You always deserve more than crumbs.

Here is something for you to ponder this weekend: When you imagined being happy in a relationship, is this what it felt like?

If you’re not in a relationship but you’re still hurting over someone, is what you experienced what being happy in a relationship seems like to you? I don’t just mean the good times but the relationship in its entirety.

I can tell you from personal experience that while I have been in relationships and dated people where the fact that I had someone gave me a level of happiness, I can assure you that I wasn’t actually happy. By that I mean a sense of wellness and contentment, liking and loving myself, not feeling agitated, confused, afraid, experiencing joy, but also experiencing the steadiness of life and love.

Happiness isn’t about just experiencing fleeting highs and you can’t expect life to be one big ‘ole long passionate fairy tale. If you experienced deep passion every day, it would all get vanilla. Conversely though, if you don’t want to end up being proverbially sick in your mouth, you can’t live your life like a constant ride on the big dipper. Happiness requires consistency. Real intimacy in relationships gets created by being able to co-exist and share in each others lives and experiences. It’s important to address the stuff in between which makes up the bread and butter of the relationship by giving the relationship consistency, but also the stuff on the other side of it, the lows. Too many lows are difficult to cancel out and be happy. You shouldn’t ignore red flags etc because you’re actually limiting your happiness.

Lots of people that read this blog experience fleeting highs by even more frequent lows – extremes. It’s hot and cold, moderately hot vs tepid and so on.

Those fleeting highs are what some people call passion but if you only experience it for a few minutes, hours, days of the year and the rest of the relationship is woeful, why go to extremes with the glass is half full mentality and dine off the those crumbs?

There are various levels of happiness and as well as experiencing highs, it’s good to be able to derive happiness out of the day to day existence. If you get panicky because you’re not experiencing high drama and passion day in day out, you’ll write off your relationships, create drama, or seek pleasure and excitement elsewhere.

If you ask yourself what happiness in a relationship means to you and you think of your ex or your current ‘partner’, have an honest conversation with yourself and ask whether you are truly happy? If not, why does happiness look like your ex or your current partner? You’re contradicting yourself.

When I imagine happiness, I actually see a number of things. ‘The boyf’, the kids, things I derive pleasure from such as my work and interactions, friends, family, my interests, liking and loving myself, feeling content, being confident, etc. All of these things together contribute to my ‘happiness pool’. If when you look at your happiness pool you only see one person or the silhouette of a person you’d like to fill the slot, you’re putting all of your eggs in one basket and limiting your opportunity to be happy.

Don’t make someone the sole source of your happiness or your reason for being.

When you’re happy you have boundaries.

When you’re happy you care for yourself and are cared for.

When you’re happy, you recognise when people and experiences detract from you because you don’t feel good.

When you’re happy, you understand that you’re happy and don’t second guess it.

When you experience happiness, you’re able to understand when you are unhappy.

When you experience happiness, it is actual happiness, not pseudo happiness tinged with anxiety and pain.

Being happy lets you respect yourself and commands that others treat you with respect.

Being happy means that you don’t spend your time and energies on a validation quest because you do the bulk of your own validation.

Being happy doesn’t feel like pain.

Being happy doesn’t come at the expense of your self-esteem.

Being happy lets you love yourself and love others.

Being happy lets you take a leap of faith because you have a foundation of enough information about the person and the situation.

Being happy lets you trust yourself and trust others, but not trust blindly.

Happiness is something you can make on your own.

You will struggle to experience happiness if you always seek it in external experiences and other people.

You cannot be personally happy and experience true happiness if you don’t learn to like and love yourself.

Happiness requires an openness of emotions and a willingness to put yourself out there otherwise you will experience limited happiness.

When you limit your ability to be happy, it’ll be like you have a cap on things and when you try to be happy, it will feel like you’re being held back. You’ll feel unsure, you’ll feel anxious, you’ll question the validity of your happiness and you won’t just be able to let things be. You may also limit your happiness by also making your capacity and ability for happiness dependent on others, which can create co-dependent relationships plus have you feeling miserable when you’re single.

When you limit your potential for happiness, you make undeserving people your only option and then wonder why you’re not happy.

Happiness is something to be experienced now. It’s not something you put off for the future by saying that you’ll suffer the pain of grafting in a difficult relationship in the hope that the gamble will pay off and the reward will feel worth it.

Why would you put off being happy? Do you want to be one of those people that places their happiness on others, makes excuses for why they can’t be happy and then gets stuck in a rut, engaging in relationship insanity which is carrying the same baggage, beliefs, and attitudes and choosing same people, different package and then expecting different results? Or do you want to wake up one day and realise that life has passed you by while you’ve been running on the spot hoping that everything else will change around you.

It makes sense to ask yourself if someone is making you unhappy, why are you working so hard to try to get them to make you happy for you to muster up happiness in the relationship?

If you’re in a relationship where you’ve experienced happiness about 10% of the time, isn’t it a crazy use of your energy to try to get them to make you happy all the time?

I once had someone tell me that other than fleeting days here and there, the last time she’d felt happy was in the first first 8 months of the relationship. I asked how long she had been in the relationship – over 8 years! Using the beginning as a basis, she wanted to experience that happiness all of the time. This meant she spent 92% of her time trying to re-experience what she did in 8% of the relationship! The mathematics of that relationship just don’t work out!

If you align yourself with a less than partner, you’re limiting your potential for happiness and you have to wonder why you’re surprised at their ineptness when you’ve actually chosen that partner because of their inadequacies and their inadequacies are being what they’re supposed to – inadequate. This is why I stress the importance of not selling yourself short because in aligning yourself with poor partners, it is you who ultimately, not them, that sells you short.

Don’t limit your happiness or the potential for it by cluttering up your life with fear, dubious partners, excess baggage and an unwillingness to do what it takes and put yourself out there to experience real positive change and happiness. Of course you can keep doing the same thing but you’ll keep getting the same results no matter how much you wish otherwise – just remember that those limitations are of your own doing. Don’t put off being happy by banking on someone else or a barely there/dubious relationship or an ex that’s long left the building. Make sure that every day you’re making genuine efforts to be happy and deriving your happiness from a variety of sources. That way, if something goes awry, you always have options and sources of happiness.

If you’d like some help with working out your beliefs, check out my free workbook, Get Out of Stuck. Also check out my ebooks Mr Unavailable & The Fallback Girl and others at my bookshop.

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