A couple I’m close with recently broke up after almost a decade together. They were high school sweethearts and, from the outside at least, were the romantic dream. Without going in to too much detail in respect for their privacy, let’s just say they were the kind of couple who couldn’t keep their hands off of each other, even 10 years in. Their split, then, was a shock to nearly everyone who knew them. Why would they end a happy relationship? Why would they throw all of that away?
The answer is: You can never truly know what’s going on inside someone else’s relationship. What looks like a “happy” relationship from the outside is always more complicated than that one word could describe. And, leaving that particular couple and their circumstances aside for now, there a few reasons why you might choose to end a relationship that other people — or maybe even you — call “happy.”
But before we dive into those, let’s talk about that word “happy,” shall we? Not to get too existential on you, but happy is one of those words that seems obvious, but actually encompasses a huge range of things. Also? It’s totally different for every person. So while one relationship might be “happy” because the sex is amazing, another might be “happy” because they rarely have sex but talk a lot and another might be “happy” because they have the same life goals.
"Being happy in a relationship is a wonderful thing, but happiness alone can’t sustain a healthy relationship," Demetrius Figueroa, founder of the dating advice blog and podcast Tao of Indifference, tells Bustle.