Nobody Completes You

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It was an iconic moment…

Jerry McGuire, played by Tom cruise, walks into a room full of women and professes his love to Dorothy Boyd, played by Rene Zellweger, saying, “you complete me.” Dorothy, in tears, walks into his arms as she reveals, “you had me at hello,” while the audience stands, claps madly and cheers triumphantly.

It was a magic moment. Too bad it was based on a lie…

Looking back, I wonder if moments like this do more harm than good. Because, they condition us to buy into the age-old myth that we are one piece of a puzzle and, in order to find true happiness, we need to find or create the other piece. They say, “if you’ve got a hole in your life, an emotional void that needs filling, look outside yourself to fill that void.”

Problem is, outside is the wrong place to be looking…

Witness what so often unfolds with the single person who’s desperate to find that special someone to finally make them feel whole. Or, the empty soul who believes with all their heart that having a child will finally give them the purpose, the unconditional love, the meaning you’re missing.

You devote nearly every waking hour to finding or birthing that other half.

And, along the way, you romanticize the impact this person will have to a point where no mortal could ever actually live up tothe expectation of delivering happiness you’ve created. So every time you find someone to step into that role, inevitably, the burden you impose on them to make you whole, happy, utterly, blissfully content ends up being so crushing, so contentious, so impossible to live up to, they end up leaving. Physically, emotionally or both.

Simple fact, the only person who completes you…is YOU.

If there’s a gaping hole in your spirit, your life, your heart, stop looking to others to fill it. Step one is to look inside. To learn to make yourself whole. To find within your own vibrant self that which is alive, unique, magical. Worthy of your own love.

There’s a concept in yoga called “ahimsa.” It’s a sanskrit word that translates roughly to “non-violence.” What most people miss, though, is that non-violence applies, first and foremost, to you. And, in order to stop doing violence to yourself, you need to find ways to own up to who you are and who you aren’t. Fill what’s missing from the inside out, not the outside in.

Bring yourself to place where “you” complete yourself…

Find enough in yourself to, odd as it sounds, fall in love with who you are…even if you’re far from what you know you can become. Once you’re in that place, or on your way, other people—kids, lovers, spouses, partners and more—will make your journey far richer. They’ll be there to build on the base of confidence and self-esteem you’ve already built. But, if you bring them into your life as a vehicle to try to path a gaping hole in your sinking emotional ship, you’ll likely not only end up incomplete…but more alone and empty than when you began.

As always, this is just me thinking out loud…

What do you guys think?

Let’s discuss…

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44 responses

44 responses to “Nobody Completes You”

  1. I completely agree with what you’ve written in your post. You have to love yourself first and foremost. You have to fall in love with yourself and complete yourself. No one else can complete you.

    If you don’t love yourself, it’s very difficult for other people to love you. Loving yourself enhances every relationship you’re in and makes everything you experience in life that much better.

  2. Namaste!

    how great to read about Ahimsa on a ‘career’ website. Ahimsa goes both ways, like the old
    Golden Rule. Treat others well, like you would like to be treated. We’re all in this together.

    Tend your own garden, others will come to check it out. thanks for your insights. Dug your book.


  3. Rebecca McBride says:

    Enjoyed this… thanks for sharing. It is a simple fact that only you can complete you!

  4. Dan says:

    Great post, and I fully agree. It is not always the easiest thing to accomplish but even just acknowledging it is a big step towards happiness and self confidence.

  5. Beth says:

    I completely agree! While relationships with others make life rich, you have to have a good relationship with yourself first. It’s like building a house foundation. That needs to be set. You have to know who you are and trust and commit to yourself first. THEN you can enjoy that same love/trust/commitment/respect with others. My mom always preached to me, but it is so true, “you have to be Beth before you can be Beth and __.” I see so many people who don’t get that and are constantly upset without a relationship and upset while in one b/c they don’t know what they want.

  6. David Cain says:

    Oh, I agree. Great post.

    People have to be their own salvation. Trying to find someone who completes you is like hoping for some romantic deus ex machina to swoop in and be the hero of your own story.

