Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Why Dating Sucks (and How To Be a Happy Couple)

I just received this two word message in an email to me from a married friend:

"Dating Sucks."

My response:

"I like dating. I assume you meant "dating sucks, generally speaking" or something like that.

Marriage sucks more."

Okay, so if dating sucks, generally, why would marriage suck more, generally speaking? The truth is, they both suck equally. They both can be GREAT equally, too. (Yes, I was teasing my friend.)

The reason why dating or marriage sucks is usually because most people don't know how to be HAPPY. They expect other people, outside events and circumstances -- or luck -- to bring them happiness. This is not how to to become happy.

Being happy leads to happy relationships!

We become happy by creating a kick-ass life and realize our dreams. We become happy for enjoying every moment we are alive. Even when we can't pay bills, our health is sick, or our job is floundering, we relish the joy in being alive. That is the key to being happy. Well, wait a minute, we also become happy by being GRATEFUL for WHAT WE HAVE (not what we want). And how do we do that? By picturing our dreams and then taking the steps to live them out. Underneath that, I'd say "By living in a spiritually blessed way and following the wise ways to accumulate happiness." This is all true.

We become happier in relationships by simply loving where we are when we are and giving more than we expect to give. When we create happy, loving, fun, nurturing, safe, secure, successful environments, our relationships flourish rather than flounder.

Think about it. When are you unhappy in a relationship?

When you're EXPECTING your partner to DO something for you, REMEMBER that little thing you like, or GIVE you in a way you thought they might... sound familiar? It is false expectation and false attachment that undermines the potential happiness in each relationship.

That's why being married can suck, too. Because when people get bored in marriage we stop giving and start expecting and then when we don't get what we want anymore we withdraw and stop giving even more (or less). To my married friends, does this sound familiar? That's why marriage sucks (generally speaking).

Now, don't get me wrong: I've seen bad behavior on dates that would make most men run for the hills. I've seen a woman say she wants you to be a gentleman (then acts slutty). I've seen women say they expect equality (then sit back while I pay for the meal - even though maybe she knew I was broke at the time or maybe I bought the last time). I had a date this past May where the woman was DRUNK when I MET her. Apparently, she needed vodka to get over the fear of the unknown. Talk about a semi-blind date gone horribly wrong. It produced a funny story later, but not a fun experience at the time.

I've seen guys belch on dates, drink too much, ignore their female companion, and other bad things. I've seen a guy put down his woman as if she was a piece of meat. People act horribly when dating. I've even made my own mistakes so don't get me wrong I'm NOT on a soap-box. But, yeah, dating can suck sometimes.

But what kind of struck me strange was when my friend said "dating sucks" in reply to my saying "I was on a date and I'm not going to date her again because I really don't feel the chemistry." To me, that's not a date that sucked. I explored an opportunity, decided I don't want that, and I'll let her down with grace and poise. She's a nice woman. She has a decent job and treats people nice. She has a good sense of humor. She's smart. She just isn't doing it for me in the chemistry department. So, it is better to end it before getting involved intimately. I really don't think that people should expect every date to end in the clouds parting, violins playing, and kisses that leave you weak-knee-silly.

Sure, I'd like to date someone where the bells ring, the birds sing, and the heavens shout for joy... but the last time that happened for me - it didn't for her. That is when dating sucks! But even then, it's a good situation, because at least you know it wasn't an equal match. And, in the end, that's all I really want: an equal in love, joy, adoration, spirit, friendship, and communication.

When we discover that type of love, dating ROCKS!

It happens from time to time... give love a chance even if you've been hurt, okay?

Does that type of relationship exist? SURE! There are 20% of people who are VERY HAPPY in their relationship. And, guess what, there's probably another 20% of people who are happily married. These types of relationships DO exist. It takes a sense of humor, dedication, mutual honesty, and equal communication. It takes trust, respect, and commitment. It takes the chemistry, backed up by all these things, to create it. But I've seen it happen. My sister is married in one of those relationships. And, my friend who said "dating sucks" is in one of those relationships, too. Both of these women love their husbands dearly. And that, to me, is awesome!

If you want a safe relationship, don't threaten the relationship when you have a disagreement or act in a way that would compromise the integrity of the relationship. If you want a fun environment, act and show your partner you can both have fun together and create fun things to do together. If you want a successful environment, be successful in what you do. If you fail, redirect into a path where others are succeeding and go for that opportunity. When you get there, don't slack, but give it your all. That's usually how people succeed anyway. Then, when you're with your honey, express GRATITUDE they are experiencing all of this with you!

Be happy to have happier relationships!

Dating doesn't have to suck. Neither does being married. Just make sure YOU are GIVING what YOU CAN, expecting good things but not expecting mind-readers and miracles, and enjoying every moment. And be happy in who YOU are and what you do with your life. Bring that into your relationship. You'll attract that same happiness back.

If your job sucks, find a job that makes you happy. If your health is down, eat healthier, get your sleep, work-out more often, and get back in shape. If your lifestyle is boring, pick up those hobbies and things you always dreamed of doing when you were younger. It is never too late to begin living your dreams. When dreams become reality is when happiness manifests.

When you're happy, your odds of being happily coupled increase dramatically.

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Christopher said...

I'm always amazed at how many people are unhappy in a relationship...but don't talk to the other person in the relationship about it!

Communication is one of the first steps to making a happy or unhappy relationship a litte bit, um, happier!

Great post as always!

Seriously Fun Self-help! said...

Hi Christopher,

I'm glad you liked it. Communication is big, but HOW do people communicate? If they threaten to end the relationship every time something difficult comes up, they probably won't make it. Aside from that, they really need to be happy with what they've got going on.

Cheers & Happy New Year!

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