Home Dating & Relationships Dating Are you standing in the way of being happy?

Are you standing in the way of being happy?


A close friend of mine who lives in Atlanta said to me during my last trip there that women sometimes don’t know how to be happy. I don’t think that statement only pertains to women because there are men in that conversation too. I asked myself that same question this week because I’m starting to think that even when everything is perfect we find ways to be unhappy in our relationships.

What does it really take to be happy in a relationship? Are we climbing in our relationships just like we do in life? Is a relationship like a career in which you’re always trying to reach another level or get a better job that will reward us in the way that we deem fitting? I’m not sure and I also think that’s not how we should view things.

We have to find a way to be happy. Happiness is the key to a great life and it seems that almost half of us aren’t happy. Roughly 50% of us will get married; roughly 50% of us will stay married. It’s awkward talking to single guys about what they want out of a partner. It seems they want perfection despite knowing that they will most likely never find it.

Happiness isn’t something you can order on Amazon and wait for it to show up three to five business days later, it’s something that requires work. But when you’re happy, you have to know when to accept it and internalize it so that it doesn’t flee like most things in life. Happiness isn’t a season and it isn’t a mood. If it feels that way, then it’s most likely best referred to as bliss.

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My struggle with the relationship and dating world right now is this impression that things will be perfect. That they won’t require an enormous amount of effort to make things work because it will. I haven’t been in a relationship since grade school that was as easy as, “I like you, you like me. We go together.” In fact, most relationships will involve all of us trying our hardest to make it work. There will be tears, frustration, arguments, distance and tribulation. That’s all part of what you sign up for when you embark on a relationship.

Does everyone feel that way too?

Sunny days wouldn’t be special if it wasn’t for rain. Joy wouldn’t feel so good if it wasn’t for pain. Death gotta be easy cause life is hard. It’ll leave you physically, mentally, and emotionally scarred.

That’s Curtis speaking but it means a lot in the conversation.

I guess I want everyone to think about what it really requires to be happy. Are you always smiling or are you always frowning? Looking at the glass is it half empty or half full? But moreover, when it’s half of what you expect it to be are you trying to fill it or are you trying to find a glass more full? Relationships will leave you scarred in many ways. You can either look at those scars and become better for it or you can walk away and not let those scars heal.

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That’s the nature of people, we’re always chasing perfection and we will never find it. The easy way of saying it is be happy with what you have in front of you. Try to make it work, don’t be the reason why it didn’t. Be happy you have someone, a lot of people don’t have anyone. Be happy with you relationship even though it seems like crap at times. Anything you’re dealing with is probably better off dealing with when there’s a significant other than alone. Then, just maybe we might have more happy people in the world. Especially those of us who choose to seek out the companionship of another person.

Dr. J


  1. I like this; this is a broad but valid crux of what and where Relationships and Gender Interactions between and amongst the sexes (for the LGBTQ folks) in 2014.

    8/10 I can say I was in my own way of being happy in a relationship and can relate to this, and I’m not even looking for “perfection”- just someone worth the struggles in Life.

    1. “The grass is always greener.” This is what it reminds me of. When two imperfect people come together we expect that it will complete each other. However, it often creates more imperfection because now there is two heads bumping against each other.
      Learning to get along is a challenge that requires a deeper knowledge of our self and the other person. Not everyone is up for that challenge because its very hard. But, I believe it takes a special mind to take that journey.

      Marcos Rocha

  2. I think most people do want to be happy and do stay and work through it when it’s worth it. I never heard a woman walk away from a perfectly good relationship because that man snored or left the toilet seat up. Same with men, you can hear them complain but you never see a man leave a woman who supports and love him and that HE LOVES because of something like “she doenst cook.” Most people walk away when their mate cuts them a raw deal like infidelity, or wont commit or get a job, or disrespect, abuse (physically or emotionally). I find it comical when perpetrators pull this “it takes work” to get the other party to stay. Its like let me screw you royally because i am thinking this “love is not easy/work it out” notion will get you to swallow it and stay. What’s the incentive to do right when you know you will always be forgiven ? I think it’s right for each party to have a lil fear in their gut that major grievances will lead to a breakup. Love may be unconditionnal but staying isn’t. We weren’t put on this earth to be martyrs.

  3. TRUTH “Anything you’re dealing with is probably better off dealing with when there’s a significant other than alone. Then, just maybe we might have more happy people in the world.”

  4. Happiness is something one must fine within self prior to finding it within a mate. Too often, too many people seek wholeness from others. They rely on someone asking them out, sparking a conversation, etc…in order to feel any sense of pleasure.
    Whether it occurs or not sets the tone for their happiness depending upon whether they’ve reached a level of desperation or contention.
    In addition, many people sit around and base their life experiences and chances, upon the way others have treated them.

    I personally feel we need to learn to love ourselves and self reflect for personal awareness. We must know what we want within a partner and not be too quick to accept whoever, whenever. In addition we should stop judging a book by its cover, as well as taking the relationship out of the dreamworld. Perfection doesn’t exist! Life is reality! It floors me how imperfect people want a “perfect” person to want them….. It’s ok to date while learning/discovering, but meanwhile we shouldn’t be too quick to define things and write playbooks before truly knowing who that individual is.

    I think the message of just making it work is old and mundane. Never sacrifice happiness for status quo! That’s what battered women do. Most of us are given that message and it causes us to stay in relationships far pass there expiration. It’s ok for a relationship to not work, as long as one leaves before sacrificing or ruining their self!

    I also feel people expect far too much. Expecting a partner to act or respond in a behavior that is untypical for him/her is ridiculous! Yet I see it all the time. Ask no more of him/her than what you know he’s able to give. Learn and practice forgiveness. Finally, be wise and choose battles. They aren’t all worth a fight.

    I matter! Being happy and living peacefully is important to me. I am happy at this point in my life even though I am not in a relationship. I’ve experienced enough heartbreak to know what works for me. Despite it all, I am open to finding love again. However, I will not accept less than.

  5. In this individualistic world we live in today, we sometimes forget that just as it is important to find happiness within oneself, there are many of us who learn happiness in our connections to others. Many times we can serve as the catalyst to cause others to learn to be happy through love and understanding. Maybe I’m idealistic but *shrugs*!

  6. When you’re doing more work than enjoying the relationship then its really no need to continue with that person. Many people get too hung up on “making it work” when really we just experiencing each other, change is constant and its not always linear with your S/O

  7. I vowed to myself a long time ago that I would not stand in the way of my own happiness. I’ve been hurt just like many, trying to give my all while in a relationship that didn’t work out. I could have been that scarred bitter “black” woman that so many of us talk about but I refused. I know there is no such thing as perfection. Now when it comes to relationships I vowed to myself that I wouldn’t let a man be in control of my happiness…Basically if happiness was a pendant that I wore daily and I met this man that I adored I would remove my pendant and give it to him. And if he went out and did something unforgiving he still has my happiness so I’m the one who is broken, upset, bitter etc. Nope I wont allow it.

    All in all, I am a firm believer that happiness starts with yourself, you should find happiness being by yourself and being with someone. And never let anyone be in control of that.


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