How to Not Rely on Others for Happiness

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    I recently had a fling with a guy who has now gone to South America for 6 months. It was a wonderful few weeks we had together, but I knew from the beginning that he was leaving. He told me that he would stay in touch and see me again when he came back, and we have. Now that he’s gone, I’m finding it really hard to stop thinking about him. I check his facebook page constantly, reminisce on the time we had together, think about possibilities in the future, and it’s become really hard for me to stay in the present. I know that there is a definite possibility of something happening in the future, but I want to be able to focus on what I’m doing right now, not push my focus towards him because I want his attention and I’m curious about what he’s doing. Anyone have any suggestions? How to allow myself to be happy without the attention of someone I really like?


    What really helps me is immersing myself in my passions, such as writing, reading, listening to music and expanding my vocal range. Whenever I feel down I’m always able to feel happiness towards myself whenever I engage in those personal activities. Through doing that I’m actually the happiest I’ve ever been in my life now which feels nice after being depressed most of my life.


    I would agree that finding the things that make you the happiest is a good way to try to focus on other things. When you have activities that make you feel content and at peace, you will find yourself feeling more balanced. Don’t beat yourself up about thinking about him or what the future may hold for the two of you. Instead of stressing about how you can’t stop thinking about him, whenever he appears in your mind, send him some love and good thoughts and then try to move forward with whatever it is that you are doing. It is natural for us to think about the ones we love, embrace the fact that you have someone special in your life. Sending you happy vibes!


    I’ve not been in this position, but here’s my two cents…
    When feelings aren’t helping — try logic. (And vice versa!)

    Here’s what I came up with…

    I’m sure you want him to be as drawn to you as you are to him… and if he is busy fulfilling himself in non-relationship ways… I’m sure it would be easier for him to relate to you, connect with you, and appreciate you — if you were to keep having as many interesting (non-relationship) stories to tell as he does. This means continuing to do interesting things without him. You may want to explore the relationship further & be really eager to do that (that’s nice!) … but his going away has temporarily paused that part of it to some extent. Don’t waste away emotionally (only focusing on having a relationship with him) while he continues to experience other parts of life. I think it’s normal to be interested in what he’s doing — going to South America is interesting! — but give him things to be interested in about you, as well. Maybe this is a good time to find that balance of “interested in him” and “interesting yourself”, maybe…?
    (Not that you are not interesting – LOL – but it seems like you are saying that you think you are focusing on him and your relationship with him more than you think is wise…? Or more than you are comfortable with? Or more than he can, given the circumstances?)

    Don’t beat yourself up for wanting his attention, or for giving him yours… just maybe ask yourself “what am I doing/ being — for him to give his attention to?”
    If you are mostly thinking of him about him & checking Facebook — what attention can he give you, personally?
    The most he could say is: “That’s nice, you’re thinking about me… that’s sweet… Yeah, it was cool that I…” (shifting the conversion back to whatever you read on his Facebook…)
    And that’s about it… Not much about you, or what you are up to.

    Keep living so that he can stay as interested in you & what you are up to as you are in him.
    Check his Facebook, that’s fine… but let him check your Facebook for your updates, too!
    Keep having a full life yourself:
    A) So that you don’t get lost in thinking of him and your relationship with each other, tempting as that is..
    B) So that he’s not the only important thing in your life (aka: you still HAVE a life!) and
    C) So that he can remain as interested in you as you are in him.

    While he is away, don’t let him be the only one doing cool and memorable things with his life. If you do that, it will be all about him, what he’s doing, and his Facebook updates. He may be an important part of your life & you may want more (which is a good sign!) … but remember all that you are yourself & keep doing the non-relationship things that make you you, Don’t forget that a happy, healthy relationship is just one of many things you want…. even if it does top the list…. it’s still a list!

