Monday, March 19, 2012

Marriage only makes you happier for a year...

We are all looking for love, aren´t we - in any shape: romantic, admiration, recognition, sex... Or are we? The Swedish author Hjalmar Söderberg wrote wisely in one of his books:

"One wants to be loved, in lack thereof admired, in lack thereof feared, in lack thereof loathed and despised. One wants to instill some sort of emotion in people. The soul trembles before emptiness and desires contact at any price." (From Doctor Glas)

Perhaps it´s not love - but Existing in the eyes of others - that is the ultimate goal. Maybe we are simply mixing it with love - and the concept of relationships and marriage. I just found this data, which I find both scary and eye opening...

Andrew Clark, Ed Diener and Yannis Georgellis of the German Socio-Economic Panel, in which the same respondents were asked every year about their satisfaction with their life. This graph shows the level of satisfaction reported by people around the time they got married. It´s sure a proof of that happiness is not a result of what happens to us, but how we interpret it. Our attitude is much more important than our luck in love. And as Söderberg tells us, what if you can seek the feeling of Existing from friends and family, work colleagues and neighbors instead - and live happily ever after :)

Sorry about the quality, I took a photo of the graph from Daniel Kahneman´s "Thinking, fast and slow" :) 

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