I can’t make Dan happy, and he can’t make me happy. We won’t promise to do so. Of course, I hope not to drive Dan into a state of wild unhappiness. Insofar as our lives are linked, our happinesses are linked as well (happy partner, happy life?). In addition to my own happiness, I want happiness for Dan because I love him. But part of my work as his partner is to recognise his unhappiness and to sit alongside him in it, when he needs me to do so. This is not to say that I shouldn’t try to help Dan as much as I can, but it is also a recognition that happiness is fleeting and at times elusive. We won’t always grasp it, and we’ll forgive ourselves if we don’t. Our lives might not always be happy, but they will be full with experience and with one another.
-Jennifer Tomscha, The Downside of ‘Happiness, via APW