I Used To Think I Needed Love To Be Happy — But Now I Know That’s Not True

I’ll admit it — I used to be that girl who relied on everyone else for happiness. I couldn’t seem to cultivate my own, so I clung on to anyone willing to make me feel good, even if it was temporary. Thankfully, I’ve finally grown and learned and I realize that love doesn’t actually equal happiness.

  1. Happiness can’t come from anyone else. As much as I wish I didn’t have to rely on myself for pure happiness, I do. Any joy that I feel thanks to someone else is only temporary. What happens when that person that was making you so happy decides to leave? You can’t control how people act or what they will say to you, so I try not to put all my happiness eggs in one basket.
  2. Being loved by someone doesn’t replace loving myself. I’ve been loved before by some great men and some not-so-great ones. However, none of those experiences ever made me love myself more. No matter how much someone else (whether that was my mom, my boyfriend, my girlfriend, or my dog) loved me, I was never able to love myself until I finally realized that it was the only way to be truly happy.
  3. I’d rather rely on something more stable for happiness. Relying on something as unstable as love is rather risky. Seriously, love is one of the biggest emotional rollercoasters you can put yourself through, why would I try to place all my happiness on it? I’d rather place it on something I can control, like bubble baths and long phone calls with my mom.
  4. Love isn’t everything. I used to think it was. I used to think I was nothing if I wasn’t loved (wow, looking back, I sound like a real drama queen). Everything in my life, all the accomplishments and successes were colored by the fact that I didn’t have a partner to share it with. I now realize (thankfully) that love isn’t the deciding factor to whether or not I have a beautiful life.
  5. There are so many other kinds of love. Even if you’re one of those people that believe life is all about love, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to have a romantic relationship to feel fulfilled. There are so many different kinds of love in this world that you don’t need to be in a relationship to give and receive it. I mean, there’s nothing a good cuddle from your sibling, or a fresh baked cookie from Grams couldn’t fix, right?
  6. I don’t want to have to wait to be happy. If I have to wait until I’m in a relationship to be happy, who knows how long I’ll be waiting. (Did I mention I have a lot of baggage?) I don’t want to feel like I have to wait around until I can finally be happy because life is happening right now and I want to be present for it.
  7. All that matters is that I know I’m worthy. Remember when you were a kid, and after getting into an argument with a friend, your mom would say, “All that matters is you know the truth.” Yeah, that used to infuriate the hell out of me. However, as I navigate adulthood, I realize more and more that she was totally right. What others think doesn’t matter. All that matters is that I know I am worthy of complete and genuine love. Other than that, I don’t need to worry.
  8. Besides, being single is too fun. Ladies, don’t let society convince you that being single means you’re unwanted. I used to think that was the case but now I know better. Being single is an absolute blast, no matter what age you are. You get to do whatever your little heart pleases and you don’t have to run it by anyone first. The fun of being single might be the world’s best-kept secret (I mean, most single people don’t even know about it).
  9. Men are immature, and why should I let my happiness rely on that? Look, men aren’t the smartest species on earth. We all know that without women, the world would turn into a beer-soaked disaster (excuse my stereotypes). So if a guy doesn’t treat me right, should I take that into account when considering my happiness level? Probably not.
  10. I don’t want to be ‘that girl.’ We’ve all seen her in movies. It’s that girl that sits around, whining about not being loved or the fact that her boyfriend won’t put a ring on her finger. I don’t want to be the girl who’s always complaining to her friends or the girl that people avoid hanging out with because they know it’s going to be a pity party. I want to be someone who exudes positivity, and I can’t do that if I still believe I can’t be happy without love.
Piper Ryan is a NYC-based writer and matchmaker who works to bring millennials who are sick of dating apps and the bar scene together in an organic and efficient way. To date, she's paired up more than 120 couples, many of whom have gone on to get married. Her work has been highlighted in The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Cut, and many more.

In addition to runnnig her own business, Piper is passionate about charity work, advocating for vulnerable women and children in her local area and across the country. She is currently working on her first book, a non-fiction collection of stories focusing on female empowerment.