    I do relate to that — “Oooh, you may be the one” feeling & I know how hard it is to not drool all over that — but now’s a good time to listen to that still, inner voice that knows when it’s threatening to make you forget what ELSE is important or is starting to make you lose your balance.
    Not easy urges to talk off a ledge, I know — LOL!!!

    But, I do think he’ll feel better about you if you are just as much your own person with things going on in your life as he is. You’ll be a healthier, happier person for yourself AND him… if you can find that balance.

    Keep exploring the relationship with him, but keep giving him a world of things to explore about you, too!
    He must be pretty great for you to feel this way about him… 🙂

    Hope this helps, best of luck!


    I am going through the EXACT same thing, finally found my soulmate and he’s 2000 miles away. Things were going great and then I lost my job and have become a lonely, insecure, needy basket case. Meditation and singing work for a while and then I find myself drifting back to the dark places. All of this advice has been so very helpful, thanks so much!!

    If you don’t mind Erin, I’m going to print your beautifully detailed advice out and put it on my bedroom dresser mirror. He is the last thought before I go to sleep and the first when I wake. This will remind me to carry him with me as I move forward in hope, instead of just standing still in worry.

    • This reply was modified 8 years, 3 months ago by Tammy.

    Remember who you were before you met him, remember what you used to do before you met him.
    Because you were that awesome person you were able to have great time when you met this guy.
    If you both really had great time, lets hope that he will definitely come back for you.
    You guys are compatible and that is why you had great time when you were together.
    Keep your calm and be your own person.
    In fact you probably don’t know this guy completely yet because you are so mesmerized by great times you had with him.
    As you said there is a definite possibility of something happening in future – Whenever he gets in touch with you, don’t show your desperation – focus on knowing him better for your own sake – know his real interests, understand his positives and reflect on his negatives/weaknesses and check with yourself whether you will be able to live with him if you guys were to be together for real in future. Also, allow him to know you and understand you genuinely. That means be a genuine person and don’t be a desperate one seeking attention from him.

    Your curiosity to check on him (facebook) etc will develop and unnecessary tension within you and when
    you meet this guy again you won’t be able to be yourself. That might turn him off and you might miss out on
    something real that would probably have happened had given him a fair chance – by simply being a good
    friend, a good companion. Checking facebook, and other sorts of sneaking won’t help you get anywhere. It will
    eventually become a habit that you won’t be able to get rid of and as a result you character will be changed
    from someone who is happy to someone who is always in-secured.

    Whenever your mind seems to be unnecessarily thinking of him – Flip that thought to some activity you can do.
    Whenever you want to check him on facebook – Curb the urge by opening tinybuddha and read forums to understand what people are
    going through. In fact I would suggest to stop checking facebook updates for a month or so till you get to a point of being yourself.
    It worked for me!

    Be happy 🙂 and live in the moment – watch movies, call your best friends, cook something, go for a run, read a good book
    that you’ve always been longing to, volunteer, focus on your work, career, help other people who have problems here in this website,
    do your pending chores…there is soooo much to do in this world! 🙂
    There is no time to live in imaginary, could-be, would-be, could have been, will-it-be world.
    Give him his space and enjoy your time and space alone this end as well.


    Hi Tammy,

    I once read a quote: ‘If you want to live a happy life; tie it to a goal, not to people or things’.

    Just when I read this; I went to flashback and realized that I was much happier and confident when I was concentrating on my career and what I want to do in life. And my life took another direction just when I started considering and tied my life with this guy; made him my world. I was wrong to do that.

    Not that I didn’t do what I wanted to in my career; but it feels good to think there’s a long way to go. I often watch interviews of personalities, the way they achieved things in life and how they deal with criticism and stuffs. I only take inspiration out of it to never stop to have ambitions and achieve more and more each day. When I reach my 40s; I would want to give back to the society – Is the goal.

    In short; the quote solved many of my mysteries. Hope it helps!

