Why The Idea of “The One” Is Toxic
For years, we’ve blindly accepted that there’s one person out there who’s meant to be our person. "The One". In theory, it’s a comforting idea—that you’ll one day meet someone built just for you, who will never fight with you and who will always be attracted to you.
Even though I am a married woman, I still reject the idea of “The One”. I believe that each person can have numerous soulmates in the form of friends, romantic partners, parents, and even animals. In a world teeming with billions of people, it seems unrealistic that one human being can meet all of our needs.
Why It's Dangerous
Over-romanticizing relationships causes people to invest too heavily in notions like destiny or fate. That leads to impulsive decision-making (getting married on a whim), or staying in toxic relationships. When you're obsessed with the idea that your significant other is your one and only soulmate, you're willing to go to any lengths to keep your relationship together.
Believing you have a singular soulmate can cause you to idealize your partner. You ignore their flaws while glorifying their strengths. When you believe that someone is “The One,” you might intentionally minimize controlling or manipulative behavior, opening the door to an abusive relationship.
No relationship can work perfectly on its own. Regardless of how perfect your significant other is for you, your relationship will still take hard work, commitment, and empathy to maintain. And if it doesn't work, it doesn't work. You're allowed to move on.
Conflict Is Normal
Movies and television shows have fed us the concept of "the one" for years, so it makes sense that we'd expect this ideal for our own relationships. On screens, we see bad boys change for the better when they meet the right girl. But trust me, this fixer-upper dynamic never works.
I love my husband with all my heart, but he’s not the person I thought I’d end up with. In many ways, we’re total opposite. But our differences help us understand our own blind spots and develop empathy for other viewpoints.
When our perspectives clash, it takes hard work to resolve the conflict and develop empathy for each other's perspectives. Relationships are all about finding balance and making compromises, not faking perfection. You’re going to argue at some point. But if the person is right for you, those fights will help you grow stronger as a couple.
You Complete Yourself
“The One” is problematic because it assumes that you need another person to complete you. You convince yourself that once you find that missing puzzle piece, your soul will be complete. But your soul is a nuanced and chaotic beast. It’s filled with flaws, passions, strengths and weaknesses, and there’s no way that someone can perfectly complement that. At the end of the day, relationship are about accepting the other person as they are, not forcing them to conform to an ideal.
At the end of the day, you choose what’s right for you, and you complete yourself. Don’t let a meet-cute circumstance determine the rest of your life. Rejecting this myth of singularity is a radical act of self-care. It’s adopting the optimistic (but realistic!) viewpoint that whatever happens, you’ll be ok. Respect yourself, set boundaries, and trust your gut without letting labels weighing you down. You’re an amazing, badass individual, and seeing yourself as your own soulmate is the first step to recognizing that.