Someone asked me recently what percentage of people I think are genuinely happy in their relationship. I said 1 to 2%. Many friends thought it was a very low estimate, saying that anything between 20 and 50% of people are happy.
I’d still say 1 to 2%. Here’s why.
In my observation, very few people have actually considered what happiness in relationship means to them. That is, what it means to them individually and uniquely; not in reference to social norms or other people’s relationships. Most of us acquire our sense of what happy relationship is like, by osmosis from the external world; whether that’s parents or peers, magazines, fiction or Hollywood. In contrast, those who I’d say are genuinely happy, have been self centred in their decision about what sort of relationship they want. Such people are able to articulate with resounding clarity how they chose their partner and how they continue to create their relationship.
However, when most people are asked about how they chose their relationship, there is a lack of clarity. I’ve heard many variations of ‘Well, its what everyone else was doing so I just assumed it would go that way.’ Definitely not self referential.
My question is, if you haven’t considered what kind of relationship you really want, how are you going to get it? Without investigating our desires, we can’t possibly fulfil them. Its the people who have done this self centred work who are genuinely happy.