How To Be Happy Alone
Hello, my name is Noah Elkrief, and in this blog post I’m going to talk about how to be happy alone. The interesting thing about the question “How to be happy alone?” is that the question itself exposes the reason why you are unhappy alone. Let me break it down for you.
You believe that a relationship is the key to happiness
If you’re asking the question “How to be happy alone?”, it’s almost certainly because you believe “being in a relationship is the key to happiness”. This belief may also show up as “It’s best to be in a relationship”, “you should be in a relationship”, “you’d be happiest if you’re in a relationship”, “life is meaningless if you don’t have someone to share it with”, “love is the key to happiness” or something along those lines.
Are you believing one of those things? Almost certainly. Because, if you didn’t believe that being in a relationship created happiness, then you would ask “How to be happy?” instead of “How to be happy alone”. The question implies that it is harder to be happy if you’re not in a relationship.
Why you are unhappy alone
When you believe that a relationship (or love) is the key to happiness, and you aren’t in a relationship (or aren’t loved), then you will automatically believe that your life isn’t good enough. You unconsciously (or consciously) compare your life how it is to your idea of the “perfect” life. And when your life doesn’t match your idea of “perfect”, it is unconsciously decided that the way things are isn’t good enough.
As soon as you decide that your life isn’t good enough, you begin to feel lacking and as though there’s something missing in your life.
Why your feeling of lack can’t be created by being single
For most people it can seem as though the feeling of lack is not created by a belief, but actually caused by not having a romantic partner in your life. Let’s examine that assumption.
When you’re watching a comedy/action movie and are fully immersed in the movie, do you feel unhappy about being single? No, certainly not. Why? Because, in a moment when you’re giving your full attention to a movie, you’re not thinking about how bad it is to be single. When you’re doing something that you love like going to yoga class, playing a sport, dancing, playing with your kids, hanging out with your friends, or something like that, are you unhappy about being single? No. Why not? Because you are distracted from the thoughts that claim your life isn’t good enough.
If being single factually created unhappiness and a feeling of lack, then you would be forced to feel lacking and unhappy in every moment that you are single. But, if all it takes to stop feeling lacking and unhappy is to just distract yourself from your thoughts, then it is clear that your feeling of lack and unhappiness must be created by thoughts.
An exercise to watch how thoughts create the feeling of lack
The only time you feel lacking and unhappy when you’re single is when you tell yourself the story about how life would be so much better if you were in a relationship. To see this for yourself, let’s do a little exercise. First take a moment to ask yourself “How do I feel right now?” Maybe you feel okay, not so bad, or a little bit of lack, but nothing too strong.
Now, please take a moment to tell yourself some of the following thoughts. And when one of them feels true, start telling yourself all of the stories about it. “It would be so great if I was in a relationship”, “It’s terrible having no one to love me”, “My life will mean nothing if I don’t find someone to love me”, “I should be in a relationship (or married) by now”, “I’ll never be happy if I don’t get married”.
How does it make you feel when you tell yourself these stories? Unhappy? Sad? Lacking? Fearful? A minute ago, before you told these stories in your mind, these feelings weren’t there, but once you start giving attention to these stories, the feelings appear. If these emotions show up as soon as the thoughts show up, it is clear that the thoughts must be creating the emotions.
It may seem that your feeling of lack proves that your life is somehow factually lacking something, but the truth is that this feeling of lack is only created by believing stories in your mind.
How to be happy alone? Discover that a relationship can’t make you happy
Now that you have seen that thoughts/belief are what’s making you feel unhappy and lacking, the next question is “What do I do about it?” The primary cause of your unhappiness when you’re alone is created by comparing your life now to your idea of the “perfect life”. Therefore, the way to be happy now is to discover that your life right now is not “worse” than the “perfect” life. In other words, you have to discover that the “perfect” life isn’t as perfect as you thought it was. Then, you will no longer decide that your life isn’t good enough, which will stop creating the feeling of lack and unhappiness.
The real reason why you want a relationship (and whatever ideas you have that go with it) is because you believe that it will make you feel happy, loveable, okay, complete, fulfilled, free, relaxed, or something along these lines. Therefore, if you want to feel happy alone, all you need to do is to discover that a relationship, marriage, and love can’t give you any of these feelings that you want. This discovery ends the comparison that creates your suffering. That may sound ridiculous in this moment, but at the end of this explanation you’ll see this very clearly for yourself.
Why a relationship can’t make you happy
So, does a relationship, love, or marriage create happiness? Well, if it created happiness, then everyone who had it would be happy. But, is everyone’s who’s married and in a relationship happy? No, clearly not. The divorce rate in America is over 50%. Therefore, marriage and companionship itself clearly doesn’t create happiness.
