Tis behold the month of LOVE, or so we’re told. And perhaps, being the single man I am, right now, I need more time to reflect on the intricacies of love that have bewoed me for the past 5 years. I am probably lucky to have been in a relationship or two, it gives credence to this article, from experience. I am also probably unlucky that none of them matured to something useful. The blame is subject to whom you ask. But seriously, though, this puzzle of LOVE has intrigued the human mind for centuries, made solitary minds mad, provoked the most inquisitive of minds, and inspired a plethora of literary works in all genres world-over.
I wish I could blame it on the slew of romantic comedies and romantic novels-turned-movies but it is beyond that. Society has conditioned us to believe that without our ‘soul mate’ – we are incomplete, we have to search for our ‘other half’ otherwise, we will live an empty life where one is condemned to unhappiness. What utter bullshit.
This modern indoctrination of the concept of love and romance has misguided many people on a hopeless and false path to happiness. I found that the romantic notions of the 20th century have conditioned many, both men and women to base their self-worth and intrinsic happiness on this romantic pursuit of this utopian ‘soul mate’.
It starts with the romantic love story archetype which takes our desperate, lonely and unfulfilled hero on a magical journey in pursuit of destiny. The hero is portrayed as misguided, lost or incomplete until they are transformed into a full-fledged person when this wonderful stranger comes into their life and changes everything – bringing with them a bouquet of love, fulfillment and other disgustingly fluffy emotions. Alarmingly I have come across many young people that seek out this type of relationship; they seek out a relationship looking for a remedy. I have some beautiful friends, really amazingly good-looking friends that pursue these relationships looking for security, for meaning and often with people not worthy of them. People will say they need someone who will help them settle down, work harder, curb an addiction or even be happier. This twisted logic has led them to believe that somehow their development, growth, happiness and self-worth dependent on some mythical unknown stranger.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am not a bitter beleaguered man sitting on his rocking chair ranting at the world. I consider myself a romantic man and definitely strive for chivalry in this modern day. However I am an autonomous person, I am a whole person, I understand the needs and responsibility of my own growth are intrinsic, not rooted in the pursuit of another.
I find it a concern when a person writes off a part of their personality, their soul, their potential to another person. Not only is this foolish on their part but also an unavoidable hindrance to the relationship. In a relationship there are two succinct people, if you depend on another person to sustain your own growth, you will never be fulfilled. As much as you may be attuned to each other you cannot expect the person to be dedicated to the fluctuations in your needs and constant growth. My logic is, if you go to a restaurant and you don’t bring any cash in your pocket how can the cashier ever give you what you ordered. Two unhappy people entering a relationship could be compared to two people in a foreign country negotiating change but both having different currencies. The two will constantly tussle and challenge each other but will inevitably fail to meet the other’s insatiable internal needs, fears, and insecurities.
I have seen many beautiful women selling themselves short, growing dependent on destructive men but also promising guy friends living through an abbreviated view of life under a domineering girlfriend. So are we all doomed? No, but we need to focus on our own goals, our own priorities and own self-growth before taking up the responsibility of another person’s.
You are not looking for someone to supplement your weakness, you are looking for someone to compliment your strengths.