[The psychology of dating] Happiness with self-actualization


All human beings want to become happy. It is difficult to achieve happiness living all by yourself. You may be happy as a person living by yourself but most people want to be happy living with other people. People want to become happy with their loved ones. They have ideas and dreams regarding how they can be happy with people they have relationships with. Happiness of a person can be achieved by only pursuing one's own fun and pleasure, but happiness of a person in relationships can be achieved by pursuing self-actualization and being happy together. 

People pursue meanings and values in pursuing self-actualization. Men tend to focus more on pursuing values and women on pursuing meanings. Self-actualization is pursued to achieve your dream but it is not something that is achieved at present. We cannot but pursue self-actualization until the day we die. 

Values of life can be categorized into financial values, relational values, and social values. You must first set the goal to pursue values. Once you set the goal of your life, you can just live by the values of your life. Men can live exclusively pursuing values without pursuing meanings. Women usually pursue both meanings and values. Married women tend to prioritize meanings and pursue values additionally. 

People aim for success in what they choose as the goal for self-actualization. You must clearly understand what you aim for and take practical measures to achieve the goal. However, many people live without setting the goal or without making efforts to achieve the goal. 

Suppose that a woman goes to see a play and gets highly impressed by the actors' performance. She suddenly decides to change her career and quits her job to become an actress. She becomes a member of a theatrical company and builds her ability as an actress. However, her efforts do not pay her back and she just keeps failing. She develops inner conflict about her self-actualization and concludes that she has no talent. She finds her future uncertain, loses confidence, and suffers from depression along with anxiety and sociophobia.

The direction for self-actualization must not be decided on impulse. You must carefully examine about your interest and talent before you set your goal to minimize trial and error. People who change jobs often tend not to understand their aptitude and abilities well. They may do what is given and available to them and easily give up when they face obstacles. 

Many successful people have some good habits they have developed through years of practice. They have set their own goal that accords with their aptitude and abilities, and kept making efforts. You must set your own goal instead of just following and adopting other successful people's examples. Then, you must keep making efforts that accord with your own goal to be able to form habits of success of your own making. At first, building habits of success can be stressful, but as you continue to practice making efforts consciously, you will internalize habits that are activated unconsciously.

Dating is also an area of self-actualization, in which you form a romantic relationship with another person. No one is good at dating from the first since they have no experience. We learn about how to date through trial and error, so failing in a dating relationship should be considered as a good experience.

Psychology is formed by the individual's habits and experiences being accumulated. As we proceed in life and try to learn from every experience along the way, we can form right ideas and behaviors into habits. As we learn more and more, we become more understanding and considerate and get less stressed and wounded in relationships. 

Dating relationships cannot always give you pleasure and happiness. One day you couldn't feel happier and the next day you couldn't feel worse as your dating relationship proceeds. The color of dating is not pink but includes all different colors. You may fight ferociously and stop contacting each other for a few days. Then, you may find your partner waiting for you in front of your door until late at night, and suddenly feel moved and realize that you are the luckiest person and your partner is the most special one in your life. 

You must make efforts in dating as well as in other important areas of life to reach the goal. Once you set the goal, you just have to do your best to make efforts in all ways possible. When you are stressed from the dating relationship, you must be able to heal stress adequately, and then continue with your efforts again until you form good habits. Forming good habits takes perseverance and self-discipline. Nothing in life is earned free of charge. 

Some people easily give up when they get stressed, start all over again with another goal, and they habitually repeat the whole process. They may look as if they were pursuing self-actualization, but they are more likely to be just relieving stress rather than making efforts for their goal. You must keep going for your goal to be able to achieve meanings and values of life in self-actualization. When you face an obstacle, you must overcome the obstacle and keep going forward. You should not change the direction just because there is an obstacle in front of you, but you must build strength and find a way to overcome the obstacle. When you overcome the obstacle after hard work, great passion and love are generated inside you. 

Human beings are bound to suffer from stress and wounds throughout the course of life. Self-actualization is the process of overcoming stress and wounds and generating passion and love, which are perceived as happiness. We can go on with this process over and over again until our life ends, and in the end, we may feel proud of ourselves for making efforts without giving up and overcoming all the obstacles in the journey of life.


About KIP(Korea Institute of Psycho-education)

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