Thought Catalog

What About Being In A Relationship Makes Us So Happy?

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Lotte Meijer

Other than abiding by cultural norms, why do most of us want to find a life-long love? What about a spectacular relationship makes it so spectacular? These may seem like questions in which the answers should be obvious, but seriously, why do so many of us wish to get married? Let’s be real. We’re taught to find happiness in a partner even though we are also taught not to rely on romantic love for happiness. How are we supposed to do this?

To “complete someone” would be tremendous responsibility to place on another person and as romantic as it sounds, it is not and should not be our responsibility to complete someone. On its own, a relationship cannot provide meaning or happiness in life. While a relationship with one person, the most compatible person, our “forever person,” should not be responsible for making us happy, this is how finding the right one can increase our happiness day in and day out:


1. Intimacy is one of the most magical benefits of being in a relationship.
Who wouldn’t want to squash fears of loneliness by breathing fire into the splendor that accompanies feeling deeply understood? Intimacy is the prime nutrient required to nourish seeds of utter comprehension so that it can grow and continue to flourish each and every day. Our fear-driven edges can crack, our hearts can soften into bright, colorful, thriving sanctuaries of peace. Intimacy is the antithesis of stacking hard stones of trepidation to build walls in vain attempts to remain safe. It is fully grasping that if you let your walls crumble, you will be safest of all. Your heart and soul will be protected. From an early age, we are taught that vulnerability is a weakness. Yet when we are the most vulnerable in a loving, accepting environment, intimacy can flourish and soar to phenomenal heights. To diminish the void between ourselves and another person is the ultimate form of love. Any potential chasm of isolation between yourself and the world cannot exist when you create one of the most beautiful experiences on earth, the one of deep and everlasting intimacy.

2. Affection infused with intimacy is intangible gold, pure intangible, emotional gold. Affection is the mental or physical linchpin of manifesting the most lucid form of love. Affection can be expressed in words and/or touch, yet when combined, they can make you feel overwhelmed by the sheer splendor of being fully conscious. Affection in the form of physical touch could not be more salubrious for your heart and soul, engulfing you in a pool of thanks for the simplistic beauty of a deep, intransigent connection. If your primary love language is “physical touch,” as discussed in the best-selling book The Five Love Languages, the well-being promoting powers of affectionate hugging, kissing, back and/or foot rubs and other sorts of physical contact can manifest a delicious appreciation for life, a bottomless pool of belonging to swim in, one that mitigates suffering and heightens awareness of just how fantastic it is to be human.

3. Empathy is the softest place to fall gently like a feather into a cloud of consolation.
It’s pure, ameliorative salve so naturally assuages potential pain induced by separation and replaces it with connected compassion. If you have ever paused to dive into the reasons why your loved one may be suffering, and how it pains your heart too, empathy is working its angelic magic. Unwavering empathy welcomes the strengthening of a tenacious bond of understanding housed within the mind of another and as such, affection can blossom and somersault into richer, deeper, more potent love. Lifted from the grasps of fear, empathy is one of the most powerful ways to give your whole heart to another. If there is any moment at all you feel crumbled and empty, the remedy is empathy, the ultimate source of butterfly kisses to your soul. In an ideal relationship, empathy births the perfect vehicle for intimacy, creating a safe haven for love to continue to evolve and flourish. If separation is the catalyst of fear, empathy is its remedy.

4. Interest should be a given, but in some vacuous or half-filled relationships, interest gradually drifts nefariously away from consciousness and into the realm of a dry and cracked empty emotional fountain of nil. The fuel maintaining the impassioned flow of smoothly and constantly streaming interest is fostered via engagement in commonalities as well as the multitude of differences between you and another. As long as respect maintains residence at the powerhouse core and beneficence preserves its abundant volume in the fruit of the connection, interest should bloom in bountiful hues around the rim and the apple of your eye will remain the interesting apple of your eye.

5. Respect is the core of any thriving relationship and it allows love to flow through one into another and back again in the safest, most genuinely nurturing way. Yes, respect is talking to your partner in the ways you would like to be treated. This is basic. Yet more quintessentially, it is deep comprehension that the other person is not you, not an extension nor reflection of you, nor a toy or pet, nor a product of any molding or shaping of how you want them to be, but that they are a beautiful person just as they are. Feelings, wishes, our deepest thoughts, they matter and respect is the language we use to show that they do, that the other person matters and they matter exactly as they are. Respect is showing someone that they are valuable and cherished as a unique person, but that the collective entity of the love you’ve created makes you overjoyed. Respect is the opposite of controlling and the antithesis of manipulation. iI is unadulterated trust in the other person’s soul. When someone else respect’s you, it tends to be as easy as breathing in pure oxygen to respect he or she back. Respect is soft, but its effects are mighty. The aggregate wellness of any love must banish all forms of contempt and replace it with the most compassionate support in the form of constant and overflowing respect.

6. Time to have fun, to smile, to laugh, to enjoy life with someone by your side in togetherness, that precious focused attention really is oh so precious. Time can seem to go by hastily, it may seem to go by slowly, but however you feel about it at whatever moment, few things are more rejuvenating than the passing of time with someone you love down to the deepest depths of every cell in your body. Quality time redeems vigor in a relationship and breathes life into memories. If the world is messy and full of uncertainty, time spent together laughing and crying washes away anxiety and makes our hearts shimmer with comfort and protection.

7. Grit is a topic discussed ad nauseam in career success books, but what about relationship success? Grit can apply to almost anything in life, so why is grit not lauded as a key to success when it comes to our personal lives? In the realms of career and creativity, the benefits of grit are infinite. It’s often what separates “the greats” from “the forgettables.” Yet, this is also true for the “the greatest” loves. Each partner in an everlasting love tries to be the best person they can be for their partner each and every day they arise from slumber. Love is pure grit because there is nothing more romantic than trying to be the best person you can be for your partner and vice versa. Two people trying for each other every day will remain eternally gorgeous. This doesn’t imply that we can love entirely unconditionally, just as we should not pursue a business or career that persists in failing, but we can value and implement grit to our benefit towards nearly anything in life, relationships included. Where there is grit, love can blossom.

8. Not loving unconditionally. Grit is the key to a magical life as well as magical love. Whereas grit implies pursuing through challenges and setbacks, unconditional love is a touchy subject and means loving someone no matter what they do. When it comes to love, the two possess entirely different meanings. When people fall in love, they like to say, “I love you unconditionally,” but the truth is that we don’t love unconditionally, but we should love with grit. Truly, there is no such thing as unconditional love. I don’t even wish to believe unconditional love exists. We shouldn’t stay in a love that is harmful, one in which a partner can do anything they desire, cheat, steal, abuse, murder, etc. and the other partner should remain in love. Of course this would be obscene. After all, we fall in love based on traits and behaviors we witness and these traits and behaviors are inherently conditions. Two people who continue to try for each other, to impress each other, who strive to do their best within the relationship, this is beautiful and this is pure romance. A love connection should be incredible and it should be with someone who really tries for you, to be with you, to stick by your side from the lowest lows to the highest highs, a true teammate within an unstoppable team. This is a gritty love, not unconditional love. TC mark

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