I have a husband.
He brings me contentedness. He makes me feel balance. He fills me with infinite joy. He soothes my soul and means everything to me.
He is not, however, my “other half.”
There are many phrases and words I despise (hubby, partner, yum, nice, mug, gherkin), but none more so than referring to someone as “my other half.”
Yes, there is almost a quaint, 1950s beauty in the whole idea of being half a person until you find your soul mate. When you think about it for any longer than a millisecond, however, you realize what a degrading and offensive thing it is to say. It is probably the most disrespectful thing to say to the person you love, and more importantly, yourself.
My husband is many things; patient, loving, intelligent, talented, caring, funny, beautiful, thoughtful and pretty much every positive descriptor I could imagine. But more importantly he is whole, complete and without me would still be every one of those things.
If I described him as my other half, I am taking away everything he is, everything he has achieved and everything he dreams of doing and simply writing it off as half mine. While I share in his victories and support him in achieving his goals, they are his. He works hard, he fights to get there and they are not half mine.
My other half infers that without each other, neither of you would be capable of achieving anything before joining together and that essentially, as individuals you are both worthless. My husband motivates me, he believes in me, he fills me with pride and love; but he is not my other half.
While the phrase “my other half” makes me feel nauseated, it is the message it sends to people that are single, single and long to find someone to love, which is dangerous. Referring to someone as your other half slaps every singleton across the face and labels them as incomplete. It is also likely to make them feel worse about their relationship status and like their life is lacking something.
Which it is not.
Finding someone you love does not complete you, it does not solve your problems and it does not give you answers. Nor is it an entitlement and something that everyone should aspire to. Being in love brings you joy, it gives you companionship and makes you feel an unbounded spectrum of emotions. But it does not complete you; your other half is always yourself.
Whoever you are lucky enough to be with is the love of your life and is the most important thing in your world. But there is a difference between that, and “other half.”