Welcome to relationship hell.
What is relationship hell, I hear you ask? Let me explain that in this monthly happiness report.
I’ve been tracking my happiness for the entire month and can therefore explain exactly why this month can be described as relationship hell.
Let’s take a look at the monthly average happiness data.
The average monthly happiness rating was a mere 6,88. It had never been this low before, as you can read in my personal happiness section.
You might think that it is not that low of a rating, right? Well, considering my 6 month average was 7,80, this drop is very big.
Let’s take a better look into the happiness ratings.
The chart below visualizes exactly what my happiness looked like throughout the November, 2015.
As you can see, I experienced a fair bit of relationship hell from the 4th of November. My relationship turned to shit in those couple of days.
My girlfriend and I had already been through multiple long distance relationship periods at the time, but this one was different. Our communication was very bad, which constantly resulted in arguments, which were not resolved. These arguments kept building up, until we both were pretty frustrated with our situation. Eventually, it only took a very small incident to initiate another big argument. This situation was absolutely terrible.
I want to show you all the factors that had an influence on my happiness. The table below shows all the happiness ratings for November, 2015.
Welcome to relationship hell
So from the 4th of November, things really started to go south. After what seemed like an endless list of arguments with my girlfriend, we entered the shittiest of periods in our relationship. We had a few very serious talks, in which we discussed whether or not to keep going like this.
The communication was still terrible at the time. We had a huge time difference to tackle, which meant I had to talk to her while in the office at work. Also, we were only able to properly talk via Skype, which came with a list of technical connectivity problems.
So after a while, we discussed whether or not to continue like this, and we both had plenty of time to think about this.
In my opinion, there were 3 likely scenarios:
- We would both decide to keep fighting for what we had. This would be no easy decision, but it would be the only way this story was going to have a happy ending..
- We hadn’t decided after a week, which would basically prove to me that we were not willing to fight for it.
- She would break it up.
I thought the order of possibilities was something like 15%, 50% and 35%. I didn’t have high hopes…
That’s why my happiness was absolutely terrible at the time. I thought my relationship was going to end.
It might sound like I didn’t really care at the time, but I was really affected by this situation. It made me very cynical, down and depressed. I was becoming the guy I had previously been during my worst moments. I really felt like a walking train wreck.
Fever from hell
After being in relationship hell for 1 day, my immune system decided to say “Fuck it” as well. I got a very bad fever, which put me down for several days.
Instead of being able to run, meet up with my friends or even work to clear my mind, I was limited to sobbing in my bed with an awful headache. I couldn’t even play video games at the time, due to my fever. What had been my biggest happiness factor the previous month, was now off-limits to me.
These couple of days were just awful. I have detailed these days in a Bad Day post.
How did it end?
While my relationship was in the gutter, I was just trying to survive. Even though I was feeling miserable, I tried to not make any rushed decisions, and did my best to stay positive (as hard as it was). Luckily, my girlfriend had the same mindset. As bad as our situation was, we still respected each others opinion and did not give up on the relationship.
So after a while, our conversations improved, and we eventually decided to fight for what we had. Sure, our situation was still very challenging, but at least we both shared a goal: to survive this fucking long distance period!
It wasn’t going to be easy, but we did pull if off eventually. I don’t want to spoil this story, but you can read exactly how my relationship has influenced my life for the past 4 years by reading my Happiness Through Love article.
Positive happiness factors
Despite all this negative bullshit I’ve covered so far, let’s have a look at the factors that positively influenced my happiness in the chart below.
I’m surprised my relationship even made the list! Apparently, my girlfriend and I had a nice day on the 27th of November. I wouldn’t have expected it at the start of the month. As I said, we eventually had a proper talk about the entire situation, which allowed us to make peace with the bad place we were in. We both had a common goal to work for, and it helped reduce some part of our frustrations. It was still difficult, but we were at least in the clear for a while…
Anyway, if my girlfriend did not provide me with happiness during November, 2015, then what did?
