One Person in Two Bodies

"So . . . dinner tonight at eight? My place?"

"Sure. What're we having?"

"Tomato soup and veggies, what else?"

"Gotcha. Who's all comin'?"

"Well, it'll be me and you, my roommate might hang out, and after you I'm calling up Bill--and Phlally will be there."

"What? Who's Phlally?"

"Phil and Ally, remember?"

"So they're one entity now?"

"Well you really think one's gonna come without the other?"

"Fat chance. Okay, see you at eight."

Is this cute or is this just pathetic?

I can't decide if it's really cool when two people do everything together, or if it's kind of sad and bizarre. Sometimes I can't tell if it's a good thing or if it's cause for alarm. Our society is based pretty heavily on the institution of couples, and though the couples themselves act differently than in the past, the fact remains that people have always paired off and they continue to do so. People are "united as one" in marriage every day, and are considered one person by many government institutions. Every aspect of life seems to encourage these mergings of two people into one. So why should it seem weird to me?

Because when people break up, each ends up with half a soul.

When couples allow themselves to become ONE person, instead of two linked by an important but selective bond, they are no longer whole people alone. Our minds process the idea of having "another half" or a "soul mate" as romantic, something to strive for if we don't already have it, but I believe it is dangerous. To find a "soul mate," so many people unconsciously give up parts of themselves, trying to fit into a little puzzle piece that their jagged edges don't quite mesh with. Having been socialized to believe this is healthy, a large percentage settle, and convince themselves they're happy. When it doesn't work out, they pull apart and feel rent, torn from the seams, because their old wounds are suddenly in the open air again.

Trying to find someone to fill you up is not going to help.

If you've a void in your life, it is part of you, not an absence that can be filled by someone else. People who couple out of need for "someone" to be there don't honestly love each other, because when one craves a "someone" long enough or desperately enough, any "someone" will do, and will look just perfect through pain-smeared eyes. Entering into a relationship of this kind causes both parties to feed off of each other out of need, not love; instead of being nourished by waves of love that erupt out of a true relationship, they simply fight over each other's limited energy. Actual love creates "soul-food" above and beyond what either party had alone; this other type of coupling, this "we are one and alone we are nothing" philosophy, is damaging to both souls, because they share the life force of a single person, which is insufficient to nourish both people. If a relationship takes so much work that it drains both parties, this is a warning sign.

My grandparents have the real thing.

"True love" does exist. People are out there who really belong together, and feel completely full when intermeshed with each other. But these people are full puzzles in themselves; they kept all their pieces when they became a complete picture with someone else. Some of us are full puzzles by ourselves, or need three or four people total to be a pretty picture. "The couple" is not the only way to go.

And I certainly do wish that once in a while I could have seen Ally without Phil. I met "them," but I never met either one.

They're no longer together.

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Comments from others:

Mikey: This was one well-written piece I can't agree with you more...

Kellicat: I really like this essay because it's so true. The sad thing is, people who merge themselves into one aren't the ones with the best relationships. I recently read an interesting article in Seventeen magazine where they had relationship advice from older couples who'd been married for at least 41 years (The couple who was married the longest have been married for 68 years) and one of the couples said "'No matter how great your relationship is, you still need outside stimulation.'"

I find that true in my own life. My boyfriend and I have seperate lives from each other and we've been together for a year and a half now and we're still happy with each other.

Keep up the essay writing, I really love your essays.

Brianne: I've often thought this way myself. If two people start a relationship feeling whole and complete on their own, and respecting that they remain two separate people once inside the relationship, it is far more likely to work out than people who feel incomplete and seek out a relationship in order to feel complete. I think the analogy you used, regarding nourishment and the energy involved in sustaining a lasting relationship, is spot-on. I know too many people who wait for someone else to fill that gap in their lives, only to find that nobody is able to do that for them.

anonymous: Good essay! *and raises hand for the 'pathetic' option about couples only coming to events if they are together and not separetely*.
Well it's okay if couples choose to just go to everything together cause their times synchronise perfectly that they physically can etc, but if they just WON'T go unless their 'other half' goes too then what the hell's that all about. I know years ago there were couples who spent all their time together and unless something dragged them away they would not spend their time alone much doing anything, they spent their time just making out, grinning lovingly at each other and whatever else is on the romance agenda mostly and forgot that there is a whole world revolving still. Nowadays I've met couples who are completely independent, probably expected them NOT to be independent cause of the past experiences, but it is great to see them being able to go to events alone and not having to do everything together, they still care and love each other but they are independent and they don't make a big show of their relationship like huge public displays of affection which is respectful to others too. It's a shame Ally and Phil could not live that life indeed maybe they would have lasted the distance if they had! Everyone needs independence in relationships otherwise they'll suffocate. It's kinda like a child not being able to be without parents, honestly sometimes people in relationships become like children again, they are not able to do their own thing ever always gotta check with spouse/tell spouse. Yes I agree with you it is really sad too when people are after just anyone cause they are lonely.