Can you be happy alone? Or is it just contentment until the love of your live comes along?
January 2, 2011 8:18 PM Subscribe
Is it possible to be genuinely happy alone?
posted by althanis to Human Relations (39 answers total) 94 users marked this as a favorite
So I've done a bit of reading (Intimate Connections, Feeling Good and loads of metafilter questions) and the consensus is that you need to be perfectly happy by yourself before you can be in a good, mature relationship with a partner. In fact, it should not be viewed as much as a prerequisite, but just as something that should be, whether or not you are aiming to find a partner.
Intellectually, I agree with this completely. Over the last few months I've been through quite a transformation - I've started going to the gym, reached out to a lot more friends, been reading voraciously - and I can tell when I'm being needy, and when I'm not thinking rationally, etc. This has been helping me tremendously with someone I've started dating over the last couple weeks, and just my general outlook on life. I realize if it doesn't work out with this person, life does go on.
The catch is this - when I'm doing things by myself, whether it's reading, watching television, going to the gym, or hanging out with platonic friends - I feel pretty content. But that's it. Content.
Many of the times I wonder, instead of doing this, are there more fun things that I could/should be doing? How would Ms. X or Mr. X spend their time? Should I be trying harder to have fun?
So my time alone ends up never being any of the admittedly cliched words you'd use to describe the time you spend with someone you're in love with. It's not blissful, or wonderful, 7 hours pass and you realize you haven't eaten a bite and haven't even thought about it you're just soaking up the time with this person.
I realize that my biggest weakness lies 2 paragraphs up, in that I shouldn't be trying to benchmark myself it's unhealthy, but just do what I want to do, after all it's my time. And this doesn't happen all the time, like I said I'm usually pretty content.
I know quite a few people who might perhaps claim to be happy doing things themselves, if I asked them. But then again, these are the same people who seek external validation on Facebook for every thing they do alone, examples:
- home cooking tonight
- riding solo for the new year
- having a glass of wine and spending time with the family
- got home at 9 and had cereal and ice cream and slept till 9
But let's say I've worked on this aspect of my thoughts and gotten over it (it will take time I know), I have the following questions:
Is it really pragmatic to try to attain this state of happiness doing things by oneself? Is it even attainable?
Are there people out there who are perfectly happy by themselves? If you are one of them, how do you do it?
Wouldn't you feel you've missed out on one of the happiest and most fulfilling things in life if you managed to live your life without at least one of those crazy/magical/huge love affairs?