November 10, 2009

"The One"

I don't think this movie is about soul mates...

There was a time in my life I believed in soul mates, the idea that every person has one perfect match somewhere in the wold. Now it just seems silly. There could be any number of people I'm compatible with and the decision to spend a lifetime with just one person is a bigger deal than we think.

Whenever a woman says she just knows her boyfriend is The One I gag a little. Honestly, you'd have to be silly to know you're going to marry a person after a few dates, and love at first sight? Please. Sure, there may very well be an instant connection, something that physically drew these women to their men, but love?

Not only is that an insane notion, but it's just kind of sad. The fun of dating is getting to know each other, learning about similarities and differences, and if you spend that time silently evaluating everything the dude says in order to assess your future together you miss out on the fun of actually dating. I've always pitied the girls (and women, as I get older) whose goals are to find a husband and have kids. There's a big difference between hating singleness because you need a husband and being fulfilled and happy with yourself enough to want someone to complement you. Though I understand wanting a family and there being a certain window of opportunity in which to act, looking for The One person out of over 6 billion who will make your life a fairy tale is simply retarded.

At least one friend of mine has a rubric: date Future Husband for 2 years, be engaged for 1, be married for 2 or 3 years, have 3 kids 1-2 years apart, and do it all by age 35. She should be dating her Future Husband now, and that puts an insane amount of pressure on her. Another friend of mine was convinced for the longest time that she would never marry and would spend her life caring for her mother, mostly because she was in her 20s and had never had a boyfriend. Now she's practically engaged to her only boyfriend. When these situations happen women are less likely to leave a sour relationship for fear of not fulfilling the plan or disappointing others. When I look at my old high school and college friends' marital statuses, the ones who put marriage and kids at the top of their list of life goals are now fretting over finding The One before their ovaries dry up, while the ones who didn't really care one way or the other and enjoyed simply living life are engaged or married.

But maybe I'm not the right person to be complaining about this; my lack of desire to procreate, thus the lack of urgency women in their 20s and 30s might feel, makes it hard to fully empathize. My shortest relationship was for 2 years, so naturally there were discussions about the future. Boyfriend #1 was convinced that I was his soul mate, that we'd have 2 kids and I'd stay home to raise them; when I broke it off I suspected a proposal was around the corner. On the opposite end of the spectrum, in over 5 years with The Ex there were a few hints of "maybe we'll end up together" followed by "after we break up and I get to experience being single again." Neither boyfriend was The One. But again, I don't believe in The One.


  1. From Your Friend Who has a RubricNovember 12, 2009 at 2:06 PM

    Yes, that was my ideal timeline, but I don't feel under pressure and I've never stayed in a sour relationship.

  2. Definitely spent my fair share of YEARS in relationships that clearly weren't going to last. Partly because I was afraid to be alone, and partly because I was convinced I could change them and everything would be okay.

    Hormones man. That, and fairy tales.