You complete me. Remember those words from the movie Jerry Maguire? They made everyone go all mushy inside with the romance of it all but those words should really be expunged immediately, if not sooner. Those words are the modern equivalent of the fairytale happy ever after ending when the prince finds his Cinderella or the girl finds her prince and legions of people have been secretly searching for the One ever since.
Of course we cant blame everything on the movies. Romance has been around forever because we are, after all, social animals with a built-in urge to find companionship, mate and ensure the continuation of the species, we cant help ourselves. Its also part of the human condition to believe that every pot has the perfect lid. Some people waste an inordinate amount of time and energy thinking about the lid when they should be paying more attention to the pot.
We all do it to some extent, no matter how enlightened, advanced or self-sufficient we think we are. A friend of mine once remarked that all she wanted was some man to ride up on a white horse and rescue her. She then sighed and wailed But I know I have to rescue myself. The idea that you can meet someone who will be able to really see you and magically put all your broken bits back together is very seductive. What we all want is for someone to rescue us from ourselves. The real issue and the hard work of being human is learning to love ourselves broken bits and all.
Its not the whole cake
You see, if you can learn to like your own company well enough, a relationship is just another slice of contentment, not the whole cake. When you find your own company delightful, you will discover other people who do too but your happiness will not be dependent on them. When you are desperate to get away from yourself, however, you become needy and needy aint pretty.
If you dont like yourself, a relationship seems like the final solution to silencing that nagging little voice inside that whispers Youre not good enough. Life then becomes a quest to find someone else to love you, to validate you and to make you feel worthy, in order to give you the permission you think you need to love yourself. The catch here is that if you dont love yourself to begin with, any relationship you do find will eventually mirror this back to you and you will be back to square one.
When you buy into the notion that someone else can or should complete you then it must follow that you are incomplete on your own. If you are looking for your other half, it means that you are just a fragment and somehow not whole. It encourages you to run around looking for your soul mate or just someone to fill up the empty spaces. It also invites you away from the present moment and into some mythical place in the future where it will all be better than it is now, if you can just find that someone. Ugh.
As soon as you go down this road, you are in for an awful lot of disappointment because you are coming from a place of imagined emptiness waiting and hoping for that other person to fill you up. If you feel empty and less-than alone, you will still feel that way with a partner after the initial euphoria has worn off. You cannot make anybody else responsible for the way you feel and its way too much pressure to expect someone else to do what you should be doing for yourself. I like this little story: A man once asked his father Father, how will I ever find the right woman? His father replied, Forget finding the right woman, focus on being the right man.
Youre the one
Let me tell you a little secret You are the one. You, in all your glorious messiness, with all your faults and insecurities, you are the one you are really looking for. The only person with whom you are guaranteed to have a life-time relationship, is you. Instead of looking for fulfillment out there, it would be wiser to find in here here being inside yourself.
Feeling lonely is just the terror of having to be alone with yourself and having to listen to the voice inside your head. If you need to be constantly attached to avoid being alone, chances are this is just a distraction but while you can run, you cant hide. Spending time alone and learning to savor it is very healthy for spiritual and emotional growth. You just need to suspend the judgment that being alone is wrong, abnormal or antisocial, or that it means you are unlovable its awesome. Being alone can also enhance your appreciation of being with other people.
Heres another newsflash you are alone. It doesnt matter how many relationships you have, at the end of the day, only you inhabit your inner world. You choose which thoughts to think and which emotions to feel. You cant get inside anothers head just as they cant get inside yours.
We are all alone but heres the thing, alone is really al-one or all one. The great paradox of life is that we are all ultimately alone but connected at the same time. We are connected to each other, to source energy (or whatever else you would like to call it) and to the earth, energetically. We are points of consciousness in a sea of consciousness but it is only when we allow ourselves to feel disconnected that we feel the pain of separation, aka loneliness. Its an illusion, like reality, albeit a very persistent one.
Trying to paper over this kind of loneliness by constantly being in a relationship is a recipe for disaster and ironically makes you feel even lonelier. Theres nothing like the agony of being lonely in the presence of someone else. This kind of loneliness only springs from the unrealistic expectation of wanting somebody else to fill up your emotional bucket.
Clinical and research evidence supports the fact that all too often one of the main reasons that both men and women get into a relationship, and then often stay in a relationship, is related to a fear of being alone. How sad is that? There is no doubt that a relationship can be a wonderful, life-affirming thing but if you enter into it for all the wrong reasons, it can turn out to be the opposite. Making the relationship with yourself the priority can lead you in the right direction.