attainable and within our reach, but it is not reasonable to expect someone to hand it to us on a platter, or keep the sun shining everyday.
You are also NOT responsible to provide complete and unfiltered happiness for anyone else. Love is certainly not easy, but it should be as unconditional as humanly possible, without a job description or impossible expectations attached.