relationships part 3 – not delivering happiness

Not surprisingly, the topic of relationships is one that comes up again and again. Given there is so much to say on this subject I’ve decided to tackle it in instalments over time. I started the process with some earlier articles and I’m including links here in case you missed those and want to go back and take a look:
relationships part 1 – beginning with the Self
relationships part 2 – losing friends or progressive change?

Here is the latest instalment – part 3:

Relationships do not deliver happiness. Relationships are vital to life. They fulfil our most important desires for growth and expression. Naturally we all aspire for human interactions that are fulfilling and enjoyable.

Yet… relationships do not deliver happiness.

I realise this is counter to what we’re told by every magazine, book and love song out there. And possibly counter to what you have looked for from your relationships up to this point.

It’s all a question of expectation.

If you are looking for a relationship to meet a need, fill a gap and make you happy then watch out.  It is precisely this expectation that puts so much pressure on these human connections – especially those luvvy-duvvy ones.

When we expect (or even demand) a relationship to supply us with happiness, then we invariably shift the onus onto the ‘loveable other’. It is then their job to be good, behave as we wish, and make us happy. What this does is immediately take the locus of responsibility away from us. Instead of taking responsibility for what we bring to the relationship we end up trying to control the behaviour of our partner so that they continue to deliver what ‘we need and want’. If we spend all our energy attempting to take responsibility for what someone else brings to the relationship we will eventually run out of steam and so will the relationship.

Actually a relationship is an outlet for whatever it is that you bring to it. If you bring neediness, tension, stress and complaints then don’t be surprised if this is what you get back. If you bring energy, creativity, bliss and acceptance you will get it back.

So rather than being the source of our happiness, relationships are a purpose built vehicle for the happiness we have or have not.

Contribute 5% happiness and 95% misery and this is what will play out in the relationship.

Contribute 95% happiness and 5% misery and this is what will play out in the relationship.

Think of a relationship as a third entity in itself. It has it’s own personality, it’s own energy and it’s own lifespan that is based on what each person brings to it.  In this way it is always a reflection of the individuals who are a part of it.

When we remove the pressure of expecting something for which the relationship cannot deliver, we free ourselves and our partner to engage in a natural and easy way. We can shift our attention to what we are delivering rather than spending precious energy trying to control and direct what the other person is giving (or not).

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