- 7 Keys to a Happy Relationship
- 1. Respect
- 2. Loyalty
- 3. Priority
- 4. Pick Your Battles
- 5. Loving Gestures
- 6. Put in the Work
- 7. Focus on the Positives
- There are 3 Kinds of Relationships And Only 1 Brings True Happiness
- I got as far as Asparagus
- I could almost hear what Aristotle might say to me if we were to chat over souvlaki
- 1. Relationships of pleasure
- 2. Relationships of utility
- 3. Relationships of shared virtue
- Ding, ding, ding! This type of relationship brings true happiness!
- What’s always left beneath is a person’s true soul
- Confession time:
- Meanwhile, a person’s soul is a person’s foundation!
- Grow into your most esteemed self
- While on the subject of money…
- The ultimate ends:
- A big secret to relationship happiness?
- As you get to know your partner, look to see if they:
- If you’re having a difficult time feeling happy…
- Can Relationships Bring You Real Happiness?
- Happiness and Unhappiness in Relationships
- Related Material
- Do Relationships Make Us Healthier and Happier?
- Happiness In Relationships
- Demands Of The Ego
- How To Remedy This?
- Being in Love
7 Keys to a Happy Relationship
Happiness within a relationship is hard to define. Not only is each relationship different, but within each relationship, each person defines happiness in an individual way.
Some people view happiness as a peaceful conflict-free life. For some, happiness involves a tremendous amount of fun, great intimacy or lots of laughter.
Whatever your definition, it directly correlates to your expectations, desires, wants and needs—and those things can change over time.
What holds constant are 7 specific behaviors and attributes laid out below that, in my experience, can almost guarantee the lihood of long-term success and happiness in a relationship.
If you work toward integrating these keys into your daily life, you will most certainly experience greater joy and less conflict in your primary relationships.
Every successful relationship is built on a foundation of respect. Respect means caring about your partner’s wants and needs and always taking them into account before speaking or acting.
The expectation is that your partner will follow the same guidelines.
My official definition is as follows: Respect means putting the comfort, well-being and happiness of the person you’re with at an equal level to your own.
We feel happy when we know that someone has our backs. Relationships have the greatest success when each partner focuses on supporting one another at all times.
This means that if someone is antagonizing your partner, you will either back your partner up directly or support him or her from behind the scenes.
This also means that if your partner has done something you believe is wrong or that you don't approve of, that you speak to him or her privately about the issue, never in front of others.
If you want to build a stronger positive relationship, let your partner know that he or she is a priority. Commit time and energy to talking and addressing each other’s wants and needs.
Be sure that the two of you have “quality time” alone to connect and enjoy each other’s company.
Even though work, children and other obligations are also priorities, find the balance so that your partnership is not neglected.
4. Pick Your Battles
Strong and happy couples know when to bring up issues and when to put them aside.
My rule of thumb: If you can let something go, move on and still enjoy your partner … let it go! If you cannot move on and are ruminating or worrying about something, then bring it up.
When you do bring it up, make sure it is in a calm manner, in private and at a good time for you two to discuss it. Never bring something upsetting up in bed, and never in earshot of children or other family or friends.
Read more: Play Nice, Fight Fair
5. Loving Gestures
The concept “Actions speak louder than words” is an important one when it comes to relationships. It is not enough to simply feel that you love someone, you must also show that you love that person.
Use kind words, be physically affectionate, leave little love notes around the house … whether it’s a verbal gesture or a material one, make sure that you are letting your partner know in no uncertain terms that you love him or her.
Take the Quiz: What's Your Communication Style?
6. Put in the Work
Partners in a successful relationship understand that you need to put in the work to keep things running smoothly. That means sometimes you need to do things that you do not want to do because it matters to your partner.
Other times it means you have to put in that extra effort to calm down or hear out your partner’s concerns, even if that isn’t the easiest or most convenient thing to do in the moment.
Relationships take a lot of work if they are going to be happy, successful and long-lasting.
