People need to be in a relationship to be "complete"...?

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I don't think you necessarily need some kind of 'life partner' to live a contented, happy life.

I DO think you need people tho, special people in your life that you have solid, deep connections to, friends, family, etc.

Doclector:
This is something that has often bothered me, but only recently has been re-brought to my attention by a friend on facebook. To be honest, he ain't really a friend, just someone I knew once, and don't really hate enough to delete. Anyway, recently, he keeps posting about not wanting to be alone, and wanting to get a girlfriend. Reminds me of myself not a million years ago.

Personal backstory

This assumption in society seems to harm so many people. When I think of what it did to me once upon a time, thinking I was worthless and doomed to a joyless life, and what it appears to be doing to my aforementioned friend, well, I wish there was something I could do to shatter this misconception that you NEED a second half to be happy.

TL:DR; What do you think of this assumption?

PS: Could we please steer away from "You don't understand love!" comments. Maybe I don't. Maybe you don't. Maybe I'm bitter. Maybe you're wearing rose tinted heart glasses. The argument will continue forever and ever and none of us have any real proof to end such a pointless argument. It ain't the debate at hand, and it ain't going anywhere.

I think its a deep longing for intimacy.

In our western society i think we prefer to have intimacy limnited to our significant other or our mother/relatives.

I dont think getting a girlfriend helps with this longing.

The longing of intimacy is a longing for a person who understands you, and you would understand them.

But getting a gf/bf is an ansewer to our human instinct to get laid and make sum babies.

Nope. Or at least not for me, although I'm sure it could be necessary for some. I've already reasoned that to be in a relationship is really fairly pointless for someone such as myself (ie: unsympathetic, superficially judgmental and desperately insecure). I'd much rather spend my time trying to not f*ck up my life as much.

No. That idea is a crock of crap. I am perfectly content with myself and I love my life. I feel complete, studying what I like and doing what I like. I am perfectly happy and content. And guess what? I am not in, and have never been in, a relationship with a significant other. I have not plans to change that in the immediate future, and, quite frankly, I find it greatly insulting when people insinuate that I am somehow "less" for not wanting or having a romantic relationship.

i like the idea of a relationship but when im in one i feel very... muted. More like I lose part of myself rather than gain something. Maybe that's just my atrocious taste in men/women though.

You may not, but honestly, I can't imagine life without my better half.

Doclector:
"Why? Why do I want a girlfriend when the torment, and investment of time, effort, emotions, mind-power, and let's be honest here, money, makes such a goal not worth it, to downright impossible?"

What do you know? That's exactly what I thought! Good to see somebody else gets it. The idea that you can't be "complete" without a relationship is nonsensical garbage dreamed up by poets and hippies. I'm a living counterexample to their thesis.

Recently broke up with my gf. Currently I am content with being single, it's nice I can do what I want and achieve my goals without any added pressures.

Eventually I'll want a relationship again but it's not the be all and end all by any means.

I'm 16 and I've never been in a romantic relationship. It's not that I've failed miserably in it, I've just never pursued it, as I've never felt the need to. No, I'm not asexual, I am physically attracted to women, but I've never felt a need to enter a romantic relationship.

Forever alone and fine with it.

Guardian of Nekops:
I think a large part of it stems from the human incapacity to just be happy. Once you convince yourself that life sucks (and there's never a shortage of evidence for that, if you go looking) you start looking for something to fix everything.

Well, if you're single, that's a pretty obvious scapegoat. So you find someone to be with, expecting them to make everything better. Then, when they don't, everything falls apart.

It's sort of like how people figure that everything would be better if they could use magic, or if they had more money, or if they didn't have to work at the horrible place they do now... it probably wouldn't be, or at least not as much as you think, but it's easier to trace all your problems to one source so you can hope things will get better.

So yes, relationships are, or at least can be, good. Great, even. But they're not the solution, and if you go into them looking for the "make everything better" button they can wind up being the next problem.

I think this is a good post. It probably is in our nature to overreach, or to not be content with what we have. Which is something that I would think is exacerbated by our media. If you've grown up with pop music, Hollywood films and sitcoms like Friends(in which attaining the desired relationship fixes everything for the protagonist)...it's not entirely surprising that romance and relationships are high priority.

