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Why People Who Feel Complete on Their Own Have Stronger Relationships

Couple Holding Hands

“Self-love, self-respect, self-worth: There’s a reason they all start with ‘self.’ You can’t find them in anyone else.” ~Unknown

One day, somewhere around the age of twenty-seven, with a rich background of long-term relationships, dating, alone time, and searching for the man who would complete me, it hit me.

Why was I looking for someone to complete me when I believed that every person could be whole by him or herself? Why did I feel like something was missing, and why was I building my hopes on someone I had never even met?

I realized I had been looking for someone to believe in me, someone who would encourage me and give me the confidence to know that I was good enough to go after what I wanted.

I didn’t trust myself to make the right decisions for my life. I was looking for approval so I could believe that the way I acted and the things I did were right.

Right after this realization came a deep recognition: I am the only one who can truly know what’s best for my life. Even when I make mistakes—and for sure I will—it doesn’t mean that I can no longer trust myself.

It just means that there is a new part of myself that I’m not at peace with or just not familiar with yet. And it’s time to explore, discover, and choose if I wish to change and improve that part of me.

I felt so good that I decided to declare myself a complete woman, out loud, to the universe. I announced with pride that I was whole as I was, by myself, and if I felt that something was missing or out of key in my life, it was up to me to find and fix it.

It was up to me to believe in myself, to trust myself, to listen to my intuition and follow my gut, to pick myself up when I fell, and to keep encouraging myself when I felt stuck or weak. I would be my approval, and I would give myself confidence.

I felt good about my declaration and decided to take it one step further. I announced that I would stop my search and not look for a partner anymore. I would celebrate, enjoy life, accomplish my wishes and dreams, and I would do more than fine by myself, with myself. I truly believed in it. I felt it. I felt whole.

With all that self-empowering, I knew that I would still want to keep the partner option open. After all, love between two people can be a beautiful thing, and there was no reason for me to dismiss it if it came into my life.

But in order to keep myself from getting lost again, to keep my promise and stay tuned to myself, I decided to put in writing all the qualities I’d want in a man if I were to be in a relationship again. Qualities I believed were beneficial, encouraging, empowering, and right for me. 

Removing the fear of staying alone and knowing that I wasn’t incomplete without a man gave me the strength and courage to clarify what I wanted, without compromising.

I wrote the list in a positive tone and in present tense, as if this man already existed. Some of the things I wrote included:

  • The man I’m with accepts me for who I am.
  • When I’m with my man, I can be myself. Totally.
  • The man I’m with supports me and encourages me to fulfill my dreams.
  • The man I’m with believes in mutual and individual growth.
  • We can share everything—every thought, every emotion—knowing we are there for each other, to support without judgment.
  • We do our best to improve our communication so we can understand each other.
  • We always see challenges and difficulties in life as an opportunity for mutual and personal growth.
  • We’re open to giving and getting feedback from each other.
  • We always find life interesting, both when we’re together and apart.

Satisfied with my finished and complete list, I confirmed my thoughts by reading it out loud to the universe. Then I put my list aside, as my work was done.

I continued my life as a new whole and happy woman. This liberated me from feeling like I was lacking.

It was an amazing freedom! I was more confident. I was less restrained around other people, especially men. I laughed louder, danced more freely, and looked straight into their eyes with no shame and without worrying about how they saw me.

I developed myself as a therapist. I started to sing out loud, a thing I always desired. I felt blessed and in return, bliss.

After a few months, a special man came into my life. And like real life should be, it wasn’t all sparkling and perfect from day one. We worked, invested, and developed our relationship intensively, being 100 percent honest, sharing every emotion and feeling that came up. Working it out together proved worthwhile.

Six months into the relationship I realized that my list was fulfilled. I was an empowered woman with an empowered, loving man by my side.

I never imagined how much a supportive relationship could benefit from my personal growth, my belief in myself, and my ability to become stronger.

This experience has taught me so much about not only myself but also about how to be a good partner in a relationship.

The most important thing that helps our relationship be so successful is that from day one I asked my partner to make the same promise I made to myself—to always be honest and true to yourself, to be whole and complete on your own, without anyone’s approval.

It’s our personal responsibility to take care of ourselves, to feel joy and fulfillment in our life. No other person can make us feel whole in the long run if we don’t feel whole on our own.

Completing ourselves doesn’t guarantee we’ll find the perfect partner, but it does open us up to the possibility of stronger, healthier relationships, based in mutual respect and empowerment.

