Are You Happy, Or Just Comfortable?
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I feel there are many things we can learn from having a pet. I have always been a dog person myself. My family has a beautiful English Labrador named Logan. Just like everyone else’s dog is to them, he is the “cutest, best dog in the world.”
But more than companionship, Logan can teach us many things. For one, even if you walk outside for 5 minutes, everyone with a dog knows that when you come back in it’s like you’ve been gone for years. How great would the world be if we were always this excited to see other humans?
Another thing that can be said about pets, is that they are creatures of habit (ironically, they only are because we are – they get their habits from our routines). Logan loves to “wave” to people when they leave the house. If you’ve gone outside to your car he will bound over to the front door and wait to be let onto the stoop to say goodbye for now. Then when he comes back in, he expects to get a little treat. His pattern is unbreakable, but the joy it brings him is unparalleled.
This raises an interesting point. Even though Logan could do the same thing over and over again daily, each time he runs over to the cabinet after he comes inside, it’s like he is chasing after a pot of gold. It makes him truly happy.
Similarly, people in relationships can tend to get into a comfortable routine as well – but it is not always as positive as Logan’s. Especially if both partners work a traditional job, we find ourselves up and out at the same time each day, home just in time to have dinner together (maybe), some TV, and then bed. Hopefully with some time for intimacy in between – and that’s if you live together. If not, the frequency of being together is hindered even further by this schedule.
As monotony increases, excitement decreases. How easy it is to fall into the mundane cycle of life. How easy it is to let our obligations replace our passions. How easy it is to spend so much time making a living that we forget to actually create a life.
How easy it is to suddenly wake up a year later and wonder where the time has gone…
It’s not always a 9-5 job that is the culprit. Sometimes we get comfortable because it’s just easier that way. Sometimes it’s because it would be so hard to get back into the dating world and start over. Sometimes it’s just because one partner is unmotivated and the convenience of lazyness becomes contagious.
It should be noted – comfort with a person is one of the most important parts of a relationship, but comfort in a routine can drastically dilute your progress in life.
People become complacent, but complacency doesn’t breed satisfaction. It doesn’t breed a successful or fulfilling life. It breeds resentment, and quiet desperation. We have to open our eyes from time to time and ask – Am I happy? Or just comfortable?
This is why it’s so important to continue dating the person you’re with. Been together a year, two years, five years? We must understand that what it took to “get” the person we’re with should also be what we continue to do for them after we’ve already gotten them.
The romance, the passion, the courtship, the spontaneity – these things are not reserved for the beginning of a relationship or the honeymoon phase – these things should be part of your personality, your “routine,” your life together.
Do not be a victim of time, ease, or convenience. It takes more work and effort to be happy and keep progressing, but that is why so few of us actually do it. You only get one life – make sure you live it.
Everything you’ve ever wanted is right outside of your comfort zone.
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