If I only had those Jimmy Choo shoes, if I only got a promotion, if I only had a thousand Twitter followers, if [s]he only liked me back...
We've all been there. You walk by a shop window or bump into an old crush and you feel that pang, if I had you - I would be complete.
I've been thinking about the connotations of 'you complete me' for a while now. The idea that we need certain people or things in life to fulfil us otherwise we are insufficient.
When I was a kid I used to daydream a lot about love. It was kind of like my hobbie, mainly spurred by noughties chick flicks and songs by the Backstreet Boys. I used to imagine love was the missing puzzle piece to my fragmented tortured teenage soul. That love would heal all my emotional wounds, define my place in society and make me feel complete.
In my teens, my boyfriend became my best friend, my family, my partner in every aspect of my life. I grew up with this notion that love and validation from another person would fulfill me, and for a while it did. It was not until years later when we broke up that I was faced with the hard truth: no one can complete anybody else. And it's unfair to expect them to.
The concept of 'you complete me' can be toxic because in reality there is not one damn thing, person or commodity that can complete us, except for our own selves. If you feel insecure about your body, then a relationship will not fix those insecurities, it will only haze them for a while. If you feel like a relationship will stop you from feeling lonely, guess what? If you're with the wrong person, it's the loneliest thing in the world.
Living life with the philosophy of 'you complete me' is like filling up a bucket with a hole in the bottom. It's never enough. It's conditional. It's temporal. It places your happiness in the palm of someone else's hand. It's that faint but mighty voice that whispers a million little deceptions: 'without this I am lacking','If you don't love me, I am not loved,' and 'I am not enough on my own'.
Well, I want to tell you, that maybe you don't always feel 'complete'. Maybe you don't have your shit together ALL the time. Maybe you are a work in progress BUT, my friend, YOU ARE ENOUGH. Believe me. Your life isn't the abridged version of you, it's the full hardback copy with the bonus chapter.
Leaning on another person so much that you can't function without them isn't love, it's reliance, it's dependence, it makes love a necessity when it should be a choice. Love should always be a choice. A choice of actions, a choice of words, a choice of commitment.
How about instead of 'you complete me' we go with 'you don't complete me... but I want you anyway?' Maybe not movie worthy - but still romantic, right?
This article was first published in Amor Magazine on 13th March 2015.
For more on love, life and finding joy visit aliljoy.com.