Love is something that we all want. We see representations of love everywhere around us, from television to social media to movies. Love is glorified and we keep getting the message that you need someone to complete you. We don’t know who came up with that idea, but it’s not true! Love is a beautiful thing but can also be a significant source of stress in our lives. It often comes with unrealistic expectations, sometimes that we have for the other person and sometimes for what the other person has for us.
Let’s look at this through another lens. The most important thing that you can do regarding love is not to look for the person that will complete you. It is working on yourself so that you become the person that will complete yourself. What should happen when you find a partner is that they add something or value to your life, but you don’t need them to become your entire life.
How do I work on this? There are a few ways to work on this. Start with rediscovering yourself. Therapy is the best place to go when you are ready to learn how the relationships that you witnessed growing up end up becoming your blueprint for how you behave in relationships. You can work on recognizing the patterns you have fallen into and figure out what changes you need to make. One of the exercises I will often recommend to clients is to make a list of the 10 things you need in a relationship to feel fulfilled and like your needs are being met. You can then use this insight to help you make decisions about your dating life.