I’m not very fond of the term “other half” and even less so of “better half”. One implies that we need the other person to complete us and the other that we aren’t good enough. Maybe it’s taking the terms too literally but it’s a widely accepted notion in society that by entering a relationship we’re being completed. From music to movies and in everyday conversation, we’re viewing a relationship as two halves making a whole.
Personally, I believe the strongest relationships are ones that are made by two whole individuals coming together to form a partnership. Instead of looking for someone to fill the parts of ourselves that we find lacking or incomplete, we need to figure out how to heal them and fill them before entering into a relationship. If you aren’t currently in a relationship, taking the time to focus on yourself, discover who you are, what you want, what you value, and being whole on your own you’ll be able to enter into a partnership in a grounded, strong, and confident way. You’ll also have a clearer idea of the qualities you want in both a partner and relationship as well as the healthy boundaries to set.
If you are currently in a relationship, it’s not too late for you to become whole within yourself so that you and your partner can come together as two whole individuals forming a strong partnership. There are many compartments in our life, and it’s unrealistic to expect one person to be able to fill them all. Your partner may be able to contribute to several compartments, they might be a great listener and add to the compartment of connection and communication. They might be a lot of fun and add to your compartment of adventure. If you make sure to have the compartments stocked then whatever your partner adds to it is overstock. If you don’t tend to the compartments, your partner has to fill their own in addition to yours.
If you monitor the stock levels of your compartments and ensure to refill them, you won’t look to someone else to put as much into them. If you take it a step further and realize that your partner isn’t the only one that can stock certain containers you’ll be a better manager of the compartments’ inventory. Maybe you have a friend that really enjoys wine tasting but your partner just doesn’t find it appealing. Instead of looking to have them accompany you, you could invite your friend to attend a wine tasting event. Maybe your partner works on the weekend and you can schedule a book club or game night with a group of friends to fill your fun compartment. By giving the other relationships in your life the opportunity to stock up your compartments, you take the pressure of stocking so many compartments off of your partner and might come to find that you can focus a little more on stocking them and managing the levels and stockers for the future.
Ideally, your partner will also strive to be a good manager of their compartment levels. They’ll review their inventory and focus on areas that they could stock better and find ways to distribute overstocking duties. If you’d like to look into options to stock your containers or find stockers to help with the overstock, one of my favorite places to connect with people is meetup.com. I’m a member of groups from moms that get together to meet up at the park with our kids as well as kid free mom’s night out, groups that go to the movies and grab a meal afterward to discuss it, book clubs, yoga. If you have an interest in something there’s probably a group in your area where people are partaking in that activity together. It’s a great way to distribute the stocking duties in your relationship, connect with other people, and remove the expectation and pressure of your partner having to stock so many compartments on their own for you.
Do you think you put enough stock into each one of your compartments? Did you realize that you might be overloading your partner with stocking duty? Do you think you currently expect your partner to stock or overstock compartments? Are there any compartments that you need to take over stocking duty? Are there any compartments that have been empty for a while that you might need to spend time cleaning out and filling up? Are there any compartments that it might be better to have someone else overstock? What are your thoughts on this post?
The Kindness Challenge is just around the corner and it’s a great way to support you in managing your compartments. The first 3 weeks of the challenge will focus on self-kindness. If you could use a little more self-kindness and think the world needs more of us focusing on kindness, sign up! Click the photo to be redirected to the details and sign up info.