I Love You but You Don’t Complete Me

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About Lady Chatterley

Lady Chatterley is a writer of life, sex, love and relationships; the real, the raw and the raunchy. She can be found on twitter @MsChatterley


  1. Tamara Star says:

    Nicely done. I agree with you completely. I like to say…when 2 people come to the playground with 2 full buckets, they can play. Don’t come to the playground with your bucket filled with holes and half empty hoping for me to fill it. :-)
    Loved your writing

  2. @LC I think the kind of love you are talking about,the soaring,swooning,movie screen idol stuff,is a hindrance to cultivating the kind longlasting love people say they want.Women in western culture are taught to covet that kind of thing as substantial. I am with you on this post.There is far too much reliance on romantic love to make people happy. Or it is misused as the leading metric in defining the value of the relationship.That kind of love comes from the belly not ones’ “heart”.I feel as though the overemphasis in our culture of romantic love sets people up for unhappiness.It would be impossible for someone else to even know me well enough to complete me,if thats what I wanted.If a woman tells me she loves me within the first year of our relationship,there’s a problem.Me,I want a teammate as my partner.Someone who recognizes that we must work at building a functional relationship,practice it really.I think the best “love” is actually built,not simply stumbled upon or discovered while staring blissfully into someones eyes.I think this partially explains why the love between a parent and child is perhaps the strongest and purest.

  3. I don’t agree and maybe it’s just wording and semantics – very few people are fully rounded, at any stage of their life and for various reasons. Human social interactions, by design, are a necessary but not sufficient means of rounding a human. Close and intimate human interactions serve this same end and build on the unique strengths of individuals within the partnership. If to complete means to strengthen and improve and grow – then human interactions do exactly this and close intimate human interactions are simply more of that goodness. Your notion of completeness may differ.

  4. I understand what the author is saying, and even agree to a point, but I think that in many cases, one’s significant other could help to “fill in the gaps” of one’s life. So, let’s say, hypothetically, that you have a guy who has a fantastic, well-paying job, and a basically fulfilling life, but he never learned to cook and leads a rather sedentary lifestyle. But he falls in love with a woman who is very health conscious and loves to cook (this is just an example – I’m not trying to perpetuate any stereotypes here). The guy was probably perfectly happy before, but now that he has met someone who excels at the things that he struggles with. You could argue that she “completes” him.

    Just a hypothetical argument to make a point. Great column, however.

    • I don’t think that is the type of completing that she is meaning, or that was meant in Jerry Maguire. That is certainly complimenting each other though, possibly making them together better than they would have been on their own.

      I believe the author is referring to things such as happiness and the sense of self. A person should already be living life on their own, rather than dependent on a relationship or another person to provide that spark of life. There are many men looking for the Manic Pixie Dream Girl to complete them, and women looking for Prince Charming.

  5. Hi LC –

    I think the truth is a little (or a lot) more complex here.

    The truth is that no one is REALLY complete. No one is REALLY whole.

    The Boss nails it, so poetically, in HUMAN TOUCH:


    So you’ve been broken and you’ve been hurt
    Show me somebody who ain’t.
    Yeah, I know I aint nobodys bargain
    But, hell, a little touch up and a little paint…


    To some degree, we’re all broken, we’re all wounded, we’re all missing pieces of whatever WHOLENESS really looks like.

    And anyone we attract, who is attracted to us, will be in the same sort of condition because – well – that’s just the human experience.

    The fallacy that you point out IS a delusion. No person can EVER really complete us. Not gonna happen in this part of the space-time continuum. And – generally speaking – relationships are often the place where that delusion goes to die.

    Here’s the best damn version of Human Touch you’ll ever hear, a live MTV performance that is better than the video. Gives me the goosebumps.

    • MsChatterley says:

      Hi Paul,

      Insightful as ever. Yes – you are absolutely right. We are all broken and incomplete. That’s what makes us so wonderfully human. I suppose what I was saying, perhaps not eloquently enough, is that we can’t look to another person to fix those broken pieces or complete the missing parts of us. It’s something we have to do for ourselves over the course of a life time. I wonder if being whole, also allows for the possibility of being a little broken. To be broken is to be human. As you say. And the Boss ;) It’s nice having someone along for the journey as we discover who we are, but we can’t expect someone else to do it for us or to be that missing piece…

      Interesting topic!
      Take care,

  6. Valter Viglietti says:

    > “And yet I wonder if, on reflection, people actually do hold this belief or rather,
    > whether they’ve simply bought into this romantic idealization sold to us by movies such as Jerry Maguire.”

    I think most people hold this belief because they feel incomplete, missing, lacking.
    Because they aren’t (yet) developed and grown enough (perhaps like you did when you first saw “Jerry Maguire” ;) ).
    Then, media just pile up onto that innermost belief.

    Although I agree with Paul above, about never being fully whole, I think we CAN become real grown-ups, standing on our legs, reasonably happy and content with our own life. Then, the right partner can make our life even better.

    OTOH, when one goes in life with a big “hole” in him(her)self, believing that “I can’t live without you” (as many do)… :(

  7. It’s not just the *relationships make us whole*-ers who do this–I ran into these types when I became a mother. The “I was always missing something, until I had my child”-types. Never mind that I was barely 23 when I gave birth and was a *whole person* long before then.

    My first husband didn’t complete me, despite spending 13 years with him, because he wasn’t *it*. Eight years after our divorce my boyfriend doesn’t complete me, because I was already complete at the age of 38. He enhances me, he makes me happier (not happy, happier), he improves my life. There is no completion because I wasn’t running around with a hole in my life I was seeking to fill. I had friends, family, my son, my job, etc……

    There are people who are lesser, who are not whole, who NEED another to complete them, and I feel sympathy for that. These same people tend to get into emotionally unsatisfying relationships because of their intense sense of need.


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