Disconcerted by the possibility of being alone, we often go to extreme lengths to make a relationship work. We go to extreme lengths to convince ourselves that this person is ‘the one’ because we can’t afford to leave behind yet another ‘wasted’ relationship. We are driven by the conviction that there is only one person that exists out there for us, and hence, further driven by the fear that we will never find them.
I spent many years chasing men like a hawk, looking out for any possibility, no matter how unsuitable it was. I was desperate and eager. Every relationship I got into I convinced myself, ‘this is my person,’ I have found the man I am meant to spend the rest of my life with, this, this is it. But for one reason or the other, I’d be shaken by yet another failed relationship. And the heartache wasn’t just because I lost someone I thought I was destined to be with, it was the realization that I was wrong about something I was so sure about, that my emotions fooled my judgement once again.
And I asked myself, how long do I have to keep going until my convictions eventually align with my reality?
How can I go from that high of I’ve found my person, to the low of I’ve lost him?
If something I used to think was absolute so easily becomes disrupted, can I even trust myself to know?
The truth is, these emotions were real at some point. My belief that this person belongs to me, was also real at some point. The only part I got wrong was the fact that if I were to lose that person, it would mean losing the only person I could ever love wholeheartedly.
If you think about it, statistically speaking, there are so many people out there that could be ‘the one.’ There are so so many one’s out there. Sometimes you’re lucky enough to cross paths with, and some you’re also equally lucky enough not to. The idea of a soulmate is true, the experience of the ‘love of my life’ is real. But when we meet one of them, we are not interested in searching for the rest. All the illusive ‘ones’ you will meet, will one day lose their place as such, to make space for ‘the one,’ the one you stop looking for other ones after. And that is the very reason why ‘the one’ can be true in the context of many ‘ones.’
It’s quite interesting how emotions operate inside of us. Sometimes they propagate feelings that form reason and get us where we need to go. And other times they fool us, seemingly appearing as gut feelings that are in fact intertwined with our needs, not our inner reality.
In order to have a genuine chance of meeting that person we want to wake up to everyday, that person whose occupation in our minds leaves us elevated, that person who makes us feel whole and good in every way possible, we must let go of the obsession of meeting them. We must not look to scratch the surface because either way, what’s underneath it will eventually dig its way out if it’s not for us. Instead, we must stumble on the surfaces, and learn to embrace the possibility that they may or may not touch us. Because if we’re constantly trying to fit someone into a box or image that doesn’t exist, the box will eventually tear, and the image will eventually make itself known.
It was very recently that I stumbled upon a guy whom my chemistry with was something out of this world. Everything between us was perfectly symmetrical and naturally real. All I wanted to ask him was ‘where have you been all my life?’ I felt like I was on top of the world having found someone who fulfilled me in every possible way, someone who left me in awe, someone who managed to penetrate that very surface and take me to a place I have never been to before.
It was only less than two weeks that my image was so swiftly shattered. I went from an amazing high, to a hollow low. It was absurd. And I just didn’t get it. In that moment, I was so sure that he was my soulmate, my person. I was utterly convinced that we’d reach the end together, only to realize later on that this was not the case. Was it not real? Did I imagine these feelings in my head? In hindsight, the answer was no. For whatever circumstances or reasons, I was not meant to end with this guy. And I don’t necessarily mean ‘meant’ in the sense that it was destined or whatever, but in the sense that at the time, and in that place, we could not be together. Whether it’s because the love wasn’t real or the timing was wrong, he was not one of the ‘ones’ that had the capacity to last a lifetime.
I realized that this person filled with desperate conviction was “my meant to be,” an idealized part in me that wants to find love, to find someone that I can connect with. I realized how very quickly I end up maximizing these chances of him being the one, and discarding all the other contradicting signals that might be there. The man was not the force of attraction, the need to find him was. I realized then that I was disrespecting the process, and more so, disrespecting my entitlement to meet someone in a way that embraces the process, rather than forces it.
And it was then that I also realized meeting our better halves is not a rigid process. It is not black or white. It is not this or that. It is not one or the other. It’s a process, a confusing process. You’ll often feel lost and frustrated. Sometimes you’ll feel that you’ve hit the nail, and then later on you’ll realize that you actually missed. The truth is, we will come across ‘many ones,’ sometimes we’ll fall hard and trip, and other times we’ll fall hard and someone will be on the other end to catch us. At the end of the day, all that matters is to trust the process rather than question it, to let the odds lead the way instead of pushing forth our chances. We must accept the ride regardless of how many tangents it goes off onto. Because the reality of the matter is, it may seem like the road is derailing you from your intended course, but it is in fact moving in the only possible way it could, the only places it knows how to. What is meant for you will find you, and what isn’t will slip away no matter how hard you try to catch it. And finally, note, note with sincere intent, that when you know, not only will you know why you know, but you will know why some time ago you didn’t.