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In a relationship, it’s easy to fall into a pattern.
And I’m not saying there’s something wrong with routine. It’s really quite lovely to be with someone who makes you feel so secure that you can go through life unfazed by the bullsh*t.
But you have to be careful in love. Sometimes, you can confuse being comfortable with being happy.
All too often, we find ourselves in long-term relationships that don’t excite us. We stay because we’re terrified of the alternative, but we don’t have the energy to start something new.
Our everyday routines make us complacent and satisfied, and it’s too late before we realize what’s happening.
After months, years and perhaps even decades, you wake up beside your partner and don’t even know how you ended up there.
Though the differences between “happy” and “comfortable” can be slight, they’re very real.
Being happy means b*tterflies; being comfortable means complacency.
When you’re happy, you’re in a state of euphoria. And “euphoria” doesn’t mean unrealistic romantic bliss. It just means your stomach flips every time you see your SO. There’s a spark and an excitement that doesn’t die down, because that’s how happy you are.
But when you’re comfortable, you go with things. You don’t question it. You’re not affected by your partner’s presence. You’re checked out.
You’re not precisely unhappy, but you’re not joyous, either. You simply… exist.
But if you “simply exist” for too long, you’ll find yourself completely suffocated.
Being happy means being unable to imagine a life without your significant other; being comfortable means not caring.
When you’re truly happy, you cannot imagine your life without this other person. It breaks your heart into a million pieces to even consider it. If your SO left you, your life would fall apart.
You know that you’re strong and theoretically capable on your own. But the thought of another person touching you is positively grotesque.
You’re not sure about much, but you’re sure ab0ut this. And it’s a wonderful — but scary — feeling.
Being comfortable means you just don’t want to make the effort. It all sounds too exhausting to bear. Why find someone else when you’re content with the status quo? Why swipe right when you have a perfectly acceptable off-screen option in front of you?
(Maybe your soulmate is on Tinder, but that seems too unlikely. For now, you’ll bet not.)
Your motivation for staying in this relationship is not because of your all-consuming, burning, can’t-live-without-it-love. You just don’t want to have to try.
Being happy means feeling safe; being comfortable means feeling ambivalent.
When you’re really happy, you feel safe. There is nowhere you’d rather be than in the arms of the one you love. Your lover’s scent is completely intoxicating.
You can’t get enough of your partner’s skin. It is overwhelming and beautiful to feel this way. It’s like being wrapped in a warm blanket while all your worries melt away.
When you’re comfortable, that feeling of safety is similar to that of boredom. The feeling isn’t draining, and it isn’t toxic; it’s vanilla, bland and homogenous.
The comfort isn’t inviting and loving; it’s insipid.
Being happy means having in-person conversations; being comfortable means trading thoughtless texts.
I know I find happiness in hours of conversation (the snorting laughter kind, but also the heart-to-hearts). Happiness, to me, means being able to be yourself. You’re goofy, ridiculous and absurd with your partner, because you’re with your best friend.
You never run out of things to talk about. Even when you’re just lying together reading, writing or relaxing, you’re still satisfied.
Being comfortable, on the other hand, means giving just enough of your time to keep things steady. You call your partner not because you want to, but because you need to check that he or she isn’t trying to cheat on you.
You aren’t reaching out because you’re dying for your SO’s touch; you’re touching base to keep up the lie of your commitment.
Being happy means being willing to grow; being comfortable means an unwillingness to change.
Being happy means you want to be your best self. You want to grow with — and for — your partner. You want to be everything he or she deserves.
Happiness means pushing the boundaries and expanding your limits. It means wanting to increase your and your partner’s joy by any means possible. When you’re happy, you see more possibilities.
Being comfortable means being in a relationship that isn’t demanding. It means being in a relationship with someone who doesn’t push you to be anything other than yourself.
The relationship doesn’t expand your horizons; it reinforces your old ones. You’re in it because it feels okay — not because it feels challenging.
Being happy means living; being comfortable means watching life happen around you.
If you’re truly happy, you’re grabbing life by the balls. You’re living to the fullest, because every single day feels like an adventure. You embrace the thrill because you’re in love, and when you’re in love anything seems possible.
Your world is a ravishing spool of Technicolor. You feel like you can do anything.
When you’re comfortable, you’re just letting the world pass by. You aren’t truly living, because you’re living inside of a vacuous bubble.
You aren’t invested in your partner’s happiness or succeed; you’re just glad to have someone around.
Being happy is scary, and being comfortable is easy.
Being happy means giving someone your entire heart. You’re hopelessly wrapped around your SO’s finger — whether you like it or not. This is so exciting and exhilarating, but it is f*cking scary. It is f*cking terrifying to be so vulnerable around another human being.
It feels so overwhelming to feel this happy. You can’t help but wonder what you did to deserve this. You’re hyper-conscious of how it would feel to lose everything. You know how miserable you would be, and you don’t know if life could ever be this good again.
Yes, being comfortable may not be nerve-racking. But living without happiness means settling. It means not allowing yourself to experience the most beautiful levels of human existence.
Being happy may be risky, but it’s better than never risking anything — and therefore never truly living.
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