I was listening to a podcast a little bit ago and the speaker said something that struck me profoundly. The speaker brought up that we used to be a part of communities; these communities would complete us, fill in the void where our significant other may not and God was everyone’s “One and Only”.
The speaker said this in the context that as a society we make the person we are in a relationship with into the “The One”. We feel the need that they must complete us, they must be our best friend, our confidant, able to be where we need them to be at the drop of a dime also they must meet our sexual needs/desires. Now, don’t get me wrong I myself have fallen right into this and it puts a lot of pressure on people. I realize we aren’t seeking out to be a part of something, most often we are part of a couple and we like to hole ourselves up. We like to be with that individual and them alone, now this is fine and what many people do.
There are many days where after being at work all I want to do is go home and be with my boyfriend. I then also want him to solely give me his unwavering attention, also listen to every word I say, empathize, tell me I’m beautiful, and know everything I want. Is this realistic?
But it’s what we have come to expect of others, we expect that because they are our “one and only” that they are the sole person who can provide all of this and more to us.
I have come to a harsh realization, as much as he tries, I can not solely rely on my boyfriend for all of the above and more. I love him dearly and he’s the person I see spending my life with, however I realize putting all of that on him is just not fair. I have branched out very much over the last year and have built my “tribe” or my “community”. Granted I already had one within my family but these individuals are able to be there in a different way then my family can.
These individuals share similar values, can have long conversations and do not have the pressure that my boyfriend does. This tribe has had a huge impact on my life and for the most part can call me out on my shit. I can’t say I truly have ever had that within my short lifetime. I believe that is part of the reason I have always put so much pressure on those men that I have been in relationships with. I thought I had to make them my “world” and vice versa, no wonder the men I dated informed me they needed some room to breathe and I needed my own friends.
Having this tribe helps me get thru the days when I need more then what my boyfriend has the ability to at that time. When I just need to have a vent session even if it’s catty and probably not the most mature thing to do. They are there to do yoga with, have girls nights, and try out new adventures that he may not have interest in or time for. There’s no reason for me not to do things just because he can’t go, I state this despite many times wishing he could be. A large part of me wishes I had realized this earlier in his career of Pharmacy school but now that I have realized this I will work to continue to utilize it and be more fair towards him.
Moral that I have learned, build yourself a community, this can truly be a community of 2-3 people. But build it, create it, let it grow because relying solely on one person to be all of those things and more is a big ask. They may be able to be all those things in varying degrees but if you find a tribe or community it can help be some of those things part of the time, it’s a huge help and stress relief.