The Myth About ‘Finding The One’

9 minute read

Do you believe in finding the one?

Do you believe that somewhere on this planet there’s that one special person that’s just waiting for you to come into their lives?

Have you ever held the belief that we only ever have one real chance at finding true love?

And have you ever been on a date and then walked away thinking…

“Holy shit balls, I think they might be the one.”

Well here comes that part of the article where I suddenly begin to piss on your parade. But trust me with this as I’m about to do you a favour, because it’s belief systems like these that will do you more harm than good and will skew the reality of how love is actually found and kept.

In this article I’m going to challenge these belief systems and debunk the myth about ‘finding the one’. And although at this point you may think I’m a cynic and have no sense of romance, well, stick with me.

By the end of this article you’ll see how thinking this way could actually be the antithesis of real romance and that it could be the very thing that is holding you back from finding the love that you really deserve.

Do you honestly think that out of the 8 billion people on this planet, there’s just one that you’re destined to be with?

Give me a break.

According to the National Lottery website there’s a 1 in 139 million chance of winning the Euro Millions jackpot, which would therefore mean you’re 58 times more likely to win this unfathomable amount of money (1) than you are in meeting that one special person.

Still fancy your chances?

Take a look around you and what do you see? Sure, we see people that are in relationships that clearly aren’t meant to be together. We see toxicity, infidelity, and couples who represent the exact opposite of that which we desire for ourselves. We see couples that make us think…

…fuck that! I’d rather have a cat and eat a tub of Ben and Jerry’s.

Man – “Looks like it’s just you and me now puss”
Cat – “I don’t know you. Put me down. Where’s Dave? DAVE? DAAAAAAVE!!”

But we also know of couples that are truly amazing together and who we know will go the distance. We see people that inspire us to believe that true love is possible; long-established couples who have curated amazing lives together and radiate nothing but warmth.

Well did they really find their one in 8 billion? Or is it something else that we’re seeing?

One of the things that blows my mind is the belief that we only have one chance at true love. This is nonsense, yet so many people believe it.

But where does this idea come from?

The sad reality is that we’ve all had that one relationship that we gave everything to, only for it to be thrown back in our faces. There’s that one person where for a moment in time we believed in sunshine and rainbows, and puppy dogs and ice-cream.

This usually happens in the earliest years of our love lives, while we’re still a little naïve and innocent. But it can also come later in life too, depending upon our openness and our mindsets at the time.

But the person we’re talking about here is that one person that we gambled everything upon. We entered the metaphorical casino, walked over to the roulette table, placed all our chips on green, and threw the dice.

And then we lost it all.

Once this happens, we’re never quite the same.

I mean, sure, we go through the grieving process; we cry, we reflect, we bounce back, and we grow. But that feeling of being crushed never truly goes away. It’s always there, somewhere.

Unless we allow ourselves the chance to heal properly, that pain can stay with us and we’re never able to fully move on; tarnishing every opportunity for love that follows.

And the sad fact is that this can also keep us stuck in a vicious cycle that leads us to believe that we lost our one and only chance at true love.

Yet this isn’t true.

Fresh starts are possible.

Because the real truth is that with a little time and healing, we can allow ourselves the opportunity to find healthy perspective and for our faith to be restored; and so heartbreak can actually give us the tools that we need to find the love that we were really meant to have, rather than consuming us with the fear that holds us back from it.

I find this so utterly heart-breaking; that somebody could lose the opportunity for something truly special because they cannot let go of the past. The past keeps them stuck. The past keeps on winning.

Hold back or move forwards.

It’s your choice.

Before continuing, please watch this short clip from the fantastic movie ‘What Love Is’ in which the life of the key character, played by Matthew Lillard, has been affected in this very way. This is relevant to what you’ve just read, and I’m sure that the majority of you will be able to relate to this…

One of the greatest insults towards love is when somebody comes back from a first date and declares…

I think I’ve found the one!

It’s also extremely unfair on the person you just met. I mean, how on earth will they ever live up to your expectations by putting them on a pedestal like that? You’ve now made them one in 8 billion! Talk about pressure! In fact they’ve now become more valuable than winning the Euro Millions 58 times in a row!