    I think relationship dependence is the norm, from what I can see. People looking for their ‘other half’ tend to only find other people who feel incomplete.

  7. Enrique S says:

    I think that in any successful relationship, both parties should bring their A game. Too many people rely on external factors to provide happiness and satisfaction, such as relationships, shopping, eating, or doing drugs. Instead, they should focus on improving themselves first, before subjecting their problems on the rest of the world.

  8. Thank you thank you for getting this out there. If there is one movie line that sets up more marriages for trouble, it’s this one. You complete you. Well stated.

  9. Jason Kiesau says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more.

    I think we as a society are in a lot of trouble because of this mentality. From the day we are able to comprehend we are taught to follow rules, follow, systems, and behave a certain way. We are taught to follow directions and instructions.

    We turn 18 and we are thrown into a world where there is little direction and little instruction . . the only person we can truly rely in is ourselves, but that’s not how we are taught to think. So we find our selves SEARCHING for something of value . . . rather than thinking for ourselves and searching with in us.

    Great message! Keep it up!

  10. Naomi Niles says:

    This is a great reminded that happiness comes from the inside. Expecting someone or something else to bring you happiness is unfair.

    Thanks. 🙂

  11. Laurie says:

    I had this very discussion with a friend the other day. You are so on target with this post. It wasn’t until I began to look inside myself to complete me that I felt joy and fulfillment on my own. I really have Corey @ Simple Marriage to thank for getting me going on that journey.

  12. Jonathan Fields says:

    @ Corey – Yeah, I think you really nailed it. We are taught so much, through media, poetry and beyond, to find ultimate happiness in the company of someone else. I guess, because it’s so romantic, the notion sells. But, I really wonder how much harm it does on a real-world every day level.

  13. Needing someone else to complete you is a media-perpetuated high-school-romance view of one’s self that many never grow out of.

    I no longer find “needy” romantic. What’s really thrilling is being involved with someone who is self-actualized, when you are self-actualized enough that it isn’t threatening, but fundamentally magnetic.

  14. Ann says:

    This post came on a very tender day for me – my anniversary. But, my husband died almost three years ago – do I still get to count anniversaries? I miss him with every breath and while I’m not sure if he “completed me”; he was able to help me have the self confidence to become a much better woman. This was a second marriage for both of us and having learned a few things along the way, it was a great marriage. I agree with your statement that no one can “make” you happy, but there are people who are better at allowing you to find happiness and more supportive of your being happy. I found a poem recently that I wrote 30 years ago – before my first marriage – that expresses wisdom I didn’t know I had then. I certainly didn’t act on that wisdom, at least not for another 23 years. . .


    I must conquer my loneliness
    I must be happy with myself
    Or I have nothing to offer.

    Two halves have little choice
    But to join.
    And yes,
    They do make a whole.

    But two wholes,
    When they collide

    That is beauty.

    That is love.

    abh – 1979

  15. LisaNewton says:

    Many years ago, I used to believe in this line. Then the marriage went from good, to no-so-good, to downright bad. Thus, a divorce.

    Via the growth process, I learned that no one completes except me. I depend on me, I do the work, I get what needs to be done, done,and I am totally comfortable with myself.

    It took a while to get here, but it feels so good once you do.

    Oh, don’t get me wrong. I love being with people, asking for help from people, and joining in on the conversation. But while doing this, I can be myself because I complete me…………:)

  16. Jonathan Fields says:

    @ Ann – Thanks so much for sharing that poem.

    @ Ann & Lisa – no doubt, wonderful, compassionate, loving people make our lives a far richer experience, I know that’s true of the people in my life.

    And, yes, there’s a big different between expecting someone to make you whole versus getting yourself to place where you’re content, then allowing the love of someone else to build on that foundation.

  17. Justin C. says:

    And I didn’t even believe the Cruise character really loved the Zellweger character for moment.