Personally, I haven't dated for a few years now and I'm perfectly happy with that. To further demonstrate where I'm at mentally. When I do think about possibly looking for a new relationship, I don't think about the intimacy, companionship or sex...my first thought is that it's potentially someone who could pay half of the rent.

I'm such a romantic.

I know for a FACT that I feel way better that I have a girlfriend, even more so since we want to get married to eachother when we are old enough (not long now ;)

But really, as a couple, we defy all current norms of relationships, instead opting for something more like the '50, A time period we both love.

We rarely "go out" and when we do, we go to something cheap. Does she care. No. As long as she is with me, she doesnt care how much I spend for her, same for me too. We rarely kiss, instead we hold hands or just cuddle. We try to keep eachother family happy with us so that they dont try to break us up. The list goes on and on...

My personal philosophy is you can't dedicate yourself completely and wholly to one person until you yourself are complete and whole. The issue is now that stage comes later in life. Ours is one of the first generations where going to college is the standard. People of our generation don't really have a grip on their lives until their mid to late 20's now. Whereas our parents generation settling down and having kids at my age (21) was fairly standard practice. But it's not just about career and stability. College is a great time to understand knew things and develop yourself. Anyone I dated even as recently as 19 probably wouldn't interest me now, nor I them because I'm not the same person. There's plenty of time to settle down and have a family, but that's the part of life that doesn't just affect you. Your career etc. is about being happy with yourself, family is about making other people happy which you can't do if you yourself are miserable.

I used to have the same thoughts but then I met someone and my thoughts changed, not saying you need someone but meeting someone good for you will improve your life, and that person usually comes with a minimum amount of torment.

I also preferred to be alone, until I found the perfect woman. Now, I can still be alone when I want and there's no drama or BS attached to it. I could come home and game all night and I don't hear a peep out of her. Mainly because she'd come home and game all night with me or not directly with me but in the same room and be happy. BTW it gets better when you get older. I'm 30 today and she's 29. We have grown past the whole BS of dating etc and decided we just want to be together.

Pprotip, be who you are now all the time, including while you are in the relationship. What kept me single for so long is the fact that most women expected some sort of change in my behavior after we decided to be in a relationship, which, didn't happen. I'm still the same person in a relationship as I am single. The only difference is that i'm only with her lol.

Everyone thinks so.
I don't. If anything, when I had a girlfriend, being with her made me feel less and less complete.

Doclector:

This assumption in society seems to harm so many people. When I think of what it did to me once upon a time, thinking I was worthless and doomed to a joyless life, and what it appears to be doing to my aforementioned friend, well, I wish there was something I could do to shatter this misconception that you NEED a second half to be happy.

TL:DR; What do you think of this assumption?

The biggest question you have to ask yourself is what are your goals in life? Now i still have plenty of time left so i'm not too worried yet. But one of the things i want is too pass on "myself" so to speak, so having children. And personally i want that child to be not just half of me but also half of someone i respect and think is worth it. So by default in order to accomplish one of my goals i would need a stable relationship. This said i'm not looking for relationships for the sake of it. I see way too many people just looking for partners because apparently that's what needs to be done, without really thinking about it. I always say "if you can't see yourself married and raising a family with that person you're doing it wrong".

Now if you don't feel that need to raise a family why bother, if it's for the sexual intercourse there are plenty of women out there who's job it is to satisfy your needs.

I think theres always been something a little "overkill" to the term you complete me... but i guess once youre in a relationship it just feels like perfection a lot of the time so i can sorta understand.

It's really subjective, some people like their independence and such and therefore can be single quite happily. Other people (like myself) who have entered a relationship and have lost such a things have a very large, painful gap...though personally I try to get myself to move on before I go soul searching, the next person doesn't need that baggage...
*sees a picture of his ex and curls up in the fetal position*

Straight up? A relationship is often not (or at least not only) about intimacy, but about self-identification.
If I may quote, we identify ourselves usually through three things: peers, progress, and passion. If you are popular, or at least have a crowd of friends, are generally successful at work/school/whatever it is you do, and, lastly have a partner as befitting to your status, you can well and safe consider yourself the Big Man.
What I mean with this is not that everyone with a girlfriend/boyfriend is a shallow d***hole only intent on keeping up an appearance, but that some people simply consider being together with someone to be a necessary part of life. So yes, you could say that there are people who need to be in a relationship to be complete. That doesn't mean that that has to apply to yourself. I admit that having a significant other is probably a nice thing to have (not that I would know XD ), but since the definition of "being complete" is not really an absolute term in the first place, it doesn't really matter in this argument. And obsessing over maintaining the "Big Man"-status is probably not exactly a healthy thing to do, so the best thing would probably be to simply stop doing it (obsessing, I mean).