7. Focus on the Positives
Even the best of relationships have challenges, and even the most wonderful of partners can have less-than-stellar moments. When times are tough, those who are seeking a happy relationship will combat the negative with a positive.
If your mate is irritable after a long day, remind yourself about that great time you had last weekend or how funny he or she can be. If you have found that your partner is a bit messy, for example, and it doesn’t seem to change, focus on the fact that he or she is a great cook or a terrific parent.
Reverse your thinking to remind yourself that your mate has great qualities and that you are happy to be together.
Read more: How Close is Your Relationship?
Stacy Kaiser is a licensed psychotherapist, author, relationship expert and media personality. She is also the author of the best-selling book, How to Be a Grown Up: The Ten Secret Skills Everyone Needs to Know, and an editor-at-large for Live Happy. Stacy is a frequent guest on television programs such as Today and Good Morning America.
There are 3 Kinds of Relationships And Only 1 Brings True Happiness
Want to enjoy more happiness in your relationships? Learn the 3 basic kinds of relationships – then focus more on the kind which brings true happiness. Plus, once you understand these 3 relationship types, you can improve all of your various relationships.
When I was a teen, I tried to read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica.
My goal: Memorize its contents, be on TV game shows, win cash and prizes, run away from home, move to Manhattan and become a professional writer.
I got as far as Asparagus
To this day, I know a little about a lot of words beginning with “A.” Some favorites: ants, atoms, alchemy.
Plus, Aristotle was a childhood crush, because I’ve always loved philosophy.
When I finished reading his one-page encyclopedic write-up, I bought books about him. I’d been saving these dog-eared, underlined Aristotle books. Plus, the “A” book of Britannica.
My goal: Use it all a novel, where I’d been planning to bless my protagonist with the quirky detail of knowing all things “A.”
A few years ago I rediscovered these Aristotle books when moving apartments. I flipped through and was surprised to discover Aristotle said a lot of the same things about love and happiness as modern psychologists. Only Aristotle obviously said it first, having been born in 300-ish B.C. Plus, Aristotle said it truly wisely.
If you have (or had) toxic relationships of any kind, read this now!
Indeed, much of what Aristotle said hit home big-time. In particular about a sexy, smart, funny, rich, lying, cheating, don’t-get-me-started Prince Harming I’d just broken up with.
I could almost hear what Aristotle might say to me if we were to chat over souvlaki
“Mea bene, Karen,” Ari would say. “You know what your problem was with your ex? He was not your soul mate — but your ‘sold’ mate — because you sold your soul to be with him. Sure he was sexy, smart, rich, funny — but alas, he was a lying, cheating asshole.”
“Wow,” I’d say. “I can’t believe you just said that word!”
“What? Asshole?” Aristotle would say with a smile. “Hey, I’m from Greece, so alas I’m no prude.”
“Actually, I meant ‘soul mate’!” I’d correct. “You’re an intellectual guy—the regaled philosopher who was called The Mind of The Academy by Plato. I’m surprised you believe in something as namby-pamby metaphysical as a soul mate!”
“Absolutely!” My fave Greek philosopher buddy Ari would respond emphatically. “Actually, I sort of coined the concept of ‘soul mate.’ If there’d been a little TM trademark thingy back in the 300s B.C., I’d be a very rich man today. I firmly believe care taking the soul is incredibly important for happiness.
I describe a soul mate as a ‘soul-nurturing mate.’ Someone who nurtures your soul, thereby promoting insight and growth. I pushed folks to find soul mates because, in my opinion, real happiness only comes when you stimulate your core self — and grow into your highest potential.
Basically, the soul is the ultimate G-spot for happiness.”
Of course, I’m playfully paraphrasing for my philosopher buddy. But if Aristotle were here, I know he’d agree with my verbal modernization of his philosophies.
Plus, Ari would go on to describe how he views the world as offering three types of relationships, only one of which brings true happiness.
1. Relationships of pleasure
Partners who are about sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. You share soulless, passionate sex and playful banter — but they’re about the body or ego. They never soul-nurture you with insight and growth, so they never bring real-deal happiness.
