Happiness: Width vs. Depth
July 11, 2013
Filed In: Marriage
So, you’re considering getting married?
You are all excited about your potential future with this woman. You are reveling in the feeling when one of your bum friends comes up to you and ruins your day. “How can you be with just one person for your whole life?”
It’s a common objection. After all, we are a consumer generation. We consume commodities and sadly, people.
When you’re an eligible bachelor, you are a lion. You are tearing through the jungle of love chasing anything that moves. You enjoy the thrill of the chase while your mane flutters in the wind.
The game is fun, there’s no denying that). You have a young lady in mind and you must play your cards right to secure that first date.
But how do you keep that first date feeling going 10 years into a marriage? The chase is over.
The problem is with your thinking. You are confusing the width and depth of happiness.
When you’re on the prowl, you’re securing a shallow level of happiness. Shallow doesn’t mean bad. After all, a good thing is good only in moderation. Trying to achieve a shallow level of happiness is an appropriate place to be on the first few dates.
If you think you’re going to experience the same levels of excitement in your married life, you are truly setting your marriage up for failure.
Dating is a short game. Marriage is a long game.
While dating, you are in one phase of life: young(ish), bachelor, no kids.
While married, you pass through multiple phases of life: young and no kids, first time parent, multi-child family, empty-nesters, grandparent.
In marriage, you don’t seek the shallow happiness, you go deeper. Your joy is found in the life you build with your wife for your family. Your joy comes from getting to know someone exclusively. That continual shared experience is what drives your happiness.
There will be shallow level happiness in marriage. But it is not what you are going for. Deep happiness (aka joy) is the sweet spot of marriage.
Enjoy the bachelor life while you are in that state. When you pledge your love to a woman on your wedding day, turn off the consumer mentality and start to dig deeper.