A Simple Way to Build Happy, Lasting Relationships

We all want to build happy, lasting relationships but relationships for most people are a cause of both pleasure and pain. Sometimes, they go blissfully well. Sometimes, they suck and there is pain.

Is there no way to make relationships work all the time? Is there no way to make sure that you are loved, appreciated and cared for all the time? Why should it go wrong?

The Cause of Relationship Problems

At the heart of almost all relationship issues is this: we expect someone else to make us happy. Not just that, we give away control of a very significant portion of our happiness to another person.

It is almost as if we say, “OK, from now on you have been entrusted with the responsibility of making me happy. Go ahead, do it!”

Sometimes, the other person does it. We are very elated. We jump up in joy. We cuddle. We are blissful.

Sometimes, the other person does not do it. Not just that- the other person does something unexpected, he or she does something that he or she definitely knows will make us unhappy!

Of course, we are frustrated. I mean, come on – we sincerely, completely trusted that the other person would make us happy. But he or she is not doing it! How can that happen? We feel pained. We feel hurt. We feel like this person can never really make us happy. Maybe breaking up is the best thing.

Then, of course, there is also the ‘reverse process’. Since we want the other person to make us happy, we also know that we should also make the other person happy. So, we do things to make the other person happy expecting:

1) That he will definitely be happy with what we do and..

2) That he will make us even happier in return. When that flops, we get even more frustrated.

And yes, that’s the core delusion. The whole problem. It is not the other person. It is us. We are looking to a person outside us to make us happy. That will never happen.

Why Others Cannot Make You Happy

There are some things that are just true – just as it is true that the sun rises in the east.

One of these true things is that you cannot control another person’s behaviour. You just can’t. Even if that person is your wife or husband or lover or whoever. The other person is naturally free to do whatever he or she wants just as you are free.

A common trap we fall into is: “You let me control you and you can control a bit of me too.” But that doesn’t work because it is unnatural, because it goes against the basic universal truth above that you CANNOT control another person. Nope. No matter what you do. Nor can you completely give away your own control to another person.

We try to play this ‘control and be controlled’ game because it makes us feel secure. If you cannot control your loved one, isn’t that scary? Of course it is. That loved one may run off with someone else, or he or she may do things that you don’t agree with or he or she might stop loving you any moment! Even that thought of losing control of your special someone is not pleasant at all. And that is why you control your siginificant other. You want that person to behave the way you want him or her to behave so that you feel secure.

And yes, as I said – this goes against universal laws – you cannot be controlled or control another person completely. At least you can’t do that and expect to be happy.

And that is the reason others can never consistently make you happy. Because you cannot control when they will choose to make you happy or when they will choose to make you unhappy. Today, your wife may plan a surprise for you but tomorrow she may be angry at you. You cannot control her and so you cannot consistently make her make you happy.

And so, if you have been looking to others to make you happy – you have reached the root of the problem – looking to others is the problem.

How to Build Happy, Lasting Relationships Then?

The solution is actually simple.

Understand that you can be happy by yourself. You don’t need anyone to be happy.

Now, this is a very tricky concept to grasp because you have never been told this as your grew up. Movies and romantic stories tell you that the other person will flood your life with love. Facebook images and wall posts tell you that your friend’s wife loves him so much – if only yours loved you as much. All that is false or atleast the way you are interpreting it is a delusion. The proof that that is a delusion is in your own relationship: is your partner making you happy in real life? Have you not tried again and again and again to make her understand that she should do this and that to make you happy? That she should love you more in this way and that? And yet, why is there conflict? Why is it that STILL she can’t make you happy?

Because you need to realize this: you don’t need her to be happy. You don’t need any other person’s approval to be happy, nor do you need anyone’s permission. You think you need it, and it might be very difficult to accept that you don’t need it, but you just don’t need it! You can be happy right now. You can flood your life with as much happiness as you want.

You can pursue a range of activities that make you happy. Starting your own business? Travelling the world? Learning a new language? Pursuing a certain hobby of yours? Working more or maybe working less and having more fun? Do it more. Do whatever makes you truly happy more. In fact, even if you don’t do anything – just look around. Observe the colour of the walls of your room, listen to the sounds of birds and buses and feel the air flowing past your face. Come back to the present moment. There are hundreds or maybe thousands of things that are waiting to flood you with happiness – go say yes to them. You don’t need a relationship to be happy!

It may take time, but slowly release the condition you have placed on your partner: “Make me happy.” Do that by being happy yourself!

What Will Happen When You Are Already Happy?

Yes, that’s interesting.

Once you let go of the need to control your partner and force her to make you happy, you will see something amazing happen.

Since you are already happy, whatever your partner does for you will be MORE than what you expect. You will suddenly start feeling grateful about even the smallest things she does for you because you will NOT seek your happiness from her. Imagine – if you are already happy – then won’t a gift from your partner make you even happier? It will. And very soon, you will see that your partner is adding so much happiness to your life! You might even feel grateful at times thinking: she does just so much for me. I am so touched. The truth is – the same things which you earlier thought weren’t enough, now make you feel grateful – because you are already happy.

Your relationship now expands your happiness and it increases it. In fact that’s what a relationship does – it expands your current emotional state. If you are already happy, it makes you even happier. If you are sad, it makes you sadder. If you seek happiness in a relationship without having it in you first, you are seeking something from a mirror reflection. What can a mirror give you that you do not have in yourself? It can’t give you anything. That is why you first need to be happy yourself BEFORE your relationship reflects that happiness and gives more of it to you.

The point of having a relationship is not to get happiness from it. The point is to share the happiness you already have with another person and therefore multiply the happiness of both.

Be happy. You don’t need anyone for that. All will be well. 🙂