Complementarity equality

You Complete Me

6:00:00 AMEmma Lindle


Hitch is an interesting chick flick from a man’s perspective. There is no damsel in distress. Romance is presented not as a need, but as a good. It’s a good I can be open to instead of an absolute necessity for a “weak feminine heart”. I was a fan. Now if only we could have a war movie from a woman’s perspective. It could balance out the violence and emphasize the justice in humanity, but that’s for another post...

Hitch is a story of a man named Alex Hitchens who has mastered the art of attraction and helps people fall in love. Alex’s strategy moves away from the idea that women are an object of sexual satisfaction. Instead, he chooses to describe his work as giving the good, but unnoticed men a chance with the women. He dedicates his life to this and becomes known as the Love Doctor. The movie develops when he falls in love with Sara Melas, a strong, passionate career woman. Initially cynical towards romantic relationships, she is not emotionally needy. She doesn’t believe there is a man who could make her life better than it is. The relationship that begins to develop between Sara and Hitch is a good example of man and woman completing each other in a way that is beautiful.

The question arises:  How can a man and woman complete each other in a way that helps each develop his or her as persons? Is this even a possibility?

Valentine’s Day annually raises the anthem among women, “I don’t need a man”. Some women may hold this belief because they have been hurt, but this doesn’t seem to be the case with Sara Melas. She sees herself as equal to men, and can say I am a good in myself. She comes to this through self-gift in her work, and good relationships with her friends. She discovers herself through community. Some woman see romance as a necessity for self-gift, but Sara finds herself in a different place. From Sara I see that a woman can learn the beauty of self-gift at every point in life. This response to self-gift throughout one’s whole life makes the relationship between man and women climatically beautiful.

Girlfriends are great. They get me thinking. One friend came up to me and started listing off guys she could set me up with. Her reasoning was described when she said to me, “I just want you to be happy.” I might have wanted to snap my fingers and say, “girl, I don’t need a man to make me happy,” but then I remembered the philosopher Karol Wojtyla, and  couldn’t dismiss her point entirely. There is a true sense in which man and woman complete each other.

This ties back into my experience on  Valentine’s Day. I walked into the dorm bathroom to brush my teeth and a friend wished me a Happy Galentine’s Day. “It’s been 20 years and I’m still going strong” she said humorously. She is a beautiful woman with many similarities to Sara from Hitch. This women is caring to the people she lives with. Self gift is a part of her friendships and her studies. In these things she discovers herself as a good in herself. She stands strong. She knows her equality to men.


If you felt  tempted to spend Galentine’s day eating chocolate and watching RomComs for sulking sake,[1] I want to call us to rise up. We are persons -equal to men and complete as individuals. Although we do not need a man to be happy, let’s be cautious of taking this too far. Being in a relationship would be nice. Let’s seek it all: equality and complementarity. This complementarity is the need which the woman can fulfill in the man and vice versa (1).

There is a sense in which man and woman complete each other. The philosopher John Crosby states, “This truth about the equality of man and woman has to be balanced by the truth about the complementarity of man and woman” (2). The sexes don’t exist without purpose. We really need each other. Karol Wojtyla explains, “A man therefore needs a woman, so to say, to complete his own being, and a woman needs a man in the same way” (3). Though Sara knew she was a good in herself, through her developing relationship with Hitch she comes to realize her limitation and insufficiency. This relationship becomes a possibility for a greater development of herself. The experience of her limit and insufficiency increased her capacity for love. Her individuality  is not suppressed in the relationship. No. Her personality flourishes. Sara Melas doesn’t move from independence to dependence. She moves from independence to interdependence.

This is the beautiful possibility of human sexuality.

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(1)   Karol Wojtyla, Love and Responsibility, 81.
(2)   John Crosby, Personalist Papers, 248.
(3)   Karol Wojtyla, Love and Responsibility, 81.
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[1] For clarification, I am a big fan of chocolate and RomComs, but I like RomComs for the sake of engaging my questions against the perspective of my friends and Hollywood and I like chocolate for the satisfaction of a good piece of dove chocolate and feeling inspired by the little quote.

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  1. Movie night this summer!!! I was really enjoying your thoughts on this... I've always loved Hitch... then when I saw that you wrote it, Emma, I enjoyed it even more! :) Nic is already figuring out possibilities of movies that will make for good discussion. Haha


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