Towards a Happy Personal Life: Learning to Be Happy on Your Own

Let’s now continue the fascinating discussion started by blogger Miriam:

Similarly, people are expected to be “happy on their own” before they can be dateable. That’s preposterous. If you’re 100% happy being single, why would you need a serious partner in the first place?

As we discussed in the previous post in this series, wanting “a serious partner” is in itself deeply problematic. Wanting to have a serious partnership with your boyfriend James or your girlfriend Lisa is, I believe, the only healthy approach. Nobody can be expected to be “a” partner for you. A desire for a partnership or a relationship should not come before a desire for an actual human being. If it does, you are not ready for a relationship. At least, not for a healthy one. You can, of course, find another seeker of “a serious partner” and get involved with them. I can guarantee, though, that within a very short time you will drive each other nuts with endless demands, nagging, sulks, fights, etc.

Now, let’s address the issue of whether you should learn to be happy on your own before becoming ready to date. In my opinion, yes, absolutely. Looking for a person to solve your psychological issues and fill a vacuum in your life is wrong. If you do that, it means you are planning to use a person before you’ve even met them. Another person can never solve your issues and fill your vacuum. No matter how much they give you, it will never be enough.

Recently, I quoted a post by a young woman who met a man of her dreams. They were very obviously made for each other. However, she had severe emotional issues she tried to resolve through him. As we can all guess, they are not together any more. Using one’s partner as an emotional crutch, a psychotherapist, a parental figure, or a wet-nurse is never a good idea.

I maintain that the best-case scenario is one where you are having a great time being single, then fall in love with a person, and have an even better time being partnered with them. A moment comes in one’s life when you say to yourself, “I have so much, why not share it with someone?” And from there a healthy relationship will grow. If, however, you say, “My existence is so incomplete. Let me get what’s missing out of another person (whom I’ve never even met but whose role in my life is already defined by my unfulfilled needs)”, I can’t see happiness ensuing as a result.

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5 comments on “Towards a Happy Personal Life: Learning to Be Happy on Your Own

  1. Mhm, it can be rather unhealthy to want to be together with a certain person, which is my case. So, I am trying to move away from that towards wanting just a partner so that I will be open to finding another certain person. And how will I find that person if I don’t look?

  2. I’ve never seen relationships as personal in that way, but rather as an opportunity for adventure. I’ve never made appraisals about who I am or whether I’m ready for something, since I’ve always been ready for adventure.

  3. Hmm. I feel conflicted on this issue. Yes, expecting to have a partner so that they can solve my emotional problems is juvenile. Actually, that sort of thinking aggravates me to no end. A few years ago, I used to frequent a depression forum. There’d periodically be people posting things like, “I’ve never had a boyfriend/girlfriend; if only I did, then that would solve all my problems.” Well, with that sort of thinking, you’re not valuing the partner as a human being, for being themselves. You’re valuing them because as a fulfillment of some fantasy.

    On the other hand, I think it would be nice to have a partner with whom I could share my emotional issues. I don’t expect the partner to solve them, just listen to them without judgment. Value me despite my baggage. I guess I’d like a partner as a confidante. And I’d gladly be their confidante as well. That’s all I really want, not some supposed shining knight in armor who will cure my emotional issues.

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