To Fix… Or Just Be As-Is?

“Lights will guide you home, and ignite your bones… and I will try to fix you.” – Coldplay “Fix You”

I have been hearing this song a noticeably decent amount recently. I like this song.

What a strong intention – to find someone in their sadness or a dark period and intend to make it all better.

It’s the chance every guy really wants. They want to find the “damsel in distress” and be the “knight in shining armor”.

Sometimes, it’s the guy showing his pain and the right beacon of light shines on them in the form of a girl with questions of concern.

It’s the moment most would aspire to as to prove they can be “the one”.

But in this day and age, there is an interesting shift in understanding what a relationship should be regarding broken-ness and fixing. There is a more conscious awareness of not becoming dependent on another nor the relationship that can ultimately develop with another.

It’s definitely not a new concept. As Maria Popova explains about the children’s classic book by Shel Silverstein “The Missing Piece Meets The Big O”:

“…a minimalist, maximally wonderful allegory at the heart of which is the emboldening message that true love doesn’t complete us, even though at first it might appear to do that, but lets us grow and helps us become more fully ourselves. It’s a story especially poignant for those of us who have ever suffered from Savior Syndrome or Victim Syndrome and sought a partner to either fix or be fixed by, the result of which is often disastrous, always disappointing, and never salvation or true love.” – Maria Popova

The original book in the series “The Missing Piece” explains that a person’s imperfections make the person complete as they are, as they were created. This sequel underscores the idea that a person is good as they are but then goes further to state that if they are going to change to “roll along with” someone, it is best that they find and shape themselves of their own accord. Not at the manipulation of another who happens to find a “broken” soul to mold in their version of happiness. Not at the mercy of a savior syndrome finding a victim syndrome.

This all isn’t to say that something beautiful can’t develop from a savior vs. victim beginning but it is treading on shaky ground from the beginning to exploit a situation that could collapse from dependency.

As much as I like the song “Fix You” by Coldplay, I can’t very well imagine myself actually finding myself in that type of situation outside of something already established.

I think it’s because I have been surrounded by a generation of young women well-versed in the ideas of internal strength, overcoming gender roles of “masculine” vs. “feminine” with associations of “strength” and “weakness” respectively, and independence of the modern woman.

In the understanding of feminism, it’s not that I have learned that I am “useless” as an often lonely feeling male in a new age of strong women, but rather I can still retain my strength and not have to depend on a woman being seen as “less than” to show that. Feminism does help men become stronger as well!

I have never felt entitled to a relationship. I have never asserted any dominance in trying to get into one nor have I tried to play an emotional victim to exploit the nurturing nature of any female to get into one. I do not expect females to do those things to males either.

I won’t deny someone reaching out but I will not claim to be everything they need to be “fixed” for the rest of their life.

I am not wanting to be an unhealthy addiction.

I don’t want to be there to claim one as “broken” and then try to “fix” them.

If anything, I want to be the one to help them see that they aren’t “broken” and just be able to watch them with and as some support to “fix” themselves.

Easily bruised confidence. Glass hearts. Asymmetric bodies. Every step in life exposes our sensitivities and “flaws” as we have had them since conception.

We don’t need to be “fixed”, just revel in our beings as-is walking through this beautiful gauntlet called “life” together. Every smile will be a new piece of tape.

Never a piece replaced but instead just overcome by irreplaceable happiness.


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