The Myth of a "Better Half"

January 7th, 2012

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Lately I was reflecting on the expression "Better Half." This expression exists also in Spanish as "Media Naranja" (half orange), and I am sure we can find its equivalent in many other languages.


The use of the word half, implies that another person can make us whole, somehow complete us. Although the expression and the idea it conveys sound very romantic and appealing, it can also be very misleading.

Even though it is undeniable that for the purposes of reproduction a man and a woman are needed, and in that way they complete each other, this is only true on the physical level. At the level of the soul however, we are already whole, regardless of our gender or our marital status, and it isn't until we realize our own wholeness that we can successfully engage in a truly fulfilling relationship.

When we realize that we are whole and perfect at a soul level, our physical existence greatly benefits from it, as we let go of beliefs that don't serve us and allow our relationships to flow with more ease and less drama.

By believing (either consciously or unconsciously) that we need someone else to make us feel happy and be whole, we are undermining our potential to find fulfillment and we are putting too many expectations on an external circumstance: finding a life partner; and if we DO find a partner, we are putting too much pressure on them to be our half!

When I was younger, my dad often told me that only those who can be alone deserve to have company. This always seemed weird to me, but in fact, now that I think of it, only when we feel whole and don't need someone else to "make us happy" we can bring the best to a relationship and make it work.

Note that when people are "in love" they will often say that their partner "makes them happy," but a few years down the road they may complain that the same partner "makes them unhappy." In fact, the truth is, no matter how good or bad our relationship is, nobody can make us happy or unhappy, that is our job. Nobody else can ever be held responsible for our own happiness or misery.

We often expect our partners to meet our needs, and this creates a lot of tension in a relationship, because we are putting too much pressure on someone else, hoping that they will be and act the way we need them to. The key to a healthy relationship is in realizing that we are whole, that we do not need anybody to make us happy. Once we realize that, we will totally let go of the pressures we put on others, and that will improve our relationships dramatically, since our partners will feel liberated, relieved and free to be themselves. Isn't true love about loving someone, just as they are?

That said, not every relationship is meant to work out, or it can work only for part of our life and that is OK, as we change and evolve, we may feel the relationship is not exactly the best for both parties, and it is better to move on than to stay in a partnership that is not working.

It is important to raise our kids with this knowledge, so that they don't grow up expecting that only when, and if, they find their "better half" they will be happy, we need to teach them that happiness arises from within and the better we feel with ourselves and the less we depend on external circumstances to feel whole, the more chances we will have at finding and keeping fulfilling relationships in general.

Some of the happier people I know are single, but I also know single people that feel totally miserable because of it. It all comes down to our beliefs and expectations and to the extent of which we feel good within ourselves.

People who live in individualistic societies and with a high level of technical sophistication tend to cling even more desperately to the idea of finding a better half and starting a family, because if not, they can see their lives evolve in total loneliness. Deep and meaningful relationships of all types are harder to build and to keep in these type of societies, so it is quite normal for people to feel lonely, but if we are aware of this we can make personal choices to build lasting and stronger relationships around us.

The key to never feeling lonely is first finding our own wholeness, and from there building strong relationships, first with our family, then with our friends, and later with our communities. Remember that everything starts at home, by this I mean, children model the relationships they see in their home, how their parents relate to one another, to their own parents and siblings, to their friends, etc.

Coming back to the language aspect, a much better expression to me is that of a "soul mate" which does not only refer to a love/sex partner but to anybody that we feel a soul connection with. We can have many soul mates in a lifetime and they can be life partners, friends, family members, etc. It is important to cherish these connections.

Ultimately we are all connected to one another, what makes us feel closer to some people more than others is the intensity with which both parties feel that invisible bond. Let's not forget that we are spiritual beings living a physical experience and not the opposite, and that means we are all connected to the same source.

First and foremost believe in YOU, not your ego, your real you, because beneath your material body lives the essence of your existence which is whole and perfect already. If you wish to read more on these, check this out: Ego vs. Self

Sharing our life with someone is ultimately a conscious choice, it is not because the other person makes us whole but rather because they bring the best out of us and vice versa, we can both flourish in each other company, but never forget that we can flourish just as much as a single person in the company of our fellow human beings in all different shapes and forms of relationships.

Have a great week!



I would like to share with my readers that I have recently been invited to be a contributor blogger for I am very proud of this achievement and highly recommend you to check this site for more inspiring articles.

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