    Stay blessed!:-)

    The Ruminant

    I visualize my boundaries surrounding my body, and I think that this is where everything in my life happens. Even if I think about someone else, those thoughts happen within those boundaries, within my body. So my responsibility is to be as centered as possible within those boundaries and not get lost and send my energy somewhere else. It has taken some practice, but I’m getting better at it. I also visualize how I center my energy and allow it to fill my body and radiate to the surroundings as well. That is in contrast to spreading myself thin around the globe, focusing on other people. I can actually feel the difference. I feel strong and powerful and happy when all my energy is firmly allocated in my body. I feel confused and weak when my energy is focused on all kinds of other things that aren’t even physically present.

    So I guess my answer is to become more aware of your own energy and how do you use it. It’s one of those things that’s kind of hard to explain without sounding too New Ageist 🙂 Although I have looked into Chakras and energy work, I mostly just trust my own feeling and I really do feel the energy or lack of.


    Hi Tammy,
    I’m so glad it spoke to you, it’s an honor to help!


    The advice on this forum has been so helpful! I’m currently in a situation where my boyfriend and I still love each other immensely, but some of the spark had gone away. Also, we both just got new jobs with very long hours and conflicting schedules so we won’t be able to spend as much time together this summer as we have been all year. This July will mark one year that we are together and I’ve never had a relationship last longer than 6 months and never one as serious as this one. He is the most amazing soul I’ve ever met and he’s taught me so much that I need to grow and become a happier person. He says I’ve done the same for him and we have so much love for each other. However now with his new job, he is extremely motivated to reach really big life goals and that means focusing a lot on his job and other goals. I’m having trouble with this part because I depend on him for my happiness. He is my best friend, my therapist, lover, care giver, etc and it’s so tough to not have him around as often. I’m going to take in all of the advice on this forum and really try to learn to find happiness on my own and not depend on him. I know this will only make our relationship stronger because he will love to see how independent I’ve become. If anyone knows of any books I can read that has great lessons like these, please share! Thank you!


    I would add having read some of this…don’t become more independent to impress him…do it because you want to enjoy the time he is away rather than making yourself miserable. If you start thinking ‘he will like it better if I am as independent of this union as he is’ then you are simply confirming to yourself that it is extremely important that he likes you. It is not extremely important that he likes you, it is extremely that you like yourself (which is easier said than done sometimes if you find it difficult to see your positives).

    I like Ruminant’s thoughts about thinking of how everything happens within your own body. You are not currently dependent on ‘him’ – the actually physical person – for your happiness, you are currently dependent on ‘thinking of him liking you’ for your happiness. Question why that is: do you struggle to like yourself? Do you wish for approval and acceptance? I would suggest that every time thoughts of him come into your mind, remind yourself that you are looking for approval and that you are feeling badly about yourself – bring it back in your mind to the actual cause of the unhappiness. This reduces anxiety and gives you something a little more concrete to work with. Recognise that you have the power to feel better about yourself and that doing so comes from self-compassion and believing in your own power and agency to soothe yourself.


    I understand this feeling, I feel like I have been relying on my partner for happiness for years, now our paths are going in different directions and we have to do long distance temporarily I feel lost and almost jealous that he is moving forward and I am not just yet as I’m still studying. I don’t have any real hobbies apart from the gym and I don’t have heaps of friends, in fact I find it difficult to distinguish who I can call a real friend because of how many times I have felt isolated despite making efforts. I find all of my conversations and thoughts link back to us in one way or another and my entire life has been consumed by the love I have for my partner. I don’t know how to move forward but I know for my own health, happiness and relationships I need to find a way of moving forward and loving myself and making myself happy – but where do I start?


    Great post and responses to a problem that I too share. I’m nervous to get into a new relationship because I don’t know how to not obsess over the new love interest. I can force myself to do things to keep myself busy and look more independent, but they don’t come naturally like they do for other people I know. Even if I’m not in a relationship, when I simply have a crush on someone, I become obsessed with how I look and act around them and spend my free time thinking of how to impress them. Would be wonderful to not have these tendencies.

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