The amount of people “living the dream” seems to be highly correlated with the amount of people trying to get out of the dream.
I see many people suffer because they want to be in a relationship and have a family, but they don’t.
I totally get the allure and pressure, but as always, I like to play devil’s advocate.
I think we tend to wed ourselves to some vision for how our life should be, and the romantic idea of spending our life with another person is culturally ingrained into us. So as we navigate teenage years, 20s, 30s and beyond, there is often a sense that at some point I will or SHOULD get in a relationship. And perhaps it’s what we think we really want.
But as time goes on without this happening, the pressure to fulfill that dream builds. And the feeling of needing it to happen IN ORDER to be happy strengthens.
If you’re in this situation, I ask you this:
Have you been able to experience any sense of joy in the last 5 years, or EVER for that matter, that didn’t involve your romantic idea of a relationship? Were you even able to experience prolonged periods of happiness in this period, where life just seemed good?
Well, if so, isn’t it possible that you could continue your life in that way, nurturing and developing those moments, and live a happy and fulfilled life?
There are many ways to a good life. If you’ve been able to experience happiness independent of your big life vision, then it’s possible you can have a life of happiness that might just take a different shape.
And guess what? The grass is always greener. The amount of people “living the dream” seems to be highly correlated with the amount of people trying to get out of the dream.
As Harvard Psychologist, Dan Gilbert, shows us through his research, we are terrible at predicting what will make us happy.
So by all means, date people, fall in love, sign up for Tinder (not necessarily in that order).
But if you’ve been able to experience happiness at any point without this dream, then maybe soften around the pressure to make it happen. It’s not like pressure is accelerating the process, and it will probably push you to settle for something that’s not what you most need. Let things unfold as they will, and if a relationship and family is in your future, take those moments as they come.
There are many ways to find happiness.