A Partner Would Be Nice, but Not Necessary

July 12, 2016

Ever since Aristotle said “love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies,” it seems as though the need to have a partner has become more and more ingrained. However, we don’t usually remember that he also said “the most powerful man is one who is the master of himself.”

I’m aware that both statements are taken out of context, and I don’t know to what extent Aristotle really had to do with them, but they help to introduce the subject of this article: romantic love can be very enriching, but it’s good to know that it’s not necessary.

Relationships aren’t necessary, but they can make us better

Think of the following situation: you have an important event to go to, where you’ve been asked to dress a certain way, and you spend a lot of time thinking about the accessories that would complement your outfit.

“I don’t want you to need me, I want you to count on me infinitely,
and I want the afterlife to unite you with me.”

-Elvira Sastre-

couple hugging

When you figure out which accessories to wear, they enhance what you’re already wearing. With relationships, something similar but better happens, because the thing that gets enhanced is the person under the clothes.

Complements (like having a partner) aren’t necessary, but if you decide to have them, they can contribute things that you didn’t have without them. They’re like a bonus: a partner can share bonus life experiences, support, and lessons that can make you better, because you learn from them even when things go bad.

“Let me hug you, now / because still / the lies of the world / are not yet written on your skin / and your lips host nothing but / beauty. / Because I’ve only ever wanted to be / good and true, / and you can make me, / so let me hug you.”

-Juan Antonio González Iglesias-

Relationships with independence and space

Having a partner is a blessing as long as both people respect each other’s emotional independence and space, because this is the only way either will be able to grow and be fulfilled. That is, within the relationship there are two distinct lives that both require individualized attention so they can make progress together later.

Once you realize that you’re happy with being single and that you don’t need anyone else to be happy, you understand the importance of these ideas. For most of us, the closer someone wants to be with us, the more we flee, because we feel inhibited and even a little harassed.

friends with coffee

In other words, love is irrational, but you need a little bit of reason if you want the relationship to last. Wanting to be with someone means understanding that they might leave you one day, and you’ll move on, hurt, but whole.

Love is a decision, not an addiction

Romantic relationships should not be an addiction or obsession, even though the first few months usually seem like that. At first, everything is a blur where time and space don’t make sense, and you keep finding reasons to share things with the other person.

But obsessions are not healthy, and they can lead to toxic relationships in which you stop valuing yourself just to live in a fake world, unaware of the way things really are, blindfolded to reality.

If you decide to start a relationship, you should be ready to fall in love with another person while also cultivating your own self-loveYou can decide to start it, and you can decide to end it, because you don’t belong to anyone and nobody belongs to you, even though you might have thought that at one time.

“And one thing I swear
I will fall in love with your wings,
and I’ll never want to cut them off.”

-Carlos Miguel Cortés-