14 Apr 2018

How Not To Let Your Happiness Depend Solely On Your Partner

'No one can make you feel inferior without your consent', which means that no one can make you feel happy too, unless you consent to it

You lived, you smiled, you laughed even before your partner came into your life. You have known the feeling of happiness even before, though it may not have lasted; but then, neither do the happy patches with your romantic partner last.

In fact, you might argue, pout, cry and often even wonder why you are with your partner. So then, does your happiness depend on your romantic partner? Not really. But if you think it does, then you start behaving in ways that perpetuate the notion that the strings of your emotions are in the hands of your partner, and you jump with happiness or not, like a puppet, depending on which way your strings are pulled. That our happiness depends on anyone outside ourselves, is a myth. You do not have a happiness button on your nose, which if pressed by your romantic partner, fills you with joy.

Eleanor Roosevelt says, 'No one can make you feel inferior without your consent', which means that no one can make you feel happy too, unless you consent to it.

Once this myth is broken, you need to attitudinally and behaviourally live a daily life of self-love and self-nurturance, thus experiencing happiness independent of the presence or absence of your romantic partner.

There are many ways to be happy independent of your romantic partner. Funnily enough, when you create personal happiness, it spills over into the relationship, thus enhancing the quality of the relationship from your side.

1. Set a personal goal or target and work towards it passionately. This could be a professional goal or a personal project like training for a marathon, doing a continuing education program, learning a language or a new craft, writing a book etc. Achieving such targets will give you a deep sense of accomplishment, and this personal happiness will reflect in the relationship space too.

2. Do stuff from your bucket list. We all want to tick the boxes off our bucket list, but might ignore or postpone our aspirations while investing in the romantic relationship. Go ahead with doing stuff from your list at periodic intervals. The personal excitement and enthusiasm will naturally also spillover in the relationship space making that space a happier one.

3. Have a creative endeavour or volunteering work that keeps softens the soil of your heart and enhances your empathy quotient. Let music, art, or any other creative expression be a part of your everyday life, or then volunteering with underprivileged children, the terminally ill, senior citizens etc. that might give you immense joy. These activities open up your soft side and such a soft and empathetic space can only be beneficial for the relationship too.

4. Have a loving circle of close friends or family that you regularly create cherished memories with. Create plans with close ones to go for a trek or camping, or a group holiday or pilgrimage, or celebrate festivals together, meeting on special days like birthdays and weddings, in order to create your own world outside your romantic partner. Such a fulfilling world creates a sense of security, love and support, and this brings about a relaxation within oneself that naturally creates relaxation from your side in the relationship.

5. Have personal rituals that are deeply fulfilling. Everyday rituals like yoga, praying at home or in a temple/church, meditation, morning walks, a fitness regime, gardening etc. These give a structure to your day, and the familiarity of these everyday rituals, create a sense of being in charge of your day and your life. It also brings about a healthy discipline that can only help the relationship space from your side.

6. Engage in personal growth to keep upgrading this version of you. You could go off for personal growth programs / prayer or meditation retreats alone. Some people study scriptures or the philosophy of life, listen to spiritual discourses or engage in spiritual practices. Some others get into personal therapy to heal themselves, and to get rid off inner demons that obstruct their growth path, thus working towards self-actualisation.

7. Keep yourself informed about the goings-on around you. This could be done through news channels, through social networking apps like Facebook, Instagram etc., so that you feel a part of a world, other than the one with your romantic partner. Feeling connected with a larger world makes your dependence on your romantic partner less, and this can create a very liberating feeling for both, where both have the right balance between a shared couple's space as well as individual space. This liberated feeling, results in both being in the relationship because they 'want to',and not because they 'have to'.

All the above will demonstrate to you that you are perfectly capable of being happy independent of your romantic partner. If both of you are self-loving and self-nurturing, then the relationship will be a mature one, where neither one is 'needy' in the relationship, and both are investing personal happiness in the relationship space. Only such a relationship is truly an adult-adult one and equally fulfilling for both.

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