I’ve had two significant relationships in my life.
In one of them, it felt like we were made for each other—I thought he was “the one.” He seemed like a great match for me, and I believed our relationship would be successful.
When we consider someone “the one,” it’s usually because we share common principals and interests. This person makes us unconditionally happy, we feel comfortable around them and crave spending time with them.
No matter how many definitions we link to the term “finding the one,” the feelings eventually speak for themselves.
My first relationship was all these definitions and more. Everything was undoubtedly perfect between us, our relationship was successful. He made me happy and comfortable, and contributed to my personal growth. He got the best out of me and made me behold all the striking things about myself.
In the second relationship, my partner was far from being a good match. Our opinions, lifestyles and plans were different. Not only were we the complete opposite of each other, but the relationship itself left me unhappy. It was destructive to great extents and brought out the worst in me. I was reminded of all my shortcomings and flaws, and forced to live with them for years.
Both of these relationships ended.
One partner was the one for me and the other wasn’t—at least this is what I thought. I lulled myself into believing that the second relationship couldn’t have possibly worked out because that man was just not the one for me. Conversely, I always believed the first one had more potential since we were a perfect match.
I was wrong. I’m convinced now that the two had the same chance of success. Both could have worked out, but they didn’t for one reason:
It wasn’t about whether the person was the one or not—it was about whether that person “wanted to be” the one.
There just wasn’t much willingness or dedication in either relationship. But even with the man who was far from being my best match, I always believed that with effort and eagerness, we could have found a way.
This is the belief that has been imposed on us since we were little. Mythology, romance novels, songs and movies—all have had an impact on how we view “finding the one.” Perhaps, this is why we struggle to maintain a healthy relationship: we’ve become too high-maintenance. We are set on waiting for the perfect partner and refuse to accept anything less than the image we’ve drawn in our minds.
I would like to believe there is only one person out there who’s made for me. It sounds like a fun, romantic game to play: there are nearly seven billion people living on earth and only one is made for us—let’s go find them! The truth is, there are many people out there who can make us happy or are a good match.
If we take a closer look at our lives, we may start wondering why, if there is only one person out there who is made for us, then why have we entered so many relationships? We might claim that the motivation behind each was different. And while I absolutely agree that there are different types of love, eventually it’s all love. The eagerness we felt in the relationship we were in at 17 is the same eagerness that drove us to be in the one we’re currently in (or searching for).
If there is only one person out there for us, then why do some people marry again after divorce or after their partner passes away? If we look objectively, we see that the same emotions can be developed more than once, for more than one person. Even when we’re attached, we are prone to like other people—we simply choose not to get to know them on a deeper level.
The apparent answer is we will never find the one: we will create them. The person I end up with might not be the person who naturally makes me happy, but the person who is willing to make me happy. The one who is willing to compromise, to make adjustments, to go through sh*t with me.
We can never find one person with whom things constantly go right. However, we can find the one who agrees to stay when things go wrong. Because things will always go wrong. This is the truth of relationships. No relationship is devoid of fights and problems. That said, the one for you is the one who’s ready when things go awry.
There isn’t a person out there who’s our “copy-paste.” We all have our differences and there is a high probability that our partner might make us unhappy as much as he/she is prone to make us happy. Nevertheless, when we are keen to stay with that particular person and willing to make the relationship work, come what may, we instantly become the one for each other.
The fact is, we choose to be with people. And even when we do, things might still go wrong—such as break ups, separation or death—and we will find ourselves out there again, in the dating world, choosing someone new.
It’s time we adopt a new, plausible idea of finding the one because we’re only hurting ourselves through believing in a perfect person out there, made solely for us. As long as we’re waiting for “the one,” we might as well stay single for the rest of our lives. What’s between two people who truly love each other is bigger than a mere label.
Let’s stop searching for the one. Everyone has the potential to be the one for us, only if we’re both willing.
Author: Elyane Youssef
Editor: Nicole Cameron