Beliefnet
Lessons from a Recovering Doormat


An article in the NY Times this week was called He’s Happier, She’s Less So It discussed the results of a study that said nowadays, men are happier. Years ago, studies showed women to be the happier of the sexes. But times have changed!

One difference pointed out is that men enjoy being with their families more. One reason assessed is that women associate visits to parents more with tasks, men with watching ballgames on TV and relaxing. I agree with that, and more. Growing up, girls are expected to help around the house. Guys are often more pampered by mom. And catered to. A guy’s experience is more fun than having to clear the table or do the dishes.

The study also notes that women have more work than ever, with full time jobs at work and home. In the past, women were taught that happiness came from having a husband, a clean house and kids. Nowadays that doesn’t cut it. Yet many women still look to marriage and kids as key factors for attaining happiness. Unfortunately, many go to great lengths to achieve those goals and discover that they’re still not happy.

Putting all your energy into searching for and trapping a husband can wear you out. You might feel like a loser if you don’t find someone, as folks ask when you’re going to find a husband. Many men are happy playing with their tech toys, watching sports, drinking with friends, and more. Women haven’t quite learned how to have as much fun without a partner. Some do. I do. But more don’t.

Women also have more overt happiness busters. There’s so much pressure on us to look good—have a fat-free body, youthful skin, well-behaved hair, etc. Most of us don’t come by all of those things naturally and the struggle to attain them can dampen happiness. But the a belief that women need to look a certain way to get a man keeps triggers a need to keep trying to improve appearance.

I had the husband but it didn’t make me happy, since twenty was too young for me to have a life. At the moment I don’t even have a boyfriend, yet I think I’m happier than a great majority of women in relationships. I love my work and life feels wonderful. While I’m open to meeting a guy who’d make my life more delicious, I’m not out hunting for one. I know he’ll be there at the right time. Strong faith allows me to relax and be happy either way.

It takes developing a life on your own to be happy. Male or female, if your don’t feel in control of your life and aren’t content on your own, it’s hard to feel consistently happy. You might have happy moments. But they don’t last long. Pay attention to what you consider circumstances for being happy. Then reevaluate them, since you shouldn’t need circumstances if you’re happy on the inside. Once I consciously did more loving things for me, my happiness lasted longer and longer. Now it’s an overriding feeling every day. You can find that too and change the results of the study I referred to!

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