Finding "The One" is a Fantasy
Updated: Sep 4, 2018
She's beautiful and smart.
He's handsome and kind.
They met at their favorite coffee shop.
They've traveled to many beautiful places.
They've shared an amazing 3 years together.
"You guys are SO lucky to have each other! I'm jealous!" Julie said to her best friend, Emily.
Emily smiled and nodded in silence.
Picking up on her hesitation Julie asked, "What's wrong?"
"Well....he's great and we are great but I'm not sure.
Is he REALLY the one?
What if there's someone out there who's better suited for me?
I mean, how do I know he's THE ONE?"
Julie patiently listened and paused for a moment.
She then asked Emily a question that completely SHIFTED her perspective.
"What if there is no such thing as 'THE ONE'?" said Julie.
"Instead, what if you are supposed to ask a different question?"
This idea of finding 'THE ONE' is an illusion.
And it could be the reason behind the anxiety and confusion that you have about your love life.
But don't worry, you aren't the only one who's confused about this.
And we are in good hands - Julie is here to the rescue! She's going to help us understand the following 3 things:
1. Where on earth this idea of finding "the one' came from
2. Why this idea is setting our love lives up for failure.
3. The Alternative Way - 2 practical exercises that are going to help you answer the alternative question.
Let's get into it!
Where did this idea come from?
It's not just from the romantic comedies from Hollywood. Sure, the stories of finding prince charming who never fails to woo you or the most beautiful woman who only farts glitter, have definitely shaped our idea of a perfect relationship, but I think it goes a bit deeper than that.
I think this idea came about when we moved from the traditional, economic view of marriage to desiring intimacy-based love relationships.
You see before, marriage was an economic choice.
It was only about 60 years ago where most people married for economic reasons - mainly for children and status. You didn't marry for love. You married because he/she was a good person to have a family with. If love grew, great! But it wasn't expected.
But the love in today's world looks very different.
As the society moved from the collective to the individualistic culture where we moved away from:
- religion as the center, to the individual
(God create our world TO we create our own destiny)
- the collective way of being to individual happiness and fulfillment
(I do things for my family TO I do things for myself.)
- large families in a big village to no marriages or no partners.
(I support and am supported by family TO I support myself).
With this movement, love became a choice based on desire.
"I choose you not because I have to be married to have children but because I WANT to."
This is a HUGE difference.
And not only did we move away from the economic view of marriage to desiring intimacy-based relationships, we also moved into the world of CHOICE OVERWHELM!
This is the first time in the history of love that we have access to a HUGE number of possibilities when it comes to mate choice.
Online dating apps
People from all over the world with the increase in travel
And you can even suss out potentials while lying next to your current partners.
So the people in the modern love world, they now want more from their partners AND they have more options to choose from.
And this gave rise to the concept of finding "the one"
"I choose you and because I choose you, you are now responsible for taking care of me - mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually."
We often say "I want my partner to be my....."
My best friend & emotional support
My cheerleader & mentor
My provider & passionate lover
The one who makes me feel secure and excited.
one to have fun & adventure with
And the list goes on.
Never in the history of love, the list of our desires from our partners have been this long.
So this leads us nicely to the second part:
Why this sets many modern relationships up for failure:
The expectation for one person to provide us with everything is an ILLUSION.
It's a lie. It's
this idea that causes anxiety, frustration and sometimes even lead great relationships to end.
"Is he/she really the one?
What if someone better is out there?
Will I marry him/her? Am I making the right choice?"
These anxious and doubtful thoughts only exist because we now desire and expect ONE person to provide us with everything we want and need.
We must acknowledge that it's IMPOSSIBLE for anyone to provide us with EVERYTHING for us, no matter how amazing they are.
Wanting our partners to be everything?
Wanting them to meet all our expectations?
It's a recipe for contempt, disappointment and therefore failure.
Realizing this truth can save us from experiencing a lot of confusion and anxiety and it could possibly save many great modern relationships.
The Alternative Way
As the definitions of love and relationship are continuing to change as we evolve, it is rather difficult to say this which way is "right"
I think we are currently going through the evolution of modern love and we, as the ones experiencing this right now, get to decide the direction of this evolution.
I don't know the answers but I do have a theory and a different question that I believe we should be asking.
And that is to choose someone who we can write and create a life story with - one who we are willing to go through the journey of consistent and persistent editing process with.
Who are you willing to dance with?
In a dance, you have to WORK together - take out the bits that don't work, add in the bits that compliment both of your strengths, communicate what's good/bad and TRUST that it will work out as long as you work at it.
Because the truth is that all couples experience difficulties.
There are NO perfect stories.
You and your partner must be both willing to edit your relationship and be open to redefining what it means to evolve as two people in the fast-changing world of modern relationship.
"But how do I know who I want to create a story with? The short answer?
Be honest with yourself.
You need to know what you want/don't want/need/desire from your partner in order to choose a person that you are willing to create a life story with.
So, I want to share 2 practical exercises that're going to deepen your understanding of your desires and needs from a relationship, so that you are more clear about who you want to create a life story with.
1. What are your non-negotiable's?
What are your MUSTS and DESIRES in your relationship?
(they are 2 totally different things)
We all have different needs and wants - you must be brutally honest with yourself about what you need and want from your relationship.
No one can decide this for you.
I'll share one of mine as an example:
MUST - trust.
For me, I must have trust in my partner. If at any point in the relationship I don't feel I can trust him, then I know that the relationship is not for me. No matter how 'perfect' a man may seem for me.
DESIRE - an entrepreneur
For me, entrepreneurs are my kind of people. I love every aspect of them and it would be wonderful if my partner was also an entrepreneur because I feel like we would be able to understand and help each other more. But it's not a must for me. It's okay if he isn't.
I'm willing to go through the differences that may come up because of our differences in career ambition.
I know for some people their 'must' is -
a dog lover,
a creative person or
one who is spiritually awakened.
They know themselves enough to know what's TRULY important for them to experience a fulfilling relationship.
What can you do?
Do a brain dump about what you would love from your most ideal partner. No judgments. Write them ALL down!
For each answer, go another level deeper - for example, if you wrote "emotionally available" what does that actually look like? Someone who is able to talk to you like a best friend?
Then discern with yourself if it's something that you absolutely require and need in your relationship.
You have a list of your non-negotiable's in your relationship.
2. What shit sandwich are you willing to eat?
I learned this term, "shit sandwich" from one of my favorite blogger/author called Mark Manson where he was helping people discern what their life purpose is.
He said that you need to be willing to go through certain difficulties that you enjoy.
In a relationship, a shit sandwich is basically asking:
"What issues are you willing (i.e. happy to) to deal with?
What challenge are you willing to overcome with your partner?"
Are you willing to deal with issues of trust? Honesty? Low self-esteem problems? Different cultures? Different interests?
Are you willing to overcome challenges of lack of money? Different socioeconomic backgrounds? Educational backgrounds? Parental disagreement? Because the most wonderful person in the world might not have the quality that you absolutely know that you require.
YOU are the one who needs to decide and HONOR your requirements.
YOU must protect your own boundaries.
WITH NO SHAME.
Whatever is good for you, is good for you.
Whatever is too much for you, is too much for you.
And that's okay.
Be okay with the answers that you find for yourself.
You must be willing to say no so that you can choose that person that you are going to happily want to overcome the hiccups of a relationship with.
Now, I'd love to hear from you.
What was your biggest takeaway?
Do you already know some answers to the above questions? What are they?