Your Happiness > My Happiness

“I waited until I was 39 to get married, because it took me that long to find someone where her happiness was more important than mine.”

Like all CMU alumni (and everyone on the Internet), his words are so insightful, especially this last line of a speech at the recent CMU commencement ceremony.

I would like to think that’s how relationships are—where the other person’s happiness is more valuable than your own. And so that’s what I will focus on. And when a person’s own goal in life is the pursuit of happiness…doesn’t it become I am happy because you are happy?

Recently after an all-day event, a friend asked me what I was planning to do for the rest of the day. She seemed eager to hang out a bit more.

“I am thinking of some frozen yogurt,” I responded, imagining licking the spoon and the calmness I would have after. Some sugary goodness, perhaps? She always loved these things. A short drive from here to there.

She was immediately excited and tugged on her boyfriend’s arm, “Ooh! Let’s go!”

He had a solemn expression and simply said that there was only store that he would go to…a gelato place but it changed management and went downhill. Instantaneously, my friend’s facial expression changed to match his.

I agreed conversationally, saying that yes that gelato store wasn’t that good and that the good gelato places weren’t here. But, frozen yogurt, I exclaimed. He maintained the same expression as my friend decreased her own excitement.

“Ok…,” I said hesitantly. “Give me a call if you can make it.”

But she and her boyfriend never did.

To this day, I always wonder if the boyfriend didn’t want his girlfriend to be subjected to poor quality frozen yogurt or because he wanted to spend time alone with her. Or whether simply, he was thinking of his own happiness first.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.