You can lead a horse to water

So, I've been seeing this guy lately. He's a good guy, though we have some rather significant differences--both in the way we think and our backgrounds. Today he tells me that he was really bothered when I dropped the bomb the other night that I "can't make him happy." I don't recall the context of the conversation, but regardless of what lead up to it, the statement is true.

No one can make anyone else be happy. You can be happy around or with someone, you can even feel happier in their presence. But no one can make someone else happy. What a horribly heavy weight to put on someone--I'm responsible for making you happy?? Talk about pressure! If it's up to me to make sure someone else is happy, it's a losing battle. I'm going to go out of my mind trying to say/do things that are certain to make him or her happy, and feel like shit when they don't work.

A statement like that is akin to telling someone "you complete me." It was cute in "Jerry Maguire," but it doesn't hold water in real life. That just suggests that God put you on this planet incomplete, and frankly I'm not buying it. God doesn't put half people down here.

What this guy isn't understanding is that I don't want someone who thinks even for a second that his happiness is contigent on my being there or that he is now somehow made whole because I'm in his life. People like that are bordering on codependent, at least in my book. I don't want to be that person that everything rides on for anyone else--it's hard enough to keep myself together sometimes! I don't have the fortitude to keep up with someone else's happiness.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not suggesting that I don't want a husband one day, I do. I just don't want anyone thinking that me getting married is somehow making me more than I am. I was put on this earth with a complete heart and soul and I can only grow from there. I'd prefer to do it with someone next to me, but it shouldn't be a requirement. I shouldn't feel as though even the simplest thing I do is responsible for someone else's happiness. Sure, my actions and what all affect another's life, but they shouldn't define it.
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3 Response to "You can lead a horse to water"

  1. Rudicus says:
    Jun 27, 2005, 9:43:00 AM

    This is one of the hardest beliefs for someone to get. Similar to the idea, that just like I can't make you happy, I also can't make you sad. I just don't have that kind of power - no one does.

    Everything we experience is stimulus and it's how we respond to that stimulus that dictates our actions.

    Things happen to people all the time death, firing, cheating etc. all of these things are events, but it is only how we see them that dictates our response.

    With respect to this guy - understanding beliefs and responses is very difficult so he may need some time, but also being reliant on someon else for your happiness is potentially dangerous and could be a sign of co-dependency, so keep an eye out.

  2. Glod says:
    Jun 27, 2005, 3:17:00 PM

    Perhaps there are lots of people who can help make him happy, and you're just one, who could, if you didn't mind.

  3. Ribalding says:
    Jun 30, 2005, 11:56:00 PM

    "Happiness is a hard master - particularly other people's happiness. " - Huxley

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