Let me share with you a secret pet peeve of mine that I have harboured since I was a wee girl finding the ropes in this haphazard world: I detest, with a passion, the term ‘my other half’.
If you use it, I should apologise now. I’m sure you are at least 92% lovely, and let it be known that I will not judge you based on one term you use for your partner. However, I would like to take this opportunity to tell you why we should throw this ridiculous label of ‘my other half’ deep into the realms of Room 101, and throw away the rusty key.
First thing’s first.
If you thought I was going to write a feminist rant about a woman (or a man) being an entirely whole person with or without their partner, well congratulations my friend, because you are absolutely RIGHT. The term ‘my other half’ literally means you are incomplete. The mathematics is really quite simple; if you were a cheesecake, you are saying that together you make one cheesecake – i.e. without them you are half.
Personally, if I have half a cheesecake it’s because I’ve already polished off the other half before it even finished defrosting. Under no circumstances did I begin my day, or my life, as half a cheesecake, and I certainly won’t be ending it that way. If anything I’m a whole vanilla cheesecake with extra cream, topped with cherries bigger than your eyes, thanks.
If you are a frequent user of the term, at this point you might be getting defensive – but hey, relax.
I know what you meant. I am not being cynical about love and relationships. After all, I am in one. My partner and I live our lives with a perfect balance of being independent and being a couple. In other words, we rock as individual people and kick arse as a pair. We explore great cities alone and great cities together, and are open-minded enough to see the benefits and drawbacks of doing both. Thankfully no, our relationship is not all Romeo and Juliet BE-WITH-ME-OR-DIE. And yes, we do frequently joke about how we don’t really need each other – “babe, leave me alone, I’m playing Sims.” But ultimately, none of these things mean we don’t want each other, or fancy the pants off of each other. I think it means we absolutely do, and this is healthy.
By using the term ‘my other half’, what you were trying to say was that your partner makes you the most beautiful and awesome version of yourself that you can be.
They are your number one fan that shouts, ‘hell yeah!’ when you ask if you look okay in the morning. They are the Nutella to your toast. They are your backbone.
The point to remember is, Nutella isn’t the only option to have with your toast; you can have butter, jam, and marmite among dozens to choose from. Don’t call your partner your backbone, because that means without them you wouldn’t be able to walk. Compare them to your rib or something, a bone that would hurt A LOT if you cracked or broke it, and is pretty helpful for your health and wellbeing but, (and here’s the important bit) is by no means essential to your survival.
You can do that on your own because with or without them, you’re already two full halves.