    Heck yes Jonathan….let’s call out all the OTHER movies that spout the “you complete me” propaganda. I’d like to add Slumdog Millionaire to this list. Yes it was an entertaining movie and the character was a good and pure one…BUT…it was all in service of his beloved girl and that’s not enough. I was very disspointed when I came to the end of this movie. You’d think a movie that took place in India would have had more layers and wisdom to it.

  18. Rudolf says:

    The fact that many people do not love themselves or even hate themselves is beyond most of the problems in this world. It might sound silly and like generalizing but I believe it is truth. It is no coincidence that so many spiritual teachings start with this: Love yourself! It is not easy to forgive others if you do not forgive yourself first. It is not easy to genuinely walk the path of growth while having some unconscious self-destruction & hate program at the same time. Self-sabotage is very frequent these days but no matter what the source, we can start the healing process through awareness. It is a good sign if we can say “I am falling in love with who I really am” in the mirror without awkward feelings.

  19. Gail Grossman says:

    The Missing Piece, Shel Silverstein
    Reminds me of this. I agree, you must love yourself first, and you must always seek your own happiness. Great post!

  20. Susan says:

    I agree with this, although it can be hard to remember at times – it’s all too human to start noticing and comparing yourself with the “coupled up,” the “happy families,” the ones with their new bundle of joy, or whatever you feel is missing from your own life.

    It can be so powerful, though, if you learn to love and accept yourself, and to great yourself as you would your friends. Interestingly enough, I met my now-fiancee only after I learned to do that!

  21. Susan says:

    Oops, I meant “treat” yourself, not “great yourself”…but, hey, I guess “greating” is in the spirit of your post, too.

  22. Let us examine the core of what make us complete in order to get a feel for what is missing, and this will be quoted from “The Bible” and not from “The Sanskrit”Text.

    Love is at the core of being complete and the final paragraph lend itself to accept that; so this is where I will start.

    The Bible used of love in many variation.

    Although being completed and translated in greek around 98 C.E.(Common Era);about 1500 years before King Jame and his version of the bible
    was even born.

    Here we will just cover a couple of them.

    A’gape – Principle Love; Universal
    Stor’ge – Family Love
    Phil’leo – Neighborly, Phillidelphia
    (City of Brotherly Love)
    E’ros – Sexual Love.

    All of the above definitions are translated as LOVE in today english translation.So if you see LOVE you will have to mentally place which one
    of them the paragraph are talking about.


    Stor’ge love is complete when you have a heartfelt relationship with your family.
    Natural or adopted but you continue to build.


    A’gape is godly love; Principle


    Phil’leo is affection for neighbor, not that you are involved in what they practice but sharing the bible message to them and showing them


    If I have a great family, good neighbors and a rich love of God; than I can still feel incomplete because the Love of a women is what I’m lacking; so on that note it can be said
    That she completes me.

    God told adam it is not good for you to be
    alone.So being lonely is part of feeling incomplete, and if the perfect man was in need
    of a mate, and the Creator of man said that it
    is not good to be alone, than the notion that you could feel that void yourself shows a lack of biblical insight.God vs. Man who do you believe.

    Additionally, God written word was to his people at that time and it didn’t apply to the surrounding nation because they had there own definition of what love was; Cupid was one of them.
    Also, In the first century the congregations (Not Church)that had Gods word it was only for those ones but you was welcome to come in and learn what the true God had to say. The missionary journey that apostle paul made was only to those one, and not to the other.

    But if they meet someone in the market place and wanted to tell them about the Good news that is how it was done; or as Jesus said if you go to the householder house and they accept you than grant the PEACE you have upon them; but if they don’t than kick the dust off of your shoe if they didn’t listen.

    I seem to got a little off coarse but it is to me very important to understand that everyone doesn’t speak for the creator; although many say that they do. All of these religion expression and belief have many definition of happiness, and how to complete yourself but which one will you believe; Cupid, Hollywood ,T.V. program.That is for you to decide.

    Also, staying within the theme and the minor detail to me help clear up what people are feeling and to help us to understand or overstand which ever side you stand on is true happiness and its promise in the bible are contingent upon a right relationship with God, and true happiness cannot be achieved apart from obedience to God.

