By Liping Feng, Ph.D., founder of BreathingHappiness.com
In my grandparents’ generation (back in China), divorce was as scandalous as a crime, and dating meant you were going to get married. And married with children meant happiness ever after. Like it or not, once you got yourself on that train, you had to go all the way. Basically no other option. There was a set protocol, a timeline for a human life.
Now, every morning when you get up, you have to decide: happiness or no happiness, relationship or no relationship, marriage or no marriage, children or no children, living like a human or like a zombie… Every step is a decision you have to make, and every decision brings its consequences.
In a fast changing world like ours, there’s no firm social structure that you can depend on day in day out. At any time, your friends might move to another part of the world, change to a completely different lifestyle, or join a different social network.
If you interpret all the changes you are seeing around you as a sign whether they like you, care for you and respect you, you will never find a safe place for yourself.
The world is changing; technology is changing; platforms are changing. Everyone is changing. So, the most important thing right now is: you need to know how to take care of yourself, give yourself the stability and love that you seek out there, from a spouse or a friend. Then you’ve got your home-base covered. Then there is a chance you will attract people who are also stable and loving, and is capable carrying on a long-term loving relationship. Does that make sense?
This is the time we all need to find happiness in solitude. For a happy relationship to keep growing, each partner needs to be happy on her/his own. Otherwise there would be imbalance: clinging, clutching, gripping, struggling, addiction, or losing yourself in the relationship and many other forms of misery. All of that means negative tension, something you want to minimize in your life, because it prevents the flow of joy and happiness.
So, if you find yourself alone, in between relationships or contemplating taking your relationship to the next level, make sure first thing comes first: find your happiness when you are alone. Once you know how to do that, you’ll attract more fulfilling relationships.