It’s an ongoing debate, in my own head anyway. Does ‘the one’ just exist or do we have to work at it?
Are some couples happier because they found the right partner, or do they work harder at being the right partners?
Or, my own pondering…are some people just totally inept at ever being truly happy with any single person?
Is ‘the one’ out there?
It seems a lot of us think of these questions. Married or single. Male or female. The issue doesn’t discriminate. It just nags at many of us.
If I could count people who comment or message me about my blog as research, I would say it’s the reason a lot of people contemplate or get divorced. The search for ‘the one.’ The belief that they married the wrong person and the right one is out there somewhere waiting for them. (Or, they think they found them already.)
And, for those of us who are single, we’re sitting around waiting for ‘the one’ to magically appear in our lives. Or, we’re actively pursuing looking for him or her. Or, we’ve decided that we are going to just be happy on our own and ‘the one’ will come along when we least expect it. Whatever it is, it’s all about ‘the one.’
Maybe, maybe not
One school of thought is, ‘yes, the one is out there.’ The quotes say something like, “You’ll never find the right one until you let go of the wrong one.” Or, how all the failed relationships were just leading to the perfect one. This might be true. Or, it might not.
It might be more about making it right. Sure, there are people who are better for each other. People who will have chemistry, share common interests, connect. And, others just don’t work at all. We all have that friend’s husband who we say “there is no way I could be married to him.” So, no, not anyone can be ‘the one.’ But, I’m not sure it can’t be the one you’re with. Or the one you were with.
Most of us start dating for some reason. Some initial attraction. Something that draws us to the other person. Many relationships end quickly, like the next morning when the wine has worn off and you wonder what the heck you were thinking. Or, a few weeks later when you realize he really doesn’t have a job, is living with his parents, and he’s 45.
Other relationships go on from there. You enjoy each other’s company. Are physically attracted to one another. And/or think it’s a good thing. You start to share your lives with each other. Introduce the kids. And, start making plans together. You might even get married. You are a couple.
And that’s where the road divides. For a few lucky ones, it goes straight ahead. Onward and upward, to bigger and better things. There might be a few bumps along the way, but they continue on.
For too many others, the road goes off in another direction. Doubt sets in. Communication starts to fail. They forget what they ever saw in the person. And, maybe a new road pops up that looks like a better option. A straighter path to the destination.
The thing is, all roads have their problems. It’s whether you fix it or build a new one that is the question. So how do you know?
This is where that combination of chance and choice comes in. Chance is meeting someone. Choice is making it work. We have all had chances to meet ‘the one’ but are we willing to choose that person over and over again.
There is something about meeting someone in your 20s that seems to be problematic. My argument, you have no idea who you are at that age. It’s that college/post-college time when you’re your most rebellious. It’s the time when you are trying to decide who you want to be. Trying to live up to your expectations of yourself. Finding someone who also lives up to those expectations.
So maybe who we choose during that time is not someone who will easily adjust to who we become when we’ve finally settled in to who we really are. Or, maybe we won’t adjust to them. Maybe that’s when we find a new ‘one.’ Someone who gets us the way we are now.
And, that makes sense. We all want to be loved for who we are. But, is it worth the sacrifices? All the years you invested? The kids? The possibility of being alone for the rest of your life?
And what if you weren’t in your 20s? What if you just met a year or two ago and things just got too complicated? It was too difficult to blend families. You got used to being on your own and didn’t want to give up your freedom. Or, perhaps, you got scared of getting hurt again.
Whatever the scenario, the reality is, you already found ‘the one’ but are now debating letting ‘the one’ go. Unless you choose not to.
You can choose to stay with that one. Make things better. Go to counseling. Learn to communicate better. Work at it. But, I mean, really, really work at it.
This is where the choice truly makes a difference. How hard are you willing to work at it? And, perhaps just as importantly, how willing is the other person to work at it? It really does take two to make a relationship work.
When you work together, you can establish the communication, commitment and collaboration (the 3Cs of relationships, in my opinion) it takes to find what’s missing. What you lost. Or, learn what each other wants now. You can choose to rediscover ‘the one’ you’re with.
Are you ‘the one’ you’re looking for?
Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out. Sometimes both people aren’t willing to do the work. Which begs the question, of me anyway, are some people just never going to be happy with any single person? Oftentimes, it’s only one person who actually has a problem with the relationship. The other person is perfectly happy and sees no real need to work on anything. They understand you’re not happy, but nothing they do seems to make it any better. So why should it be different in any other relationship, with any other ‘one’?
Maybe the core of the problem is that ‘the one’ you’re not happy with is yourself. Maybe that’s the person you need to worry about first. Perhaps your significant other will understand this and give you all the time you need to figure that out. Perhaps he or she won’t and you’ll need to do it on your own. Whatever the case, ‘the one’ you’re looking for is you. Find you, and maybe then you will find ‘the one.’
Featured photo credit: MarkGroves.tv via markgroves.tv