does the one exist

Why You Should Stop Looking for “The One”

Blame it on Disney fantasies, early 2000s magazines, and every rom-com ever made, but there is some interesting messaging out there when it comes to dating. One of the biggest narratives we’re fed around dating and relationships is that there’s this magical unicorn of a human that was made just for you – “the one”.

While this may be true for some people, it can create confusion, shame, or simply be misleading for others. This attitude can warp your perception of dating and relationships as a whole, and may even keep you from making some cool connections. Still not convinced? Here’s why you should stop looking for “the one”.

Dating Should be Fun

Life is meant to be enjoyed. When you’re laser-focused on achieving a certain outcome, you can get tunnel vision and lose sight of what’s around you. This kind of attitude can take the fun out of dating and zap the magic out of new relationships. 

While it’s good to know what you ultimately want out of dating, it’s also important to enjoy the ride. Sometimes going on a date can be as simple as “I want to show up authentically, be me, be kind, have fun, and hopefully spend some time with a cool person.” That doesn’t mean anything has to come from it, just that you’re showing up open and ready to connect.

We don’t want to perpetuate any shame or insecurities you may have around dating, but we want to point out that people are perceptive. When you go on a date only thinking “This could be my person” it creates a certain heaviness and may cause you to change your behavior to try and impress them. 

This kind of attitude puts pressure on connections, taking the fun out of dating. Besides – wouldn’t you rather start a potential relationship from a place of joy and levity?

Work With What You’ve Got

The idea of the one can also manifest as perfectionism in dating. You have a clear list of things you want in a partner and refuse to stray from it. You’re quick to dismiss people from your dating pool because they don’t meet every single one of your expectations.

Here’s a bit of a reality check – it’s highly doubtful that one person will be able to check all your boxes. That being said, people may still surprise you, tick a lot of your boxes, or tick boxes that you didn’t even know you had. That’s the magic of allowing space for fluidity in your dating life. Someone may show up that you didn’t think was “your type” or what you were looking for, but there’s an inevitable connection, and it just feels right.

Relationships don’t just fall into your lap. They take work. They involve having hard conversations, being vulnerable and honest, and taking the time to truly get to know someone and let yourself be seen. There are probably thousands of people out there who you can build the type of relationship you want with. 

If you’re wondering whether you can make it last with someone that you’re dating, ask yourself:

  • Do we share similar values?
  • Do we have an authentic connection?
  • Do I feel comfortable being myself with this person?
  • Do we want similar things out of life?
  • Do we have compatible relationship styles?

We’re not saying to settle in situations where someone doesn’t treat you well, or even in relationships where there’s nothing wrong, but you know it’s just not right. This is not about settling. It’s about understanding the many nuances and complexities that come with being in a partnership. 

The More the Merrier

We’d be doing you a disservice if we didn’t discuss the elephant in the room – monogamy is not for everyone. For many people, there’s no such thing as “the one” because they don’t want to be in a relationship with just one person!

There is more conversation than ever around ethical non-monogamy (ENM) and polyamory. If the idea of “the one” doesn’t resonate with you, maybe you want to consider exploring ENM. There are many ways to practice ENM. Some people have a primary partner and they date other people either together or separately. Others practice “solo poly” where they may have a few intimate relationships, but lead a “single lifestyle”. 

Of course, ENM isn’t for everyone. Even if you want a monogamous relationship, you can still benefit from ENM wisdom and the idea that you can create meaningful connections with a variety of people and that different people bring different things to your life. 

You Never Know What Life has in Store for You

One of the most beautiful gifts of life is that you can try to plan out every detail, but life will surprise you no matter what. You never know what your future will bring, and who will come into your life. 

Being hyper-fixated on “finding the one” can make you put on blinders to the magic of life, and maybe keep you from enjoying other parts of your life. 

If you’re having a hard time getting out of the “the one” mentality, then it might be time to recalibrate. You may want to take a break from dating and focus on yourself and what fills up your cup outside of relationships. We know this can be easier said than done and can be helpful to discuss during therapy if you have a mental health provider.

At the end of the day, you’re human. It’s normal to feel a yearning or ache for a certain outcome. Most people desire companionship of some kind, and it’s nothing to feel guilty or ashamed about – it’s completely natural.

That being said, shifting your mentality around dating can be incredibly powerful. It can help you get back out there feeling more yourself, more empowered, and clearer about what you want and what you bring to the table. Believe that what you want is out there, just don’t forget to enjoy the process!