Basically, instead of finding a soul mate, you’re simply finding a sex-mate and/or an ego-mate.
2. Relationships of utility
Partners you spend time with in hopes of garnering status, power, money and beauty. Basically, a rich guy with a trophy girl. Again, this is about body or ego and doesn’t bring true joy.
Again, instead of finding a soul mate, you’re finding a sex-mate, ego-mate, status-mate, and/or wallet-mate – none of which are long term satisfying mates!
3. Relationships of shared virtue
Partners who challenge and inspire you to grow into your highest potential and nurture your soul. A good example is when Jack Nicholson’s character in “As Good As It Gets” says, “You make me want to be a better man.”
Ding, ding, ding! This type of relationship brings true happiness!
When you prioritize seeking a partner who supports you becoming your best self — instead of crushing on “superficial lures”(hotness, funniness, smartness, success, etc.) — you wind up with a soul mate/a Prince Charming/a definite keeper!
With this in mind, if you want to find true happiness in your relationship, you must take time to see past your partner’s “superficial lures” (hotness, funniness, smartness, success, etc.) and look inside to get to know their “core self” – or their “true soul.”
Unfortunately, as I’d discovered with my ex, those fumes of chemistry can sometimes dizzy a gal into making stupid love choices.
That’s why it’s important to remember:
What’s always left beneath is a person’s true soul
Yes, if you want to be happy, you must seek a good-hearted, ethical soul who brings you great growth — not simply a hottie who brings great grope. I’m joking. But I’m serious. Which brings me to another point – a confession.
Why people self sabotage happiness and how to stop
Another superficially alluring quality I’ve been suckered in by is humor. I am Silly Putty in a friggin’ funny man’s hands. I once had a boyfriend who teased me that the secret to getting me into bed was to crack five good jokes in a night. He’d count down his jokes as the night progressed.
Unfortunately, funniness is a mere decorative quality — sometimes developed to avoid talking about real-life issues.
Which is why in the past, after a few months of dating a friggin’ funny guy, I’ve witnessed all that fabulous ha-ha-ha laughter often gives way to tears when the guy’s true character — true soul — shows up as one that avoids honest communication, warm empathy and the desire for growth.
Yes, when I’ve tried to connect soul to soul — heart to heart — with a partner who’s been super funny, I’ve often found that I’m greeted by a gigantic, unmovable whoopee cushion wall.
Meanwhile, a person’s soul is a person’s foundation!
For the record: Aristotle wasn’t against finding someone friggin’ funny or friggin’ sexy or friggin’ rich. He believed these pleasure-bringing qualities were good for stirring up passion, which humans need to be our fullest selves!
But Aristotle recognized “superficial lures” and material goods were simply what he called “means to the ends” of happiness, not “the final ends.”
Grow into your most esteemed self
As Aristotle said: “Men imagine the causes of happiness lie in external goods. That is as if they were to ascribe fine and beautiful lyre playing to the quality of the instrument rather than the skill of the player.”
Or as I to say, “It’s just as easy to complain about a rich man as it is to complain about a poor man.”
Basically, it doesn’t matter how rich a guy is if his behavior makes you twitchy and miserable.
While on the subject of money…
Aristotle was no fan of slackers either. Aristotle recognized that being or dating poor brought its share of problems.
He even admitted the lack of a certain amount of wealth was as much an obstacle to happiness as deprivation of freedom.
Plus, he gladly accepted that some wealth was needed to be happy. Just as exciting bodily pleasures were needed.
But again, wealth and bodily pleasures were mere means to the ends of happiness.
The ultimate ends:
Nourish your soul, so you can reach your most esteemed level of self.
A big secret to relationship happiness?
- Stop focusing on finding a Mr. or Ms. Right!
- Start focusing on finding Life Plan Right.
- When a Mr. or Ms. Potential Right comes along, you must ask yourself if this person will lead you to Life Plan Right or Life Plan Wrong.
As you get to know your partner, look to see if they:
- Offer you exciting growth as well as exciting grope
- Have developed good character — so they’ll be a positive influence on your character development.
