Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Weighing of Happiness

A dear friend of mine mentioned he missed my blogging on this site, versus my other blog. So, in homage to him . . .

I think sometimes in life we have to weigh our happiness. WTF? Has he lost his mind, you're thinking? WTH is he talking about?

The idea for this post began last week while I was in MA for a work conference. I was talking to a friend of mine who I only see at the conference. I asked her how her beau (boyfriend for those not in the know) was doing, and she kind of shrugged her shoulders. Well, let me tell you, that got everybody interested in what was going on with her relationship. In the end, as much as she loves him, she's just not totally happy in the relationship.

My response: who is? Nobody has a perfect relationship. There is not a perfect relationship . . . anywhere. Still, the conversation made me think. We talked some more, and I told her that sometimes, love is not enough. We can love someone deeply, yet that doesn't mean a relationship is going to survive.

I continued to think about our conversation and sent her an email Monday morning as follows:

I think sometimes in life we have to weigh our happiness. You’re thinking . . . WTH??? I’m thinking about our conversation in the bar Tuesday night about relationships. Perfect relationships do not exist. Every relationship takes work and compromise on the part of the people involved. There comes a point when we question whether we want to still be in the relationship or not. It is at that point, at least for me, that people need to weigh their happiness. Or, just ask yourself one simple question: Am I more unhappy in this relationship, than happy? Okay, there’s another question: Does my partner in this relationship get on my nerves more often than not? Well, there are probably a gazillion other questions you could ask yourself. In the end, it’s about what is best for you as a person. Follow your heart and do what’s best for you. Sometimes, love is not enough.

Relationships are not simple. Life is not simple. In no way am I encouraging my friend to dump her boyfriend. What I am trying to do, is to encourage her to delve beneath the surface and really examine the relationship.

Sometimes, people get/stay together for all the wrong reasons. Another dear friend of mine, again one I only see at the conference, made the comment that she misses the companionship of being in a relationship. For me, at least, that is not a reason to be unhappy the majority of the time. It is also not a reason to get involved with somebody. Gee, I'm lonely, he's kind of cute, and even if we don't find happily ever after, at least he'll be there when I get home at the end of the day. Heck, if you want that kind of relationship, get a dog. They're always glad to see you! I'm just saying . . . I'm also not trying to diminish/dismiss my friend's concern about loneliness. I understand loneliness. I've been there, done that, and have multiple t-shirts. I just want something more out of life than a companion.

I'm lucky enough to be in a great relationship. My beloved partner, who worships the quicksand I walk upon, makes me smile/laugh every single day. You just never know what's going to come out of Frank's mouth. Really, people, minds out of the gutter. Do we have problems? Yes. As I've said before, there is no such thing as a perfect relationship. But, when I weigh my happiness, it's far heavier than my unhappiness at certain points in the relationship. That, dear readers, is what I mean about the weighing of happiness.


lizB said...

Hear, hear. My husband and I celebrated our 6th anniversary yesterday. We've been together 10 years. We're happier than anyone has a right to be, really. We're lucky.

But, it's an undeniable truth that in every relationship, one person will always be giving more and one person will always be taking more. People in successful relationships understand that the trick is to keep it shifting. Make sure it's not always the same person giving and the same person taking.

Congratulations to both of you on your successful relationship.