Couple holding hands image via Shutterstock

About Lali Niv

Lali can see the beauty and the opportunity for personal growth in all life situations. That ability allows her to assist others with a genuine sense of understanding and empathy. Lali channels it in a way that is helpful and even fun to hear. She is the co-author of TwoHaveFun, and invites you to their free 14 Days Relationship Challenge.

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  • Talya Price

    Thank you for this. This is exactly what I needed to read.

  • Lali Liv

    Hi Talya,

    I’m so happy to hear that.

    I really hope that it gave you the support and the reminder of powerful and complete you deserve to be.
    Good luck on your journey!

  • Felipe

    That is very true indeed. I have been struggling with that lately to be honest… Thinking that I will end up alone and sometimes going out with people just to feel like that won’t happen. However, I seem to always fall in the same place. I will give this a try! thank you for the great post! 🙂

  • Lynnie

    Thank you! I have only really been comfortable being on my own the last couple of years or so. I used to be worried when people around me would ask why I did not have a man by now or when was I going to settle down. Are you not lonely? Have you not met the guy who will complete you, yet? I still hear these rambelings in my ear. It is funny how ‘society’ says you should be with someone. ‘Society’ says you should own your own home, get married and have kids. I now say, I am pretty amazing and happy on my own. When I meet someone, I will know because we will enhance each others lives, not complete it. You know, life is pretty tough with love. Without it, I think you would be living a nightmare.

  • Ruth Barringham

    I have to say I felt disappointed with this article. The question in the title was never answered: “Why People Who Feel Complete on Their Own Have Stronger Relationships.” I also thought the author never felt “complete” on her own because she was still looking for a partner the whole time, and this was proven by her writing a list of what she was looking for in her future mate. That in itself seems extremely needy.

    “to keep my promise and stay tuned to myself, I decided to put in writing all the qualities I’d want in a man if I were to be in a relationship again” How does that even work? How can someone stay tuned to themselves by writing out what they’re looking for in someone else?

    To me, if someone feels complete on their own, it means on their own. And not while they wait around for their future partner to arrive. That shows that they still feel as though something is lacking in their life. And while you feel lack, you won’t feel complete. It’s impossible to feel both at once.

    And what made this relationship strong? Was it feeling “complete on their own” as the title suggested?

    No. It was telling the new partner how to behave. “The most important thing that helps our relationship be so successful is that from day one I asked my partner…to always be honest and true to yourself, to be whole and complete on your own, without anyone’s approval.”

    Sorry if all this offends the author, but it is honest and constructive criticism.

  • james Pinckney Jr

    Very beautiful queen god bless you the day you was born with all that beauty and sexy body and mind and heart and soul

  • Love this post. I did a 10-day silent meditation retreat in January this year and learned so much about accepting myself and I can totally see how that is so important in having stronger relationships.

  • Larrien

    I find this article to be very true, especially as a teen. People my age tend to rush and feel the need to find a partner to fill in their personal holes. I’m not completely whole yet as an individual, and I think this is the reason why I (and perhaps other teens too) suffer a circle of short-term & weak ‘relationships’.

    There is a need for personal growth, to use this time and freedom provided to make amends with myself, to build up my personal relationship and be bestfriends with myself first and work on being a happier individual.

    It’s like working on a piece of art. Rushed, and crammed work tend to produce mediocre results, while if the work of art is done slowly, carefully, with tons of patience… Then the piece will likely be stunning.

  • Hi Lynnie. Thanks for your comment – it warmed by heart reading it.

    It seems that you are very conscious to what’s going on inside you, and that’s great!
    I hope you’ll grow to feel even more than comfortable by your own; get to the point were you will feel praude and complete about your choices. And soon enough, those crazy society voices, which trying to tell us what happiness should be, will be somthing to laugh about . Separating those voices from your True Self is a wonderfull and a releasing moment in life! It fills like you are not that far from that day. I hope you’ll never miss a single drop of love in your life.

  • Hi Ruth.
    I want to thank you for your constructive criticism. It helped me realized that perhaphs I wans’t clear enough in certain points in my article, and I’d wish to elaborate of the parts you pointed out, because it’s very important to me that my message will be clear.

    I agree about the title. It was never answered explicitly. Maybe by elaborating on the other points, the answer will be clearer.

    I felt awesome when I was on my own! I wasn’t looking for anyone, and by choosing not to block the relationship-option was about staying open-minded, like I try to do in every aspect of my life, because life are full of surprises, and it will be a shame if we won’t be open to them.

