I see posts by people desperate to find love as if another person will complete them and provide meaning to their lives that they don’t perceive themselves as having when they are on their own. And when I say ‘on their own’ they would call it alone and lonely.
This is absolutely the wrong approach to their own lives and to the concept of togetherness with another. We are each complex, flawed beings and you don’t gain true purpose and meaning by latching onto someone else like a barnacle on a ship. You only find genuine love with others – not sexual first and foremost, but real connection – by first learning to love, accept and be kind to yourself. And if you achieve that, you will have lost the desperation and become happier on your own.
Needy people, who are the majority, make terrible mistakes and end up in relationships because of their fear of not having someone to call boyfriend, girlfriend, husband or wife. This results over time, after the initial joy of finding, in disenchantment because no one else can solve your problems, give you meaning and complete you. I’d argue – from experience – that many relationships aren’t about true love but result from perceived necessity. People end up in loveless unions, argumentative and depressed and just as afraid, even more so, than when they were single. Sex goes out the window as does any hope of enriching intimate communication.
Truly great relationships might be friends or lovers and result from a sense that you’re perfectly okay and valid as yourself. We become attractive not because people just want our bodies – that’s lust, fine if that’s all you want – but because we give off confidence, self-assuredness, wit and interest. The relationships we attract when we achieve these traits are of the heart, whether they involve sex or not. They are not resulting from fear or need but simple joy at being in the presence of those who engage our thoughts and feelings.
Until you drop the need and learn to be kind to yourself, a relationship with another is the last thing you need. It would be just a way of hiding from yourself in a world that scares you, and that’s no way to live. Sooner or later relationships with poor foundations end, in separation, divorce and animosity, or they continue until death as zombie unions in which neither partner is happy. R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me, that should be at the core of your approach to yourself and others – as the late Aretha Franklin sang so passionately and wisely.
Andrew’s latest book, myfibromyalgia: one man’s experience of living with chronic illness, is out now in all Amazon store territories the world over. The ebook is £5.99 and the paperback £8.99. UK Amazon link.