What it’s like to be in a happy relationship
There’s a lot of #hugot online about how love is a bitch. How it makes people miserable, lonely, empty. So today I want to write about how it’s like to be in a happy relationship. I want to talk about how I’m able to wake up everyday without having to worry if we will fight, or if he will fail me in some way. I want to share how it’s possible for me to live a productive, positive life where I win and he wins.
I won’t claim that this is easy to accomplish. We were just ridiculously lucky to find another person who thinks about relationships the same way.
We are equals. Much of the unhappiness in relationships come from one person holding more power over the other. Maybe the guy always pays and certain compromises are made by the girl to make up for it. Maybe the girl uses sex as a bargaining chip, giving it as a reward or withholding it as punishment. Maybe the guy loves the girl more so he gives her everything even if it makes him miserable. She asks with little mercy.*
In all these situations someone has more control over the relationship. If you’re the one with power, you probably think it’s okay because you’re getting your way, and isn’t that the point? If you’re the one with less power, you probably think it’s okay because getting something is better than nothing.
The problems with such skewed dynamics are many. You can’t respect someone you can control and manipulate, for one thing. You can’t be free if you feel you “owe” someone to act or talk a certain way. This is btw very dangerous! You can’t be truly happy if your next dose of it depends heavily on someone else - whether you are in the position of power or not. There will always be resentment and discontent, which then leads to abuse and unfaithfulness.
James and I treat each other as equals. No one has the upper hand. All issues are dealt with fairly and dare I say with the least amount of emotion as possible. We split our expenses but we gift where it matters to us. We do not manipulate each other’s feelings. Most importantly, we don’t depend on each other to be happy. We have our own lives and own dreams to pursue.
We talk about everything, and I mean EVERYTHING. There is no sacred cow. We’ve gone to dark places together, to childhood scars, to old lovers, to painful failures and uncertainty about the future. We talk about money honestly. On the few odd times we fought, nothing was left unsaid. If there is a problem we don’t let it fester - we talk about it immediately and propose, counter-propose, and finally jointly decide on an actionable solution.
We truly enjoy each other’s conversation that we pass The Traffic Test with flying colors. I love hearing about what he thinks about any topic under the sun and I believe he feels the same way too!
We know that our most valuable resource is our time and our expertise. Hence, these are two things we hate to waste the most. We are always looking for the best ways to grow the resources we have and how to improve ourselves. We don’t have time for drama or holding each other back! Everyday is a new set of challenges we have to face alone and together. We’re on the same team; sabotaging and competing against each other are unthinkable.
Together, we are better people. I have a tendency to wallow, be cynical, and see certain things in black and white. I can be impatient and unkind. But he always makes me realize when I am beating myself (and others) up for nothing. He is always optimistic and down to earth. He can empathize with others, and he teaches me all of these things.
He understands me - where I’ve been, where I am, and what I want to be. With that understanding comes the support I need to fulfil my potential. I feel I do the same thing for him! Together our lives are happier and more productive. Separately we’d still be happy and productive but just not as much, so I’m grateful to be his other half.
Being in a relationship need not be difficult. The hard part really is finding the right person and sharing the right mindset. I hope you find someone who will make you happy, if you haven’t yet! In the meantime you can work on your relationship with yourself following the points above. ^_^ Remember, the clock is ticking. Your love life shouldn’t be your priority - treat it as an added value to your well-being, and not as the highlight. There is much to accomplish. Finding Mr Right is the least of it.
*Genders may be switched, of course.