I’ve Finally Realized That I Don’t Need A Relationship To Be Happy

I used to think that being someone’s girlfriend would give me the happiness I’d been chasing, but I’ve finally realized that’s not the case. Whether I’m single or taken, I’ve learned to make sure that my happiness comes from within rather than from a relationship or any other outside source.

  1. I have enough things in my life to keep me happy. I have a lot of things to look forward to in my life right now, and when I think about them, a huge smile spreads across my face. When I focus on what I DO have — like the people in my life, my dog, the success I’ve cultivated in my career — I have a lot to be glad about.
  2. Happiness starts from within. Everyone has heard that happiness starts from within. It’s something you feel, not a thing to acquire. After reading millions of books on happiness, it’s incredibly clear to me that it can’t be found in external things like a job, money or a relationship, but is instead something that begins with me.
  3. If being happy means being alone, so be it. I would gladly be a cat lady if that meant I was going to be satisfied until I die. I’m the type of person who can be content whether I’m alone or with a group of friends. I don’t need people around me to be happy. It’s a little scary to think about, but who’s to say that relationships equal happiness?
  4. Happiness is a choice. Letting go of my need for a relationship puts my happiness in MY control. Even when I’m in the crappiest of situations, I could choose to be happy. Just knowing that makes me realize that happiness isn’t something to achieve — it’s something I decide to make happen, and that’s super empowering.
  5. I want to be happy all the time, not just when I’m in a relationship. When I think back to all the times my relationships ended, I was a complete mess. Getting dumped or breaking up with my boyfriend would ruin me for months because the “happy” was taken away. It was swept out from under me and left me feeling like I had nothing to live for. I don’t want to have to depend on an external source to feel fulfilled, because ultimately, all good things come to an end.
  6. I deserve to be happy even when I’m single. It’s easy for me to fall into a “pathetic” kinda mindset when I’ve been single for a long time. I start thinking I’m worthless and that I deserve pretty much nothing. The truth is, though, I deserve happiness at every moment in my life, whether I’m chilling in my sweatpants at home or on a date with my boyfriend.
  7. I’m afraid I want a relationship for the wrong reasons. What if I only want a relationship to be accepted in society? Or for my mom to approve of me? I mean, sure, it would make me happy, but is that really for me? Or is it for everyone else? I want to make sure I want a relationship for the right reasons, not just to check it off my list.
  8. It’s the motivation behind everything I do. Come to think of it, everything I do in life is because I want to be happy. I’m constantly chasing that moment where I can just sit back and go, “Yes, this is it.” The only problem is that once I get the thing I was chasing, the happy feeling only lasts so long and then I’m onto the next thing. See? It’s pointless to expect that sensation to come from anywhere but within my own heart.
  9. Past relationships have made me downright miserable. Looking back on my relationships, I was put through the wringer. In no way does a relationship guarantee happiness; it actually guarantees quite the opposite if you’re with the wrong person.
  10. Life is too short. The more I chase, the more unhappy I become. It’s like a vicious cycle. I can either spend my whole life chasing a relationship that I THINK will make me happy, or cut right to the chase and just BE happy. I choose the latter.
Jennifer is a playwright, dancer, and theatre nerd living in the big city of Toronto, Canada. She studied Creative Writing at Concordia University and works as a lifestyle writer who focuses on Health, B2B, Tech, Psychology, Science, Food Trends and Millennial Life. She's also a coreographer, playwright, and lyricist, with choreography credits for McMaster University’s “Spring Awakening,” “Roxanne” for the Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival, and “The Beaver Den” for The LOT, among others.

You can see more of her work on her Contently page and follow her on Instagram @jenniferenchin.