PS: I, too, have a chronically lovesick friend. Except that he almost never manages to man up and Get The Girl. My theory is that those people are simply in love with love, and if that's what they think they need, then I see no reason why anyone else should care. It can make for some funny anecdotes, though.

Were you the guys that ordered a wall of text? It's hot!

There are benefits to both, at least where I'm concerned. I'm an independent person; I like doing things my way, I do not like the conceptions tying yourself to a person can do to a relationship with them, and I generally avoid serious relationships altogether because I invest myself extremely heavily into people I'm close to while exposing my fleshy, delicate back to the objects of my affection, and most people seem to have "STAB STAB STAB STAB" as their first impulse when faced with such a situation, in my experience. I was more or less dragged into my current serious relationship despite piling reasons as to why it may not work out. My other would not have it and cheerfully declared me theirs anyway. Bear all of this in mind for the paragraph after next. I kind of shrugged and went along with it at the time.

The above said, a serious relationship can be extremely rewarding. Depending on how seriously you take such things and how good your chemistry with them is, they become what feels like your other half, what makes you complete. This person does that to me; I'm still filled with giddiness and excitement when they're around, nearly a full year since we became "official". They've told me they feel much the same way I do; that I feel right, that I feel like "home", that without me things wouldn't be as good as they could be. They want to be with me as long as I'll let them, they want to wake up next to me, come home to me, grow old with me, have kids with me, something that normally seems repulsive to me, but with them, seems like something I could actually enjoy, partly because it'd be something I'd share only with them.

On the other hand, they also cheated on me recently. At literally the first opportunity presented to them to date, as it turns out, because they're an impulsive idiot under the right (wrong?) circumstances. They then hid it from me until confronted with the evidence I found of it.

For a number of reasons that I'm not going into here, I've decided to try to forgive them; I feel that what we would lose should I break things off with them would be greater than what I gain in an attempt at justice or vindication. But it also illustrates one of the most horrible risks of such a bond, the threat that no matter what they say, no matter how much they love you, no matter how much like "home" you feel to them, there may come a time when you mean absolutely nothing to them, and the threat that such a thing could taint your relationship for the rest of your life, if it lasts that long. It's been the most emotionally trying and painful thing I've faced to date, nearly two months later, because it was also the first time a relationship had been wonderful. It wasn't perfect, no, but it didn't have to be. I'd never felt so sure of anything in my life, and yet there's a new pointy object in my back despite my decreasing need for having one on hand, and it was put there by someone that managed to make me love them more than anything in my life up to now, partly through their sheer force of will.

But despite my newfound lack of trust for this person, I mostly believe them when they say they're sorry, that they didn't understand at the time what they were doing, and that they didn't fully appreciate what we had together until they were at risk of losing it. So I have to open myself up to this person again, more or less hand them another knife and trust them not to use it this time, because I don't want to lie awake one day and wonder what could have been if I didn't. They aren't getting a third chance, so they'd best make the most of this one if they're not just stringing me along for as much as it gets them, but if they aren't, then we still have so much to enjoy, and gain, in this thing they've dragged me into that I've ended up being incredibly happy they did.

Do I have any regrets about the decision, made despite my independent nature, my discontent with serious relationships, my past of being betrayed (even by them), and having to condition myself to ignore my recently acquired desire to look over my shoulder just in case? No, actually. I didn't need this person to feel complete, but now that they're here, they've created pieces of the puzzle that result in a picture that involves them beside me. That's what love ultimately does: creates a bigger picture. You don't need it to be complete before, but once someone special shows up, once you've let them in, and they you, they complete you from then on, possibly for the rest of your life, even if they are one day gone from it, but until then, you're no worse off. The question for me in regards to this person then becomes whether I want to acknowledge that the new pieces are there, and despite the risks, the answer is yes. The picture just wouldn't look right anymore otherwise.

Umm...I don't think that's true.

To feel truly complete, you don't need a partner or some sort of relationship to depend upon. To feel truly complete, humans only need to feel that they've achieved something in their life, and sustaining a relationship is one of those great ways to assess how well you've spent the time given to you.

