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"the one" - fairy tale or reality?

(19 Posts)
bananamilkshake1 Tue 18-Oct-16 15:38:33

I've been musing for some time and listened to a local radio programme this week asking listeners to text in re when they knew they had found "the one"

Personally, (now) I don't think "the one" exists, but this could be down to my life experiences. When I met exh 20 or so years ago, I absolutely believed I'd be with him for life, but our marriage didn't work out. Now, I believe relationships are more like friendships - people come and go and outgrow each other & it's so much to do with being in the right place at the right time. That makes me feel quite sad but it's the reality isn't it?

newmumwithquestions Tue 18-Oct-16 15:41:49

I agree. I think relationships are hard work. You also need to be in the same place (for example if/when to have children) at the same time. I don't believe there is 'a one'

Vagabond Tue 18-Oct-16 15:46:00

I think we all have phases in life. We have the right one for that phase.

My husband was previously married for 27 years. Most of them happily. But when their children left the nest, there was nothing to hold them together and they split up.

We came together as two exes, hopefully aware of the pitfalls of marriage. But more importantly, as two fully formed humans with set ideas of what we like and don't like. I hope that our phase lasts forever. He is my perfect man, but maybe it wouldn't it's our time of life and our ages.

My parents have been married for almost 60 years but have both had affairs and breaks in their marriage here and there. They are happy as ever, tho my mum still complains that he's too messy.

Wish there was an answer to this.

ShaunPaul Tue 18-Oct-16 15:51:35

I don't believe in 'the one' either because it assumes people are fixed in their identities and likes and dislikes forever. The boyfriend that I had at 19 made my 19 year old self very happy. Now I'm 30, I most definitely wouldn't be happy with him.

DH makes my 30 year old self happy and I hope that we grow an change together and continue to make each other happy for the rest of our lives. But, I accept that we might not. And if we don't then I hope we'll both move on and find someone who is more like 'the one' for that stage of our lives.

I think 'the one' is better though of as 'the best one', possibly 'the best one for now'. My DH isn't the one man who could have made my adult life happy. But he is the best one to make me happy given our similar personalities, shared interests etc. And, as I said, I recognise that him being the best one is very much dependent on who we both are now

I also think it's pretty limited to think that the one person who could make you most happy just happens to be someone you work with, met online, know from school and probably lives within an hour drive, rather than, say, a peasant goat herder in Outer Mongolia.

TheNaze73 Tue 18-Oct-16 16:16:56

The whole concept of "the one" is utter bollocks.

People who are widowed, meet other people, the person who was filling your mind in your 20's, isn't necessarily the same person it'll be in your 40's. If you are female, seeking a male, there are 3 billion plus people on the planet. To think only one of them is compatible & potentially in tune with you etc, is delusional

JosephineMaynard Tue 18-Oct-16 16:37:05

I don't believe in "the one".

I think that for each of us, there's an unknown number of potentially compatible mates - taking into account stuff like physical attraction, shared interests, shared values etc etc.

How many of these potential mates you meet and are in a position to form a relationship with owes a lot to chance, timing etc. Plus, as pp say, people change over time - someone who was a perfect partner for you when you were 20 may not be anywhere near as compatible 20 years on.

Focusing on the notion that there's only one perfect match for each of us seems nonsensical to me.

bananamilkshake1 Tue 18-Oct-16 16:38:34

ShaunPaul - "the best one for now" really resonates with me.

I think we are conditioned to believe that the person we are with today is absolutely going to meet all of our (as yet unidentified) future needs but how do any of us know what we'll need in 10 or 20 years time?

I see a lot of people staying with their partners because of "better the devil you know" when they aren't happy - same as I see people desperately searching for their perfect partner who doesn't exist.

My DP & I are generally happy with each other - together almost 8 years & no plans to move in which suits both of us. Whether our relationship ever progresses past where it is now, or whether we swan off into retirement together remains to be seen. Perhaps at some point in the future one or both of us will want something different..

Shodan Tue 18-Oct-16 16:45:54

I don't think there is such a thing, tbh.

I agree with 'the one for now'. STBXH was right for many years. He made me happy and secure. But it wasn't ever a passionate relationship, and there were always niggles.

When I started 'growing up' a bit, we started growing apart, until it got to s stage where the thought of spending even another year with him made me miserable, let alone the rest of my life.

Now I'm not sure that I'll ever have a long term relationship again. I'm not sure I'm cut out for it. But perhaps there are men out there that would suit me for life. Who knows? I doubt very much that there's only one though.

MuckyDuck Tue 18-Oct-16 17:59:32

I agree about there being no such thing as the one. There are so many opportunities for a fulfilled relationship and with 7 billion people on the planet, if there was only one for you, the chances of them living in your town would be pretty remote!

People's needs and wants can change so much over the years so I suppose the dilemma can often be when you are with someone who no longer completely fulfils you but there is nothing fundamentally wrong.

I see time and time again on the relationships board that you should explore every possibility to stay together, especially if there are children involved but that probably leaves an awful lot of people in relationships that perhaps are no longer 100% right for them.

