I was reminded of this cliche phrase recently. It is often repeated both in romantic media and by real life couples. Not only is it frequently said, it is always said in a positive tone, that this sentiment is a goal worth aspiring to.
I couldn’t disagree more.
The sentiment behind this phrase is tied up in our cultures belief that love is a necessary component of every person’s life. Until you find your soul mate, you are left “incomplete.” This completely disregards your successes as an individual. You could win the Nobel prize, and you’d still not be complete without love.
And then what about those of us who find love then lose it (for whatever reason)? Would we become incomplete again? Our state of being would be constantly in flux over the course of our lives, right up to the end. This doesn’t seem like a very productive line of thinking.
One’s “completeness” should not be determined by external forces. Relying on someone else to make you complete isn’t completeness; its compensation. Lacking internal satisfaction, you are relying on others to confirm your worth. This way leads to madness, as the whims and opinions of others are always prone to change. You must find your own value, independent of others. What makes you complete is up to you. It can even change and grow as you do. Whatever it is is, its up to you to decide.
So where does this phrase come from? Why do people keep using it? Because love makes them FEEL complete. This is especially true when young, while one is still growing as an individual. That “new romance smell” can easily create a feeling as if nothing else matters, that one needs nothing else besides love. Age doesn’t completely prevent one from falling into this trap either. You would think age would bring wisdom, but not always.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing in general. That false sense of completeness can be useful, building confidence and bringing happiness. The key is knowing it is a false sense. With that piece of knowledge, love can be a tool that leads to completeness. Or should you have developed your own sense of completeness, it can be something that enhances your it, bringing greater happiness.
The next time you hear someone utter this nonsensical phrase, think about what they might actually mean. And if you find yourself uttering the phrase yourself, think about why you say it. Make sure you know your reasons.
– That is all.