BOZTEPE: Romantic pairing is not necessary for contentment
Unpopular opinion: You do not need anyone to complete you.
The narrative of the typical fairy tale is leaving the majority of us to always feel unnecessarily empty, as if we need someone to complete us. Are we forgetting just how complex and intricate we humans are? If anything, having an additional person in your life might deter you from feeling more complete, since there is the very real possibility that they might be holding you back from your full potential.
The belief of needing someone to complete you just stems from years of patriarchy with the notion that every woman needs a strong man who will provide for her, and that every man needs a woman who will take care of the children and be a good companion. Both of these mindsets, along with the opinion of needing someone to complete you, is comically false and damaging, so within this column I will break this concept down.
I feel as though if one’s significant other finishes their sentences or complements their character, we assume that helps you become more well-rounded, or in the case of our discussion, more “complete,” but that is simply not true. The significant other in this case is purely just a compatible match to you, but does not in any way mean you are any less well-rounded on your own.
I believe a healthy relationship consists of two people who are more than capable and happy being alone, and regardless of that, they choose to be together because they genuinely feel content and cared for by their significant other.
I have issue with the dialogue of needing someone to be complete, as you should want to be with someone, not need. You have grown up in your parents’ house and abided by their rules for this long, why would you want to go back to the lifestyle of continuing to rely on someone to take care of you?
You are more than capable of taking care of yourself and need to stop undervaluing your competence of self-sufficiency. When you fall into the mindset that you need someone, you end up making sacrifices that slow down your road to self-fulfillment, and you might truly believe you need to pay that price in order to have them in your life. But that is far from true.
The simple truth is this: If you are miserable alone and not content with your life, a significant other will at best be a momentary band-aid to this problem, but they will not be the solution. If anything, this can just worsen your lack of content and make you fall into a constant loop of needing acceptance and a partner in the real belief that they will remedy those negative feelings.
Think of it in the case of wanting a better job. Well, logically it would follow that you have to go out and find one. If you are the party that is not satisfied, you have to figure out the way to change that. Therefore, relying on someone else will only make things harder if that relationship ends, or worse, you will be so reliant on someone that you stay with them strictly due to that level of comfort rather than genuinely feeling connected to them.
Also, we as humans are known to not credit ourselves enough and having this mindset only strengthens that. Implying that we are not good enough when we were alone detracts us from all of the accomplishments we have achieved and worked for.
We need to stop attributing these victories, regardless of how small they are, to our significant others. Of course, support you receive is crucial in helping you succeed, but you are the one making the final push to said achievement.
I believe the goal is to look for someone who pushes you forward, supports your goals, helps you face your fears and helps you push for an improved mental and emotional health. But, they can only be supportive and care. They cannot and should not be the ones pushing the final trigger to reach those goals. Telling yourself you need an entirely different person for you to feel complete is mental torture and disrespect toward your own self.
You should be with someone because you want to be with them, because you love them, because you enjoy their company, not because you need to be with them and need them to satisfy your emotional needs.
This concept is just another social norm that needs revamping. You can be alone, you can be in a relationship, but you can also be in either of those situations and still feel incomplete. That does not mean you are failing and cannot find love, it just means you might need to give yourself enough love first before you seek a healthy relationship in the future.
Kaan Jon Boztepe is a School of Arts and Sciences senior double majoring in philosophy and history. His column, "Kaanotations," runs on alternate Tuesdays.
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