I don’t need my husband. At least I suppose, not the way I’m expected to need him. The way I’m expected to need anybody. If or when you couple off, there becomes this expectancy that you’ve found some part of yourself that was fundamentally missing. That before some how you were less whole, less complete. This need is now sated by one person who is now meant to fulfil you emotionally, spiritually and physically. The onus for happiness is not on you but your partner. Any sense of ownership is gone.
Except what relationship actually functions like that?
There is this myth that one person is all you need. They and they alone are your answer to a question unasked. And it’s romanticised. Romantic Love. Of course it is. The nuances of human relationships don’t exactly made good greeting card fodder, but it doesn’t exactly set us up for healthy attitudes to any and all adult relationships. Love is hard and messy and completely worth it, but outdated notions of soul mates take away the meaning that come from making, and choosing to build those wonderful and profound connections.
Over the years I’ve built friendships that are as deep and messy and as beautiful as that I have with my husband. They have been my travelling companions, my business partners, my cheerleaders, my laughter, my joy, my confidantes and in a way my “soul mates.” They are the pieces of me that have kept me growing and learning and always asking for more. Not because I need it but because I hunger for it. There is no need with any of these relationships, more a want. A want for the best for one another. Always.
The message here isn’t go out and find yourself a group of kick ass best friends (but do!) but more so about recognising that happiness doesn’t stem from one individual. Or even a group of individuals. Even if they are the funniest, smartest, most inspiring people you’ve ever met. Pegging your happiness on anyone but yourself is dangerous and unfair and ultimately unsatisfying. Taking ownership of your own life can be blindingly terrifying, but in the end? It’s totally worth it.