Finding “The One” Means Different Things to Different People

An apparently simple expression that’s charged with meaning.

Renata Gomes
Jan 12 · 3 min read
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Photo by Luke Southern on Unsplash

I recently wrote a piece about how I stopped looking for The One on a dating app.

The point of the story was to manage your expectations when online dating, to approach new matches with a sense of curiosity and discovery, not badger them with questions about how serious they plan to take things.

No one can be sure if they’d want a serious relationship with you until they actually meet you in person.

The story resonated with people, but a lot of comments I received focused on what it actually means to look for The One. Some people advised me on the foolishness that is to look for The One at all. There are 7 billion people on the planet, so you can’t count on something as mythical as fate to put you and your soulmate together, they said.

And that was when I realized that the concept of finding The One means slightly different things to different people.

This is what I meant when I said “The One” in the original story. Writing “Life Partner” up and down the story just didn’t fit.

Neither did “person you choose to spend the rest of your days with.”

Sometimes, The One is just short for “person you choose to commit to.” Writers will do that from time to time, choose a shorter, simpler combination of words to convey an idea.

While the goal may be to make the writing flow better, it might cause unintended side-effects, such as the comment section being used for lectures on the foolishness of believing there’s a The One out there for you, personally selected by fate and carefully stored away until you find him or her.

Believing fate is on your side in your quest to find true love is an optimistic mindset.

If it helps you stay positive through the mess that is meeting new people and dating, then, by all means, hang onto it.

Just don’t let that mindset turn negative when you haven’t found someone special in a while and you start believing fate has betrayed you. Be as optimistic as you’d like, but try to be realistic as well.

Try to use the fate narrative as a source of hope. Use it as inspiration to work on yourself and in your relationships, not as a guarantee that you can just sit on your ass and the right person for you will simply fall on your lap.

If you believe you can choose who’s The One for you, you embrace a more active mindset to finding love.

That doesn’t mean you go out choosing people to fall in love with, but that out of the people you do fall in love with, you choose the one you can fully devote yourself to. You choose the best partner to pursue a relationship with.

You don’t let infatuation cloud your judgment. You decide who gets to become a special person in your life and who’s no more than a passing fling.

Sometimes, you can find The One and discover it doesn’t last forever. It doesn’t have to last forever.

You can find The One for right now, The One for as long as you can make it work, The One before the next The One.

In the course of your life, you can come across more than one person you consider your The One. It’s perfectly ok to believe you’ve found The One, realize you were wrong, and then find someone else who’s a better fit for the role.

The fact that it wasn’t selected by fate and it didn’t last forever doesn’t necessarily make it less special.

Whatever The One means for you, I hope you found them, if you haven’t already.

If you think it’s impossible that fate has someone in store just for you, I hope you give life a chance to maybe prove you wrong.

Finding The One, after all, depends on you being open to the possibility.

Acid Sugar

Life, acid and sweet.

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