If your partner scores two for two, you’re ly in Prince/Princess Charming territory.
If you’re having a difficult time feeling happy…
Check out the resiliency psychology techniques found in my best selling book THINK HAPPY.
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Can Relationships Bring You Real Happiness?
It seems that a relationship Guru pops up every minute with advice on how to have a great relationship. Why are relationships such a hot topic? This may seem obvious, but some may not realize it.
From the moment we are born, forming and fostering relationships takes up a majority of our time, and it seems a no-brainer that being happy in relationships will translate to overall happiness in our lives.
By nature, we are social creatures, and it makes sense that harmonious relationships are fundamental to our happiness. Some prominent psychologists propose that we are wired for relationships. We form bonds easily but are reluctant to break them.
Our need to feel connected to other people, to love, and be loved is fundamentally human. Furthermore, it is not only relationships that influence our happiness but happiness, in turn, that can improve our relationships.
Research shows that not having close personal ties can create the same level of health risk as smoking or obesity. Having a network of social connections that provide support appears to increase our immunity, lowers our risk for heart disease and keeps our mind sharp as we age.
Studies show that the quality of social interactions matters just as much as the quantity. Both influence our health and psychological well-being. Having hundreds of friends does not immediately make you happier and healthier.
How supportive and secure these relationships are is what matters.
We have also learnt that the quality of our relationship with our inner social circle of our partner, children, parents, siblings and close friends is what’s most important for our well-being. Cultivating and investing quality time into these relationships will create long-term happiness.
It may seem that extroverts have an advantage in this area, as they can easily socialize and be among people but there is good news for introverts. Having even a few close relations where one can share feelings with honesty is just as conducive to happiness.
It has more to do with our ability to share ourselves openly without fear of judgment that creates that bond with the important people in our lives that increases our happiness. So, to answer the question that was asked in the title.
I think relationships can bring one closer to real happiness provided one doesn't solely rely on relationships for their happiness but has also found other means of creating a fulfilling and enjoyable life.
Let’s look at how we can engage and interact with people in order to create harmonious relationships that will, in turn, increase our happiness.
- Realize right from the beginning that this is not a competition to see who can make the most friends. Not everyone is going to you and want to be your friend and that is okay. Be yourself. Don’t pretend to be who you are not just to fit into the image you think you should be. When you are your genuine self during your interaction with people you will attract those who most closely resonate with your frequency. These are the people who will you for who you are and be the most compatible with you. These relationships will flow without resistance and provide you with opportunities to explore, grow and build equity for long term happiness.
- Try being a friend. Seemingly small acts of kindness can all have a ripple effect within our social network and spread happiness outward. Be full of compassion, patience and altruism towards others, especially those less fortunate than you. Helping others can produce a helper’s high, which can be a source of happiness and confidence.
- Families form the foundational relationship for most people. Cherish these relationships. Spend time with loved ones when you get a chance. Forgive bad blood and strive to focus on the positive in strained relationships. But don’t let your family be a source of stress. If you are the only one who is trying to make the relationship work with someone then you might be better off not being in that relationship. What’s often most helpful is making sure that we have the kind of people around us who can provide the type of support we need.
- know what your priorities are in life and in relationships. If you don’t know then find out. Spend time alone to meditate and introspect. Read my article on solitude and introspection to learn effective techniques in figuring this out. When you know what is important to you in relationships then you can attract the kind of relationships that will bring you fulfillment and happiness.
- Knowing what you want in a romantic relationship also makes it easier to know when to give in on the little things. Everything is not a big deal. Knowing what things are deal breakers for you in any relationship is helpful. Is it smoking or leaving the socks on the floor? What is truly important for you? Knowing this you won’t get so upset or emotional over the little things. Most of life is the little things anyways. Assign a priority rating for the issues that come up on a scale of 1 -10. If something is a 3 for you but an 8 for your partner then let it go and let him/her have it. Leave your strength to fight the big battles should they arise.
