If people had a user manual, this would be the security precaution: “The object is never satisfied. Expect grumpy behavior on a scale from once in a while to every single moment, twenty-four hours per day.” This could be a menopausal joke as well, but, unfortunately, we all belong to the same category. We “can’t get no satisfaction”. It’s a theorem; or even better an axiom. It’s human nature to be tormented after all.

It all starts when we are kids. Our parents finally buy us, after we begged them, down on our hands and knees, that new toy we saw on a TV commercial. We are happy for a while, play a bit, and afterward, we start nagging because we don’t have the one our friend Billy has. It doesn’t matter if ours is more expensive or impressive. We don’t have the other one.

Leap of faith. We were kids and there was an excuse for every absurd or irrational behavior. However, it doesn’t stop there. When we were teens, we constantly craved what others had. It could have been clothes, shoes, cosmetics, stationery, flirts, bikes, and even permission to stay out later at night than others. We never remember what we had. Only what the others did but we didn’t.

During our adult life, the scenery doesn’t change at all. No matter how much the quality of our lives may change towards the best, we will always end up being unhappy, because we will always think that we’re missing something. When we are unemployed, we miss a job and an income. When we finally get a job, we complain about the lack of free time and feel a certain nostalgia for the good old days when we had all the free time in the world. When we don’t have many friends, we are depressed and overcome by loneliness. When we finally get to socialize we are so tired of social interactions that we beg for some time on our own.

The real Armageddon though is yet to appear. Relationships. The true temple of no satisfaction. This is what we call a never-ending story. It is not only about the fundamental dilemma of being single or in a relationship; even though this consumes a big part of our lives as well. Isn’t it really weird that we mostly miss a significant other to cuddle in front of the TV with when we are single, and then become indignant when we can’t go for a night out alone with our friends because we are in a relationship? And so the story goes and the worst is yet to come.

What really can be called disastrous is the lack of satisfaction towards significant others and unfortunately, it has happened to pretty much everyone. No matter how much we initially like them, there comes a time when we are no longer happy with what we have. Problems that occur in every relationship make us regard everything superficially, becoming envious of other couples that seem perfect in our eyes –even though we have no idea what happens when they are not in plain view– wondering why we are unhappy, putting the blame on the other side, breaking up, finding someone that initially fulfills our standards –like the ideal couple we have in mind– getting disappointed; and then all over again.

The vicious circle will continue until we eventually grow up and realize that nothing is a rose garden and that behind a happy couple selfie, we might encounter countless fights and awkward moments. This is actually the first step toward satisfaction.

Author: Tina Barbatsalou

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