Take a look at the following sentences and try to remember if you’ve seen them flowing around your life.
“I can’t live without you.”
“If you die, I would die with you.”
“Losing you would be like losing a part of my body.”
“If I lost you, I wouldn’t know how to go on.”
Can you relate to those sentences? Do you feel the same? For the longest time (I’m talking years here), I felt like the worst person in the whole world for never relating to them. I thought that I was a bad person, a bad girlfriend and that there was something wrong with my relationship. I thought, “If I didn’t feel all those things, does that mean that I don’t love my partner enough?”. I actually felt guilty for knowing that, if I ever lost the love of my life, that I would come out of it alive, kicking, and moving on as heck.
Today, I know better.
Maybe it’s because I’ve already experienced the Great Loss in my life. I had a very intense and emotional relationship that I was 110% invested in and when it ended, I was left in tatters, crying in my bed every night, feeling like I would die, you know the drill. Since I’m a person that learns and grows from my past experiences, I now know that I’ve been through the worst of it and that no matter what happens with my current relationship, I will be be perfectly OK. Yes, of course I would be sad, missing and all of those things that come with a relationship ending but I know it in my heart that I would be OK, that I would find someone else that is special and beautiful in their own way and that I will be happy again in the end.
But why should I feel guilty about this? Is that fair? I really don’t think so. Does this attitude mean that I don’t love my partner enough? Absolutely not. It just means that my past experiences made me a person that has, through sheer necessity, learned how to survive through any type of hardship and come out of it in one piece. Why should I feel guilty about being a strong person? Why should I feel bad if I have a positive outlook on life (at least some of the times)? What is it in our society that pressures me to feel like I’m not a good romantic partner for not feeling like my life is over if I ever lost my partner?
The problem, in my opinion, lies in that whole idea of The One which is engraved in society all around us – from TV and the Internet down to your granny sitting in her rocking chair. Regardless or not if you believe in The One (I personally believe it’s a load of poop, but it’s besides the point right now), the mentality remains that, when you meet the person you consider to be The One, you feel like there is nobody in the world as great as they are, as awesome as they are, as beautiful, as funny, as kind, as wonderful as they are. They are so amazing that, if they ever left your life, there would be nobody in the whole world that would be able to replace them and that is why you would feel like the world is about to end – and that is a load of poop, too. As romantic and amazing as it sounds, there are people who are just as wonderful as Mr. or Mrs. Right, but in their own special way. No, they will never be your guy or your girl, but they will make you happy and exciting in a different, yet wonderful way, too and you will love them and cherish them for as long as you can.
Another problem lies with the belief that your partner should be your other half, a figurative limb of your body, somebody you’re so attached with that, if you ever lost them, you would feel like you’ve been amputated, your Everything. With all due respect, I think that this mindset is not only wrong, but potentially very dangerous to a person’s mental and spiritual well being. A very wise and dear person once told me that your partner should not be one of the ingredients that is the cake of your life, but the cream that comes on the top of it. When you are a complete and well structured person, whomever you end up being with, they are a beautiful addition to your life but by no means irreplaceable – like a 300$ earphones set to an already awesome and expensive phone that has ALL the features (ok, so I’m a bit of a tech girl so sorry for the lame reference :D). Of course that during the course of your lives you will mesh and blend together into one huge ball of togetherness, but it’s important that you always know who you are as a part of the “we”. When you know yourself, it will be much easier to separate yourself from your relationship and if that relationship ever ends, the transition period will be a lot smoother because, in the end, when everything is over, you still have your best friend – yourself.
What I’m saying is that the mentality of “I would die without you” is in my opinion dangerous and unhealthy. For me, love is more a matter of choice than a matter of happenstance. The reason why I am with my current partner is because I chose to be with him. With full awareness that there are plenty of other amazing fish in this 7 billion people sea, I chose my fish. He is kind and generous, and sweet and amazing and has a million other sweet unique traits that I adore (and am sometimes frustrated with) from here to eternity and he is the sunshine of my life – because I chose him to be. If I ever were to lose him, it would be a very sad thing that I would spend a lot of time recuperating from, but in the end, I would be just fine. I have myself and know who I am.. I will be OK. Besides, each and every person in this person is amazing and special in their own way and I am confident that I would never stay alone and that I would be happy in the end.