- Fight fair, in all relationships, but especially with your significant other. The quickest way to unhappiness is to harbor resentment and to hold grudges. Disagreements and conflicts are inherently inevitable even in the most picture-perfect relationships. How we resolve these conflicts will decide our happiness levels.
- Treat people the way you want to be treated. The world is a reflection of our thoughts and actions. What we put out there will come back to us. If you are kind and loving then the majority of people you interact with will be kind and loving to you.
- Lastly, put yourself in a good mood and see the effects spread outward within your social circle. Happiness is a choice most of the time. People feel something good has to happen to them for them to become happy. But from most of my research, it seems the opposite works much better. Choosing to be happy by producing the feeling of happiness in you will attract circumstances and people that will reinforce that feeling of happiness and make it grow. So the lesson here is, don’t wait to become happy, instead be happy and wait for a beautiful life to unfold.
- Pick a time to argue when both of you are calm and do it in private. Don’t argue in the heat of the moment. You or your partner may inadvertently say something that cannot be taken back. Put a pause until both of you can have a rational discussion.
- Stay on the subject and don’t attack each other’s character, by bringing up past behaviors and actions. Use “I” Statements and not “YOU” statements when discussing how the situation made your feel.
- Try to come up with a solution instead of just playing the blame game.
- Try to give and take on issues and don’t always try to get your way, this is a partnership after all
- Lastly don’t play the divorce card. It leads nowhere and can escalate things rapidly in the wrong direction. If it truly has gotten to that level then both of you may need professional intervention.
© 2019 Behzad Azargoshasb
Happiness and Unhappiness in Relationships
Be aware of the assumptions that your mind offers. Could it be something else?
Many of us learned to believe early in life that other people determine our happiness. We might learn to live by this belief before we learn to talk or walk. This is the first false belief we create about our relationships. We can find a clue to this in our subconscious behind comments we make such as “he/she makes me so happy.”
The truth is that you make yourself happy. You probably just don’t know how anymore. In the midst of life experience we lose track of how we become unhappy and who is responsible.
We have created so many automatic emotional reactions over the years that we have become unfamiliar with how to make ourselves happy.
When we come back to the the idea that we make ourselves happy it may even seem foreign.
It can become difficult to keep track of which emotions are reactions and which are authentic expressions. There is another person that can often appear to be responsible when we react. We interpret it this way so appears to be true. But there is another possible cause for our emotion. What if the emotions we feel are emotions we create?
We can see with clarity the dynamic of love in creating happiness in relationship. It also puts into perspective the role of responsibility and the power of agreements in the area of emotions.
With this awareness we can do away with all the blame and fault finding.
Then it is time to get on with the real work, finding and changing false beliefs that we use as an excuse to not express our love.
We never forget how to express our love. We just become so caught up in judgments, opinions, and reasoning that we don’t take the time to do it.
Second False Belief we create in our relationships
Once the false core belief paradigm is established, our mind starts to build other false beliefs. One of the next false beliefs is, “I will be unhappy without you.” Our mind associates this person leaving us with unhappiness, sadness, anger, and loneliness. In our mind all of these painful emotions are associated with someone rejecting us.
In order to avoid these painful emotions we might stay in a relationship that is unhappy, or become controlling of another person so they stay. In either case our false beliefs are determining our decisions and behaviors. These behaviors are driven by the fear of feeling an emotional pain of being alone.
In reality there isn’t a pain of being alone but there is a belief that it is painful. Fear of rejection and fear of being alone drive poor decisions in relationships. These fears are based in beliefs that are not true. This belief is experienced in our behavior when we hesitate asking someone to dance or out on a date.
This belief also lives out in behaviors of jealousy and insecurity.
Third False Belief we create in our relationships
If we are afraid of being alone we modify our behavior to gain attention from a person in order to get their love. We also change our behavior in ways to avoid rejection or even judgment from other people. We may have been doing these modifications for so long that they have become a “normal” part of our personality and are difficult to see.
By modifying ourselves for someone else we become inauthentic. We pretend to be happy because people won’t us or want to be with us if we are unhappy. We hide aspects of ourselves fear that others will judge us. We associate their judgments as rejection that will leave us lonely. To compensate we put on a mask for them.