    Happiness doesn’t find it source in amassing material wealth or power,nor in fable but in truth.

    As with me It is my hope to marry in 2 yrs and until than I am not shopping but about 18 month I will. For over 5 yrs I’ve discipline my mind and heart, and I am a happy person, but I’m not complete.

    Additionally, I will say to here whoever she is do you know how long that I’ve being waiting for you,and she probably will say no how long; than after that I will say “You Complete Me”.


  23. Keith says:

    Excellent article. When you feel like you must have someone else complete you, you’re setting yourself up for heartache because no one is perfect and that person will, at some point, let you down. We must learn to be complete on our own.



  24. Though I do agree that I have to feel satisfied with, love, honor, respect, enjoy, and be the greatest fan of myself before others truly can – I do not however agree wholeheartedly that nobody else can (or should) complete me.

    I have met some amazing humans on this journey of mine and in some not so small ways they have contributed to my quality of life, enriching my experience, rounding it out, completing me in a way by allowing me to share with them.

    I believe that I have manifested these bright individuals by working on a daily basis to live my greatest Truth. I draw the energy to me that I need in order to live a more full life.

    My cat completes my day by curling up next to me. My father completes me by loving me unconditionally (warts and all) and as his daughter I complete him. I don’t believe in the One and Only, more so I believe in Many. I think Jerry was right when he said, “you complete me.” It’s not just Hollywood woo woo- it is a truth that we all identify with and therefore we are moved by it.

    We complete each others human experience by sharing in it and offering tone and hue that would be missing if we lived separate from each other.

    No man is an island- we do complete each other.

    Love and Light,

    Shelley ;0)

  25. Dear Susan

    That is a coincidence,dont assume it happen because of your change.

  26. Joe Jacobi says:

    I enjoy all of Jonathan’s posts and the spirit that supports them. This is one post where you would be really missing the best part if you missed the comments. I just wanted to say thanks to all of you who have written above me. Great stuff! On a separate but related topic, in the world of classic movie lines that aren’t true, “Build It & They Will Come” could be an interesting post too!

  27. Jonathan Fields says:

    @ Shelley – I get what you’re saying, but there’s a big different between people who “contributed to my quality of life, enriching my experience, rounding it out” and those being relied upon to fill a void.

    The former is additive and empowering, the latter is compensatory and disempowering.

    I love that I have such an amazing collective of friends and family who lift me up and make my life better. But, at the same time, I don’t lean on them to fill gaps in self-esteem, confidence, knowledge and beyond that needs, in the end, to come from me.

    @ Joe – Thanks for the suggestions, I think I smell a followup post coming, lol!

  28. Ann says:

    Joe – Many an entrepreneur could attest to the fallacy in that statement!

  29. Thank you, thank you for writing this! We’re often times brought up, or conditioned to think we must find “completeness” in someone else. I used to think that way until I went through some intense personal development, and then realized that I must be complete as myself. Like you so correctly point out, the movies and other mass media puts so much stock into romanticism, which certainly has it’s place, but ultimately, we have to figure out how to feel “complete” without looking to others to complete us. Only then can we be ready to share our lives with a companion.

  30. Rachael says:

    WOW! Thanks…what a gem.
    Non-violence starts with the self…that is brilliant.

  31. I agree Rachael, I like that “non-violence starts with the self” thing as well. How come Jonathan is so good at saying words of wisdom! Amazing.

    And I agree with the overall theme as well. The only person that makes you whole is you, whether people realize it or not.

  32. I wish this was required reading for young college students (before, during and after they hook up with someone who turns out to be “the one”). Not so long ago, I told my son’s girlfriend that she needed to know who she is as a person, have her goals, etc. and not make her life take second place for anyone. She shouldn’t let my son’s goals supersede her own. She said she felt like my son was the most important thing in her life. I gave my son the same advice. Thanks for a very succinct and completely on-target post.

