Love is not here to complete you
Whether we care to admit it or not, Platonic myths have shaped the world’s perception of love, amongst other things.
Greek mythology, and its ways of defining and explaining things, have made an impression on many. Perhaps the most popular myth people remember would be Aristophanes’ myth about love, in Plato’s Symposium.
Many don’t know it by name but are familiar with the romantic epic of four-legged human beings, that are male, female and androgynous, seeking to surpass and overthrow the gods. Thus, Zeus decided to cut them in half, separating them, and making it their lifelong quest to seek their other half, in order to feel whole again. And so, the societal pressure to find a mate is born.
Ads are designed to portray men and women as things to be desired and coveted. Ideologies about finding “the one” scattered all over media, like in films, make us think we could never be complete without another individual, for fear of being alone or becoming a “spinster.”
Nowadays, the digital age has made it easily accessible to find a partner, with Tinder for casual meet-ups, OkCupid for “true love,” and even Plenty of Fish that plays on the romantic cliche “plenty of fish in the sea.” What’s the point? Eventually, love, real love, withers. As people are urged to find a person to complete them, rather than being whole by themselves, they will eventually settle for less, and the happiness they so desperately seek will never come.
The ever-so-prominent fear of “ending up alone” has manifested over the years. Even people who shy away from commitment cannot help but feel lonely at times, and seek partners in order to experience a sense of belonging.
Love—real love—in my personal, inexperienced, 20-year-old opinion, is a partnership. It is not about someone completing you, because you do not need anyone to complete you. It is about sharing yourself with a person who would take what you give them, with open arms.
Graphic by Alexa Hawksworth