    I can totaly understand how making lists can be an act of neediness. In my case, writing this list was an opportunity to honor myself and my needs. There is nothing to be ashemed off in having needs. And puting them out there, in the open, was a very strenghtening act for me. To be honest, I was’nt expecting to meet anyone that will answer that list, because I wasn’t ready to compromise, and socity tells us that we have to comprmise ourselves to “win” a partner – and that was something I refused to do.

    Today, when I think of that list it doesn’t seem like too much to ask for. Actually, I believe most, if not all of those needs are very basic for each one of us as a human being. Acknowledging those needs, and give them the needed attention… well, this is being in an empowering relationship for me.

    I hope this answer makes things more clear and whole.

    Thank you for this opportunity.

  • Absolutely. No one else can give us the love we so much need. We need to learn to give love to ourselves. That’s the only way to not be disappointed or hurt again. Thanks for this, Lali!

  • Great post. Thanks for sharing. It is so very encouraging and inspiring.

  • FlyingFrog

    This is a good topic since so many people are living alone these days! I think there´s another use for your list that can help you become stronger still on your own: change the wishes to be about yourself:
    – I accept myself for who I am.
    – I can be myself. Totally.
    – I support myself and encourage myself to fulfill my dreams.
    – I believe in growth.
    – I am honest with myself-every thought, every emotion-knowing I’m there for myself, to support without judgment.
    – I do my best to improve my self-understanding so I can understand myself.
    – I will always see challenges and difficulties in life as an opportunity for growth.
    – I’m open to giving and getting feedback from myself and other people.
    – I always find life interesting, when I’m with others and when I’m alone.
    I think anyone desperate for a relationship could write a list of his dream-boyfriend/girlfriend and then change it for themselves. There’s so much you can give to yourself, you don’t always need another person to do it!

  • It’s a beautiful idea! The most important thing is to accept and love yourself first. How can we expect others to accept those part in us that we don’t accept and love in ourselves?

  • Thanks for your feedback! I truely hope you’ll take it to your daily life and keep empowering yourself. If you wish to share more, I’d love to hear more about your journey (you can use the contact form in my website if you want it to be private)

  • Exactly!

  • I’m very excited to hear someone as young as you being with such awareness. Not feeling completely whole with oneself is common to all ages, but the fact that you’re already aware of that, is a great starting point for having healthy relationships with yourself and others in the near and far future. Goodluck!

  • neethu nath

    Its a very good article..

  • pranjali

    your article really changed my perspective. And i m thankful you share so much empowering thoughts with us.wish u all the happiness in life 🙂

  • LaTrice Dowe

    I’m the type of person that likes to keep everything real, including myself. Some people aren’t fond of who I am as a human being, but their insecurities isn’t my problem. They’re not obligated to be a part of my life, as well as my inner circle.

    When my ex-boyfriend dumped me six years ago, I couldn’t help but feel angry, humiliated, resentful and disappointed. He took the easy and the cowardly way out, to where I lost a ton of respect towards him. I didn’t see the point on me finding out the hard about him seeing someone else, and NOT telling me the truth. My best friend told me that I didn’t have any self-respect. That comment hurt!! I used her hurtful comment to my biggest advantage, by standing up for myself more often. I refused to be someone’s emotional punching bag. Just because they’re going through some drama in their lives, they shouldn’t have to lash them out on me. Best of all, I’ve used my ex-boyfriend as an example.

    My current boyfriend is exceeding all of my expectations. I’m comfortable being myself around him, and he encourages me to do better.

    Thank you, Lali, for sharing your experience.

  • Drea

    Lali,

    The way you speak is not how most of us are built though.

    Sure all the things you mention are important. Self respect is a big one.

    But these articles all echo the same notion, how this aloneness is so great, almost to be some requirement in that order. As if its the end all be all.

    Plus, for most us who had to sit alone too long in these “great moments” that would suck and indeed be painful and lonely. No man is isIand.

    Look, I get it… (love with another person) is not a requirement but I do feel that it should be a preference based on the person feels for another person NO MATTER WHERE THEY ARE IN LIFE.

    I dont understand why such a hard emphasis is placed on being off on your own – alone.

    Sure I admire finding what you like, and all this “selfie” stuff…

    But you speak as if all relationships hinders. Sure bad ones do. But many of them don’t. As if you can’t learn basic things about yourself, “empowerment”, along the way, or anything for that matter, while in a loving, supportive relationship.

    Besides you can’t tell me that anything can come close to just being with a person you love. We all yearn for that that in our lives.

    Anyhow, check this out, and let me know your thoughts from another perspective.

    https://mybestrelationship.com/self-love-why-im-over-it/