I spend much of my week delivering sex and relationships workshops and I often witness a preoccupation amongst both young and older women on finding ‘The One’. Although a romantic at heart, I worry about the impact that this has on female wellbeing.
In Western society, the notion of ‘The One’ is held in high regard and is yet another ideal pushed onto women as something they should believe. We see the same story repeated in modern media time again, often in the form of Rom Coms e.g. scatty girl who can’t get her s**t together meets a hot guy, sparks fly and her life changes forever as she is now complete *cringe*.
It’s no different from the Disney stories of yesteryear when the princess would wait for her prince charming to carry her off into the sunset so she can finally be happy. Unfortunately, we’re still being fed this homogenous representation of how romantic unions should begin.
As spicy as mind-blowing instant chemistry sounds, for many of us, long-term partnerships start as slow burners…an initial compatibility which builds over time into a strong, steady and fulfilling bond.
I feel that focusing on finding ‘The One’ sets us up for somewhat unrealistic expectations of a blissful and instantaneous union based on artificial portrayals. It also perpetuates the belief that a female cannot be whole by herself and needs to find her ‘missing piece’ to be content when in fact women are complete, whole and amazing beings already!
I do, however, believe in soul mates/soul connections which are deeply intense relationships in which two people feel inexplicably linked. In fact, I believe that my husband is one of my soul mates. Despite this, I think that soul mates can just as easily come in the form of family members or friends.
I put this eternally unanswered question this out to Shakti Bloom readers and here’s what they had to say:
Does ‘The One’ exist?
If you would have asked me at 18 if ‘The One’ exists my answer would have been absolutely not. I would have told you that nearly all human activity is learned through behavioural association and any attraction to a particular person is merely based upon what you have been taught as desirable by your early socialisation. Ask me the same question at 19, and you would have received a contrasting response because at this point, I had indeed found ‘The One.’
When I met my wife outside University halls it wasn’t long before we were heartily chatting away like old friends do. We had a real connection, the type that can only be forged over many years and felt extremely natural in each other’s company.
This was a connection deeper than any physical attraction, or anything based upon a set of learned behaviours. This felt so bizarre because until that night, this amazing young woman was a complete stranger to me! It was at this point that my awakening began. I couldn’t explain it, but I knew it I had found ‘ The One’. I knew it not in my mind, but in my soul.
Although we met for the first time on that night, I know that we have been together for many lives before. There is no evidence to support this claim and I couldn’t even begin to try telling my 18-year-old self this story but, I believe it in my heart of hearts to be true. Those who know me will agree that I am a person who finds it difficult to be ‘told’ anything. I have to experience it for myself and for me, finding ‘The One’, has been one of those things.
Cory Mc: London
I 100% believe in love. I do not, however, believe in the concept of ‘The One’ which feels like it’s based on nothing but hope and belief. On a planet of 7 billion people, the idea that you will actually cross paths with the one person who is meant for you seems a bit silly.
I believe choosing a life partner is exactly that: it is a choice. Yes, love is chemical, emotional, overwhelming and consuming but somewhere along that road you make a decision to be with that person.
The idea of a partner who is perfectly matched to you encourages perfectionism and not the good kind! How many people are waiting for a feeling, a sudden rush, something inside them that tells them it’s ‘The One’.
A lack of this intangible feeling might mean someone unnecessarily breaks up with a partner because they’re supposed to ‘just know’ that they’ve found their ‘One’- this makes me so sad!
I also have questions: Does everyone get ‘One’? What about people who are perpetually lonely, where is their ‘One’? Or what if someone’s ‘One’ dies (do they get another; do they get ‘Two’?) Or people who are happily single? Can they reject their ‘One’ if it comes along?
I think we should encourage people to live full, rounded lives, and to find fulfilment within themselves. We should let people decide what they won’t compromise on (respect, safety, honesty…) whilst reminding them that good, decent, loving partners come in all shapes and sizes. They might not look like ‘The One’ that you pictured but they could still make you very very happy.
Zahrah Al-Bejawi: Sex & Relationship Education and Wellbeing Specialist
I no longer believe in ‘The One’ because I have connected with several men who I believe are my soul mates but who are not compatible partners. The love was there and it was very real but there were multiple reasons why we were not able to sustain a committed relationship.
Having been married for thirteen years (and separated for two) I understand how truly and deeply you can love a person, but I now know that above all you must love yourself more. This will lead you to realise your own truth, boundaries and what you as an individual are able to live with.
I feel that traditional images of the damsel in distress rescued by the gorgeous hunk is very confusing for women. I too am conditioned in this belief, I don’t like it but it’s true.
In a relationship, there is so much more than love when you take in account the dynamics of social norms, personality, culture, race and class and so I am choosing to work on breaking free of the myth that ‘The One’ exists.
Nicole Als: Drama Education Facilitator & Playwright
So, as we can see, there is no right or wrong. Some people believe in the one and some people don’t.
One thing I know for sure is that although healthy and loving relationships are undoubtedly a wonderful thing, no human being should spend time waiting for someone to complete them.
We should all work on fulfilling and developing ourselves and if finding a partner is high on the list we should aim to find a partner that complements our already awesome selves.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this.
Tell me…Does ‘The One’ exist?
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