That poor bastard!

They never stood a chance.

Male friend – “So how did your date with Derek go?”
Female friend – “OH. MY. GOD! He was like, amaaaazing! He brought me flowers, he called me pretty, he likes animals, and he just seems like…soooo sweet. I think this is it. I think I’ve found the one!”
Male friend – Please stop talking

But you’re also giving them more credit than they deserve, handing them that hugely prestigious title when they’ve not really done anything to earn it. We can all create a good first impression, but it’s what we do with the second, third, and one thousandth impression that really counts.

To give a practical stranger the title of being the one is like giving an athlete the Olympic gold medal before they’ve even stepped out of the dressing room.

How do you know they’re even genuine? How do you know they won’t turn out to be a horrible person? How do you know they won’t lie or cheat? And how do you know they’re not just a narcissist that’s love-bombing you?

The truth is, you don’t know the answers to any of these questions so early on.

In some cases we don’t even know the answers when we’re further down the line.

The title of the one gets thrown around way too easily, whereas the reality is that it’s a title that should be earned over a considerable amount of time and should be based upon true merit, consistency, and with empirical evidence to back it up.

So how do we know when we’ve struck gold?

How do we know if we’re really with ‘the one’?

Right about now you’re probably thinking…

“Hang on Elliot, did you just suggest that there is such a thing as ‘the one’? You said you don’t believe in that.”

…but that’s not what I said.

I never said that ‘the one’ doesn’t exist. I said that we don’t find the one. Because the one is not something that we find, but rather something that becomes.

Confused? Well let me explain.

Any new relationship begins with the honeymoon phase, and it is during this period that we become obsessed, infatuated, and we long to spend every waking moment with our new partner.

But it is this stage that can be the most dangerous of all, because our brain chemicals become so radically altered that we walk around in a drug-induced like haze, believing that the metaphorical sun shines out of our new partner’s arse.

No matter what they do or whichever red flags we may see, everything can be rationalised and explained away.

We’ll walk over broken glass for them, we’ll make sacrifices, and we might even convince ourselves that the bad things are somehow good.

Yet somewhere, deep inside, we know that something is off; but because we so desperately want to believe that they’re the one, we choose to turn a blind eye to it all.

But sooner or later, the honeymoon phase ends, our brain chemicals return to normal, and we now find ourselves in the cold light of day (2).

And it is what happens beyond this period that will really tell you if you’re with the one.

Coming out of the honeymoon phase is a bit like waking up next to a stranger that you’d taken to bed when you were drunk.

They could turn out to be amazing.

Or they could be a hideous monster.

“I’m too scared to look!”

If you experience the former then you could be onto a winner. Please proceed to GO and don’t forget to collect your £200 along the way. I’ll see you a little later in the article.

But if you’re one of the poor bastards that woke up next to Quasimodo, then you’d better keep reading; because this is when a relationship really begins to hit shaky ground.

Things that at one time were ignored now become the focus of attention. What was once rationalised and swept under the rug now becomes the dynamite that can blow the whole thing apart.

And now you both have a choice to make.

Many people may instantly think that it’s at this point when the relationship should come to an end and you need start looking again, but I disagree.

Instead, this is when the real work begins.

You’ve had the honeymoon. You’ve had the party. But this is now that morning after where you’re having to clear up all the empty beer cans and unblock the toilet, all while having a stinking hangover and feeling like shit.

I agree that one too many problems can spell the end of a relationship, and I agree that there are some issues that just cannot be worked around. But if a couple gives up at the first sign of hard work then they clearly weren’t meant for each other.

Or if somebody walks away while the other person is willing to do the work, then they were never actually the one.

All relationships take effort.

All relationships will need some degree of work.

If we only ever lived for the highs of the honeymoon phase then we’d never find lasting love; because that feeling will always come to an end.

Sooner or later, the work has to begin.

Now before I take us into the final section of this article, I want to address the term ‘work’.

