Monday, December 14, 2015

When He Says: "You Complete Me"

“Couple Seated On Footbridge” by photo stock via 

"You complete me." 
- Tom Cruise, 
Jerry Maguire


names have been omitted in this post 

December 2015 

this post contains language 

"Did I make you feel complete?" He asked me.

"No." I replied. "I don't believe we ever feel complete with someone. I don't believe in that concept. I believe we have to feel complete first before we can even begin to think about being with someone else. We each have to feel whole, complete, healthy of our own accord… to aspire to being our best self first, happy on our own. And I would tell anyone that, it's not specific to you. The truth is… when we were together I felt like I was steering the ship on my own. If I'm on my own I don't mind steering it, I'm fully capable. But if I'm with someone I don't want to feel as though I'm steering alone. I expect them to be beside me... weathering the storms together, searching for a harbor, whatever… not me on my own wondering where my partner went MIA to." I explained.

"I let you lead because I assumed that's what you wanted… because you said you didn't want to be controlled by a man." He told me.

"I don't want to be controlled. And I don't want to have to do it all either. There's a difference. I don't mind being the man on my own if I have to. I've done it before, I can do it again. I can fight tooth and nail, I can do whatever I have to, call it grit, perseverance, whatever you like. But if I have to be the man when I have a man… there is a serious problem. A man leads and protects… he is self assured and knows that more than anything the woman he loves needs his shoulder occasionally to rest her head on… to know he is there, unwavering. I can finance myself, I can put out fires… get me a man who knows all the other or don't bother. Get me somebody who gives a shit. Who actually worries when I don't get home when I think I will… who sits up and waits to see me… a man who offers to drive without my asking because he truly cares. I don't need someone who thinks "Jennifer's strong. No need to worry. She always pulls through." I want someone who says "I know she's strong but I want to be there beside her in this journey called life." I responded.

"Well, I can do a lot but time travel isn't in my repertoire. I can't change what has happened. These things can be worked out… you make me feel emotionally complete like no one else ever has." He replied.

I sighed. "That's part of the issue! You should feel good on your own. It's too much pressure to put that on someone else. Because eventually the person you're with will have a bad day, they might be grouchy, not look their best, or get a cold. Then what? You look elsewhere? I feel perfectly content and happy on my own. I'm living a nice life. I've been blessed beyond measure. I had the counseling I needed post divorce to deal with the fallout of my marriage and find healing. I exercise and try to eat healthy minus the chocolate. I have a sweet daughter and good friends… I'm thankful for the things that matter. For the first time my life is good… I don't have the toxicity from a bad marriage. And I'm not signing up for another one. This "you complete me" stuff is a no go. Create a beautiful life, be happy, confident and complete on your own and then you'll be ready for someone."

"The rest will work itself out in time. As long as the love is there, the rest will work itself out." He said.

"I don't believe that." I shook my head. "Isn't there a song "All You Need Is Love?" I hate that song… because it blinds people to the truth… love is not enough… it takes so much more. It takes two people who can steer their own ships first and are content doing it… but decide to sail together because they want to… not because of some dependent incomplete need to."

"No, it doesn't take more. Love is enough. This is just a matter of whether you're wiling to do the work necessary to work through it!" He retorted.

"Look… "I exhaled and calmly continued "We have been back and forth on this. I've discussed it, I've told you how I feel… I'm not willing to "complete" anyone… they have to do that themselves… either through therapy and self growth, spiritual growth, whatever… I cannot be the "fixer" or the bandaid for someone else. I'm not taking that on. And I'm not accepting this being thrown on me either. Each person is responsible for their healthy state and feeling good about who they are and knowing what they have to offer in a relationship. What I'm offering you is friendship… that's what is being served and on the table. I simply cannot and will not do more. I know it's not what you want to hear, it's not what I foresaw, not what you wanted, nor how I believed this would turn out. But it is unfortunately where we are. It is what it is. Our perspectives are too different and I see too many things that are deal breakers for me."

"Okay, if that's how you feel, I respect that, but it saddens me. I won't bring it up again." He replied.

A person cannot expect to be in a healthy relationship by wearing down whom they are pursuing or are already in a relationship with through tactics of intimidation, pity, coercement, fear, etc. It will always fail. That isn't love, that is entrapment. 
~ Jennifer Gafford 

A partner saying: "You complete me" essentially equals them depleting you… it's a hallmark sign when someone says "I feel complete with you" that they are not healthy. In fact, it's a sign that a relationship with them will be downright toxic. When someone expects someone else to complete them, make them feel whole, etc… they are placing pressure and unrealistic expectations upon whom their with. We all have expectations in our relationships. That isn't the issue. What matters is more specifically what are our expectations? Are they healthy?


I expect my partner to treat me with kindness and respect
I expect my partner to be loyal and faithful to me
I expect my partner to be there for me but not be my everything
I expect my partner to spend time with me
I expect my partner and I to feel closer as the relationship progresses
I expect my partner to feel complete and whole on their own
I expect my partner to take care of their physical and mental health

Questions To Ask Yourself: 

1. Does this person expect me to make them feel good about themselves?
2. Does this person expect me to boost their ego and confidence?
3. Does this person expect me to be their everything?
4. Does this person expect to spend all their time with me?
5. Does this person smother me?
6. Does this person drain me or energize me? Do they whine? Plead? Manipulate? Guilt Trip?
7. Does this person make me feel guilty when I set boundaries or attempt to with them?
8. Does this person make me exasperated because they don't or won't grasp the issue at hand?
9. Does this person make me feel bad for them? Sorry for them? Does their guilt make me change?
10. Does this person expect more from me than I am willing or able to give and are they expecting much more from me than what they are willing to do for me?


Both men and women who are comfortable in their own skin, who are taking care of their physical health, who are receiving therapy if needed, who know that no one can make them feel complete and whole are practicing self care. Men and women who are not dependent upon someone else to make them happy are ready for a relationship. We attract what we are living. It's one thing to expect your partner to be a safe place for you… they should be… a soft place for you to land after the hardness of the world each day… they should be a place where you feel heard and understood… most of all LOVED.

BUT... they can't be your everything. That's draining. That's life detracting. That's not sailing on a ship somewhere beautiful… instead it's one person hanging an anchor around your neck and making you drown ever so slowly and painfully to your inevitable death.

© ~ 2015 

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