Get More Romantic Happiness by Putting in LESS Effort?

How To Not Worry About Your RelationshipAre you happier today than you were five years ago? Ten years ago? Do you think you’ll be even happier in another five or twenty-five years?

According to a recent study[1], you probably will be.

Researchers took a closer look at more than 1,500 people ranging in age from 21 to 100. They found that stuff like depression and anxiety were highest among younger people.

Older participants seemed to be happier in life.

There are a lot of reasons why that might be the case. One possible explanation is simply this: as people age, they learn to stop sweating the small stuff.[2]

Think about that in the context of your dating relationship. When are you happiest with your man? When do you enjoy dating the most?

It’s probably when you’re not caught up in all the things you could be worried about. Things like what he thinks of you, where he thinks the relationship is going, or even how he feels about the outfit you’re wearing.

When you’re focused on everything that could go wrong, both big and small, it kills the joy of being alive.

Ready for the bad news?

The more serious your relationship gets, the harder it becomes NOT to worry. The stakes get higher. It’ll hurt more if it all falls apart.

Which means it’s entirely possible to have the best part of a dating relationship completely ruined by worry.

Would you rather avoid that pitfall? Here’s how you can.

Caring about the ultimate success of your relationship is normal. But if you really want to help your relationship AND enjoy it more at the same time, learn to care less.

I don’t mean care less about him. I mean care less about all the questions you can’t answer.

Is he the ONE? Will this relationship be your fairy tale? Is this the love you’ve been waiting for?

There’s no way of knowing. Only time will tell.

So, while you wait to find out the answer to those admittedly important questions, focus on what’s good about the relationship RIGHT NOW.

How To Not Worry About Your RelationshipEnjoy the little stuff. Every fun date. Every inside joke. Those moments when he makes you feel special. Those times when you get to see his face light up.

In other words, be playful.

Savor all the things that made you want to date him in the first place without demanding definitive answers about the future. As the relationship matures, you’ll get those answers. But especially when the relationship is young, enjoy it.

And trust yourself.

You’ll know when it’s time for a change.  In the meantime, don’t try to figure it all out.

Even if this relationship doesn’t work out, this isn’t your last shot at love. Everything’s not riding on this one day, week, or even this one year!

Sometimes the best thing you can do for your relationship is to care less about its success. That’s doubly true early on.

Don’t get pulled down by worry. Instead, turn your attention to the things about your guy that you love. That way you get to enjoy each phase of the relationship more, and you’ll be happier along the way.


[1] Thomas, Michael L., PhD, Christopher Kaufmann N., PhD, MHS, Barton Palmer W., PhD, Colin Depp A., PhD, Averria Martin Sirkin, PhD, Danielle Glorioso K., MSW, Wesley Thompson K., PhD, and Dilip Jeste V., MD. “Paradoxical Trend for Improvement in Mental Health With Aging: A Community-Based Study of 1,546 Adults Aged 21–100 Years.” The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc., 2016. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.

[2] Dean, Jeremy. “People Are Happiest at This Unexpected Time of Life.” PsyBlog. N.p., 29 Aug. 2016. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.

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5 thoughts on “Get More Romantic Happiness by Putting in LESS Effort?

  1. Torrie said:

    I really needed this, as I just met a really nice man and I was dreading that I screwed it up with all the worrying about stuff that hasn’t come and my not come instead of just going with the flow. Oh well if I did screw it up then at least I know where I went wrong and won’t be tripping on stupid stuff. I was never like this before I just haven’t dated in years and decided to let myself back in the game. Maybe I wasn’t ready. Oh well lesson learned, carry on. I honestly fear that for me it is to easy to just put that wall up have a great time but it really not mean anything. I really like this guy and don’t want to put my wall up. First sign of games and I stop myself from feeling and start pulling away, I don’t have time for the games and some horrible heartbreak. BTW, I look forward to your e-mails. They always have some kind of helpful advice I find useful. Thank so much.

    • Cheryl J. said:

      You’re having a fight within yourself. It sounds to me like you already know what you should or shouldn’t be doing. So stop!!! Stop doing the things you know will chase this man away that you’re so interested in. Good luck!!

