Everyone is tied down in some way. Work, family, medical problems. It's what you make of it. That's why it's so important to surround yourself with the things that make you happy. If you have a bad day at work but get to come home to a woman you love or your favorite hobby, the rest doesn't matter as much.
There's so much more to life than finding someone who will want you, or being sad over someone who doesn't. There's a lot of wonderful time to be spent discovering yourself without hoping someone will fall in love with you along the way, and it doesn't need to be painful or empty. You need to fill yourself up with love. Not anyone else. Become a whole being on your own. Go on adventures, fall asleep in the woods with friends, wander around the city at night, sit in a coffee shop on your own, write on bathroom stalls, leave notes in library books, dress up for yourself, give to others, smile a lot. Do all things with love, but don't romanticize life like you can't survive without it. Live for yourself and be happy on your own. It isn't any less beautiful.
Although people sometimes assume that the happy are self-absorbed and complacent, just the opposite is true. In general, happiness doesn't make people want to drink daiquiris on the beach; it makes them want to help rural villagers gain better access to clean water.
The belief that unhappiness is selfless and happiness is selfish is misguided. It's more selfless to act happy. It takes energy, generosity, and discipline to be unfailingly lighthearted, yet everyone takes the happy person for granted. No one is careful of his feelings or tries to keep his spirits high. He seems self-sufficient; he becomes a cushion for others. And because happiness seems unforced, that person usually gets no credit.
Emotions, in my experience, aren't covered by single words. I don't believe in "sadness," "joy," or "regret." . . . I'd like to have at my disposal complicated hybrid emotions, Germanic train-car constructions, like, say, "the happiness that attends disaster." Or: "the disappointment of sleeping with one's fantasy." I'd like to show how "intimations of mortality brought on by aging family members" connects to "the hatred of mirrors that begins in middle age." I'd like to have a word for "the sadness inspired by failing restaurants" as well for "the excitement of getting a room with a minibar.