Little kids often confuse the notion of having and being. They confuse the things they possess with their happiness. Some adults also make that confusion, and this can lead to a lot of disappointments/ bad behaviors. When it comes to our love life, this confusion lays the path to codependence. Some people tend to confuse love with codependence because of this. They think they couldn’t live without the one they love, that their life would fall apart. They don’t realise they’re in a one-sided relationship.
Some people who make that confusion are always unsatisfied. The confusion leads to a downward spiral where they have everything they could desire, but nothing really makes them happy. Everything easily bores them. This is how we can lose desire. This is also why we can multiply partners, and never find the one.
Learning that having is different than being can be difficult. Our education plays a huge part in this process. When you’re a kid, if your parents haven’t set some limits to what you can ask, this is how we can continue to make the confusion between our desires and our needs. One of my friends, when she was little, was constantly jealous about the rich girl in our class and always complained she had this and her not. Her mother once asked her if the girl was happier than her, and she had to admit it wasn’t the case. The rich girl was spoiled by her parents, who got divorced when she was 3, and was very affected by this. We could all notice that. My friend realised she was happy because her parents were still together and live a happy life. She stopped being so envious about the other girl.
I had a ex-friend who couldn’t make the distinction between her desires and her needs. When we were 17, her parents got divorced, and she started acting very oddly with me. I thought she was jealous of my happiness. She would dress like me (fashion and I at that time were two opposite things…) and think about becoming a journalist, just as I wanted. She also started to flirt with all my male friends. She ended up sleeping with the guy I was secretly in love with. Back then, only two people knew about my feelings for him, and she was one of the happy few. Just before she betrayed me, we had a long conversation where she told me she couldn’t understand me, that I was so opaque. I didn’t understand at all why she would say that. We took our distance naturally afterward, simply because I was moving in another city to do my studies. I just hope for her she won’t reproduce the same mistake with someone else.
Narcissistic perverts also follow the same logic, except that they can destroy their victim. It’s their only way to feel alive. To be.
So, what do you need to be happy?