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When I Understand Happily Ever After Doesn’t Exist, I Start To Understand Love

When I Understand Happily Ever After Doesn’t Exist, I Start To Understand Love

Have you been having a hard time with love lately? Maybe you’re wondering where the spark in your relationship went or why your last relationship ended so badly. If you’re like most of us, you’ve probably been hoping for the perfect relationship. The one without any disagreement, the one that’s all smiles and laughs and hugs and kisses.

You’ve been hoping for this because that’s what you’ve been told to expect. Do you remember all those fairy tales you read as a child? Remember how they all ended with, “and they lived happily ever after”? Well, guess what? That just wasn’t true. We were all lied to. Let that sink in for a minute.

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If you’ve been waiting for your happily ever after and it just isn’t coming, there’s an explanation. Keep reading…

“Happily Ever After doesn’t exist…”

Romantic relationships are not magically fairy tales with happily ever after endings. And if you go into a relationship with this idea, you’re setting yourself up for failure. That’s because the idea of romance and love changes the longer you’re together. Lots of people think that this changing romance signals the end of the relationship, but that simply isn’t true.

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For example, Mark Manson asked for relationship advice from couples who had been happily married for 10 years or longer. One of the respondents, Paula, had this to say: “You are absolutely not going to be absolutely gaga over each other every single day for the rest of your lives… You’re even going to wake up some morning and think, “Ugh, you’re still here….” She goes on to say that sticking through this feeling is important because it’s only temporary. Some days you’ll be hit with so much love for your partner that you won’t know how to react. And that kind of love continues to grow over time. [1]

Remember, nothing is perfect. All the irrational love you felt at the beginning of your relationship will wear off and become something different. True love is having the confidence that you can make mistakes and be an imperfect human and at the end of the day, you and your partner still choose each other. [2]

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“True love is choosing to accept someone even if you can’t fully understand them.” – A Beautiful Mind

Don’t be confused. Just because you accept your partner and all of their faults doesn’t mean that you fully understand them. And they almost certainly do not fully understand you. But, none of this matters because you have chosen this person as your life partner. Accepting this person and making this choice doesn’t come out of need, but rather out of want. You choose to be with this person because you genuinely like and respect them.

“Life isn’t always romantic. Sometimes it’s realistic.” – Ezra Fitz, Pretty Little Liars

If you are in a relationship for the happily ever after, you are robbing yourself of the opportunity to know true, unconditional love. True love is making a conscious decision to be committed to just one person. It happens when your commitment is not dependent on your present situation in life. You know that this person will not always make you happy and the opposite is also true. But, this is the person that will be there for you when life gets difficult and who will rely on you in turn. There is no happily ever after and the moment you accept that, you will begin to understand what love really is. Unconditional love is difficult, especially when the butterflies in your stomach disappear. In fact, as Mark Manson puts it, “It’s unglamorous.” [3] Despite this, true love brings meaning and happiness to your life.

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Featured Image Credit: Couple on the Beach via Josh Willink

Featured photo credit: Josh Willink via pexels.com

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More by this author

Amber Pariona

EFL Teacher, Lifehack Writer, English/Spanish Translator, MPA

What Makes a Relationship Boring and How to Avoid It How to Know If You’re Really in Love or Not (Yes It Can Be Confusing) Why You and Your Partner Don’t Need to Speak the Same Love Language to Stay Together Why Worrying About Losing a Friend Is Unnecessary No.1 Relationship Killer: Your Good Intention to Advise Your Partner When They’re Upset

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

7 Powerful Questions To Find Out What You Want To Do With Your Life

7 Powerful Questions To Find Out What You Want To Do With Your Life

What do I want to do with my life? It’s a question all of us think about at one point or another.

For some, the answer comes easily. For others, it takes a lifetime to figure out.

It’s easy to just go through the motions and continue to do what’s comfortable and familiar. But for those of you who seek fulfillment, who want to do more, these questions will help you paint a clearer picture of what you want to do with your life.

1. What are the things I’m most passionate about?

The first step to living a more fulfilling life is to think about the things that you’re passionate about.

What do you love? What fulfills you? What “work” do you do that doesn’t feel like work? Maybe you enjoy writing, maybe you love working with animals or maybe you have a knack for photography.

The point is, figure out what you love doing, then do more of it.

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2. What are my greatest accomplishments in life so far?

Think about your past experiences and the things in your life you’re most proud of.

How did those accomplishments make you feel? Pretty darn good, right? So why not try and emulate those experiences and feelings?

If you ran a marathon once and loved the feeling you had afterwards, start training for another one. If your child grew up to be a star athlete or musician because of your teachings, then be a coach or mentor for other kids.

Continue to do the things that have been most fulfilling for you.

3. If my life had absolutely no limits, what would I choose to have and what would I choose to do?

Here’s a cool exercise: Think about what you would do if you had no limits.

If you had all the money and time in the world, where would you go? What would you do? Who would you spend time with?

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These answers can help you figure out what you want to do with your life. It doesn’t mean you need millions of dollars to be happy though.

What it does mean is answering these questions will help you set goals to reach certain milestones and create a path toward happiness and fulfillment. Which leads to our next question …

4. What are my goals in life?

Goals are a necessary component to set you up for a happy future. So answer these questions:

Once you figure out the answers to each of these, you’ll have a much better idea of what you should do with your life.

5. Whom do I admire most in the world?

Following the path of successful people can set you up for success.

Think about the people you respect and admire most. What are their best qualities? Why do you respect them? What can you learn from them?

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You’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.[1] So don’t waste your time with people who hold you back from achieving your dreams.

Spend more time with happy, successful, optimistic people and you’ll become one of them.

6. What do I not like to do?

An important part of figuring out what you want to do with your life is honestly assessing what you don’t want to do.

What are the things you despise? What bugs you the most about your current job?

Maybe you hate meetings even though you sit through 6 hours of them every day. If that’s the case, find a job where you can work more independently.

The point is, if you want something to change in your life, you need to take action. Which leads to our final question …

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7. How hard am I willing to work to get what I want?

Great accomplishments never come easy. If you want to do great things with your life, you’re going to have to make a great effort. That will probably mean putting in more hours the average person, getting outside your comfort zone and learning as much as you can to achieve as much as you can.

But here’s the cool part: it’s often the journey that is the most fulfilling part. It’s during these seemingly small, insignificant moments that you’ll often find that “aha” moments that helps you answer the question,

“What do I want to do with my life?”

So take the first step toward improving your life. You won’t regret it.

Featured photo credit: Andrew Ly via unsplash.com

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