Do You Need A Partner To Be Happy?

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 “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” 
― Dr. Seuss

Are one of those people who deeply believes that you must have a partner to be happy? My client, Sara, a creative, attractive woman in her 40’s, has been married and divorced twice in her life.

Unfortunately, she was unhappy in both marriages, but she still believes that she needs a partner to be happy. As a child she was constantly feed this concept.

Childhood Lessons Can Sabotage The Future

She said that regrettably even as an adult she finds her old beliefs continually lead her into inappropriate relationships with men who initially go hard to attract her, come on strong.

Surprisingly, not- long- after meeting, the new date turns out to be emotionally needy, just like her.

Like Attracts Like

The problem is we attract people at our common level of woundedness and our common level of health. Because Sara had never learned to take loving care of herself, she generally met men who were not taking care of themselves either. 

Finally she happened to meet a man who was taking personal emotional responsibility, the relationship was short-lived. He soon lost interest in a woman who wanted him to make her happy.

Its Time To Get Unstuck

As Sara and I worked together, it became apparent that she had spent her whole life taking maximum responsibility for others including her parents, her children, and her past partners.

In her belief system, she was supposed to make others happy and they were supposed to make her happy. But it never seemed to work out that way. Even then she never felt happy.

Self Confidence Is The Key

Sara also figured that taking care of herself was selfish rather than responsible. She feared that if she did what she wanted to do, instead of what everyone else wanted her to do, the people around her would be mad at her.

As we worked together, it became apparent to Adrienne that her unhappiness was not because she was without a partner instead it came to her that it was because she was not taking responsibility for herself.

She was not speaking up for herself at work or with the men she dated, instead she was simply allowing people to walk all over her.

There Comes A Time When You Will Truly See Yourself

Sara suddenly realized one day, that in constantly trying to have control over people not getting angry with her, she was continuously abandoning herself. It was her self-abandonment that was causing her so much pain and feelings of loneliness. As she began to take better care of herself, she instantly began to feel better. But she still felt that there was a hole in her life. She wanted a partner for companionship, to have dinner with, to go to a movie with, to travel with and to play with.

Sara my dear, I said to her, It’s quite understandable that you would love to have a partner to do things with. But why can’t you do these things with yourself, family or even with friends? You don’t have to stop wanting to finding a partner, but meanwhile, why not enjoy this time with friends?

I don’t really have friends, Sara said sadly. I have been so busy trying to find a partner that I have not taken any time to develop friendships. Honestly if I have no dates lined up, I tend to isolate myself. Then I asked her how she feels when she isolates herself? She said, sad and alone. Perhaps that’s precisely why I feel I need a partner just to be happy. It just didn’t occur to me
that I could be doing fun things with my friends.

Self Love Is A Great Place To Start

So, this is a major way that you have not been taking care of yourself. You have been allowing yourself to feel sad and lonely rather being present loving and taking care of yourself. Would you be willing to put yourself in places where you might meet people and are you open for new friendships?

She finally agreed that she would do this. The next week on our phone session, she sounded so much better. She had introduced herself to an interesting woman at her daughter’s soccer game and they had plans to meet for lunch. As Adrienne devoted herself to developing close friendships, she stopped feeling sad and lonely. As a happier woman, she started meeting happier men. The last time I spoke with her, she was dating a man she was really feeling close to. To top it off, she was keeping up her friendships, for once she was determined to not make the new man in her life responsible for her happiness.
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