You Complete Me, My Better Half.
“You complete me.” I remember when the movie that popularized this phrase came out. I don’t think I was allowed to see it (I still have only seen the first few minutes). I have seen the scene where Tom Cruise says this line to Renee Zellweger. Since then, I have heard people say this or similar things to it over and over again. I have often wondered what exactly it means. Even though it was meant to be romantic, I think it portrays an incredibly unhealthy way of interacting in a relationship. When one person is so dependent on another that when they are not together, they cannot function, there is a problem. This is no different than saying, “She is my other half.” I am guilty of saying this. Usually in the form of, “She is my better half.” Its a nice flattering thing to say but is it really the way that we should establish ourselves within our marriage union?
There are a lot of fancy psychological words used to describe this idea. Differentiation of Self, Undifferentiated Ego Mass, Internal Locus of Self. All of them are basically describing one thing. A confidence in one’s self that is so solid that if one was separated from any other particular person or group of people, they would still be able to function in a healthy way. We are of course not talking in spiritual terms here (There is a whole additional blog post devoted to differentiation and spirituality). Its a wonderful thing when two people can come together not because they need each other but because they want each other. This deepens the relationship to a level that is more voluntary and vulnerable.
What would marriages look like if instead of being with someone because they met a need and filled an empty void, we entered into these relationships because there is something about the other that is so desirable that (I almost said, “we can’t live without”) if they felt the same desire and passion for us, a glimpse of heaven on earth would be seen. I don’t want to live in a world where I need things. I don’t want to live in a world where I am needed. I want to live in a world where those in relationship with me are there because of desire and admiration.