When it comes to relationships, the mention of work somehow rings an unpleasant bell. I mean, we do enough work in our nine-to-five, right? And we do enough work when we’re unblocking the drains, cleaning the bathroom, or picking up dog shit from the garden.

So let’s scrap that word altogether and we’ll use ‘effort’ instead.

Every relationship requires effort, but some require more than others.

We often hear people say…

“But if a relationship is right, then it’ll be easy.”

…and although that can sometimes be true, it’s more often the exception rather than the rule.

I know of many people who appear to be in wonderful relationships where it’d be hard to believe that anything ever goes wrong, yet these very same people have admitted to me that they’ve been through times where it was doubtful as to whether their relationship would survive.

This is far more common than we think, and when a relationship hits its crux, it can go one of three ways.

One, the relationship comes to an end and they both go their separate ways.

Two, the problems never get resolved yet the couple choose to stay together in an unhappy relationship (3).

Or three, the couple work through their problems and come out of the other side, stronger, wiser, and on a better path than they were before.

I mentioned before that there can be the exceptions where relationships seem effortless. They can be without any conflict at all. And while this may sound amazing and quite possibly is, it doesn’t necessarily prove how strong that couple really is.

Because it’s not until real problems arrive and genuine effort is needed, that the true strength of a couple is put to the test.

Is there a willingness on both sides to put in equal effort? Will both people try to see things from the other person’s perspective? And despite the conflicts that arise, are the couple respectful of each other? Not just in behaviour, but also of each other’s needs?

What is the quality of the communication? When one person speaks, does the other person actually hear their partner’s words and understand their intent? Do the couple have an ability to compromise? Do they want to see each other happy?

When words are sent back and forth, are they done so with the intent of hurting? Or with the intent of resolving? And when all of this is happening, are both people doing it out of love and with a genuine desire to reach the other side together? Or are they already thinking of a life beyond the relationship?

Maybe you think this sounds like too much hard work. And maybe you think it sounds like too much effort. But if that’s the case then I think you need to ask yourself a few hard questions.

Because to a strong couple, these things are simply objects in the road that need to be navigated.

And when problems arise, these difficulties aren’t a cue to walk, they’re a cue to talk.

Any couple can fall into dark and stormy seas together, but it’s how those seas are navigated that count. Does one person swim to safety while the other one is left to drown? Or do they both work together, swim for shore, and walk out of the sea together?

Because if you both find yourself stood on that shoreline, holding hands as the skies clear, and looking back at the hell you’ve just escaped from; and if you can look at each other, laugh about your experience, and be grateful that they’re still beside you; then my friend, I believe you’re with the one.

And I believe that they are too.

Because the bottom line is that I don’t believe that an individual person is ever just the one. Because how can they be? If they’re the one for you, then you also have to be the one for them. That’s the only way it can ever work.

The one is not somebody that you find. The one is somebody that becomes.

And in the end, it’s two people, together, that actually become ‘the one’.

FOOTNOTES

(1) Which therefore means you’d have equal chance of becoming a billionaire as you are in finding that one special person.

(2) The honeymoon phase can last, on average, between eighteen months and three years. And it is my belief that no major life decisions should be made during this period, because it’s like making a decision when you’re drunk and then waking up to face the consequences when you’re sober. Taking your time will allow you both to make healthier and wiser decisions. It’s about longevity, not immediacy.

(3) And this is not black and white. There are many reasons that an unhappy couple may choose to stay together, and more often than not it’s for practical reasons. This is not a criticism.

Did this article resonate with you and do you know of anybody that would appreciate reading it? If so then please do feel free to share this article wherever you can.

Do you have any thoughts or opinions on anything you’ve just read? How does it apply to your life? Are you too fast to fall in love? Do you believe in the one? Or rather, what is your interpretation of the one? Do you believe we only ever have one chance at true love? Or do you think there are endless possibilities of finding that one special person? Do you have any other thoughts about the content that you’d like to share with other readers? Or do you have any questions of your own to ask that either myself or my readers can share an opinion on? Please feel free to leave a comment below and we’ll begin a conversation.

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