I CAN Live With or Without You

I have a bit of a grudge with American television, movies, and popular music when it comes to the issue of romantic love.  Most of the songs you’ll hear, for example, suggest this kind of crazy notion: “I can’t live if living is without you.”  Themes that feature ideas like “you complete me” are blatant lies.  Not only can you live and be complete without a partner, if you expect anyone to save your life or complete you, you’re guaranteed to end up in the bitter recrimination that ends so many relationships.

If you want the truly magical experience that romantic love can be, start where we always start: clean up your mind. This doesn’t mean ridding your mind of sexual thoughts.  Quite the opposite.   It means getting rid of any idea that an external circumstance, like being in a relationship, is responsible for determining whether you are happy or not. Once you know you’re complete, you are fully available for the wonder of discovering life and yourself through the experience of falling in love.  This is literally like a drug trip.  Your brain on love puts out so many delicious hormones that you’ll be stoned for a good two years.  Knowing that this is part of the life you have created frees you to adore your beloved without grasping or fear, and you are able to absorb the challenges or losses you may experience without being devastated.  Our crazy codependent culture notwithstanding, falling in love is probably the best reason to be human.  

7 replies
  1. Belinda
    Belinda says:

    How do we sort out the threads of expectations that are “appropriate” or not, “good” or “bad. I am a very independant person but I dont find much happiness or bonding or?? in a relationship where I do everything alone…I want a partner to travel with, have great conversations, enjoy life! I’m single now and loving life but I struggle in a relationship because I usually end up with men who take much more than they give. I never know if Im expeecting too much or if Im the probloem or he is the problem, especially after I read something that talks about expectations in relationships…I just feel lost.

    • Amanda
      Amanda says:

      I feel the same, I have been on my own for a long time and am generally very happy with that, but would like someone to share more of life with, to travel, to have someone to share thoughts and ideas with. The problem is it comes at a high price! I don’t think my expectations are that high but I find that I am the one making the changes and fitting myself around someone else’s life and suddenly everything I wanted or had disappears! Is it just me?

      • G. Louise
        G. Louise says:

        I recognize myself in your comment, when I left my 26 year marriage in despair and frustration because my co-dependent behaviour didn’t result in getting what I wanted, only what HE wanted. The most interesting thing I have learned was from reading Steve Harvey’s book: “Think Like a Man . . . ” because he stresses that we must have standards for ourselves in a relationship BEFORE we get in a relationship, so that we don’t define ourselves by the relationship and thereby LOSE ourselves in the relationship. More often, I find that the relationships I say I want are the type of relationships I can have with girlfriends, and that I need more of those relationships in my life to feel supported and authentic.

    • Laleh
      Laleh says:

      Amanda, you seem such a special and nice person. I can relate to you. What helped me a great deal was a book: how to raise your self-esteem by Nathanirl Branden. It is a tiny book with some exercises that help you to get to know and appreciate yourself. That Is the stage of being complete that Martha is referring to, that I had not reached. Mine is a work in progress to but I highly recommend this for everyone (especially the team members). It truly helps you go deep and heal. Good luck on finding your wonderful self and the magical love! Laleh

  2. Jae
    Jae says:

    I am unable to wrap my mind around suposedly NEEDING to be by myself for “X” amount of time. I found a companion soon after I seperated after 3 decades of marriage. I don’t need or desire someone to complete me. I DO like having a buddy, friend, companion to hang out & be with along with doing my own thing. What’s so wrong with that? Even my girlfriends want me to be alone, not rush into dating, nit get serious, etc. all the while, they HAVE mates in their lives…

  3. Valerie
    Valerie says:

    I totally get this. If you’re not happy alone with yourself then you’re putting too much responsibility on the partner you invite into your life.

    I, too, was sucked into the “complete me” theory. And it sounds good, so who wouldn’t buy it? And naturally I was never fully happy with any relationship. Happiness from within is a clichè because it’s TRUE.

    Since I found God again and made Jesus my #1 guy I’m happier than I’ve ever been and I’m currently single. Alone and single are completely different terms for me. I exude love and positive wishes and prayers everyday and that’s what I get in return from family and friends who I have plenty of whenever I need them.

    So I decided to try dating again but I won’t settle for anyone who’s not in his happy place like me. It may take 2 years or 2 days to find him but when I do it’ll be 100% worth it.

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