If we look back in time, we will find that much has changed over the ages, but there is one thing that has remained the same: Societies support dualities.

The picture remains the same over time: People meet, become couples, create families, which in turn will follow the same path. Everything works around this basic rule: O love and companionship are applauded, loneliness is interpreted as something negative, even unnatural. Social structures favor couples in every way.

All this fatally conveys a very specific message: To feel happiness and completion, you must be in a relationship. No one can find happiness in any other context.

And yet, this social construct gradually begins to crumble, revealing that it has no realistic basis. The conclusions of the research conducted by the social psychologist are revealing Bella DePaulo from the University of California in 2016. In a detailed review of 814 studies of married and single people, he concluded a truth that is not often heard: A relationship will not bring you the happiness you seek. In fact, freedom can have many important benefits.

You have to feel good about yourself first. And if I still haven’t convinced you, here are 4 main reasons why a relationship can’t provide you with the happiness that’s missing from your life, but also what you can do to get it, according to The Every Girl:

A relationship won’t change the way you feel about yourself

You may believe that being in a relationship will make you feel better about yourself, drawing validation from the other person’s interest and thus covering up your insecurities. But if you think more carefully, you will find that you do not become more beautiful, nor do you improve at your job, for example, because you have a partner. No one can fill the void of love that you don’t feel for yourself. After all, as the saying goes, you get the love you think you deserve. The people you attract therefore reflect how you feel about yourself.

It’s toxic to depend on a relationship for happiness

This, of course, does not mean that a beautiful relationship does not cause happiness. You can, however, feel complete even without it. No one is able to provide you with everything you need to feel complete and you cannot place the “burden” of this responsibility on others. Happiness should come from a relationship, but not depend on it.

You are more likely to grow and develop outside of a relationship

If you look at the findings of the 2016 study conducted by DePaulo, you will find that free participants showed more improvement over time compared to those who were committed. A closer look at this conclusion allows us to see that it has a logical basis. Singles typically have more free time, and their life decisions don’t affect anyone else.

This, of course, does not mean that you cannot grow in a relationship. In fact, you should aim for your partner to encourage you to progress and develop. It’s just that on the way to development you may encounter more obstacles than someone who decides solely for himself.

Relationships don’t fill in the gaps

A relationship won’t fill the voids you feel, nor will it distract you for long from the problems you’re trying to avoid. Loneliness and unhappiness don’t go away with distractions.

Learn to enjoy the time you spend with yourself

Individual time is precious and necessary. It’s not healthy to be surrounded by others all the time. You should create time with yourself and realize how important this time is. Do things that please you and turn yourself into the most pleasant company!

Meet the child inside you

Do you remember how simple the things that brought you joy were when you were a child? This ability is lost as we grow older and it becomes more and more difficult to feel truly happy. Try to harness this childlike quality, deriving joy from the simple and everyday.

Your happiness depends entirely on you

It is deeply liberating to know that your happiness depends on you alone. Take responsibility for how you feel about the life you’ve created, change what bothers you, and claim what brings you joy.

Face difficult emotions with courage

We often expect negative emotions such as sadness, loneliness, and lack of self-esteem to overlap with relationships. However, these feelings can be useful lessons that will show us how to change our lives for the better. Allow yourself to face difficult feelings head on, instead of hiding them “under the rug”. This way, you will be able to work with yourself to heal them.

Be grateful for what you have and don’t focus on what you don’t have

Happiness is a state of mind, not something that happens to us. It doesn’t depend on who comes into our lives. As cliché as it sounds, you’ll feel a lot better if you try to focus on what you have, instead of “hanging on” to what you don’t have. In this way, your life will acquire the hue of abundance and not lack, you will be able to feel good about yourself and you will enjoy a relationship much more when you enter it already feeling fulfilled.

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