The Dalai Lama has said that “Happiness mainly comes from our own attitude, rather than from external factors,” and when you consider that there are almost always both positive and negative aspects to any situation or occurrence, it’s worth giving these words much more thought.
Fascinatingly, research by Heriot-Watt University reveals that many individuals possess a “warped sense of the perfect relationship” and “unrealistic expectations from their romantic partner.” It’s also interesting to note that these unrealistic expectations often mirror Hollywood love stories. However, in reality, it’s far more useful to look at a partner as someone you want in your life rather than someone you want to provide you with things.
Love should be shared, not expected.
It’s tempting to come to expect your partner to make you happy, but no human being should rely on—or should have to rely on—anyone other than themselves for personal happiness. It’s often been said that people should be happy single but open to additional or different happiness with another person in a relationship (and for good reason).
Love should not be illusionary.
Instead of expecting your partner to make you happy, expect them to simply support you in general. These sort of expectations are both realistic and reasonable, which means they are far from being illusionary (or unreasonably ideal). You must love yourself to be able to be happy and peaceful alone, but there’s nothing wrong with needing support to be a part of a loving relationship.
4 tips to enhance the love and endurance of your relationship.
#1: Loving yourself first must be your first priority.
As discussed, you cannot adequately or properly love someone else if you don’t genuinely love yourself as a human being. Always remember that you are hindering your partner along with yourself by being unhappy with who you are or who you are becoming. If you don’t love yourself, then figure out what changes you need to make in order to truly enjoy your life—and make them!
Look into your eyes and say, “I love you. I really, really love you!” Feel the words, do this two to three times per day for a few minutes, and you will experience positive results.
Since 0% of all human beings are perfect, it’s 100% OK for you to have flaws and make mistakes. Learn, accept, and be grateful to have gained knowledge that will help you in the future.
#2: Choose happiness.
No one can make you genuinely happy except yourself—or no one can allow you to be truly happy other than yourself.
Show gratitude and positive perspectives.
“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at will change.” These words are incredibly true; yet, ironically, you don’t have to speak any words at all in order to benefit from feelings of gratitude. In fact, simply thinking words or thoughts of gratitude will have positive and productive impacts.
Since no human being can control everything that happens in their life, no human being is 100% responsible for the outcome of their life. Don’t feel guilty about negative situations or events that aren’t entirely within your control.
Meditating for two hours each day has been said to be optimal, but even fifteen minutes per day will enhance focus, mental clarity, and inner peace.
#3: Love naturally.
There’s no need to constantly search or long for a relationship if you’re happy being single (which you should be, regardless of whether or not you’re open to a relationship). What’s more, the best strategy is to be yourself anyway, which is, even more, a reason to avoid fabricating or manufacturing love or a relationship.
#4: Never lose yourself.
This means you have to keep making time for yourself, keep pursuing your ambitions, and keep developing new independent goals. Only by balancing your time together with your partner with time apart from your partner can you fully enjoy your life overall. You do need to put yourself first in the relationship, but only slightly—if both partners share this philosophy then conditions are ideal for happiness, success, and peacefulness. If you’re not responsible for your partner’s enjoyment in life and they’re not responsible for yours, there’s far less pressure and far more pleasure.
Image: Paul H. Photography.
*This content was inspired by an amazing article that can be found here.