How to Get Off The Unhappy Relationship Merry-Go-Round
Is it possible for a person to find happiness in a relationship if they can’t be happy being by themselves?
This may seem a little harsh, but the short answer to that question is no.
Why? To be in a mutually healthy relationship where both parties encourage each other to grow and thrive, each should bring a reasonable level of self-awareness and self-love to the table. It’s never one-sided.
Now, I’m not saying that a person has to be perfect or that they aren’t going to continue to work on personal challenges when they are in a relationship.
What Gets In Our Way to Happiness?
We’re all a work in progress. What I’m talking about is the person that says “I’ll be happy when “X” happens”, meaning when they fall in love, or some other external is required to feel happiness.
They can’t be happy where they are until they are validated by something or someone outside themselves.
But, here’s the problem. By giving away their power to others or accepting a dependency on circumstances they can’t control, they’re selling themselves short on their ultimate goal to be happy.
Letting others control your happiness is like handing a person the keys to your car and hoping you’re going to like the destination they drive you to.
It tells them you don’t think enough of yourself to have a say in what you want out of that relationship. Things like respect, appreciation, encouragement, and acceptance of who you are.
Too often we hand over our metaphorical “keys” to others because we think it’s a way to show them that we trust them and want to please them.
Are You On The Relationship Merry-Go-Round?
If we are choosing our relationships the same way we face our own truths and challenges, chances are we’re not getting the healthy, supportive individuals that we were hoping for.
Often this means a repeat performance from the last unhappy relationship experience and the merry-go-round continues.
That’s because you’ve dragged your unresolved emotional baggage into your relationships, with the expectation that the new love of your life has the answers you haven’t been willing to seek or acknowledge for yourself.
What’s that old saying? “Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Right”.
If we haven’t done the personal work to uncover the reasons we can’t be alone, have difficulty maintaining long-term relationships, or continue to view the world from a negative perspective, why should we expect to receive something different from someone else in an intimate relationship?
It Takes Two
It really comes down to this. To feel happy in a relationship takes two people who have the willingness and commitment to work through the tough times as much as they create joyful experiences.
They’ve done the work in shedding light on the fears, self-worth issues, lack of confidence, or other emotional roadblocks, that are keeping them from the happiness and well-being they deserve.
The greatest gift we can give others is to have dealt with our own stuff and truly put it behind us with forgiveness and compassion.
The light that we emit from that healing is what draws like-minded, positive partners to us who can love and support us in the way we deserve.
But, this kind of healing takes time. It takes concerted focus and effort. The process isn’t always fun either and it usually feels like it’s moving at a snail’s pace.
Happiness Can’t Be Bought
We’re a nation whose focus is all about immediate gratification.
The problem is, what we want most can’t be acquired based on the size of our bank account, how good we look, or job success.
If you could get happiness that easily and quickly, would it be as desired as it is by so many? Probably not.
If you want a sense of peace, fulfillment, and happiness, you’ve got to do the work.
I know the fear of being alone and not finding the right mate is pervasive in our society.
But, in waiting for the future and “the right one” to come along, then expecting that person to bring you joy instead of creating your own, you lose so many wonderful opportunities to learn, grow and love yourself for the unique human being you are.
Ask yourself this question. “Can I still be a happy, productive, and loving person who's ok with being alone if the right relationship didn’t come along?”
If not, why? Does it create fear? Anxiety? Do you feel like you will be judged by society or considered unworthy of love?
Whenever fear is driving a life decision, I immediately go to the worst-case scenario I can think of and work back from there.
It’s amazing what happens when you face your worst fear head-on. It always seems to evaporate the more directly you call it out.
What would happen if you never found your perfect mate? Would you be less accepting of yourself for it?
The truth is that your worth as a human being has nothing to do with other people’s opinions or expectations. You create that from within.
Hold That Space With Courage
Being by yourself, and fully embracing that experience, means you have the courage to hold that space for yourself. You value yourself enough to not only just make the most of it but make those moments count in a way you will look back at the end of your life with pride.
So, while you’re working to unpack your emotional baggage, why not shake it up a little and try something new? Get out of that comfort zone and see what change can bring you?
Take the time to ditch the coping skills that have kept you playing small for so long. It’s time to create healthier ones that come from a place of self-love and a true openness to the potential that’s waiting for you.
Keep the focus on what it is that makes you happiest and chart a course toward it without hesitation or fear.
If you do, I’ll wager you’ll look back later in life on this time and smile, knowing you finally made yourself the priority and that the effort was worth way more than you ever expected.
So, until next time, my friend, as I always say….stay safe, stay healthy and stay strong!