I just want to thank everybody for their valid contributions here because whoa, y'all put into nice little paragraphs my own essays-worth of text. There is truth in the statement, you have to be able to love yourself before you can love someone else. Is it absolute? No, just like anything in life. A relationship is a partnership and I think that's a part of it a lot of people overlook. Sure, one picks up the slack where the other gives too much and vice versa, but that's the difference between helping your significant other do laundry because they flat don't have the time, and helping your significant other do their laundry because they just can't be arsed. Two parts of a working team, as opposed to one working individual and one moocher, not to put too fine a point on it.
Acting like your significant other completes you is pretty selfish. The same goes if you the kind of person that devotes your entirety to them cause in the end you're really just trying to satisfy yourself by making yourself fee like you matter to someone. Each person is responsible for their own personal happiness and growth and it's unfair to put that burden on someone else. Holding someone back from their personal goals because youre scared of a relatoinship is shitty, but i shoulndt have to say that. This also applies to doing all the work for them, or trying to support them through life. I think the key is to allow your significant other to find their own happiness and meaning on their own and support their decisions with the respect they deserve. The same should be expected for yourself. Expecting your lover to fill any missing gaps is pretty lazy. In the end its only a distraction from you achieving your sweet spot in life.
Having your life in order is not just important for men. When looking for a long-term relationship, both sexes need to have their things in order. There's a universal truth about relationships that people tend to ignore until they get closer to their 30s than their 20s. If you want to be happy with someone else, you have to be happy with yourself first. Until you have all your stuff in order, adding another person will only make the things that aren't good in your life worse. The romantic notion that another person can "complete" you is complete horeshit. If you go into a relationship when you are "lacking," you are very likely to eventually tear that relationship apart via some insecurity or issue that you never resolved. What a relationship does in those situations, is allow the partner who is lacking to place blame on the other, rather than fix those internal issues. This poisons the relationship where it eventually ends, or become co-dependent, which is the worst kind of relationship as they tend to become abusive. One partner hoists all their problems on the other until it becomes pure abuse, and they either destruct the relationship, themself, or the partner. So moral of the story: Get your shit in order before your bring someone else into your life.