Let's Challenge "You Complete Me" Culture

It's Time To Challenge 'You Complete Me' Culture

Your partner should be your companion, not your completion!

pmterch
pmterch
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After having some time to reflect after "The Bachelor" finale, I think this is the perfect time to put this article out there. In this article, I want to offer you a different perspective on how to view relationships. I want to challenge you to defy cultural assumptions of what romance is and shine a light on how codependency can squash your happiness.

The puzzle analogy

In wedding vows or proclamations of love, we often hear the phrase, "You complete me." We compare finding our person to finding the missing piece of the puzzle in our lives. Once we place that puzzle piece in the empty hole, we can finally see the beautiful and complete picture. Without that piece, we would be in a frenzy, searching all around under the kitchen table and on everyone's chairs to see if we find it. We desperately hope the dog, or the baby, hasn't eaten it. We hold out hope.

This comparison, as I have found, has created quite an issue in our modern day society. We are so obsessed with finding that missing piece in our lives to complete us that we often search in the wrong places or live in unending frustration. Sometimes we find a perfectly wonderful person, but they seem to lack everything on our checklists of what we have deemed as the perfect missing piece, so we let them go. If you are one of the lucky ones who has found a person who fills the void in your life, you often try to shove them into the puzzle as hard as you can and force them to fit. You need to be filled; you need to have the beauty of the final picture — without it, how could you ever be completely happy?

Where did I go wrong?

I was riding along in the car with my boyfriend when I realized we had hit a rough patch. We are a long distance couple — going to separate colleges four hours away from each other — but we only live two minutes away from each other when we are back at home.

I had never had a boyfriend before my second semester of senior year. I had always been very independent. I moved a lot, which meant anytime I got close to dating someone, POOF, there I went. But, this time I had finally stayed and found an amazing guy — my best friend.

When I was single, I was the queen of relationship advice (as we all are when we are not blinded by rose-colored romance). Finally being in a relationship made me realize how easy it was to fall into habits that I had always scorned others for. I began letting this relationship affect me in ways I never even suspected it could.

Don't get me wrong, this was not his doing at all. My boyfriend is the sweetest guy I know. He is always lifting me up and supporting me to reach my dreams. While we both struggle with anxiety and depression, we have found a way to always put our individual mental health first. My boyfriend had dated people before me, but I had not. This altered expectations of what this relationship was supposed to look like for each of us. He knew what mistakes to try to stay away from, while I was still trying to figure it out.

How to reframe your perspective in relationships

Regardless of my background, I think I have stumbled on the most amazing way of reframing perspective in relationships. Once I started changing the lens on how I looked at our relationship, we started bickering less and I became so much happier.

Here it is: your significant other is your COMPANION, not your COMPLETION.

Of course, you should feel happy and enjoy when your partner is around. They should treat you with care and make you laugh, but they should not be the person filling the empty piece of your heart — that isn't their responsibility. They should not be the ultimate source of happiness that makes you feel emotionally whole. This perspective is extremely unhealthy because people are fickle and we make mistakes. We screw up . . . all the time. Our culture loves to use the phrase, "You complete me." It sounds extremely romantic. However, it can be so problematic.

Now, when I spend time or communicate with my boyfriend, I see it as a lucky bonus we get after we both have spent time improving ourselves that day. When I text him, I don't expect him to reply to me immediately — even though I still wish he would because of the need for instant gratification, let's be real. I know that he is going after his dreams by working as hard as he can to make a life for himself. As a girlfriend, not only should I commend him for that, but I should also give him the space to do that. Likewise, I should go after my dreams and work as hard as I can to achieve them.

Your partner should be the fun blanket you have on top of your comforter. You would be just as warm without the blanket and still get a good nights sleep, but the blanket is still really fuzzy and gives you extra joy and you can wrap it around you while you are watching tv. And, if it is a really cold and stormy night, perhaps you snuggle up with your blanket and hold it tightly for a little extra warmth and comfort.

I am a believer in God, and I believe his holy spirit makes me whole. Regardless of if you share this belief or not, I think we can all agree that we are all supposed to walk through life together and lift each other up. If we expect to put our happiness and worth on the shoulders of one person, then that relationship is going to crumble. Why would you want the person you love most to crumble? I certainly don't. I want to be able to look my partner in the eyes and say, "I love you and I want to stand by you when you need me. When you don't, I will be okay because I am still whole and fulfilled".

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Why You Should Stop Chasing Him

You deserve better.
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They say “the thrill of the chase" makes someone more enticing. There's just something about wanting something you can't have that drives you crazy (in a good way). There is never a dull moment. Pursuing him is a challenge. Nothing comes easily. What's the fun in that anyway?

