“You complete me” is a bad relationship strategy

I’ve taken this year away from dating and sex because I was tired of poor and unhealthy relationships. I finally realized I was the constant in those relationships: I stopped blaming the guys and took some responsibility in the form of work on my inner self. I removed myself from the dating pool to focus on improving my inner life and finding out who I am without a man.

One reason my relationships were such failures is echoed in a book called Everyday Grace by Marianne Williamson in the chapter entitled aptly “Relationships”.

We are tempted to enter into relationships on a search for the lost self we cannot find. Yet outside ourselves we cannot find what only lies within. When we look to another to complete us, we doom the relationship because we are subconsciously looking to it to be what it is not.”

A more accurate description of my past approach to relationships, there never was. I used men as a way to get out of myself. Rather than enhance my reality, they were a way for me to escape it. I wanted romance, excitement and spontaneity, and when the initial adrenaline rush ended, I became bored and disappointed, merely enduring the remainder of the union as it played itself out.

In my relationships I was looking outside of myself for fulfillment, putting far too much pressure on another person to make me feel whole. I was too afraid to look inside myself so I latched onto whichever man I was interested in at the time and soon wondered why this person wasn’t making me happy. The point is no one else can make you happy; only you can do that for yourself. Another quote from the book states:

The spirit looks to relationships as a place to share our happiness, while the ego looks to them to assuage our pain.”

All my relationships were firmly rooted in ego: I wanted someone to make me feel better, make me forget my loneliness and feelings of inadequacy. Rather than doing the work of creating happiness within myself first so I could present a potential partner with a healthy and spiritually fit woman, I brought my broken and battered self to the man and said “Fix me.” Now I understand I don’t need fixing so much as I needed to get to know myself better. It’s pretty simple but it does take a lot of work.

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