Happiness in relationships thrives when it involves people that already feel whole, secure and happy. These people do not depend on a relationship to give them anything. All of their relationships then reflect the wholeness of what they are. Is this your experience or are you demanding that relationships give you something they cannot?
When people who do not yet feel complete, whole or happy come into a relationship demanding that the relationship or person provide these "missing things", that is where suffering can arise. True happiness in relationships comes when people's own happiness flows into the relationship, rather than demanding it be the other way around.
The mistake many of us tend to make is to demand that relationships or people make us happy. If you look to relationships for happiness, they can easily cause you unhappiness. It is an unfair demand, unless you agree to be subjected to unhappiness at any moment.
Here I will focus on romantic relationships. Happiness in familial relationships is covered in the page "Finding Family Happiness".
Demands Of The Ego
It seems to be one of the biggest misconceptions that we can find true happiness in relationships, or as a result of a relationship. This false belief leads to so much unhappiness in relationships (as well as the opposite "happiness") - because we believe the person or relationship should be making us continuously happy - but they can not.
True happiness is already there inside you, and a relationship is just sharing this experience.
Most people seek a partner because they want some kind of fulfilment, satisfaction or pleasure. Instantly then, you are looking to use someone else to feel better about yourself.
Many people make demands of their partners or of the relationship to provide things for them, such as peace, happiness, support, security, a sense of wholeness and completeness, or a sense of self (e.g. "I am in a great relationship").
Despite what people think, another person can not truly provide your own fulfilment. When this becomes apparent, sometimes the relationship can turn into a relationship between pain bodies. These are sometimes known as toxic relationships.
How many times have you heard the terms "my other half" or "you make me happy" or "you complete me"? These all come from the ego not yet feeling whole or complete, and believing that someone else will satisfy its need for fulfilment.
This feeling of wholeness from a relationship may be convincing at first, even for years - but you must know that you need nothing to feel whole and complete. The ego uses the conceptual identity of another person to try to fill its own gaps.
What happens if you spend time apart from the person you supposedly "love" or at least "like". How would you feel if the relationship was to end? The answers to these questions can help make clear how much your happiness or sense of self depends on the relationship.
Relationships, like everything else in the world are unstable. Depend on them for happiness and you will fear their loss, become attached, and be equally unhappy if you lose them or even if you believe their loss is threatened.
How To Remedy This?
Go within. Read the page on authentic happiness. Notice any reactions you have - jealousy, fear, resentment, upset over the relationship or your partner. Just noticing these patterns in yourself breaks your identification with them, even if only slightly at first.
Bringing conscious awareness to your reactions and thoughts about your relationship or partner means you can know yourself as the awareness behind them.
Of course, you can enjoy the relationship/s you are involved in, but you no longer need them to feel good or whole. You can share, love, do whatever you please, but you are not so attached when you dwell in a place of awareness. You can enjoy them while they last and not mind when they end. You do not demand that anyone else make you happy - and there is great freedom in that.
Being in Love
Most people seem to believe that through "being in love", this wonderful amazing feeling that people should be searching for can actually also lead to someone's "heart being broken". Many seem to accept that people can go through tremendous emotional pain as a result of "being in love".
Real love involves no pain, no turmoil. Real love needs nothing and no-one. It asks for nothing, clings to nothing and is completely self-sustaining.
The ego believes in "being in love", where a high can easily lead to a low. The true self, who you are, simply is love, already. This loves flows out of the self into any relationship or action.
There is no need to seek for happiness in relationships. Happiness is already part of who you are. Practice present moment awareness to get a glimpse of this, and all of your relationships become an expression of the satisfaction you already feel from knowing what you are.