Susana Echeverria

I am passionate about self growth, spirituality, wellness, and above all: understanding the meaning of life. Through my posts I wish to share with you different resources that have helped me in my journey of self awareness and growth. I believe that we are all together in this journey and the world can only be a better place if we are willing to share and join in, as one, for the wellbeing of all.

holdinghands The Myth of a Better Half Lately I was reflecting on the expression “Better Half.” This expression exists also in Spanish as “Media Naranja” (half orange), and I am sure we can find its equivalent in many other languages.

The use of the word half, implies that another person can make us whole, somehow complete us. Although the expression and the idea it conveys sound very romantic and appealing, it can also be very misleading.

Even though it is undeniable that for the purposes of reproduction a man and a woman are needed, and in that way they complete each other, this is only true on the physical level. At the level of the soul however, we are already whole, regardless of our gender or our marital status, and it isn’t until we realize our own wholeness that we can successfully engage in a truly fulfilling relationship.

When we realize that we are whole and perfect at a soul level, our physical existence greatly benefits from it, as we let go of beliefs that don’t serve us and allow our relationships to flow with more ease and less drama.

By believing (either consciously or unconsciously) that we need someone else to make us feel happy and be whole, we are undermining our potential to find fulfillment and we are putting too many expectations on an external circumstance: finding a life partner; and if we DO find a partner, we are putting too much pressure on them to be our half!

When I was younger, my dad often told me that only those who can be alone deserve to have company. This always seemed weird to me, but in fact, now that I think of it, only when we feel whole and don’t need someone else to “make us happy” we can bring the best to a relationship and make it work.

Note that when people are “in love” they will often say that their partner “makes them happy,” but a few years down the road they may complain that the same partner “makes them unhappy.” In fact, the truth is, no matter how good or bad our relationship is, nobody can make us happy or unhappy, that is our job. Nobody else can ever be held responsible for our own happiness or misery.

We often expect our partners to meet our needs, and this creates a lot of tension in a relationship, because we are putting too much pressure on someone else, hoping that they will be and act the way we need them to. The key to a healthy relationship is in realizing that we are whole, that we do not need anybody to make us happy. Once we realize that, we will totally let go of the pressures we put on others, and that will improve our relationships dramatically, since our partners will feel liberated, relieved and free to be themselves. Isn’t true love about loving someone, just as they are?

That said, not every relationship is meant to work out, or it can work only for part of our life and that is OK, as we change and evolve, we may feel the relationship is not exactly the best for both parties, and it is better to move on than to stay in a partnership that is not working.

It is important to raise our kids with this knowledge, so that they don’t grow up expecting that only when, and if, they find their “better half” they will be happy, we need to teach them that happiness arises from within and the better we feel with ourselves and the less we depend on external circumstances to feel whole, the more chances we will have at finding and keeping fulfilling relationships in general.

Some of the happier people I know are single, but I also know single people who feel totally miserable because of it. It all comes down to our beliefs and expectations and to the extent of which we feel good within ourselves.

People who live in individualistic societies and with a high level of technical sophistication tend to cling even more desperately to the idea of finding a better half and starting a family, because if not, they can see their lives evolve in total loneliness. Deep and meaningful relationships of all types are harder to build and to keep in these type of societies, so it is quite normal people may feel lonely, but if we are aware of this we can make personal choices  to build lasting and stronger relationships around us.

The key to never feeling lonely is first finding our own wholeness, and from there, build strong relationships, first with our family, then with our friends, and later with our communities. Remember that everything starts at home, by this I mean, children model the relationships they see in their home, how their parents relate to one another, to their own parents and siblings, to their friends, etc.

Coming back to the language aspect, a much better expression to me is that of a “soul mate” which does not only refer to a love/sex partner but to anybody that we feel a soul connection with. We can have many soul mates in a lifetime and they can be life partners, friends, family members, etc. It is important to cherish these connections.

Ultimately we are all connected to one another, what makes us feel closer to some people more than others is the intensity with which both parties feel that invisible bond. Let’s not forget that we are spiritual beings living a physical experience and not the opposite, and that means we are all connected to the same source.

First and foremost believe in YOU, not your ego, your real you, because beneath your material body lives the essence of your existence which is whole and perfect already. If you wish to read more on these, check this out: Ego vs. Self

Sharing our life with someone is ultimately a conscious choice, it is not because the other person makes us whole but rather because they bring the best out of us and vice versa, we can both flourish in each other company, but never forget that we can flourish just as much as a single person in the company of our fellow human beings in all different shapes and forms of relationships.

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What do you think?

6 Responses to “The Myth of a Better Half”

  1. Lee Patterson Says:

    Beautifully stated my friend! It’s essence is joy inside of the happiness in oneness we all possess! If you are not comfortable alone and in happiness in your being alone, you do tend to seek out a partner to cover up your unease. You will find it’s opposite cause it does surface in you cause you are not facing inside yourself what needs to be placed in it inside of love! Brilliant post!

  2. Janet Says:

    I’m so glad someone else mentioned that. People are expected to “find a partner”. And we must be broken otherwise.

  3. Marco Fuso Says:

    I just read your article and I could definitely see myself a few years ago and now, for many years I run away from myself, I even changed country because i thought “if I change country i would finally would become happier or even more successful with women, obviously that was not the case. Also because my happiness was still dependent of someone else. Finally I touched the bottom of the barrel and wanted to find a happiness what was not dependent of someone else. I did that through some books, meditation but the most important thing appreciating myself and who I am with my strength and limitations. Today I am very proud of who I am, its still work in progress, but i am happy. Regarding my “other half” I am finally in a happy relationship, how long its going to last is a good question but that’s a different story:)

  4. H. Stos Says:

    This is very true, indeed.

  5. SofiaSiberia Says:

    Nice post! Ii agree on many points – we are overestimating the power and the need of a ‘second half’ or a ‘better half’… My own experience – people that put their hopes for finding a fulfillment through a union with ‘other half’ are on the road to disappointment..
    You can’t find a great life partner, if you are not a complete entity in yourself and on your own.
    No one else is responsible for your happiness except for yourself, in the first place.
    We’ll be unhappy in our relationships until we recognize it.

  6. DottaRaphels Says:

    This is so refreshing….I too wonder about the “two become one myth” only when we find our true self are we able to fully share with another. May I please share this on my blog? It’s equally like the myth of best friends… I love your concept of soul mates, I too have many of those. I find that I connect with different people in my life on various levels. I have my comic soul mates, spiritual soul mates, foodie soul mates, political soul mates etc well you get the picture. I truly enjoy being alone and after 20 odd years in married life, many people can’t grasp that concept yet.

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