Time and time again, I see folks posting on social media about how they are so sad because they are single. Time and time again, I want to smack them upside the head. I don’t know how many times people need to hear it, but you shouldn’t base your whole of happiness around having a partner. This is not the end game goal here. The end game goal is to be the best you possible with the best life possible. You’d be surprised just how many of the things you think will help you achieve that goal actually do not!
A study done by Lucas et al. 2003 showed a stunning fact – marriage does not increase happiness long term. Compared to happiness levels pre-marriage and after, happiness levels only increased for 1-2 years, and then dropped back down to where they were before marriage. This tells us a lot.
First – It is vital that we ensure we have a good happiness baseline before a relationship or marriage. We want to go into it as happy as possible so that way our relationship is more enjoyable and more healthy. This is also very valuable because if the relationship ends, we still walk away with a good baseline of happiness in life. We all know that relationships often aren’t forever. If you are happy person before your relationship, you will be a happy person if it ends. If you are an unhappy person who ties their happiness onto their relationship, the blow will be much harder if it ends.
Second – We really, REALLY need to stop expecting a relationship to “fix” us or magically make our lives amazing. A relationship should be viewed as icing on the cake. Your life should already be an delicious cake before you get into a relationship. It should be something you enjoy for the most part and have a lot of happiness with as it is. That way, when you meet someone special, it’s just an added bonus! You already have a life that you are happy in, now you get to add some extra goodness on top.
A relationship will not fix your issues. If you are depressed and miserable before it, you will take that into your relationship. You bring your issues into a relationship, the relationship does not magically make them all go away. This means you really need to take care of your issues before getting involved with someone. Otherwise you will be sorely disappointed when your relationship doesn’t fix everything, and you will also hurt your partner as well. That is very unfair of you to do. Fix yourself up before getting involved with another person. While none of us are perfect, we most certainly can work to be our best before getting involved with another human being.
And to really hit that message home – people are really turned off by those who don’t have their lives together, people who are an emotional mess, people who are extremely unhealthy. It’s not an attractive quality for someone who is working to improve themselves and their lives daily, and who strives to live a happy life. If you want a healthy partner, be a healthy person.
Third – Stop dumping all the responsibility for your happiness onto someone else. There is one person in particular that comes to mind because she is ALWAYS posting things on social media about her man. Things that put a ton of pressure on him, things that come off a jealous and petty, things that are very demanding. It is not you partner’s job to make you happy, nor is it the job of anyone else you know. It is YOUR job. Yes, that sucks and it’s really hard to do sometimes. There are days I want someone to swoop in and fix all my problems. Guess what? They aren’t going to! That’s my job to do.
A partner should ADD to your happiness, not be expected to provide all of it. You need to find ways to create happiness in your life. It is not up to anyone else but you to make you happy. You will end up with a very miserable partner if you continue to dump all the responsibility for your happiness on them, and more than likely they will leave you. A relationship is a partnership where two decently healthy people decide to make something of life together. They commit to being the best they can and making life the best they can. It’s a team – it’s not a dictatorship. Sorry, but you’ll have to dump the throne and the palm leaves!
So, how can you find more happiness? Here are some ways!
- Start a gratitude journal. At the end of each day, write down a few things you are grateful for out of the day. If you have a hard time finding something, start off with writing one thing down each day. The more you do this, the more you will change your mind to pick up on the positive of situations instead of the negative. This is changing your perspective on situations and your outlook on life.
- Write thank you notes. This seems silly in our day and age but it makes a big difference in your attitude! You can write physical thank you notes, send emails, or shoot someone a message on social media. What you are wanting to accomplish is setting your mind to pick up on the good in the people around you. When someone gives you a ride when your car broke down. When you were sick and a friend brings you soup. When someone gives you a special gift. Send them a little note to tell them that you appreciate what they did for you. Not only will it increase your happiness, but it will make the other person feel good as well! We live in a world where people aren’t appreciative as much so it will stand out to those who show you kindness.
- Find something good in your hard situations. This is another difficult one especially if you are struggling right now. Life changes constantly and we experience many different seasons, some of which are harder than others. The goal is to find the positive in even the bleakest situations. Not only does it help you have a more positive outlook, but it also gives you more strength to keep going during tough times. When you find something positive in a situation, not all hope is lost because you were able to find good in it. This empowers you to keep moving forward.
- Take time for you. We fill life with things that take up our time and energy, and we often forget about our own emotional needs. Set aside time for yourself daily or weekly so that you can take a little breather and recharge. Do something just for you that will relax you and help you drop off some of the stress you carry. Don’t feel guilty about telling people you aren’t available during this time! You cannot be there for others every single second, and you’re of no use to others if you are worn out and burnt out. You are important so take care of yourself!
- Exercise. I am sure many of you are groaning while reading this. Exercise, really? Yes really! It releases endorphins which in turn increase your happiness. Even if you just go take a short walk, do SOMETHING physical. Get up and get moving daily. Not only will it make you happier, but it improves your physical health. Being healthy improves your life all around.
- Dive into hobbies and interests that you enjoy. Do you like painting? Take a group painting class or just practice your skills at home. Do you love comics? Meet up with a group of comic fans or just spend some time browsing a comic book shop. You can find ways to enjoy these activities around others or by yourself, you just have to get creative. Having things you deeply enjoy doing will increase your happiness and it helps you create a life you enjoy living. We are wanting to have happy lives as much as possible. This is a good way to create that in your world!
What are some of the things you do to give your life more happiness? ❤️