How to explain that 40% of married couples get divorced? Or better, how to explain that second marriages fail even more often, in 60% of cases ?
For example, how do Julie and Bertrand manage to be happy as a couple for 30 years? And yet they are two ordinary people. They have access to the same temptations, have the same difficulties, the same worries about money and work. So what is their secret?
Why when I ask the French “what do you want in life” EVERYONE answers me “be happy”. So how is it that so few people are happy in a lasting relationship?
These are the questions that I will answer
A few years ago, I never fell in love. And yet this is what I wanted most on earth. And worse, I made the women I dated unhappy, not because I treated them badly, I always thought that kindness was a quality, but simply because I was not in love. So I preferred to end it. It was a nice relationship, an acceptable relationship. But, being a lover of love, it was not enough.
Then I made a discovery.
And this discovery has profoundly changed my vision of how the world and couples work. And it even changed the way I behave. It turns out that there is a reason why I was not in love: I did not choose the ones that suited me, but the ones that I liked.
Often, we are in a relationship with a person who we like but who does not necessarily match us.
It turns out that people in happy couples lastingly, whether it is Julie and Bertrand, or all the others, have well understood the difference between what they like and what suits them. This is a very simple idea. In other words, there is what we like, and we believe it is what will make us happy. And there is what suits us. This small difference explains why a couple lasts or not.
Let’s define the terms very quickly:
Each person has their preferences, 100% of people are able to say whether they like this woman or man or not. Some are even able to make you an arm’s length list of what they like and what they are looking for in a woman/man.
But, very few people know what suits them. By “what suits them” I do not mean “who attracts them” there, here, now. We don’t fall in love! We climb in love. By “what fits them”, I mean: who is the person who will make you happy? Which one will suit you best? What makes you really happy as a couple?
For the majority of people, the way of thinking and acting is based on what they like and what the person shows them. And as they like it, they make an easy shortcut. If they like it, it suits them, so it will make us happy. It’s obvious!
It is a mistake to believe that. And I experienced it.
The happy couple people, regardless of culture, age, previous experiences of love think and act in reverse.
They wonder what suits them. In other words, what they like, will like, will make them happy in the long term. They have a better understanding of what is good for them.
They work in reverse: It suits me, so it will make me happy, that’s what I like.
I will give an easy to understand example that I will share with you transparently.
I had been invited to a party, saying to me “you will see there will be pretty girls”. I arrive at the evening and I see a girl full of grace and charm: Alice. As soon as I saw it, I liked it. Obviously I watched her discreetly, I heard her speak, and everything she said created in me what I call the “wow effect”. In other words, I was seduced and my animal brain (reptilian) took over my reason (the neocortex).
I like it so much that it necessarily fits me says my animal brain! I managed to go out with her (a feat given my level of self-esteem at the time), then over the months that passed I found that the magic was flying away. The messy habits that made all its charm at the beginning began to annoy me.
This story did not work. I chose a girl who I liked … but who did not make me happy. She didn’t match me.
This is how we also work in buying a car. We have a crush (we like it), we buy it and then we realize that it is not practical and does not meet our needs. This is how we have regrets. And marketing does everything to encourage us to be impulsive, so in the short term. : “Treat yourself, these pants suit you very well”. We already have 3 identical ones at home !! Or, we dream of working at Google or l’Oréal. These are companies that we like, we like their ads, their products. And then once at work there, we realize that they do not correspond to us, that they are not for us.
There is a difference between what we like and what suits us. And this difference is simple. Do you want fun or happiness as a couple?
The pleasure acts as an anesthetic, its effect fades over time. It is like a coffee whose effect lasts only a time. Happiness is a state of lasting satisfaction, therefore longer term.
Here is another example:
I remember a friend, Carole who said to me: ” at work, I am a winner, but in love, it is a disaster, I will end up having a child by myself “. She was attracted to male artists, dark, bad boys. I don’t make generalizations of course, but each time, they cheated on her. When she left them, they came back to her, and she gave in, again in a pattern that she reproduced perpetually. These men were doing “belly tricks” to him. Clearly, they liked him. But they do not correspond to it if for a lasting, stable, and happy relationship. I said to him: ” do you think he will make a good father, reassuring, loving? ” She said no.
There is a difference between what we like and what suits us and will make us happy.
It’s a choice. I wanted to broaden its vision over the long term by connecting it to these needs.
Here’s how Julie and Bertrand worked.
Julie and Bertrand knew their basic needs to be happy. And they had the same. Before they met, they both knew what would suit them and did not allow themselves to be “had” by the first impression. Their vision of the couple is based on mutual aid, sharing. Their vision of raising children is the same. Their way of life, their priorities are the same. In summary, they had a real knowledge of their needs, that is to say, what would make them happy. This allowed them to paint the robot portrait of the ideal partner. Not physically, but in terms of personality, lifestyle.
The goal is not to find a person you like but to find a person who will make you happy … because they match you.
If you continue to be attracted to the same people like my friend Carole and that EVERY TIME it doesn’t work, why would the result be different?
Life is simple. You are happy as a couple. Carry on. Otherwise, change something. And what you need to change is your way of thinking. You have to resist what you see and look deeper, in the other person but first in your home. Finding what will make you happy is first knowing yourself better.
Here’s how to do it:
# 1 You can read the book “ the 5 languages of love ”
This book will let you know what makes you feel happy. Besides, all couples, at the beginning should read it together, out loud to be able to debate and get to know each other better. I tried, it created an incredible bond.
# 2 Find your emotional drivers.
For that, 4 steps: list all your stories of couples, even the bad ones. Then find in each story a specific moment when you felt fulfilled. (not precise = we were at a friend’s birthday party. Precis = We were at a friend’s birthday party, then we went outside, and there we looked at the sky together, he put his hand on mine, and he told me he would always be there for me …). The third step is to understand the meaning and the reason why you felt fulfilled. What was the trigger? The last step allows you to find the themes that define the robot portrait of the ideal partner.
# 3 Find your values
Values are the rules of life that are important to you and that guide your behavior like a compass. For this, answer the question: what is really important to me in life? Who are the people you admire and why? If you can choose the rules of a country you would create, what would be the values? If you were free to do what you want, what cause would you defend and why?
Look at the unhappy couples, it is obvious that they do not match. But happy couples all have this in common. They know their needs. They choose what suits them rather than what they like at the moment.