I'm going to tell you this: stop chasing him. Stop forgiving him when he forgets to answer your text messages and phone calls. Stop being the one to always make plans. Stop letting him bail on you. Stop waiting around for him. Stop being lied to. Stop making excuses when he doesn't make time for you. There is a difference between someone who is “hard to get" and a flat out jerk who doesn't give you the time of day. Stop letting him use you.

You deserve to be with someone who makes you fall asleep every night in the middle of texting him because neither of you want the conversation to end. You deserve someone who plans dates for the two of you. You deserve someone who asks you to hang out before midnight. You deserve someone who wants to spend time with you just as much as you do with them. You deserve someone who insists on paying for your ice cream. You deserve someone who won't deceive you. You deserve someone who is straightforward. You deserve attention. You deserve affection. You deserve a partnership that is mutual, not one-sided. You deserve to be chased.

You are better than 3 a.m. “Hey" texts. You are better than a night spent watching a movie just to fool around. You are better than trying to decode his vague messages. You are better than his shadiness. You are better than mind games. You are better than being ignored.

If you have to chase him, he's not worth it. Don't settle for someone who makes you beg for his attention. If he is genuinely interested in getting to know you, he will put in the effort. A relationship where your feelings are reciprocated is far more rewarding than one where you constantly feel like you have to drag him along.

Change your mentality. Become more independent. Be confident, be bold. Find happiness in being alone. Don't waste your time pathetically chasing after someone who doesn't feel the same, but doesn't have the heart or the courage to tell you so. Your self-confidence and positivity will make you radiant, and eventually, you will attract the kind of guy who is mature enough to not mess with your head.

Cover Image Credit: weheartit.com

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Ladies, Stop Trying To Teach Boys How To Be Your Man If They're Not Even Men In The First Place

It is your job to love him. But it is not your job to teach him how to love you back.

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I see. this way too often, honestly it upsets me and breaks my heart. It breaks my heart when I see a girl begging her boyfriend to put her on her Snapchat story. It breaks my heart when I see a girl begging her boyfriend to get off a video game and spend time with her. It breaks my heart when I see a girl doodling on a napkin at the dinner table and her boyfriend is on his phone and hasn't even looked up at her once. These things break my heart because this girl, whoever she may be, maybe it is you? She deserves a man. What she has though, is a boy. And before you say anything, yes, there is a huge difference.

I was that girl once. I begged and begged my ex-boyfriend all the time to put me on his Snapchat story. You may be reading this and be thinking "Wow she's a little attention seeking." No, that is not it at all. A simple act of being posted about made me feel special, loved, missed at times, and served as reassurance and a word of affirmation for me. Do you want to know something silly? Maybe you've done it too. Sometimes I would do something crazy to get his attention. Something funny, and silly and random just so he would post me on his story and I wouldn't have to ask.

At the dinner table, I was that girl that while he was on his phone I was sliding him notes on a napkin saying "I love you" or "Hi" or funny jokes to get his full and undivided attention.

At home, I was the girl that used to literally throw myself at him while he was playing video games to try and get him to press pause for two minutes and pay attention to me and have a conversation with me.

You see, I was that girl. But I refuse to ever be that girl again. If you are that girl, stop what you're doing.

It is your job to love him. But it is not your job to teach him how to love you back.

There is a big difference between a boy and a man. Contrary to what society may believe most boys don't actually turn into men until they are almost 40. Scary for us girls right? But here's the kicker and to be honest it has nothing to do with age.

Any boy that is in the process of becoming a man and maturing is going to know how to treat a woman. He is not going to choose video games or his phone over you. He is going to post you everywhere all the time because he wants to show you off to the world and make you feel special. He isn't going to ever leave you wondering.

The list could really go on comparing and contrasting the differences between a boy and a man but the important ones to remember when you are in a relationship are:

1. A boy thinks "me." A man thinks "us"

2. A boy gives false promises. A man honors his commitments (one being you.)

3. A boy cares about how you look in jeans. A man cares about how you look in his future.

4. You will always wonder how a boy feels about you. You will always know how a man feels about you.

All too often I see girls in the act of this. It is almost like they are training a dog or raising a child. They order them around and become demanding when it comes to doing things that make them feel special, validated and reassured. Granted, they are doing this because their relationship is lacking something but the truth is, it shouldn't be lacking something in the first place.

You are dating a boy not a man. I hate to break that to you. I really do. It's the hardest news you'll ever receive. Why? Well because

You can't fix him, you can't teach him, and you can't change a boy into a man. They have to do it on their own

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