It might not sound spectacular, but I found a good bunch of happiness in relaxing. My life was very simple at the time. I wasn’t able to see my girlfriend. I had also just ran a marathon, from which I was still recovering, so I wasn’t able to run as much as I wanted. My friends were also quite busy themselves. This gave me quite a bit of free time to enjoy, and I used it to mainly relax.
It really is as boring as it sounds… Relaxing consisted of browsing the internet, watching YouTube videos, scrolling through Reddit, reading books: the list goes on and on. I really liked it to some degree, since I had experienced a fair share of busy periods that year.
The dangerous aspect of relaxing is that a person is able to over do it. And when done too much, relaxing eventually becomes boredom… We’ll see later how that affected my happiness in November, 2015.
Besides my dedicated relaxing schedule, I was also really enjoying music a lot. For one, I finally got to see Kurt Elling – one of my favorite jazz artists – live in Amsterdam on the first of November. Even though I couldn’t find anyone to join me on this concert (most of my friends don’t listen to this kind of music), I still enjoyed every second of the set! No matter how shitty my relationship was at the time – or any happiness factor for that matter – that first day of the month was great because of this concert. It was absolutely magical.
In addition, due to my big amounts of free time, I was able to spend more time in my tiny little home studio. I still liked to record my own music, and I had some great evenings with the close company of my instruments . I love to play the guitar and sing, and so my music really improved my happiness on some of these days. One of my goals was still to finish recording an album of my own original songs, so I had enough reason to get my ass in my studio. It turned out to be one of the biggest sources of happiness during November, 2015.
It had been a while since my work was in the top of the list of positive happiness factors. My work was actually very enjoyable during November, despite other shitty parts of my life. I continued to gain more responsibilities, and enjoyed a good deal of thrust from my managers and colleagues. It resulted in a better work environment for me. The responsibilities and freedom were things I really enjoyed. Great progress!
I will cover the exact impact of my work on my happiness in a Happiness Through… post.
Negative happiness factors
I think you can pretty much guess the biggest negative happiness factor by now, but I still want to show you the graph.
As I explained, my relationship was a huge source of misery during November. Even though I considered my relationship with my girlfriend to be very strong, we were still in a terrible situation and not able to enjoy each other. Therefore, you shouldn’t be surprised when I tell you my relationship negatively influenced my happiness once every three days…
I feel like I already covered most of the bullshit that impacted my happiness in November, 2015. I had a huge fever, that amplified the misery at the start of the month. I will cover this in more detail in another Bad Day post.
In addition, winter had arrived. As a result, every person with a car suddenly lost the ability to fluently get from A to B in traffic. Long story short: there were a lot of accidents on my daily commute routes. Therefore, I was stuck in traffic way more than I wanted. I had to change my daily routine, so that I could avoid this terrible traffic. This meant that I had to wake up each day at 6:00 AM, to be on the road at 6:20 and behind my desk at 7:00. I had no problem doing this, though, as I knew it would keep me out of traffic jams.
Relaxing too much causes boredom
Remember the nice amount of relaxing I got to do during November? Well, I overdid it sometimes. Not voluntarily, of course. I simply did not have enough “access to” my happiness factors. Without being able – or having the energy – to do the things that I loved, my relaxing slowly turned into boredom on some days…
I’m not entirely sure, but I’m afraid this is going to be covered in future Monthly Happiness Reports…
I need to stop this post now, before I start to feel depressed again 😉 I was well into relationship hell in November, 2015, and was a long way from the happiness ratings I had become used to. My long distance relationship was going to last for a little while longer, so it’ll be interesting to see how that affected my happiness in December, 2015! More on that later.
If you have any questions about anything, please let me know in the comments below, and I’ll be happy to answer you!
Founder of Tracking Happiness and lives in the Netherlands. Ran 5 marathons, with one of them in under 4 hours (3:59:58 to be exact). Data junkie and happiness tracker for over 7 years.