PERFECTION asks: Shirelle, a friend told me. “You shouldn’t make someone be your world.” I don’t quite get this thought, and I’ve tried for years already. Can you explain this to me? How bad is it to make someone your world? Is that bad even?
Hi PERFECTION –
Well I’m going to sound like a hypocrite here, because what I say is going to be very different from the way that I live.
You see, as you know, I’m a dog. And we are genetically programmed to be extremely devoted to one person or pack. In my case, it’s my human friend Handsome. I have all sorts of other interests, like chasing squirrels and writing these letters, but in the end, he is my world.
But you’re a person. And that line you’re asking about was written for people.
There is, of course, nothing wrong with falling head-over-heels in love, or devoting yourself to someone. That’s just great. But what they’re talking about is letting, or making, someone ALL you care about. And yes, this is a recipe for disaster.
First, it’s a lot of pressure on the other person. Let’s say you start dating that girl you’ve been writing me about. And one night some old friends of yours, all guys, want to go to a movie with you, or watch a game. And you go, but every few minutes you get a text from her, wondering what you’re doing, or when you’ll come back, or how you’re feeling. It’ll get pretty claustrophobic, right? And you know the same would be true if the roles were reversed; this girl’s done just fine in her life without you, so she doesn’t need you building your life around her.
But second, it’d be awful for you too, after a while. You have lots of interests, you have a career, and you’re clearly a thinker! Why would you want all those things to go away, just so you could obsess 24/7 on someone? Far better to have a full life with books and movies and sports and hobbies and music and trees… AND someone just amazing, who makes your heart go boomity-boom every time you see them!
So again, I know I’m a bit of a hypocrite here. But you have so many more abilities than I do. You can leave your yard, you can go into stores and theaters and museums. And restaurants! So enjoy those things. Enjoy all that life has to offer. And let that girl, if things work out, be the BEST thing in your world… but don’t make her the whole thing.
But wait, there is an exception. If you become a parent, every bit of your programming will become just like mine. Your kid or kids WILL become your world, in ways you can’t even comprehend. And that is truly the most wonderful thing there is, so I’m not going to even suggest keeping that from happening! (But that’s still a ways off for you, I think!)
All my best,