We get into relationships with a desire to be happier but that's not what relationships are about.
We enter into a romantic relationship for many different reasons — love, romance, mutual attraction, fear of loneliness, peer pressure, social expectation, desire for sex, desire for money, we want a family, etc.
And underneath all of these reasons, there’s also that deeper one, the more universal one: happiness.
We all want to find love and learn how to be happy in life.
In fact, fairy tales seduce us from early childhood with stories of finding that one and true love and of living together in perfect harmony. Just think — how many times as a child did you hear the phrase "and they lived happily ever after"?
These kinds of images and ideas sink deeply into young minds, painting an image of marital bliss and stability. They make us aspire to bring the same level of relationship perfection into our own lives.
But, as soon as we enter the world of romantic attraction and intimate connection, we realize that romantic pursuits are not simple or easy.
Each time a new relationship starts, we’re full of hope for that forever after story. And every time a relationship ends, we wonder why we failed or we console ourselves in knowing that we made a mistake and picked the wrong person.
Not to worry, we’ll just continue looking for Mr. or Mrs. Right. Next time, we’ll surely do better.
But we never do and our relationships keep ending, one after another. And even if they manage to last, we struggle with issues and difficulties that we never saw coming.
So why exactly do we keep failing to find eternal happiness in a relationship?
We’ve been lied to because that's not how romantic relationships work. Being in a relationship, alone, is not meant to make us happier in life.
We can try all we want to have healthy relationships, but the simple truth is that giving us a happy life is not the role of the relationship or of whoever our current partner is. Relationships are about something else.
Healthy relationships are meant to make us conscious so we can grow. And only when we truly embrace this idea, we’ll actually be able to find peace, clarity, and happiness in our relationship.
When I first learned about this, it hit me like a tonne of bricks because I desperately wanted my partner to make me happy. I placed the responsibility for my satisfaction in his hands and kept waiting for the magic to happen…but it didn’t.
We obviously had good times that were full of love, joy, compassion, and trust. But, eventually, we would always somehow end up in an argument.
There were misunderstandings, frustrations, and anger. And I kept trying to fix things to make us happy again. It was a mad circle that I couldn’t get out of...until I understood that he was never there to make me happy.
He was there to help me grow and to help me see what still needed healing, addressing, or processing within me.
All relationships with other people serve us as mirrors of our own issues and shortcomings.
But a romantic relationship is one of the closest kinds of relationships that we can ever get into. And because of that intimacy of a romantic connection, it’s the most intense form of mirror that we’ll ever encounter.
Our intimate partner is a perfect match to whatever needs addressing which is what makes that person so attractive to us. We fall in love because we subconsciously recognize that this person is able to show us our wounds, hurts, and traumas. And if we choose to, we’ll grow, heal and expand together.
In this way, each relationship we enter has the potential to make us more conscious, more aware, and more healed.
Most people resist this idea and refuse to grow and heal. These people usually end up feeling stuck, unable to overcome their issues. But, the opportunities are always there and it’s up to us to accept them and welcome them with open hearts and minds.
It can be challenging to admit that we’re not as smart, mature or enlightened as we would like to think. But, behind that step, there’s a world of new, deeper realms and possibilities hidden in each one of our relationships.
If we choose to accept them, we do the work and grow as human beings.