Being in a relationship and part of a community helps you discover who you are. While relationships are the path to discovering yourself, they don’t promise the development of a complete self. If you haven’t achieved a solid sense of who you are on your own, then you are likely on a path to believe one of two lies that are guaranteed to sabotage any relationship: 1) I need this person to be complete, and 2) If this person needs me, I’ll be complete.
There are no shortcuts to personal growth and wholeness. If you try to complete yourself through another person before establishing a sense of self-worth, the best you can hope for is an illusion of wholeness. This week, we are discussing the lies that sabotage relationships. Next week, we will continue this journey and reveal ways you can become independently whole.
Lie Number One: I Need This Person to Be Complete
If I attach myself to another, we can instantly become whole. Complete. All our needs are met. This enticing lie is often too much for the needy to resist. After all, who can pass up a shortcut to personal growth? No wonder so many drink its poison.
We’ve seen relationships shatter because of this lie. People buy into the myth that another person will meet all their needs. They will do almost anything to maintain their relationship – even if it is unhealthy – just to be with them. Quit their job, change their appearance, have sex, get pregnant, and travel to the ends of the earth – you name it. People who believe another will complete them by meeting all their needs become human chameleons.
Attaching yourself to another for approval, affirmation, safety or identity will not end well. Self-worth does not come from the mere existence of someone in your life. When you come into a relationship lacking personal self-worth, all you can do is offer neediness. And you will eventually come up empty. That’s the poison of this lie. Expecting another – whether it’s a friend, dating partner, or spouse – to provide you with your life is unrealistic and unfair. It isn’t anyone else’s job to give you an identity or make you whole. People in your life are meant to share it, not be it.
Lie Number Two: If This Person Needs Me, I’ll Be Complete
This second lie is just as lethal as the first, but more cruel. The person living this lie is less desperate and not trying to win approval. Instead, they are seeking someone to win. Operating out of the same vacuum of personal identity and self-worth, they want a relationship with someone – anyone – who will build up their weak ego. They aren’t interested in commitment, only conquest.
If you think the believers of this lie are simply shopping around for a person to care for, they’re not. What they really care about is the dream of having others care for them. But with this dream comes compromise; when your goal is to be needed, you’re not going to attract the healthiest of people.
True love will only come when a sense of sturdy self-worth is established. And self-worth is an inside job that depends on nobody but yourself.
Putting this together
The journey to self-worth is a vital one, and can only be found by you. Don’t sink into the treads of believing the lie that others can complete you, only you can do this for yourself. Once you are able to establish a firm sense of happiness and wholeness within yourself, successful relationships and true love will follow.
Next week, we will discuss four important steps you can take to find independent wholeness. We hope to see you there. And if you want to learn more, check out our new edition of Real Relationships, available now!
Have you encountered either one of these lies? How did you get over this hurdle? We’d love to hear from you!