Love, Self

Why Being In A 'Perfect' Relationship Will Never Make You Happy Or Satisfied With Life

Photo: getty
Why Being In A 'Perfect' Relationship Will Never Make You Happy Or Satisfied With Life

One of the biggest obstacles for understanding how to be happy in our lives is our inability to be satisfied.

In case you didn’t notice, human nature makes us insatiable. We are never completely satisfied with ourselves, our partner, our income, our homes, our children, our jobs, or our bodies. We’re never completely satisfied with our entire lives, and due to our human nature, we may never be.

That isn't to say that we can't learn to be content. However, it doesn’t serve us well to pretend the outside world is always to blame for our dissatisfaction, when, truly, the world couldn’t satisfy us or our partners at all

Therefore, working on our inner thoughts is part of our journey to become happier.

RELATED: How To Totally Master The Art Of Being Happy In 6 Steps (Or Less!)

“We must be able, in effect, to tell our nature that although we hear it and respect it, our mind, not our nature, will determine whether we are satisfied,” says Dennis Prager, author of Happiness is a Serious Problem.

This ability to choose happiness is why we see individuals living in poverty across the world who are much happier than some truly wealthy westerners.

While we may be dissatisfied, we can still choose happiness. We can work on reducing the causes of our dissatisfaction while also deciding that we are going to choose to be happy. Even in a world that includes evil, we can still find happiness.

Some of humankind’s inability to be satisfied is positive. Dissatisfaction motivates us to change, improve, create, accomplish. If it weren’t for feeling dissatisfied, we as humans wouldn’t seek innovation and improvement in ourselves and in our world. It’s a critical piece to our humanity. 

Prager distinguishes between necessary (or positive) dissatisfaction and unnecessary dissatisfaction. All creative types have a necessary dissatisfaction with their work that causes them to strive to improve it. Much of the necessary dissatisfaction in our lives leads us to make crucial changes.

RELATED: 3 Simple Tricks To Feel Better Fast And Be Happier — No Therapy Required

If we were satisfied with dating losers, we would have no incentive to find a suitable long-term mate. When couples are dissatisfied with their level of intimacy, this feeling can lead them to make improvements in communication and connection.

Unnecessary dissatisfaction relates to items that are either not important (inability to find the perfect boots), or not within our control (who your parents are).

“Your dissatisfaction may be an entirely valid one, but if its cause cannot be changed, it only increases unhappiness,” says Prager. “Only when you have the serenity to accept the things you cannot change will you recognize that the dissatisfaction you feel over them is indeed unnecessary.”

So, there you have it.

We will always be dissatisfied. But that doesn’t mean we can’t still be happy. It’s just something we have to work out in our own minds.

Realize that when you're dissatisfied with your spouse or chosen partner, this is a natural tendency. It doesn't mean he or she is wrong for you. You may just have to consider that even the perfect person couldn't satisfy every longing you have.

Our partner can't make us happy. That's a decision we have to make on our own.

RELATED: 10 Ways Smart Women Choose To Be Really, Truly, Simply Happy

Lori Lowe is a marriage researcher and writer. Offering research-based marriage tips, she' currently working on a book profiling couples who have used adversity to improve their marriages.

Sign up for YourTango's free newsletter!