Romanticism is the state or quality of being romantic. Being Romantic is defined as the idealized view of reality. Therefore can we conclude that thinking romantically is a fantasy that escapes reality?
In western culture some theorize that romantic partners are meant to complete one another. We need to find someone that “makes us whole”. Although this is a very romantic statement the premise is not realistic. We do not need someone to make us whole. We may blindly want someone to complete us, but we should not need them.
A french philosopher Simone de Beauvior proposed the concept of authentic love. She believed that two strong individuals come together to better one another. These individuals are good friends that work together to create meaning in the world. Although they are co-dependent in practice they understand the importance of being strong individuals.
Love is deceiving in its subtle promises. For instance, the belief that love is the ultimate meaning of life. To believe we are born to find the “right one” and focus all our energy on that person is unproductive. For those hopeless romantics I’m sorry to say that you may be experiencing bad faith, according to Beauvior.
If someone designates love as their reason to live what happens when love fails? If a love is perceived as “everything” then losing it means we are left with “nothing”. The meaning of life to the hopeless romantic is now being taken and striped because of loss. They now fear abandonment so much that they would do anything to keep this love, even put someone in danger.
So back to my original point. We want someone, it’s a nice feeling to be wanted. But we don’t need someone. We don’t need to be completed. As the old saying goes, the only person you need is yourself.
As long as the self is confident, aware, and motivated we don’t need anyone. But it is in our human nature to want.
Now lets take a detour and talk about what it feels like to be wanted versus needed. We want people to want us. But do we really want someone to need us? Neediness is looked down upon because it’s someones way of saying “I cannot stand on my own two feet” or “I cannot make my own decisions”. As the famous social psychologist Esther Perel says, “We are attracted to confidence”.
I want you but I don’t need you. Again, this is possibly the prerequisite into genuine love. Genuine love guides us to better ourselves with others, but not for others. We better ourselves for only us, and for those who come along they can enjoy the ride.
If you need more of an example lets think of a rollercoaster. You decide you want to ride a rollercoaster. It doesn’t matter if someone will go with you or not. You are determined to ride the rollercoaster. Yes, it’d be nice if someone joined you its not necessary. But you experience the ride no matter if another person is present.
In other words, you are determined to be the best version of you regardless of another. If someone comes along and wants to invest their time in your goals and help you succeed, so be it. It’s a nice gesture, but it’s not a need.
Let us walk through life understanding what we need and want. Let us love with individuality rather than conformity. Be strong for your partner or future partner. Invest in yourself before someone invests in you.
-Written By: A.Waver