Dissatisfaction is a constant and seeking perfection in your lover leads to dissatisfaction.
By Lori Lowe
Last updated on Sep 27, 2023
Photo: AleksandarNakic, reginafosterphotos| Canva
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 partners, 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 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 completely satisfy us, or our partners.
Here’s why being in a ‘perfect’ relationship will never make you happy:
1. Working on our inner thoughts is part of our journey to become happier.
“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.
The ability to choose happiness is why we see individuals who are living with serious life struggles who are much happier than some whose existence is much more stable.
2. Being dissatisfied doesn’t cancel happiness.
We can work on reducing the causes of our dissatisfaction while also deciding we are going to choose to be happy. Even in a world that includes evil, we can still find happiness.
Some of our 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.
3. Dissatisfaction is a critical piece of our humanity.
Dennis 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.
If we were satisfied with dating unsuitable partners, 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.
4. Some things will never be satisfied.
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 the dissatisfaction you feel over them is indeed unnecessary.”
So, there you have it.
We will always be dissatisfied. Yet, this doesn’t mean we can’t still be happy, but it is definitely something we have to work out in our own minds.
Realize when you’re dissatisfied with your spouse or partner, this is a natural tendency. It doesn’t mean they are wrong for you. You may have to consider the fact even if there were a perfect person, they still 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.
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Lori Lowe writes a newspaper column and a blog called Marriage Gems, offering research-based marriage tips. She is writing a narrative nonfiction book profiling couples who have used adversity to improve their marriages.