The search for "the one" can be an arduous task. For some people it happens in a moment, "I knew she was the one the moment I laid eyes on her." For others it feels like we're stuck in our version of the story of Sisyphus who was punished to repeatedly roll a huge boulder up a hill only to watch it come back down and hit him again and again.
Happiness is the ultimate game of hide-n-seek and most of us believe if we can just find the one, the person of our dreams, the ultimate relationship and love of our loves...then we'll be happy.
Thinking this way is more like a Disney inspired fairy tale, one we desperately want to believe but the reality of being happy is a little more complex and evasive. Long term happiness is far less dependent of finding a mate as it is learning to first be happy inside ourselves. Believing we will be happy when we find that perfect relationship is an emotional and financial trap
The dating industry generates over two billion dollars in revenue annually. A lot of people are making money off of us being single. They know what we desire(a relationship) and they want our money. The search for our life partner, our soul mate—the last date ever is a noble cause but will not be the sole source of our happiness
Being alone isn't so bad even if it isn't our ultimate goal. Being alone is not the opposite of happiness nor does it have to be the reason for our unhappiness. It's true the majority of us don’t like to be alone. Most of us are looking to love or be loved in one way or another. It’s also more socially acceptable to be in a relationship.
Singlism is real! Adult singles are often stereotyped as having something wrong with them just because they are not married or in a relationship. This social and psychological pressure can cause singles to spend a lot of money as they search for their match—on things like dating sites and singles events, and on buying products to increase their attractiveness.
Here are some real relationship facts:
On a positive note being in a long term healthy relationship does have it's benefits! Good communication, paying attention, giving on the small stuff, expressing love towards our partner beyond words and being a team player can really make a difference! When there is less anxiety in a relationship many of us equate that to more happiness!
But all the experts tell us, and we secretly know it too, that we should work on being happy with ourselves first.
Being alone and loneliness are vastly different things. Being alone can be awesome!
Shawn Achor, author of "The Happiness Advantage" and just about every Buddhist I know would advise us to find our own happiness on the inside first. A relationship can provide short term happiness or distraction from the things that bother us but long term it will not make us happy until we learn how to be happy inside ourselves first.
Being happy makes us happy and being happy will help us find a great relationship which could potentially make us even happier!
Author: Heather Dawn
A version of this blog originally appeared in Heather Dawn's column on Elephantjournal.com