Have you ever considered what the underlying presupposition is under this cultural phenomena of finding “the One” who “completes” me?
I have, and what I come up with is the obvious: I am incomplete.
In the Disney construct of romance the vulnerable (Eurocentrically beautiful) princess is aimlessly waiting around for the charming (unsuspecting and naive) prince to stumble upon her and after just one mesmerizing look, longingly fall in eternal love! Of course, first he must rescue her from her somehow miserable life (usually an evil step-mother, isn’t it?!), and then they run away together and live happily ever after! The End.
This fairy tale, as old as time, has shaped our culture significantly — in my view, in a particularly harmful way.
- “You complete me!”
- “You are my better half!”
- “ I am lost without you!”
- “You are my life!”
These are just a few of the regular cliches that we repeat over and over. Internalizing this fairy tale narrative about romance leads to a lifelong search for someone “out there” to come “save us” from ourselves. Yikes!
What an enormous responsibility! And yet, that is the message that we deliver to little kids…and then repeat on Hollywood stories for adults, songs, books, and so on.
In fact, this notion of an incomplete person goes back to some of the philosophies that have influenced modern societies. Take Plato’s constructs of love, for example. In his writings, Plato says “Love is born into every human being; it calls back the halves of our original nature together; it tries to make one out of two and heal the wound of human nature.”
So, according to this philosophy, I am only a half of my original nature and therefore need another (my One) to become whole and heal myself from myself.
Ugh, I’m so over this outdated and misconstrued Self-destructive narrative.
In my worldview, it is impossible to have a healthy, loving, whole relationship when we go in believing ourselves (and the other person) incomplete halves.
In my paradigm of the world: I am whole; I am unique; and I am essential to my world. And so are you, and so is everyone else (human or otherwise) that exists, has ever existed or will ever exist.
This is how I relate to people in my life.
In my romantic relationship, my partner does not complete me. He did not rescue me from myself, he did not save me from my miserable life, he did not fall in eternal love with me from just one look, he is not lost without me, he does not need me in his life…And neither is he stuck with me “forever”.
Instead, we choose each other every step of the way. We are complete people with our own personalities, agendas, journeys, perspectives…life! And so, instead of seeking to change or to contain, we choose to allow each other to be who we are while holding the space for each other to evolve and become MORE of our unique selves. Instead of blindly committing to some unattainable notion of “till death do us part” (although I did promise him eternity in our wedding vows, and he did not LOL), we choose each other every single moment of every single day. In this way, we grow together as individuals and as a couple.
In my view, this is the only type of relationship worth choosing to commit to. A relationship where I can evolve into becoming more “me” in the presence of another’s company. Where I can be honest about my experience and I feel supported. A relationship where my wounds are tended to with kindness and compassion so that I may heal and blossom, but where my safety and joy for life are of my own making. A relationship where communication is boundless and expansive. Where relating happens with respect, integrity, and generosity of Spirit (RIG).
I believe choosing to evolve with each other in an expansive way in every moment of every day is the key to a healthy, loving, caring, compassionate, enlivening, long-lasting, life-sustaining relationship.
Personally, I wouldn’t have it any other way…