Mental Quirks

Do Not Rely on Someone Else for your Happiness!

Do you think those words are harsh? I was in a discussion with a friend a while back who was quite adamant about this proposal and at the time I thought it seemed a very hard thing to achieve and a very abrupt thing to say. And then, after much thought, I came to the conclusion that in fact, the statement was correct; up to a point.

I was reading a book a few weeks ago called ‘What would Freud do? How the greatest psychotherapists would solve your everyday problems’ by Sarah Tomley. I’m a bit wary of theories and suggestions by people that attempt to unravel the human mind. Examples like, ‘There are in fact two of us and not one’, ‘Dreams can be interpreted’ and that ‘we have several minds and not one’. These interpretations developed over time by learned human beings with a goal of explaining the unexplained. After having read the book, I have come to a different conclusion about my personal reservations concerning the many thoughts behind the statements made by these people. I am reading some of their arguments a little more differently, and I’m also kind of respecting many of the alternative perspectives that these psychotherapists, psychoanalysts and psychologists have used to explain the strangeness of the human mind and the reasoning’s behind decisions we may or may not take.

Obviously, with anything of this nature, it is entirely natural to want to brush away any theory that seems downright silly or far-fetched, but that’s the choice. With this in mind, I chose to read the chapter entitled, Why Can’t I find Mr or Mrs Right? And psychoanalyst Eric Fromm was used as an example of an experienced expert in the art of love. He stated that the whole culture of the human being is based on an appetite for buying. That we see others as a commodity and that we need someone to make us eternally happy. That we have an innate need to find ‘the one’ when surely there is no such thing.

We all generally need to feel loved, but it may be because as humans we are aware of loneliness. We are unique in that we are born alone, die alone and go through our lives with periods of loneliness even when we are involved in seemingly successful relationships, Make of that what you will! I am trying to analyse the things he stated about the human condition and bring it around to the personal aspects of my own life so that it becomes less confusing.

I do believe, to a certain extent, the truth of what my friend said and the statements made by Fromm. If we constantly feel narcissistic about ourselves and feel that the only way to be happy in life is to have someone to make that happen, then this is totally unrealistic. We can’t expect everything we desire to land on our plate and find Mr Right. I don’t believe there is ‘The One’. I think that we encounter people along our paths of life that either give us happiness or make us miserable and it’s up to us to accept the truth of this and act accordingly. I also feel that it is possible to fall deeply in love with someone, yet to rely on them for our happiness is needy and overbearing. Fromm stated that for a true relationship based on love to work, it has to be met with two separate minds that have forged an independent person within themselves and only then can they not dominate or exploit each other for their own ends.

I think that love is truly about giving and sharing and to make our partner happy and we should be content with that. But only if this too makes us happy. Nothing should be given of ourselves as a requirement or an obligation so that it makes us feel like its a burden.  To share our humour, interests, goals and our commitment to a partner willingly is an act of love. Love should also create a sense of trust, happiness, respect, kindness and touch, (I feel the sense of touch and cuddling is very therapeutic and calming)

This does seem like the perfect scenario, yet I do feel that some of what this guy said is quite true.  If we are content with ourselves and do not feel a strong need to find the perfect relationship we will not expect 100%, and think to ourselves ‘Well what can he/she give to me to make me happy?’ The thinking should be ‘I’m content with me, and ‘IF’ I find a partner to share my life with, how can we share this happiness and contentment with each other’

Food for thought. x


  • Paul Sunstone

    Very good post. Thanks for sharing it!

    There’s quite a bit that could be said on this topic, but I’ll confine my remarks to these. It seems to me that people very often end up loving not each other, but rather loving the pleasure that they get from the other person.

    When that happens – and I see it happen a lot — then it seems to become nearly impossible not to become more emotionally dependent on someone than in love with them.

    I suppose that’s a pretty bleak outlook, but I think there are ways of reversing the situation. So there’s that, too

  • cedain dawa

    excellently written and so very true..

    i remember when i was a kid, there are so many times that i kept my opinions to myself so that ‘peace reigns’ and everyone stays happy…mostly at my expense but …(and i’m weirdly thankful for this)…it took me one accident, a lot of personal time and rigorous reading to realise how stupid i had been….

    anyways..i strongly feel..understanding yourself and being kind to youself is as important as being kind to others… and educational institutions and family plays such an important role in this.

  • Martina Menzini

    As a fellow Austrian, I do not agree with most of Freud’s theories and I am not a fan in general. However the core of this post I do wholeheartedly agree with! Especially when it comes to dating. So many ppl jump into relationships without finding out who they are first and foremost. They set everything on one person and then fall apart when it doesn’t work out. A partner should contribute to your own happiness, but when you are not happy without them, they won’t make you happy and it’s not their job to do so either. Having good self-esteem and firm boundaries is healthy!

    • Pip

      Totally agree with you. A partner will want to make the love of their life happy, which is healthy, yet it’s also healthy to be able to function without that person. I feel we need to develop a life for ourselves too. But then again we are all different.

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