“I have been dating my boyfriend for a year but I no longer feel loved in the relationship. We fight over small things. I feel empty even with him in my life. I have tried to explain my need to have some space to myself but he misunderstood me. I recently told him that we need to go our separate ways because I feel an emotional disconnect from him. He accused me of cheating on him. I really don’t want us to part ways on such note. He is a good guy but I feel something is missing in our relationship. I feel I got into the relationship because I feel something is missing in my life.”
There are many voids people can try to fill with relationships. When we talk about a void, we talk about a lack of something. It could be a lack of self-love, self-confidence, social life, lack of family ties and a lack of self-esteem. People who have a void in their lives look for ways to fill it even with the wrong things.
The love or what first appears to be love of another person seems like a quick and surefire way to fill a void. It’s an entire human being, after all. Surely they can provide what’s missing, right? Unfortunately, there are some things that people will never fully be able to enjoy receiving from others until they have given them to themselves. These things include love, confidence, and support. You must love and support yourself before you can even begin to identify someone else who can do that properly for you too.
When you look for love out of a need to fill a void, you don’t look with clear eyes. The idea is just to find somebody, anybody just to avoid being alone. When the requirement is that simple, the standards drop pretty low. This is how many Nigerian women trap themselves in toxic relationships in the first place. The need to fill the void in their lives pushes them into the wrong hands.
It can be difficult to know when you are looking to fill a void, and it isn’t always absolute. Some people just fill a partial void with a relationship. In some cases, they really love and admire the person they date, so it’s hard to see that they are filling a void until they become honest with themselves.
Like the lady who sent me a message, some women don’t know that they are using relationships to fill the void in their lives. They just keep hopping from one relationship to another and still feel lost and empty. There are some signs you can look out for to know if you are filling a void instead of enjoying true love from your relationships.
When looking at what sorts of dynamics arise in a relationship where filling a void was the main focus, the need to really belong and the fear of loneliness comes into the relationship. And that can lead to conflict, because if you think about it, the person who doesn’t feel fulfilled or okay with themselves; they project that onto their partner.”
The inner battle becomes the outward fight. The person who doesn’t feel emotionally whole is more likely to start a conflict because of their emotional battles. When there is a void within someone, the person is going to try to find voids within the relationship as well.
The alternative to projecting that conflict onto the relationship would be to look inward, but that’s not something everyone is willing to do. Facing ourselves is one of the hardest things to do. So many choose not to, and just look for issues in their relationship instead.
If you are trying to fill a void, your relationship may be shallow and there might not be any depth to the relationship. To the person looking to fill a void, you have chosen the relationship because it seems fine or because it seems right for you at the moment.
The sad thing is that people who aren’t comfortable being vulnerable with themselves typically won’t be comfortable being vulnerable with a partner either. It can be hard to build a connection if you can’t be vulnerable. It will be more surface level because you aren’t willing to be honest with yourself and your partner.
There’s also isolation of keeping emotions close to the vest to prevent vulnerability. If you can’t connect to the person, you sometimes feel alone. Even if you have someone to share in a relationship with, you may keep conversations and interactions very surface level because that’s what you’re most comfortable with. You aren’t putting forth your most authentic self to yourself as an individual. So you aren’t able to put your most authentic self forward in a relationship either.
When a person just wants to fill a void, they may make too many compromises of themselves in a relationship. They change who they are just to make the relationship work at all costs. Someone’s values and morals may change to match the other person’s. So within that dynamic, you change things about yourself, even things that you like or want to do. You change it for the other person. There’s a lot of self-sacrificing that happens in such a relationship. And while compromise is good in relationships, you shouldn’t completely change yourself to make a relationship work.
Setting high expectations of your partner and of the relationship is also common for those looking to fill a void with a relationship. Because the relationship has been chosen to fill a void, there may be expectations that are set for the other person to fill, and if they aren’t met, you end up disappointed. But honestly, the disappointment comes from the disappointment a person feels within himself or herself.
Using a relationship to fill a void in your life is not really you choosing a partner. Trying to fill a void impact the types of partners a person chooses. It is not really that person, that whole, authentic person making those choices. Your lonely self chooses, rather than your authentic self. So you look for more surface-level traits because the relationship is just meant to be temporary. Such people find it hard to commit to a person in the long term.
In terms of dating patterns that come up when trying to find a relationship to fill a void, moving quickly, rather than taking time to get to know the other person is a big issue. You are thinking more about the idea of a person than who they really are. And it’s easy to project whatever you want to see onto someone when you are just looking for an idea not an individual. It is also common for those looking to fill a void to go after the same type of partners over and over again or their idea of that type of person.
Instability and codependency play big roles in such relationships too. For the person typically trying to fill a void, it’s out of fear of spending time alone with just himself or herself. Trying to avoid loneliness at all costs puts a lot of pressure on the relationship. It is not healthy for anyone to use relationships to fill whatever is missing in their lives. They are just deceiving their partners.
It is better to be honest with yourself and your partner rather than using them to fill a void. If you feel something is missing in your life, you need to sort it out first before getting an innocent person involved in your life. It is not fair to use another person to fill the void in your life.
Get honest with yourself. What are you hiding from? What void exists in your heart and soul and how are you stuffing it? What scares you about facing this part of yourself? If you are ready to heal and grow, remove whatever you are using to distract yourself. Sit with it and really allow yourself to feel and explore the void.