What is love without love

You don't need a committed relationship to be happy

"Forever Alone" - this expression has been wafting around the Internet for several years as a semi-self-deprecating sign of supposed failure. But why actually? What if forever alone does not signal loneliness and misery and also no potential failure of an ultimate plan worth striving for - namely relationship management - but simply represents an alternative life model full of independence and fulfillment?

Even if society is not that far advanced in many respects - research says: We can also be fulfilled and happy without love.

At the end of life, love makes no difference

Scientists at Michigan University conducted one of the first studies with the aim of identifying differences in the happiness level of married, formerly married and single people at a later age.

To do this, they looked at the relationship biographies of more than 7,500 people between the ages of 18 and 60, analyzed and asked who is happiest at 60 and to what extent love plays a role in this.

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To the surprise of the researchers, there was no significant difference in terms of happiness and well-being between lifelong singles or people with changing relationship histories on the one hand and married couples on the other.

"When it comes to happiness, the relationship aspect is not everything," said co-author William Chopik according to the university website. "People can have unhappy relationships and singles can in turn draw deep joy from other parts of their life, for example friendships, hobbies and work." According to this, it seems "almost a bit silly" that people place such a high value on having a partner * to be found in.

Why do we hang our happiness on love?

But why do we make so much of our happiness in life dependent on whether we find a partner or not?

“I think that's still very traditional in our society,” explains psychologist and happiness expert Heide-Marie Smolka. “In many minds there are still beliefs like 'Married equals a successful life'; it is the 'plan of life'. ”If someone is not married, then for many people it is considered a failure or a leftover. And that gnaws at self-worth in the long term.

In particular, we do not have too much influence on whether and when we find someone suitable for a steady relationship - and whether this relationship then lasts. No matter how hard we try, sometimes it just doesn't work; the compromise level or the sacrifices to be made would be too great, the timing is not right.

It can therefore be an enormous relief to decouple your own self-worth from finding a partner. According to Heide-Marie Smolka, there are also enough unhappily married and satisfied singles: “Happiness has other influencing factors. Unless, of course, you tell yourself that you can only be happy in one relationship - then that will be the case. "

We have our own level of fulfillment in this regard. Outstanding!

This is how happy is without love

So instead of hobbling behind the unattainable carrot of the socially predetermined ideal of relationships, exhausted, it is therefore smarter to focus on other areas of life.

"It is best to recognize that there are many other, much more influential factors in happiness," says the happiness expert. Working on it and not making happiness dependent on the topic of relationship, relax and create the best basis for satisfaction.

This includes, for example, as mentioned in the study, a well-put together group of understanding, loyal and generally top-class friends. You can also experience a lot of great things with them: sunsets, to the cinema, restaurant or going for a walk, world tour, exhibitions, football, concerts. Sometimes even better than with a partner, because not a single person has to share and cover every interest and every need.

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In addition, according to the study author, work is an important part of their satisfaction for some. Depending on what we define as success and fulfillment and what makes us tick, the job can also lead to happiness in parts. After work, there are hobbies that make you happy and can really fulfill.

However, dealing with yourself is particularly important for being happy without love. Because even the best relationship, friendship, work or leisure activity are things outside; in our hearts or minds we are alone with our thoughts and feelings.

"A very important influence on happiness is the basic attitude," explains Heide-Marie Smolka. So, basically, does someone tend to see the problems in life or the solutions and what works? “How you treat yourself is also an important factor: How self-critical are you, how appreciative can you treat yourself? There is also mindfulness, humor, curiosity and social skills. "

It is worth it

The good news: According to the happiness expert, happiness without love can be practiced: “The first step is to become more aware of which attitudes are always a hindrance,” says Heide-Marie Smolka. "In the second step, they can then be adapted to increase well-being."

Yes, being happy without love is a long process that involves work and does not work at the push of a button. But it's worth it. Because ultimately there is only one person who can make us really happy for a lifetime - and that is us.