You Complete Me – and Other Relationship Drivel

Posted by: Shel Harrington 4 June, 2014 22 Comments

You Complete Me - and Other Relationship DrivelThe expectation that one should have a relationship where they can utter – or have someone say passionately to them – the cliche Hollywood line “You Complete Me” has been a disservice to many a relationship. No human being can complete another. Complement, love, enhance, motivate, inspire, elevate, and bring out the best in them maybe, but not make the other ‘whole.’

Phrases such as “I’m nothing without you” and “You’re everything to me” are not coming from a healthy place. How many steps away is this type of thinking from a devastating If-I-Can’t-Have-You-N0body-Else-Can mentality?

You ARE something – and someone – special with or without another person. No one person is 100{2303b849a176fc4c55cbcb5b49f44c0b6a86ba83e746fb3d962701d1b8d54085} reason for your existence. You are on this planet to accomplish much – and many love and are affected by your being and your actions. These are the things you bring to the relationship.

While the corny movie line may make for good theater, buying into that unrealistic expectation as a real-life philosophy makes about as much sense as expecting Mary Poppins to stop by and whip your house and kids into shape.

Requiring your mate to live up to expectations that come with terms like soulmate, kindred spirit, and the one obligated to complete you is a lot of pressure. The burden of such unrealistic expectations over the long-term is likely to result in disillusionment and disappointment. Requiring those things of yourself will have the same result. You don’t complete your mate – your goal is to complement, love, enhance, motivate, inspire, elevate, and bring out the best in the one you love.

NOW the phrase makes sense!!
NOW the phrase makes sense!!

 

 On another topic: I am honored to be Blogger of the Month over at Oklahoma Women Bloggers (I refuse to refer to myself as “Miss June”). If your summer travels are taking you to Arizona, Florida, or any other location where senior citizens rule (and you don’t already know what a “Dr. Phil Nap” is), check out my first post there – A Swan Lake Glossary is a short guide to help you navigate the native lingo!

A Swan Lake Glossary

 

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22 Comments

  • good ideas. if you change expectations into possibilities, life is easier! and disappointments are less….

  • Susan

    Very true. Whenever you place your happiness, self-worth, value, whatever…in one person you are bound to be disappointed.

    • Shel Harrington

      If we could get that message out to our youth it might change the decisions they make later in life! I’m open for ideas on how to accomplish that, Susan!

  • It certainly is a lot of pressure. Well said, Shel. I enjoyed that movie, but always cringed at that line.
    Congratulations, Miss June! 🙂

    • Shel Harrington

      Grrrrr. Do you see me waving, Jill? Notice my bent arm is totally stiff and the wave comes from the hand turning back and forth at the wrist?

  • Ashley

    Dear Miss June,

    Great post as always! My motto is, “You don’t complete me, you make my life a whole lot better!” 🙂 I’m heading to Florida end of this month…will check out your Swan Lake Glossary!

    • Shel Harrington

      Ignoring your opening line (see response to Jill), your motto rocks! Sounds like I’ll miss you in Florida by just a few weeks.

  • I agree with the essence of this post. It is too much of an expectation for one person to fulfill this role completely. I also caution my daughter, in another context, to not use the label “best friend.” I think these high-expectation labels set us up for failure and disappointment.

    • Shel Harrington

      I hadn’t thought of the ‘best friend’ label used so early in life. I’d forgotten how quickly girls bestow the label, use it to isolate, and withdraw it to punish. Thanks so much for stopping by, Rudri – hope to see you again soon!

  • Shel, yes! Stuff like that makes me squeamish. So dangerous.

    • Shel Harrington

      Rudri mentioned cautioning her daughter about the same expectations when using the term ‘best friend’ – I had never thought about that with regard to young girls, but it makes sense.

  • Hahaha, Shel. I cringe when I hear “You complete me,” but now I’m going to think about the donut and the hole. That’s hilarious. I have to share with some friends who were just talking about this today. Friday is National Donut Day, you know.

    • Shel Harrington

      I DO know about National Donut Day – Friday I’ll be celebrating it on the other blog (’cause what could go better than donuts with the FBF theme??). I hadn’t thought of the putting that pic in the mix, though – you inspire me, Kim!

  • I always think Robert and I are here, together, to help each other get through the trauma, the minutia, the trials of life. We’ve learned to laugh along the way.

    I love the donut picture.

    • Shel Harrington

      I suspect,Jen, that you and Robert had laughter from the start, you just found ways to keep it going in spite of the trauma, the minutia, and the trials which contributed to pulling you even closer together! I’m with ya on the donut pic – had to ‘repurpose’ it for National Donut Day on tomorrow’s FBF post!

  • Oh how I love this post Shel! it speaks TRUTH! No relationship will succeed if it is based on one person ‘completing’ the other. We all need to find ourselves first, then ADD the other to our hearts and lives.
    I always say that my husband is the PERFECT supplement to my life, my heart, my dreams…

    And btw- I think you should be THRILLED to be called ‘Miss June’!!! Embrace it sister!! (I mean, will there EVER be a time we are called ‘that’?? lol)

    • Shel Harrington

      OK Chris – you have convinced me to reframe things. You’re right – this is my last chance to wear such a title. I’ll embrace it. I’m giving you a jumbo pageant smile as we speak. However, I’ve only agreed to wear the title – the tiara’s absolutely OUT!

  • Brenda Reardon

    That phrase goes nicely with another one that has made me go “Wha–??” even when I was a youngster and that is “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” Wrong!

    Glad you embraced your title!! Congrats!

    • Shel Harrington

      I’m with you, too Brenda. Maybe I should have a post called “Love Means Sometimes Having to Say Your Sorry” or “Whoever Said Love Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry Sure Got it Wrong” OK – that last one’s a bit wordy. But I like the premise!

  • I’m with Brenda. Speaking of famous movie lines, remember the one from “What’s Up, Doc?” When Barbra Streisand character says, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry,” Ryan O’Neil character responds, “That’s the dumbest thing I ever heard.” So true!