You Complete… You


Who can forget Tom Cruise’s famous line from Jerry Maguire: “You complete me.” It’s the kind of line that undoubtedly stirs many to fantasize about a love so intense and consuming that you can’t imagine how you ever lived without it… That something you’d been missing your entire life suddenly has made you whole…  Ah, love.

Or is it?

Although it sounds romantic and makes for great chick-flick material, the idea that being in a relationship will complete you is not a realistic or healthy way of thinking. It’s more likely to be based on infatuation or loneliness rather than actual love. The best relationships happen between two people who have taken the time to form their own identity, and are happy people already. They aren’t looking for someone else to complete them. These tend to be the people that in real life, others are most attracted to.

If you find yourself single and longing for a relationship, you might examine the reasons why. Is it because you’re lonely, spending night after night at home with microwave dinners and slippers? If so, you might consider simply getting out more— try being the one to organize going out with friends, or take up a hobby or class that will get you out socializing. Is it because nearly everyone else you know has a significant other and you’re constantly in the role of third wheel? Consider the friend date—taking one of your single opposite-gender friends to accompany you the next time your best friend and her boyfriend extend that dinner invitation. You could also push for regularly scheduled girls’ nights/ guys’ nights with your attached friends—they’ll almost certainly appreciate them, but might not be as likely to initiate them.

As you develop your own interests and gain confidence in yourself, you will become a more attractive catch to potential love interests. You invite others to take an interest in you, because well, you’re an interesting person! You’ll also be more likely to experience a healthy and happy relationship when it does happen. It might not be as romantic a thought, but rather than saying, “You complete me”; it’s better to be able to say, “I was complete without you—but I’m really happy you came into my life!”

Recommended reading: “The Missing Piece” and “The Missing Piece Meets the Big O” by Shel Silverstein.

Kristy Malone, Master’s student in Marriage and Family Therapy and Graduate Research Assistant for the Alabama Community Healthy Marriage Initiative


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