Relationships Are Not Meant To Make You Happy

People often turn relationships into complicated dramas. I'm not usually talking about the kind of events that spice things up for both people either, I'm talking about the dramas that often signal trouble in paradise. It's something that I have always failed to understand how people can so myopic towards what they have in front of them, until I realised that what I sought for in a relationship, isn't entirely the same as what other people look for in theirs.

Sometimes I forget that people in general have an almost insatiable need to distract themselves and run away from the things that matter, especially when what matters can scare the living daylights out of them. It's not something that can be blamed on people's choices either. After all, it's hard to ignore that people are emotional creatures and we put a lot of stock into what we feel into the choices that we make, and no choice more emotionally invested than one bonded by love.

I used to think that, when you find a person that you love, that you're willing to open up to and devote yourself to, that you do so because you're happy to be where you are. This sentiment is of course shared by everyone looking to find or are in a relationship. Over time though, I began to realise that happiness is such a fleeting emotion. You're happy to be somewhere in your life for once, then you realise that happiness isn't enough. You can't pay the bills with it, or put a roof over your head, or put clothes over your back with it. As much as you can be happy in a relationship, you will have to face the certain reality that you will go to tough times and they are never happy moments.

Maybe that's where a lot of relationships go wrong in life. People grow up with the idea that in finding the one you love, you'll find happiness that will last you a lifetime. It doesn't help that Hollywood tends to churn out stories that make people believe that love is happiness and happiness can be forever, but most people look into a relationship, the question that burns through their minds will always be "Can I find happiness here?", and when they get into the first spot of unhappiness, they begin to run away, trying to find something else, even another relationship that can keep them smiling in the face of a reality that they hate. People are unhappy when they find that relationships don't bring them the happiness they want. Then again, they are not supposed to.

Relationships are not meant to make you happy. They are meant to make you complete. Your happiness, is still your own responsibility to bear.

Relationships are meant to give you the parts that you can never have on your own. If you're going to be new-age-y about it, it's about finding the yin to your yang. That completeness, whether it be built over the time spent discovering one another, or if you're extremely lucky, find someone who complements you right off the bat, is what makes our world go round. It makes us feel like we're capable of anything, and why shouldn't it be that way? After all, when you know you have someone there to watch over things you cannot handle, when you know that there is so much more to life than you knew by just being yourself, how can you not be capable of anything?

That is what relationships should be about. Not the transient feeling of happiness, but the realisation that two imperfect people can create a beautiful, if not perfect whole. Whether you choose to find happiness from there, is still your choice, but it's not going to be something given to you when you find someone you love. It has always been something you create. Whether you choose to create that happiness with the the person that completes your life, is a responsibility that rests solely on your shoulders.

9 Comments

  • June 6, 2009 - 09:35 | Permalink

    I totally agree with your post here

    and with this statement “two imperfect people can create a beautiful, if not perfect whole” … to get a ‘complete’ and ‘happy’ relationship, it really takes 2 to tango..

    if one does not give as much effort to maintain it, it wont turn out to be something that both wants in relationship…

  • June 6, 2009 - 12:46 | Permalink

    Well, the thing is, it’s the expectations that relationships are supposed to make us happy that destroys it in the first place. As much as people try, you can’t have it all the time, not when relationships are really built on the real life and not our cloud 9 feelings. So make sure what we want is is something more tangible and realistic like practicality of the moment, rather than feelings. Sometimes, love is a luxury, even in a relationship, because that’s not really what holds it together, love is just the icing rather than the source.

  • June 10, 2009 - 07:02 | Permalink

    Your happiness is about 95% your responsibility. There are always other factors that impact that 5%. Given that, if your relationship isn’t making you happy, then it’s your responsibility to try and make it better, not staying passive in the hope that it would change.

  • June 10, 2009 - 09:30 | Permalink

    Cléa: People tend to cling on to a relationship in the hopes that they will always feel happy. They would choose that feeling over idea that people can complement each other in ways no one else can. A relationship can be perfect, but not happy at the same time. It is up to us to redefine happiness and strive towards it. Relationships or not, our sources of joy shouldn’t rely too much on people.

  • June 12, 2009 - 15:33 | Permalink

    That’s the problem with relationships, people come into it with unrealistically high expectations of the other, and so as you say they become “unhappy” with the other, with their relationship and a breakup or divorce occurs. It’s a sad thing

  • June 13, 2009 - 08:26 | Permalink

    The expectations doesn’t have to be high, because happiness is really a deceptively simple concept. It’s when there are expectations to begin with. Sometimes you’ve got to go in without wanting anything to see where it goes and build it up from scratch. Only then will you know how to complement one another. A deceptively simple solution as well.

  • June 15, 2009 - 10:29 | Permalink

    Edrei – you’re right on with this one. :) I agree with the concept of the expectations being the dealbreaker. Kind of like counting your chickens before they hatch because you know you want the chicks so badly, right away. But the eggs might not even happen to hatch chicks. And it takes more time to hatch.

    Grr…I heart being single. And taking things slow…Big fan now. Wow. I feel so grown up.

  • June 15, 2009 - 20:08 | Permalink

    It isn’t just about waiting for them to hatch. Sometimes, they might not be chickens at all. You might get a duck in there somehow. Just that, if you’re going to count your chickens anyway, you won’t know at all if you might actually like ducks more. I wonder if that makes sense at all. :P

  • Paul Hakel
    July 25, 2009 - 04:26 | Permalink

    I was thinking that we should seek to be in relationship with someone we want to make happy and love through our service, and find someone who also wants to do the same – that’s voluntary mutuality. Otherwise, it seems like the relationship would be passive desire of happiness from the other by both people which leads to disintegration.

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