A sense of accomplishment is what really makes people feel complete, not the need of another individual.

Doclector:
TL:DR; What do you think of this assumption?

PS: Could we please steer away from "You don't understand love!" comments.

So you want a discussion, but only if we agree with your assumption?

Yeah right, waste of a thread.

This is probably going to get me a warning for excessive tangential snark, but I love how every time one of these topics pops up it always comes out that the person making it has no objective basis for the question, they're just bitter over either just coming out of a bad relationship, or being too misanthropic to ever HAVE a good relationship without years of therapy. Way to break away from media stereotypes guys.

On topic, I don't think it's NECESSARY, per se, but it's nice to be in one if it's not a real toxic one (says the single guy).

I think it depends, some people like relationships, some people don't; and that can change, i used to be a loner, and honestly thought that i'd never be in a relationship; about 2 years ago, i met a girl; and now we're getting married. What makes you happy is not an absolute, and the way i see it, you have to be a "complete person" (whatever that is) to be in a healthy relationship; otherwise you're looking for someone to help you mature; and that is not the point of an adult relation.

I think there is an idea that "if youre single then you obviously NEED a relationship"

right now personally Im more than fine beign single, Id rather devote my time to myself right now and not have to worry about somone else

also Im not going to freak out about it....if it happens it does, if it doesnt it doesnt (though to be fair with my current lifestyle theres not much chance of that happening anyway)

ravensheart18:

Doclector:
TL:DR; What do you think of this assumption?

PS: Could we please steer away from "You don't understand love!" comments.

So you want a discussion, but only if we agree with your assumption?

Yeah right, waste of a thread.

No, it's simply the fact that I've seen that argument wreck countless other threads with an argument that neither side can hope to win. It often sidetracks threads to that topic, when it isn't even about whether someone understands love or not, at least not exclusively, which is the direction that such arguments tend to take, the exclusive assumption that one particular person either does, or does not, understand love, a concept which no human can truly claim to understand anyway.

If you are fine being single, then be single, seriously. I was single for quite awhile and it never bothered me. Now I am not and its just as fine.
If you aren't one of those people that has to be in a relationship every waking second of your life, then don't. Just do whatever it is that makes you happy, the hell with expectations. However if you are only avoiding it because you are afraid of rejection or the work it takes, that might be an issue.

People sure are taking relationships too seriously
And the whole religious practise of tying two people together for all eternity is just crazy in most cases

Actually no...I just got out of a relationship where the guy was utterly controlling because I couldn't take it. A relationship doesn't have to complete you...

You see I've never felt any real need to have a girlfriend I mean to quote Barney Stinson on the topic: "Bimbos. They're easily confused. It's one of the thousand little things I love about them. I love their vacant, trusting stares; their sluggish, unencumbered minds; their unresolved daddy issues. I love them Lily, and they love me. Bimbos have always been there for me, through thick and thin-mostly thin. B-man don't do thick crust, what up!"
I've taken this philosophy to heart and been happier ever since.

...ehhh... i'm married and i as much as i hate to say it, i can imagine a life wothout my wife and children. I may not be happier but i can imagine it. You don't need another person to be complete, but like a hammer without a nail (pun somewhat intended) it can be useful for alot of other things it's just not as useful as the right tool. my stance on love/marriage if you find someone awesome, if you don't make sure you have fun until you do.

i don't know...but right now I'm single and I'm feeling pretty damn empty.

dogstile:
Maybe because satisfying the primal urges to actually be with a mate is still important to society and is indeed important for the survival of a species, therefore great importance is still placed upon said finding of mate.

Just sayin' ;D

If you want to talk about "primal urges, you might be interested to know that (according to "science"), primal humans were serial monogamists. This means that we originally tended to be monogamous with one person at a time, but had several mates throughout our lives (well, as many as you can have when you only live to 20). So even if the biology places importance on finding a mate, the idea that any one person will "complete" you isn't necessarily part of that.

Personally, I think this whole long-term monogamy thing has more to do with property arrangements and the challenges of raising children in modern civilization than it does with the human makeup.

Edit: More from observation than experience, I think you're going to do a lot better in a relationship if you feel complete before you go looking for that special someone. Thinking that companionship will "complete" you is setting yourself up for strained relationships and bad breakups.

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