Is love synonymous with happiness

Why acceptance is the key to happiness in love

"You just have to let go of him," all the friends kept saying to me at the time, and my approval couldn't have been greater. That between him and me has led to nothing but self-doubt and pain for ages. But what the hell does it mean to let go, how does it work? I racked my brain about this question for a very, very long time and intensely. It wasn't until years later that I finally understood: letting go is nothing other than acceptance.

No matter whether within a relationship or after a breakup, whether it is about yourself or others: Sometimes it only helps to accept situations and people as they are.

Acceptance lowers the level of suffering

“Once we really understand and accept that life is difficult, then life is no longer difficult. Because as soon as we have accepted it, this fact no longer matters, ”writes Morgan Scott Peck in his life guide The Road Less Traveled on the subject of acceptance.

To put it more simply: As soon as you accept that some things hurt and are caustic, it immediately hurts a little less and is less caustic. Because a very significant amount of emotional energy always wanders into the frustrating feeling of “Why? WHY?!". The answer "Well, that's just the way it is" can sometimes work wonders and downright liberating.

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For example, Alcoholics Anonymous also has the motto: give me the serenity to accept the things that I cannot change, the courage to change the things that I can change and the wisdom to distinguish one from the other. This is a fine art and basically applies to all areas of life, but especially to love.

Your feelings are okay, don't fight them

Whether you love someone and you can't stop, whether he * she just doesn't want you, whether you will never be able to truly love someone, whether your relationship is stable but not perfect - the first step is to accept the situation in such a way that as it is and to forego the need for immediate change. That takes the pain out. Then you can calmly consider whether and how you want to deal with it.

It's okay to love someone who doesn't love you. You don't have to stop, your feeling is justified. But you will not be able to change his mind. Therefore, it can make sense to withdraw in order to protect yourself. “You need space to process everything, to gain distance and to find yourself,” says relationship expert Silvia Fauck. “And you need a good sense of self-worth to deal with rejection.” Unfortunately, that doesn't grow on trees. But, according to Fauck, self-love and self-care could be a start: “Patience with yourself is the order of the day.” So acceptance.

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It's okay not to reciprocate feelings. You don't have to feel guilty about it. However, out of consideration for the other, you shouldn't give hope to others and communicate this clearly - even if it's difficult.

It's okay to have a moderately good relationship. The question is what your real needs are and what you currently expect and need from a relationship. Constantly criticizing in frustration is in any case not very meaningful and just steals time from everyone involved. It never works without compromise, but you shouldn't bend completely either, because that makes you unhappy at some point. If your emotional deficiency symptoms are permanently too high, a breakup can be liberating in the long term.

"We can't change others anyway - and that shouldn't be the goal in a relationship either," says book author and separation expert Elena Sohn. “I often meet people who say: 'I was just hoping that he or she would change'. And it almost never worked. ”Better than working off the other, the question is: Can I really live with it or not? Elena Sohn: "In the former case I should accept to go separate ways in the latter." A partner is not there to make you happy or to please you, you share your life voluntarily and equally. This also includes accepting your differences.

Not all acceptance is the same as approval

Incidentally, acceptance and approval are not synonymous. To accept that someone behaves unpleasant or toxic to you and not wanting to actively change that (anymore) is something completely different than accepting it and not reacting at all.

The difference is in giving up - or in prioritizing your own well-being and the actions that follow from it. So, "I accept that it is so and can live with it or I'll leave" versus "I'd rather shut up and suffer quietly".

"If it comes down to the fact that my partner has behavior that harms me, then of course I shouldn't accept it," explains Elena Sohn again more precisely. “There is little point in hoping the other will change. It is better to clearly state your own limits and if the other person does not adhere to them, draw the conclusions. "

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How exactly does this work with acceptance? In the first step, for example, putting your own salvation first - even if this is sometimes frowned upon as selfish in our society. As Silvia Fauck says: “Everything that is personally good for you is right at the moment. You have to learn to take responsibility for yourself, then, step by step, everything can turn out fine. ”And of course, the reverse also applies: Everything that doesn't do well in the long term has to go.

By the way, at some point I was actually able to let go, a long time ago. Over the years the details of hurtful exchanges have faded, anger has evaporated, stubbornness melted. I could accept my feelings as well as his. It is what it is and it is very okay.

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