A Common Romantic Mistake - Projecting Responsibility for Your Happiness on Your Partner

Your love will never ultimately satisfy you because, despite the positive feelings you might have for your partner, despite the time you have spent together and the experiences you’ve shared, you may still be making the fundamental mistake of looking for an unreasonable happiness in an external source. It’s not only impossible to expect your partner to be able to make you totally happy and satisfied beyond your own self, it’s also a bit unfair and can be a source of strain on the relationship.

It's common for people in new relationships to get caught up in this potentially dangerous line of thinking. After all, the initial excitement and chemical rush of a budding romance absolutely overwhelms us and can take center stage in our thinking. While this is natural and an enjoyable part of falling in love, it can also delude us into projecting responsibility for our own happiness on our new partners.

How to Avoid this Trap

How can you avoid setting yourself and your partner up for this kind of disappointment and hardship? First, you should give yourself an honest examination to determine how much expectation you are placing on your partner. Remember that you as an individual are responsible for your own happiness, just as would be the case if you were living alone in a forest. You should appreciate your partner for all the myriad ways in which they enrich your life, but definitely should not expect them to be able to accomplish something you could not yourself.

As new partners continually learn more and more about one another, including habits, quirks, likes, dislikes, strengths and weaknesses, their emotional ecosystem will continue to shift and adapt to the ways in which the two people relate. This is part of the reason why newer couples will tend to fight or argue more frequently in the first two years they are together, whereas the fights will tend to lessen in frequency as time goes on and the two partners' confidence in themselves and their relationship grows. Many people will focus on the negative side of this early stage, wherein the disagreements that arise normally in the course of spending time with someone else. However, there is something else going on under the surface in this tender initial period. 

Progress Over Time

The two people in a young relationship are still learning one another's personalities and this stage of more frequent disagreements actually facilitates this process. By the time a couple has been together for several years, even if they still disagree about the same things, they will tend to have more of a discussion than an argument. This is a sign that they know one another well enough to understand the other person's vantage and feelings on the given matter of disagreement. The fact that they can now discuss instead of fight over a point of contention relays exactly how comfortable and secure they have grown together. 

In this way, your love will never make you happy because you will always retain a personal responsibility for your own happiness, even if you have been married for 45 years. By defining your boundaries, desires and needs to your partner, and by learning and accepting theirs, you will continually find that your love deepens and your path together becomes more smooth.