Throughout our entire childhood and upbringing, we were taught that we are supposed to look for love and marriage. We were taught that we should get married. We were taught that love and/or marriage would make us happy… or even that love and marriage are needed in order to be happy. This is ingrained in us by our parents, our teachers, the movies, TV shows and everything else most of us were exposed to. This is normal. And at first glance, this doesn’t seem like a problem at all. So what’s the issue?
The big issue with our pursuit of love… it makes us unhappy
If we believe that we need to find love and get married in order to be happy, this naturally makes us believe our life isn’t good enough the way it is. This subtle and often unconscious belief that “life isn’t good enough the way it is” creates a sense of lack, a sense of incompleteness, or a sense that something is missing from our lives. For some of us, this sense is very subtle and can only be noticed through continuous efforting to find someone to love us… but for others, this sense of lack is very apparent and strong.
In addition, once we believe that love and marriage are required to be happy, we naturally believe that we can’t be as happy if we don’t find love and get married. This is automatic. If we believe it is “best” to get married, of course we are going to believe that it would be “worse” if we never get married. Once we believe that it would be “bad” if we never find love and get married, we being to fear that outcome and experience stress and anxiety about it.
As long as you believe that love and marriage can make you happy, you will have this sense of lack and fear that you won’t find love
So, if you would like to feel complete now, if you would like to feel relaxed and anxiety-free now, there is a simple way to do it. Discover that another human being does not have the ability to fulfill you. If you can discover that love and marriage can’t make you happy, then you will no longer feel like you are missing something in your life, and you will no longer fear not getting love and marriage.
Let’s examine whether love and marriage can fulfill you:
All of our unwanted emotions are created by thoughts. To believe that someone else can make you happy, means that you believe another person can eliminate all of your negative thoughts. Of course, we don’t recognize this is what we are believing, but nonetheless, that is the underlying assumption. The only way we can be happy is if we don’t have thoughts that make us unhappy. If we believe that love and marriage will make us happy, we are inherently believing that love and marriage will somehow eliminate all of the different types of negative thoughts that currently create our unwanted emotions and prevent us from feeling fulfilled. But is that true? Let’s look at 7 different types of thoughts that love and marriage can’t eliminate.
1) Do you have any insecurities or judgments about yourself?
Are there parts of your personality or your appearance that you don’t like? Do these thoughts sometimes make you feel ashamed, embarrassed, lacking, or worried about others’ opinions? Nobody else can get rid of these thoughts for you.
2) Do you have aspects of your life that you think aren’t good enough?
Maybe your job isn’t good enough, your apartment isn’t good enough, or you don’t make enough money. These thoughts make you feeling lacking and insufficient, and create anxiety. Nobody else can get rid of these thoughts for you.
3) Are there people in your life which you think aren’t good enough?
Do you judge people that you come across? Do you sometimes get angry at co-workers? Do you have issues with your parents? Do you think your friends don’t always do the right thing? Do you think people should treat you better? Nobody else can get rid of these thoughts for you.
4) Do you worry about what other people think?
Do you worry about whether you have your parents’ approval? Do you worry about whether your boss will like your work? Do you worry about what others will think of your appearance and clothes? Do you sometimes not do what you want because you are afraid of what other people will think (i.e. dancing etc)? Nobody else can get rid of these thoughts for you.
5) Do you sometimes feel guilty or ashamed about your actions?
Do you sometimes do things you don’t want to do? Are you sometimes unable to do things that you really want to do? Do you still have habits that you think are bad, but can’t stop them? Nobody else can get rid of these thoughts for you.
6) Do you sometimes feel restless and bored?
When you are just sitting or lying down and your mind is constantly thinking, this creates the feeling of being restless or bored. Nobody else can get rid of these thoughts for you.
7) Do outcomes and events sometimes occur that you don’t like?
When you have negative thoughts about a particular outcome or event, doesn’t this sometimes create sadness or anger? Nobody else can get rid of these thoughts for you.
