I Used To Think I Needed A Guy To Make Me Happy But I Was So Wrong

I was always waiting for a guy to come along and make me feel much happier about everything in my life. I thought being with the right person would mean everything would just magically fall into place and my whole world would make sense. I realized how mistaken I was when I actually found a great guy… and I was still miserable. Here’s what I was doing wrong.

  1. I was leaving my fate in another person’s hands. By thinking I needed a romantic partner in my life in order to feel happy and complete, I was actually saying, “I’m not in charge of my life or happiness. I’ll hand it over to someone else who can control it.” How ridiculous is that? Worse, I didn’t even realize I was doing this. 
  2. I didn’t even know what I was looking for. I didn’t have someone in my life but I thought I needed to have someone. I had an ideal version in my head of what my perfect partner should be like, which feels terrible because I was living for “someday.” I was chasing something that didn’t exist and expecting it to make me happy. I would think, “Someday I’ll be happy. I just need to find the right person.” Ugh. I had it all wrong!
  3. I thought I was lacking in some way. This was more than FOMO because I didn’t have a relationship in my life. This was making me feel like there was something wrong with me and my life because I didn’t have someone to call at the end of a stressful day or when I had a wedding to attend. I was defining myself according to what I didn’t have, which is pretty sad.
  4. I wasn’t grateful for what I had. Focusing so much on what I didn’t have in my life seemed to give it greater importance. It shadowed what I actually did have and should have been more grateful to have, such as love from friends and family, a great career, and so on.
  5. Then the dream guy arrived. There I was, thinking I was doomed to be alone forever when a great guy stepped into my life at a work function. Suddenly I felt like the stars were aligning. This was the moment I had been waiting for, for years! Finally, I was going to be able to be as happy as possible. What could go wrong? 
  6. I expected too much from him. I was dating a flesh-and-blood great guy, but I was putting all my dreamy and OTT expectations on him based on that crazy ideal I conjured up in my dreams. Poor guy. He was weighed down with all that pressure courtesy of yours truly.
  7. How could he make me happy if i couldn’t make myself happy? I thought that all I needed was a great partner to walk into my life and he’d make me happy at the click of his fingers, but I was so damn wrong. One day, we got into an argument because he didn’t text me the way I wanted and expected him to. I suddenly realized I couldn’t expect him or anyone to make me happy if I couldn’t even make myself happy.
  8. I didn’t know what I wanted. I knew what I wanted when it came to a partner, but I didn’t really know what I wanted when it came to my own happiness. If I did, I would’ve managed to make myself completely happy as a single woman without thinking that my forever person would hold the key to my happiness.
  9. I wasn’t even happy. I thought I’d be happy just by being in a relationship, but that was a total myth. I wasn’t happy because I wasn’t making an effort to be happy. Sitting next to my then-boyfriend while we watched a movie and didn’t utter a word to each other, I realized, “At least when I was single, I was alone but less lonely than this. I could’ve made myself happy.” It sucked to know that I didn’t make the most of that opportunity.
  10. I was angry at the wrong person. I used to get so mad at my boyfriend, screaming in my head, “But you’re making me miserable!” until I realized that I was the only one who was guilty of that. Ouch. If I could make myself happy and complete myself, I wouldn’t be so damn needy. I’d be stronger and in charge of my own happiness. What amazing power rests in that simple action! It was time to make it happen for myself.
  11. I had to let him go to let my genuine smile back in. I realized that he was just weighing me down and reflecting everything I’d done wrong, so I broke up with him. I knew that it was time to focus on myself, learn about myself and what made me genuinely happy, and build my own life so that when an amazing guy entered it again, we could be two happy, complete adults who weren’t going to bring each other down with unrealistic expectations.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.