But, what if the person you were in a relationship with was “perfect” for you in every way? Surely, then you would be happy, right? Well, imagine that you have this perfect partner that you want, a perfect marriage… would you not still have anxiety about your job? Will you have no anxiety about money? Are you going to stop worrying about what other people think of your appearance, your personality, and how you act? Are you not still going to have insecurities about your personality, appearance? Are you not going to still insecure about whether you’re smart enough, funny enough, outgoing enough etc? Will you not have insecurities about your stomach, your face, your butt, your thighs, your legs, all of that? You’re not going to have any of that? Are you not going to judge others? Are you not going to get angry at others? Are you not going to feel sad about events that happen? Are you still not going to feel sad, guilty, or ashamed about things that happened in the past?
Even if you get the so-called “perfect” person for you to marry you or love you, that doesn’t have the ability to eliminate all of the thoughts that make you unhappy (or practically any of them).
If you get the “perfect” partner, you will have new suffering
If you enter into a relationship with someone that you believe is “perfect” for you, it can be enjoyable, and it can be fun. It can also give us a few new unconscious thoughts of “my life is great because I am in a relationship now” and “If he loves me, that must mean that I am loveable”. These two new thoughts will create some pleasure.
But, as soon as you decide that the relationship makes you happy in some way, you have also decided that it would be bad for the relationship to end. As soon as you decide that their love makes you happy and means something about who you are, you have also decided that it would be bad and mean something about you if they stop loving you. If you think that your happiness is dependent on the relationship, then of course you are going to fear losing the relationship. That may show up as being afraid that they will leave you, cheat on you, or even die. If you believe that your happiness or “loveability” is dependent on their love for you, then of course you are going to fear losing their love. This fills the relationship with worrying about whether they still love you, and requires you to make an effort to be someone “loveable” in order to keep their love.
Since you will be afraid that your partner will leave you or stop loving you, you will inevitably constantly look for reassurance that you partner still loves you. You will want them to show you appreciation, get you gifts, tell you that they love you, call you, and so on just to continually prove and reaffirm their love for you since you can never know for sure that they still love you.
Life outside of the relationship isn’t as fun when you look to a relationship to make you happy
The fact of the matter is that even if you are married or in a relationship, the vast majority of your time on any given day will not be spent with your romantic partner. When you’re at work, or when they’re at work, you’re not with your partner. And that is most of the day.
If you are looking for your happiness from one person that is not with you most of the time, then that is a recipe for suffering. You may think that you are alone now, but you will continue to be alone most of the time even when you are in a relationship. The only thing that changes is a thought that pops up in your head from time to time that says “I have a romantic partner that loves me”. But, you don’t even know that to be true. It’s just an assumption, a belief, a guess, a hope. In addition, when you are not with them, it is harder to be reminded and reaffirmed that your partner loves you, so it leaves room for more doubt, worry, and jealousy.
What it means if a relationship can’t make you happy
If you see that a relationship can’t make you happy, and can’t make anybody happy, then all of the sudden that means that you’re not lacking anything right now. You’re life is not any worse because you’re single. You don’t have less of a chance of being happy because you’re single. The people in relationships are not happier than you. You’re life isn’t not good enough to be happy simply because you don’t have a romantic partner. No, you have the same chance of being happy as anyone else. You are at no disadvantage whatsoever by being single.
How to be happy alone… what to do
Recognizing that being in a relationship can’t make you happy will eliminate some of your feelings of shame and lack about being single, but there will still be a lot of other thoughts that make you unhappy in life. Therefore, to truly answer the question “How to be happy alone?”, the answer is: The same way to make yourself happy when in a relationship… Lose the thoughts that make you unhappy.
How do you do that? First, you have to identify the thoughts that make you unhappy. Once you do that, all you have to do is discover that these thoughts aren’t true. When you stop believing a thought, that thought will stop creating an emotion.
If you’re in a relationship, and you still believe all the thoughts that give you anxiety, worry, insecurity, judgment, resentment, arguments all that, you’re going to be unhappy. Therefore, in a relationship, you need to examine the thoughts that make you unhappy. The same goes for when you’re single. You need to examine the thoughts that make you unhappy. Just as you recognized in this blog post that the belief “A relationship is the key to happiness” isn’t true, you can do that with every thought that creates suffering.
I hope you found this blog post about how to be happy alone helpful
The truth is, when you’re not following your thoughts, or you’re distracted from thoughts, you’re already happy. Therefore, being alone doesn’t make you unhappy. You’re already okay as you are. The only thing that makes you unhappy is following the negative stories in your mind.
I hope that helps. If you want more help, you’re welcome to check out some other blog posts below, or subscribe to my blog.