  2. Lisa Peirson said:


    have been listening and reading your information & stuff by Michael Fiore for the past 2 1/2 weeks, and I have learned a lot and what you’ve said does make sense and work. But, I need help to understand what is going on with a guy I absolutely adore and have a great connection with, but he is trying to push me away due to a distance relationship. We met while both being on vacation (totally unexpected from either of us), exchanged numbers, and talked/text almost daily for 1 1/2 months. He started pulling away and not responding as typically he would do so I used some of Michael’s text message techniques and your advice/knowledge and it all worked great — I could pull him back into communication and “fun talking”. He made me smile everyday! However, every time I brought up the possibility of getting together, he ignored my proposal and requests. Finally, last weekend I asked him the talk and he stated he was not interested in continuing our relationship. I was expecting/fearing, but yet devastated because I did not want to know this truth. I knew the long distance thing was difficult, but honestly, I was happy because I did not have that feeling of being alone with him (even if he is in Alberta, Canada and I’m in Minnesota). We agreed to continue on as friends, but I cried and my smile was gone. I furiously kept reading from you & Michael to help me move on into the dating world, but truth be told I hate the dating world. I am a mother of 3 (two at college, but they are still apart of my life), work full-time +, volunteer coach for swim team, and Boy Scouts. I don’t have a lot of extra time. I have tried several dating sites with horrible outcomes (men who lie about who they are, no connection at all, hook-ups though that’s not what I wanted, men dating multiple women at one time trying to figure out who is “best”, and the two money scams). No one that made me smile and nor had the qualities I am looking for and connected with, until I met “my Canadian”. He told me he could not put his finger on it, but I wasn’t what he was looking for and we had no connection. I knew deep down this was not right, but I needed to accept his feeling and respect his opinion. I cried for 7 days (each day got better) and never stopped thinking of him. Finally yesterday I sent him a “non-threatening” text, as a friend, and we picked up right where we left off joking and having fun. We connected like we had for the past 2+ months. He needed to go help a friend, but he continued to text with me for another 20 min. I finally asked if we could talk sometime soon because I had some questions. He asked if we could talk now and I asked about helping his friend. “He can wait a bit.” So I asked him why & what was wrong between us. What was wrong with me? It was as I expected….it wasn’t that there was something wrong with me, but the distance was a huge factor. He wants to have someone to come home to, do stuff with, etc. I get that. His kids are out of the house come September, my youngest has 2 1/2 years left. He is frustrated with his job, family and divorce. He has been on dating sites for 1 year with similar results as mine (though I’ve done this for 7 years). When I pressed his answers of what it was about me that didn’t seem to work for him, it came out that I scared him. He likes my qualities as a person and that he would like in his life! We are so compatible, but he’s not sure he is ready for that?!?!?! But at the same time is frustrated why he can’t find anyone remotely compatible on the dating sites, blind dates, etc. I’m confused why he doesn’t want to try the long distance relationship — especially when we both have the same connection, same vibes about each other, have terrible outcomes at the dating-thing. To me, the distance will help him figure out his troubled areas without feeling constantly pulled by a relationship. He can keep up with his fun guy things. I’m would like a once a month get-together to keep the interest alive and work on our relationship, positives and negatives. Am I missing something??? I knew the reason he pulled away wasn’t something I had done directly. He is not someone afraid to talk and is honest in his communications, up until now. Do you have any insight for me? I really want us to give this a fair chance, but pulling away won’t do this for us.

    Thank you for your time and insight!

    • Cheryl J. said:

      Like u said, he wants.someone he can come home to & be close to. You can’t have that in a distant relationship. Figure out what’s more important to you. Do you want to get to know this man better? Then drop something that you do in your life to make room & time for him. Go see him more that once a month…see him once a week or every other weekend. Alternate the traveling. You go see him & next time he comes to see you. If you find you are both suited for each other & if you fall in love with each other, then make a decision. Move where he is or vice versa. If this man turns out to be the man of your dreams & you turn out to be the woman of his dreams (soulmates), then you both have to be willing to meet each other half way & give up something to be together. Otherwise…you both will continue to be alone & obviously neither one of you want that or you both wouldn’t be searching for someone on dating.sites.

  3. Melanie said:

    It’s always a great pleasure to read your advises James. It makes me see all the wrong things I am doing in my relationship. Thanks you so much.


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