'Having a partner doesn't make you complete'
Published 18/10/2012 | 06:00
Counsellor and therapist Beth Wallace (43) from west Cork is the organiser of the Bliss festival. She says:
"I don't agree with the viewpoint that finding a partner or having a child makes you 'complete'.
"As a therapist and councillor, it's key to my profession that people find completion in themselves. The idea that another person can make us happy is an illusion. If we're looking outside ourselves for happiness it won't work.
"I think the majority of people have it so ingrained that life goes: 'work, get married, have kids'.
It takes a certain amount of bravery to step outside of that and say 'is this what makes me happy?'
"For me, not having children was both a conscious decision and the way it worked out.
"I've had two long-term relationships but been single the last few years. It was my decision to end the last relationship because I wasn't as happy as I knew I had the potential to be.
"I'm not anti-marriage, I think it's an individual choice, but the idea of making a commitment to feel a certain way for the rest of my life feels like quite a strange thing to do.
"I'm not a big fan of the patriarchal history behind marriage and to be honest, if I was with someone, I'd rather feel they're there because they want to be, not because of vows."