We might play the role of hero or go the way to please people to win their favor.
We can identify false beliefs such as these hiding behind thoughts . “If they really got to know me then they wouldn’t me.” We become inauthentic and false in order to avoid the painful emotions we associate with being rejected or judged. But the painful emotions we associate with being alone are based in false beliefs.
These secondary beliefs would never stand without the first false belief that other people make us happy. When we break the first core belief it is pulling the bottom card from house of cards. The other false beliefs and inauthentic behaviors fall easily. When this happens we let go of our fears.
It becomes easy to express love and be happy again.
To develop love, and respect in relationships requires that you dissolve judgments and emotional reactions and gain mastery over your mind. For exercises and activites in developing mastery over your mind and emotions go to the Self Mastery Course.
Understanding the roller coaster of emotions in relationships.
MP3 Audio How to tell if a relationship will work.
Do Relationships Make Us Healthier and Happier?
Source: Goran Bogicevic/Shutterstock
Satisfying relationships not only make us happy, they also influence our long-term health as much as getting enough sleep, eating healthy, and not smoking.
Many research studies have shown that satisfying relationships are associated with better health, greater happiness, and even a longer life.
This effect is not limited to romantic relationships; close friendships and social connections with family and members of your community can also help your health.
While the number of social ties makes a difference, quality also counts. In one study, midlife women who were more satisfied with their marriages had a lower risk for cardiovascular disease.
Conversely, toxic relationships with family and friends can stress us out and damage our health. In studies of marital conflict, hostile interactions with a spouse are associated with signs of impaired immunity and increases in stress hormones.
Other studies show that midlife women in unsatisfying marriages have higher blood pressure, higher cholesterol, and higher body mass indexes than those in satisfying marriages. They also have higher levels of depression, anxiety, and anger.
The researchers noted that these physical and emotional states raise the risk of heart disease—and each can be exacerbated by stress.
Being in a supportive relationship can also motivate us to live healthier. Studies show social support is related to eating more vegetables, exercising, and quitting smoking.
Being around healthier people can be an incentive to take better care of our own health. Or perhaps we may enjoy exercising with friends or partners.
Spouses may buy and cook healthy foods for us or we may be motivated to get fitter so as to be more attractive to our partners.
There is a difference between encouragement and being too controlling, however. One study compared partner support (aiding and reinforcing a partner’s own efforts) with partner control behaviors (inducing change in one’s partner).
Results showed that supportive behaviors predicted better mental health, while control behaviors predicted worse mental health and less healthy behaviors. Trying to control others may make them angry and create resistance to change.
Research shows that we are more ly to maintain healthy behaviors if we are motivated by intrinsic factors wanting to be fitter, rather than extrinsic factors placating a partner.
Social support has also been shown to reduce the biological stress response. In studies in which people are subjected to social stress in the form of public speaking with evaluation, those who had a close friend or family member present showed less cardiovascular arousal and/or faster cardiac recovery from stress.
Patting a pet can also lower your blood pressure. Social support (whether from humans or animals) may make us more resilient to stress by lessening the body's biological stress response.
Findings from animal studies show that social support reduces the release of cortisol (the stress hormone) when faced with a stressor.
For people at risk for depression, supportive relationships can be a protective factor. In studies, better social support predicted less depression in people with cardiac disease and heart attack patients.
Patients with more support are more ly to cope actively with their health issues—for example, by making lifestyle changes. Supportive relationships also help our mental health.
This effect has been shown in populations including college students, unemployed spouses, and parents of medically ill children.
How does social support impact our health? It seems there are biological, behavioral, and emotional pathways.
Partners and friends or family can encourage us by listening, showing that they care, helping our self esteem, motivating us to be healthy, or distracting us from our stressors.
On the other hand, criticism and ongoing unresolved conflict can make us feel more stressed and take energy away from managing our problems.
Melanie Greenberg, Ph.D., is a practicing psychologist in Mill Valley, California, and former Professor of Psychology at the California School of Professional Psychology. She is an expert on stress, the brain, and mindfulness.
