There was a time when propagating was our species’ highest priority. History tells us that Neanderthal man and woman partnered up and created offspring. As the concept of family developed, having an exclusive love partner, or spouse and having children became the central element to grow communities and proliferate the species. Today, growing the human race is not as necessary as it used to be, for we can all see we have bred humans to beat the band.
The time has come then for modern day humans to adopt a new priority beyond propagating the species; self-actualization. This step has been coming ever since enlightened humans started opening their minds to life’s spiritual realm and changed the world. Their contributions are as important as any made by science and technology.
A new priority
Self-actualization is the process by which we search for the gifts and talents our Creator gave each one of us. Once found, we endeavor to share them to make a better world. Many are fortunate enough to find this connection in careers that fill them with passion, joy and fulfillment. Others share their gifts with the world in unique ways.
One need not have a romantic partner in order to self-actualize, this is a journey an individual can fulfill on their own. Unfortunately, however, our contemporary culture spends so much energy on the subject of finding love and making relationships work that one would conclude it is the most important ingredient in our lives. Before you dismiss this last point, think of all the other industries centered on making you look good so you can attract a mate. These range from dieting, personal training, cosmetics and cosmetic surgery. Let’s not forget about the geometric growth of on-line dating for all ages.
Were you born with a missing half?
It takes work to live happily whether or not you are single. This is not a slam against couple-ness. On the contrary, having a great partner can be a great blessing. But you need not rely on someone else for your happiness. You are not missing anything another needs to give you.
What this says to about couple-ness is this; two people were never meant to become one entity. We were born as individuals who are traveling a journey to discover our truest self. Anything that binds that effort cannot be good for anyone.
I too believe it is wonderful to have an intimate someone to share one’s life establishing a sense of family and working together on common goals. Having taken part in two twenty-year marriages is proof on my ledger. I still pursue romantics partner, but I learned fro my experiences of being married that my partner, or the relationship does not define me.
There is another relevant truth: it is a helluva lot better to live alone than to be with a poor partner. We are all aware of couples who have been together a long time, and they seem to live more miserable lives than a convict in solitary confinement.
So, my answer to the posed question is thus; no, having a romantic does not guarantee happiness.
Having good companions in life
You don’t need a romantic partner to enjoy companionship. Many single people live active, fun filled lives and enjoy the warmth and camaraderie of close friends. Many others enjoy great relationships with others amid wonderfully fulfilling careers. They enjoy incredibly satisfying lives. But sometimes the people around us can make us feel inadequate. When love and romance have not been in my life my friends will insist on finding me a partner. They do so because they believe a person must be unhappy if they don’t have someone to share their life with.
When their efforts irritate me, I cynically accuse them of pushing me to a partner so I can be as miserable as they find themselves. I know they mean well, but bottom line is there is nothing wrong with being single.
Having a partner is not a need. However, if your preference is to share life with someone good for you, but this will take conscious work to ensure the relationship is life-giving to you and your partner. This takes courage, patience and a willingness to know and accept each other’s strengths and weaknesses. This goes way beyond romantic love. If the relationship is not life-giving to both partners, it becomes a useless appendage best removed.
If you are staying married or marrying someone because you fear you might need them to accompany you through your last days, don’t do it. This is a big mistake. It is best to enjoy life as it comes and, if the time arrives when you need someone to take care of you, hire a caretaker.
Live your life to the fullest. If you desire to have a romantic partner, don’t settle for someone you are unsure of because you are afraid of living alone. Be patient and search for the one that feels right for you. In the meantime, have faith you can continue living a wonderful, meaningful life as a single person.
Not having a romantic partner is not a failure, you possess everything you need within to create the life you want.
Remember, paying gratitude for your life forward will reward you with feelings of joy and contentment.
Photo by Emma Paillex on Unsplash