  33. Hi, I just happened upon your site! Thank you for sharing. I, too, am FINALLY following my dream and started a company: Forgetting 2 Remember, Bridging the gap between fear and love. It is when we forget all that we are and live in that place of fear that we fall short of living to our highest self. Only, in remembering and with love can we BE all of the greatness that we are. Thank you for your thoughts, sharings and living to your higher self. Great to stumble upon you!

  34. I’ve been married now for sixteen years and I’m happy to say that my wife completes me. And I hope that she continues to complete me until we grow old.

    This is a process, it’s not an event. It’s working together, struggling together, crying together, and losing yourself for the happiness of the other. It reaches a point that is sacred.

    If you lose yourself and serve others, you find yourself. Looking into yourself just creates selfishness.

  35. hmm…
    are we need to be complete?

  36. Ananth says:

    I completely agree with this. I have seen this play out so many times- The real reason why we are happy when we are with some people is within ourselves. If we forget that and think that the other person is making us happy, then life starts becoming miserable.

    Well said.

  37. Robert says:

    “Simple fact, the only person who completes you…is YOU.”

    Another lie. Mystery fact: the one who completes you and me . . . is Jesus Christ, whom God reconciled sinful man to himself through the perfect blood of the Son of God. Christ did what you and I could not do for ourselves because of our imperfect condition. Christ, perfect, without any sin, died for the ungodly. While you and I were enemies of God, living life on our terms, Christ voluntarily went to the cross to give his life as a ransom for many. (Isaiah 53).

    To say that “You” complete “You” is a myth perpetuated by a worldly belief system that is based on man’s ideology, not truth. God is truth, Jesus Christ said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.” If we desire to be made whole and complete, there is only one true way – through the blood, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. When we receive that free gift, the Scripture says we pass from death into eternal life and thereby we will not experience the second death. A lot to chew on, I agree. It’s God’s creation and it’s His “rules” . . . the Scripture reads, “if you search for me with your whole heart, I will be found by you,” says the Lord. (Book of Jeremiah)


  38. Laurie says:

    Hi Robert!
    It seems that so much of the time people are looking for ways to fill that whole in their lives. Many people look at their spouse or significant other to do that. It sets up an unhealthy relationship. Others use addictions such as pron, drugs, computer, etc to fill that place.

    In this post, Jonathan states that we are to fill ourselves. While I am in total agreement that is something only God can do, it is our job to invite him into that place. He stands at the door and knocks and we must open the door. So in that way, we are still responsible for filling ourselves by accepting the offer Christ gives us.
    You quoted, “if you search for me with your whole heart, I will be found by you,” says the Lord. I agree but we must first decide to search.

    Just some thoughts.

  39. Ahhh, brilliance! So very true. That which we seek in another is something we must give to ourselves. Great ideas on this blog!

  40. Mr. Chow says:

    ‘Respectfully disagree. Loving yourself and sharing your love someone completes me.

  41. Cheri says:

    I agree completely that having Christ in the center of our lives is the only true way to be happy. Letting Him fill us first is the foundation for loving ourselves & then truly loving someone else! Going through this amazing life of highs & lows and everthing in between brought me to the realization that it is too much responsibility for one human to make another completely happy. We must love ourselves & value ourselves first and only then are we able to give the kind of love that a spouse desrves. And when you get that kind of love in return all I can say is WOW!!! Thank you Jesus for this incredible person!

  42. […] Every once in a while, I stumble upon someone that makes me think “Wow, I wanna be just like them when I grow up!” Johnathan Fields is one of those people. I’ve only recently heard of him, and I’m already following every word he says. Summing him up in one catchy sentence is a bit difficult, because he’s that awesome. He writes about life and living it to the fullest is how I’d sum him up. You’ll just have to start reading his blog. One of my favorite things he’s written? “Nobody Completes You.” […]

  43. Matt says:

    I have to say that the only person that can make me complete is myself. Having a significant other is just a bonus! Having a significant other can help to make sure you stay complete though by helping out along life’s journey.