The Myth of Soulmate Completion
Remember that moment in the movie Jerry McGuire when Tom Cruise finally comes around and gives Renée Zellweger the speech in which he tearfully declaims “You complete me”? After he spent the most of the movie adoring her child and being emotionally unavailable to her? And her response was “You had me at hello…”? A lot of people saw this as a quintessential romantic movie that showed how people can change, how love conquers all, and how soulmates are meant to complete each other.
Thanks to popular movies like this, as well as other TV shows, fairy tales, and a few cultural myths, a lot of people think that they are seeking a single sacred soulmate who will fill their voids, fix the damage accumulated throughout life, and who will fit together with them like two perfect halves of something meant to be whole. It’s a nice idea, isn’t it? That somewhere out there, there exists a single person who can do all of that for us, and all we have to do is find them in order to finally feel complete.
But seeking out a soulmate based on your idea of what you lack, to fill an emptiness inside you or to help you overcome addictions or deficits is the wrong way to approach your love life. If you focus on all the things that you think are wrong with you and base your desire for another person on those things, rather than on the kind of joy, fulfillment, and deep satisfaction that a soulmate relationship brings, you end up with a relationship built on all the wrong things.
A soulmate relationship is not some kind of tough-love therapy that brings out the worst in you so it can be changed and ultimate fixed. This is backward thinking and not helpful to anyone involved. Looking at love this way can also keep people stuck in unhealthy, unhappy relationships because people think they have to work through the hard stuff to get to finally get that something special they always wanted. Wallowing in damage while waiting for another person to repair you is a recipe for pain and tears.
Each and every one of us is fully responsible for our own personal transformation, our own healing, and our own journey through life. And each one of us is already a whole being unto ourselves. Putting the responsibility for your healing on your partner is not fair to them or to the great relationship that you could potentially share. When someone does this, it traps them in the unhealthy emotional life script of being The Dependent One, which disempowers them not only in their relationship, but in all areas of life.
Is possible to gain greater insight into your own patterns and healing through a genuine soulmate relationship? Yes, of course, it is. But the misconception that you need a soulmate to fix your broken parts and complete you is misguided and prevents you from finding the kind of relationship you really want. When you’re in a healthy relationship you inspire one another to grow, evolve, and bring out the best in each other. But inspiring positive growth and change is very different from actively trying to fix someone.
So instead of thinking about want parts of you need to be fixed, or what parts of your partner you can fix, focus on bringing your happiest self to the relationship. Give the relationship the best of you and accept the best of your partner. Enjoy what you each bring to the relationship without expecting it to be the fix to all your problems. You still get to do that part for yourself.
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