I’ll be up front about this. I think the notion that men and women complete each other can be pushed too far, even though it does seem to have some truth to it.
In favor of the notion, I can recall some wonderful feelings of completeness I’ve had during sex, and sometimes those feelings reverberated for hours or even a few days afterwards. So maybe there’s that sense in which men and women might complete each other.
I also recall thinking that my partner’s talents and skills somewhat rounded out my own. In some cases, she had a strong aptitude for things I wasn’t much inclined towards. And vice versa. So there’s another sense in which men and women might complete each other.
Of course, I’m not talking about the seemingly related issues of whether men and women compliment each other or are compatible with each other. I’m only talking about this one notion of whether they complete each other — of whether they make each other whole. And I think that can be pushed too far.
For instance, I’ve heard the argument that, because men and women complete each other, men and women cannot be complete or whole in themselves. To be polite, that argument seems to be based on a naive lack of experience with being complete or whole.
A friend of mine once told me, “If you really need someone else to feel complete, then you are too needy for a relationship in the first place.” I don’t entirely buy into her radical attitude, but I think it might have some truth to it. At least, I’ve known some pretty needy people who always seemed to be mentioning how much they required their partner for themselves to feel whole. And the same people were often too jealous or possessive to have a healthy relationship.
Another argument I’ve heard is that, because men and women complete each other, homosexuals cannot. That seems quite a stretch.
I see no reason why two homosexuals cannot feel the same sort of emotional completion that I have felt at times with my partners. And I see no reason why they cannot have the same balance of talents and skills that I have at times had with a partner.
The last argument I’ve heard is that men and women complete each other in the sense men are the head of the family and women are their helpmeets. If that’s how a couple genuinely wants to work things out between them, that’s their business, but I think it pushes it too far to say that only that one arrangement can complete a man or woman.
Besides, what’s there to really differentiate that sort of “completeness” from the working relationship of, say, a male executive and his female secretary?
So, why I think there might be some truth to the notion that men and women can complete each other, I also think that notion can be pushed too far — and often enough has been pushed too far.
But what do you think? Am I onto something, or are these just some more of my late night thoughts that I ought to have torpedoed out of the water before they left their berth?