She provides workshops, speaking engagements, and psychotherapy for individuals and couples. She regularly appears on radio shows and as an expert in national media. She also does long-distance coaching via the internet.
Her new book, The Stress-Proof Brain is now available.
- Get weekly articles from Melanie delivered to your Inbox here
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- Read The Stress-Proof Brain
Happiness In Relationships
Happiness in relationships thrives when it involves people that already feel whole, secure and happy. These people do not depend on a relationship to give them anything. All of their relationships then reflect the wholeness of what they are. Is this your experience or are you demanding that relationships give you something they cannot?
When people who do not yet feel complete, whole or happy come into a relationship demanding that the relationship or person provide these “missing things”, that is where suffering can arise. True happiness in relationships comes when people's own happiness flows into the relationship, rather than demanding it be the other way around.
The mistake many of us tend to make is to demand that relationships or people make us happy. If you look to relationships for happiness, they can easily cause you unhappiness. It is an unfair demand, unless you agree to be subjected to unhappiness at any moment.
Here I will focus on romantic relationships. Happiness in familial relationships is covered in the page “Finding Family Happiness”.
Demands Of The Ego
It seems to be one of the biggest misconceptions that we can find true happiness in relationships, or as a result of a relationship. This false belief leads to so much unhappiness in relationships (as well as the opposite “happiness”) – because we believe the person or relationship should be making us continuously happy – but they can not.
True happiness is already there inside you, and a relationship is just sharing this experience.
Most people seek a partner because they want some kind of fulfilment, satisfaction or pleasure. Instantly then, you are looking to use someone else to feel better about yourself.
Many people make demands of their partners or of the relationship to provide things for them, such as peace, happiness, support, security, a sense of wholeness and completeness, or a sense of self (e.g. “I am in a great relationship”).
Despite what people think, another person can not truly provide your own fulfilment. When this becomes apparent, sometimes the relationship can turn into a relationship between pain bodies. These are sometimes known as toxic relationships.
How many times have you heard the terms “my other half” or “you make me happy” or “you complete me”? These all come from the ego not yet feeling whole or complete, and believing that someone else will satisfy its need for fulfilment.
This feeling of wholeness from a relationship may be convincing at first, even for years – but you must know that you need nothing to feel whole and complete. The ego uses the conceptual identity of another person to try to fill its own gaps.
What happens if you spend time apart from the person you supposedly “love” or at least “”. How would you feel if the relationship was to end? The answers to these questions can help make clear how much your happiness or sense of self depends on the relationship.
Relationships, everything else in the world are unstable. Depend on them for happiness and you will fear their loss, become attached, and be equally unhappy if you lose them or even if you believe their loss is threatened.
How To Remedy This?
Go within. Read the page on authentic happiness. Notice any reactions you have – jealousy, fear, resentment, upset over the relationship or your partner. Just noticing these patterns in yourself breaks your identification with them, even if only slightly at first.
Bringing conscious awareness to your reactions and thoughts about your relationship or partner means you can know yourself as the awareness behind them.
Of course, you can enjoy the relationship/s you are involved in, but you no longer need them to feel good or whole. You can share, love, do whatever you please, but you are not so attached when you dwell in a place of awareness. You can enjoy them while they last and not mind when they end. You do not demand that anyone else make you happy – and there is great freedom in that.
Being in Love
Most people seem to believe that through “being in love”, this wonderful amazing feeling that people should be searching for can actually also lead to someone's “heart being broken”. Many seem to accept that people can go through tremendous emotional pain as a result of “being in love”.
Real love involves no pain, no turmoil. Real love needs nothing and no-one. It asks for nothing, clings to nothing and is completely self-sustaining.
The ego believes in “being in love”, where a high can easily lead to a low. The true self, who you are, simply is love, already. This loves flows the self into any relationship or action.
There is no need to seek for happiness in relationships. Happiness is already part of who you are. Practice present moment awareness to get a glimpse of this, and all of your relationships become an expression of the satisfaction you already feel from knowing what you are.
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