Relationships can eliminate a few negative thoughts, but they will almost certainly be replaced by new ones
Getting into a relationship will likely help you get rid of the thought “my life isn’t good enough because I don’t have a partner or someone to love me”. This will likely eliminate part of the sense of lack and shame that you had. But, it is likely to be replaced with new thoughts about how “my relationship isn’t good enough”, “they don’t love me enough”, “they don’t appreciate me enough”, “our relationship isn’t as good as their relationship” and these types of thoughts which will create more lack and shame
If you get married, you will almost certainly lose the thought “it would be if I never get married or find someone to love me”. Since this thought created some anxiety, whatever anxiety it created will likely be gone. That will feel really nice in the beginning. However, this thought is likely to be replaced with a new worries about whether they will stop loving you, worries about whether they still love you, worries about what you need to do to keep their love, worries about whether they will cheat on you, and possibly others. These new thoughts will continue to create anxiety and worry. It makes us fear that we will lose their love and constantly seek reassurances that they love us.
If you are seeking love and marriage to make yourself feel happy and whole, you are looking for someone to use.
Let me ask you a question: Why do you want to find love and marriage? Really, take a moment to answer that. If you knew with absolute certainty that getting someone to love you and marry you would make you unhappy, worried, and angry all the time… would you still want to pursue love and marriage? Almost certainly not. Why would you pursue love and marriage if you knew it would make you unhappy?
You likely wouldn’t. If you would want to pursue love and marriage when you believe it would make you happy… and you wouldn’t want to pursue love and marriage if you believe it would make you unhappy… then it makes it pretty clear that you are just pursuing love and marriage because you believe it will make you happy. In other words, you don’t want love and marriage… you want to be happy, and you just happen to think that love and marriage will make you happy. Love and marriage is the means, not the goal.
But, here is the reason why I bring that up. If we are seeking love and approval to be happy, then we are actually seeking someone to make us happy. In other words, if we are seeking someone to make us happy, we are actually looking for someone who we can use to make us happy. This is why we tend to think that receiving love means having someone to fill our needs (or wants).
If we are using someone to make us happy, then we aren’t really loving them. We just love how they help make us feel. That’s fine, there’s no problem with that. It’s just not based on love. If we pursue someone to make us happy, then we will “love” them when they seem to make us feel good and we will hate them when they seem to make us feel “bad”. This type of “love” is completely conditional. The bottom line is that if we don’t truly love someone, then we don’t feel this love or the fulfillment that comes with truly loving… unconditionally and selflessly. By pursuing love to make us happy, we are setting ourselves up for a relationship that’s not actually based on love.
When you discover that love and marriage can’t make you happy, you can be much happier right now
When we believe that love and marriage will make us happy, it creates a whole lot of suffering. And this suffering absolutely doesn’t end when we find someone to love us.
But, if you are able to see that love and approval can’t make you happy and fulfilled, then you can stop feeling like something is missing from your life and stop worrying about whether you will ever get it. Then, you will be left feeling much more free and happy right now.
If you want to feel whole and happy, you need to identify and address the thoughts that make you feel this way
Since other people cannot change all of our negative thoughts to positive ones, we need to question the truth of our negative thoughts if we want to be happy. If we don’t believe the thoughts which make us feel unappreciated, insufficient, or unlovable, then we will be completely happy regardless of whether or not others love us.
In addition, once you are already happy, then you can enter into a relationship without wanting anything from the other person. When you are fulfilled, you can enter into a relationship without an ulterior motive… without using them. Then, any relationship will be much more enjoyable. It will be based on love.
Therefore, somewhat paradoxically, discovering that a relationship can’t make you happy will make it much more likely that you will end up in a happy relationship.
Now, I would like you to ask yourself a few questions:
Can love and marriage eliminate all the thoughts that create my unwanted emotions and make me feeling lacking and unfulfilled?
If love and marriage can’t eliminate all (or even many) of the thoughts that make me unhappy, is it true that love and marriage can give me the happiness, wholeness, and fulfillment I want?
If love and marriage don’t have the ability to fulfill me (or anyone else), then is it true that my life isn’t “good enough” just because I don’t have love and marriage?
If love and marriage can’t fulfill me, am I sure that I would be happiest if I got married?
If all of my unwanted emotions and sense of lack are created by thoughts, then is it true that I need to get love and marriage in order to be happy?
Is it possible for me to feel completely whole, happy, and fulfilled without getting married (by addressing my thoughts)?
If I can be fulfilled without getting love and marriage (by addressing my thoughts)… and love and marriage don’t have the ability to fulfill me… then can I admit that it wouldn’t necessarily be “bad” for my life or my happiness if I never get love and marriage?
via How To Stop Feeling Lacking and Worried About Being Single.