When Two Become One
When did the standard for romance become the concept of two people fusing together? It’s a deeply-set belief that manifests in the lexicon of love. ”Other halves” for example, indicate that by being with someone you have somehow become less than a person. There’s also an air of ownership that couples feel toward their partners. How many times have you heard “my man,” “my old lady” or another sort of pet name that has a disturbing sense of entitlement surrounding it?
I don’t believe you can “own” any creature; especially, not another human. Such a line of thinking is what encourages domestic violence and possessiveness and stems from insecurity. It is true that when you are surrounded by people who love and respect you, you generally are a happier and stronger person. Equally important, if you invest all of your love and energy in one person who is a romantic partner, you’re psychologically endangering yourself.
People change greatly throughout the course of their lives. Likewise, the relationships people are in also tend to change. Sometimes both lovers grow up together, and sometimes they outgrow the relationship. People often put so much investment in their romantic relationships (and others, too) that they will unwittingly stunt their own personal growth for the sake of preserving a relationship.
Life is scary. It’s full of random events and unpredictability. Sometimes people find comfort in others because they feel they can face the uncertainty of being alive when they have someone at their side. That’s perfectly normal. However, a relationship becomes unhealthy when individuals are unable to stand on their own–that is, if their relationship falls apart, as devastating as that is, they are defeated and unable to return from such a blow.
People drift apart, they move away, life just gets more complicated. One should actively appreciate the time spent with special people, which can lead to fewer regrets, and make it easier to be apart when life separates you. Rather than mish-mashing yourself to your lover and attaching in a codependent way, why not accept that there are two individuals and countless opinions and different histories? A relationship becomes miraculous to me when two individuals find each other, share common interests and differences, and still retain a healthy autonomy and respect for one another.
How does that subtract from love? It doesn’t. It makes love an active choice for both parties and not a desperate need. It means that two people have chosen each other out of everyone else, and with a lot of thought have decided to embark on a journey together, hand in hand as individuals, discovering each other’s hidden depths and the stories they create together. And what, pray tell, is more romantic than that?