Author (Greek Version): Christina Vaizidou
Translator: Evi Diamantopoulou
Aristophanes, in Plato’s Symposium, exalts the greatness of love, while quoting the cosmogenic explanation regarding the endless quest for our other half: the human body once consisted of two heads, four hands and legs until Zeus in order to deal with people’s insults and in order to weaken them, decided to tear the human body in two, creating two different incomplete human beings, condemned to search for their entire life their other half.
The quote above implies that man cannot form an entirety by himself. We therefore unconsciously receive the message of our own personal inadequacy so the responsibility regarding love and happiness slips away from us and shift to our significant other who will enter our lives. In a fairy tale script the hero or heroine find each other and together they live “happily ever after” eternally while absolutely nothing might ever go wrong.
The search for a partner, the soul mate, the other half, covers the need we have as humans – as social beings to belong, to be next to someone who will grant us the hope of calmness and life completion.
We usually seek for signs of “compatibility”, such as a common value system or common or joint activities. On a secondary level, we even examine the possibility that it could be someone with which we could create a family and walk together alongside in life. Surely, depending on the intensity of our need for love, we face certain situations more keenly and we turn a blind eye in others. A crucial factor for the quality of the relationship is the way we behave to each other and the merge not of ourselves but the merge of our dreams.
Prior to beginning the quest for our significant other, it’s necessary to turn our attention to ourselves, to our needs, our dreams, our fears and our wishes. If we do not enter the process of recognizing on our own the gaps that we wish to fill, we are in danger of covering false needs, that are not self defined but defined by others.
It must be stressed out that in a love relationship a healthy feeling of “belonging” must flourish instead of obtaining a pathological sense of merging two people’s identities into one. In fact the opposite: maintaining our unique identity, ensures our personal freedom and in that way the conscious selection of our connection with our partner. In order to co-exist we need first to “exist” on our own as complete human beings. Only then can we have an equal relationship which is based on our wish to be with our significant other and not entering a relationship in order to remain in it out of fear and insecurity.
“The Missing Piece meets the Big O” by Shel Silverstein (Harper Collins, 1979)
The Missing Piece sat alone… waiting for someone to come along and take it somewhere. Some fit… but could not roll… Others could roll but did not fit. One did not know a thing about fitting. And another didn’t know a thing about anything…and then one day one came along who looked different.
- What do you want of me? asked the Missing Piece
- What do you need from me?
- Who are you? asked the Missing Piece
- I am the Big O.
- I think you are the one I’ve been waiting for, said the Missing Piece, maybe I am your missing piece!
- But I am not missing a piece. There is no place you would fit said the Big O.
- That is too bad. I was hoping to roll with you…said the Missing Piece
- You cannot roll with me but perhaps you can roll by yourself said the Big O
Baumeister R.F., & Leary M.R, 1995, The need to belong: Desire for interpersonal attachments as a fundamental human motivation, Psychological Bulletin, 117, 497-529
Krebs, Angelika, Zwischen Ich und Du. Eine dialogische Philosophie der Liebe, Frankfurt 2014, Suhrkamp