LellyMcKelly Wed 19-Oct-16 08:13:53

I think it's dangerous to believe in 'the one'. What if he or she turns out to be an axe murderer, or abusive, or they die, or have affairs, or leave you? You've essentially sold yourself a fairy tale, and that might impede your ability or interest in forming new relationships.

MackerelOfFact Wed 19-Oct-16 08:22:50

I don't believe that there is 'the one' cosmically designed for each person or any of that bollocks. However if you do find someone who you love, are compatible with, and are able to sustain a fulfilling relationship in your personal circumstances then they basically become 'the one' because you're hardly going to keep looking (at least, in theory!) But anyone could be that person, there are probably hundreds of thousands of people on the planet who you could potentially have cultivated a similar relationship with.

I also think believing in 'the one' is dangerous because it can tie people to unhealthy relationships.

corythatwas Wed 19-Oct-16 08:41:44

Reality is not the same for all people. We are all individuals, we all have different circumstances, our lives unfold in different ways.

This is the potted version of my life:

went on holiday abroad as teenager, feel in love with slightly older man, maintained 10 years long distance relationship writing letters and meeting up every 6 months until we had finally saved enough money to marry, now close to silver wedding, never been interested in another man, can't imagine ever wanting to be

In somebody else's reality, he might well have turned out to be an axe murderer- or just a really, really boring man.

My reality is that I have had and still have a very happy life, that we work well together, that we have fun and look out for each other and function as a team. Naturally, we have both changed a lot over the last 35 years- but I like the man he has grown into. And I consider myself as somebody with high standards in men. Sheer fluke that the first one I found one actually happened to meet them. I still don't understand it, but I think that is kind of the point: life is unpredictable. And I do like to think that I would have walked if he had not turned out to be what I thought him. As it is, I can see how the older him has been shaped by the life and the difficulties we have shared together, and that makes it even more meaningful.

Don't know what I would do if he died. I have a very absorbing job so I don't think I would need to rush into a relationship just for the sake of it. To me it has always been about having this man, rather than about having a man.

ShotsFired Wed 19-Oct-16 08:56:41

It's really quite scary, isn't it.

You commit yourself to the "for now" person with no idea whether they will last 5 minutes, 5 years or forever. It feels reckless to give your heart away with no guarantees (can you tell I was single for a very long time before meeting OH?!)

This is the sort of thing that eats me up a lot - wondering if jam today is "worth it" or not.

bananamilkshake1 Wed 19-Oct-16 15:45:49

Yes ShotsFired - it IS scary. I take comfort in security and am lucky that I have my house, my job and am financially secure as an individual.

That security doesn't apply to my relationships though and it does unnerve me a bit. I want to make a plan for the next 10 years (eventual retirement and next phase of my life) and be on a path towards it but how much can you actually plan when you don't know if the person you are with will be a part of that plan or not?

Is the answer to just plan my life as though it's just me then adapt it if I'm with someone? That makes me feel a bit sad if I'm honest. Although I am most definitely fine on my own if needs be, I would rather be part of a twosome and am happier generally when I have a significant other to share things with.

Parhaps I'm overthinking the whole thing?

ShotsFired Wed 19-Oct-16 21:02:06

yyyyyy to everything you posted bananamilkshake I could have written the same words. I am also "sorted" house/job/finances.

I also like banana milshakes very much grin

We're basically twins.

category12 Wed 19-Oct-16 21:12:40

zoebarnes Wed 19-Oct-16 21:14:59

I don't believe in 'the one'. I believe I chose my dh well because he's the best man for me. Potentially there is someone else out there who would be just as good? Not very romantic eh?

But we married, had dc, in my mind that makes us family. As long as we don't make each other unhappy in years to come, we'all stay together and share our lives. I suppose romantic love isn't as important to me/us as familial love?

bananamilkshake1 Thu 20-Oct-16 11:13:25

So what happens if you don't have marriage or family to bind you together?

If , as Zoe says, romantic love isn't as important (to her/her DH) as familial love - then what happens if that bit is missing? I don't have children, nor does DP so what happens when the romantic love fades and you don't have the back up of familial love to bind you together?

OurBlanche Thu 20-Oct-16 14:33:20

31 years ago I met The One for me at 20 years old.

27 years ago I married The One for me at 24 years old.

We have no kids, just the 2 of us, nothing other than ourselves to bind us.

I appreciate that, if either of us were to go out and look for One, we would probably find Another One. But currently we just aren't looking.

DSis has no idea how you 'settle' for the same person, forever. She has been single for most of her adult life and can't seem to find anyone to like, let alone love. She too worries over the moment you see something you don't like in The One, or see something nicer in Another One. She knows this wrecks any chance she has of a long term relationship, but it is who she is!

So... have I settled? Have I worked with My One and always found him worth the effort? Am I lacking in something because I have settled? Should I be pitied or congratulated for being in/sticking with a long term relationship?

As for romantic love fading, it waxes and wanes. As does the red hot sex! But we are always friends... and because we are we always work through whatever it was that made the romance take a back seat. It is always an outside thing - maybe of it is ever an inside thing we will split up! Don't know. I can't imagine that happening - and I appreciate that is something that could be looked on as naive, but it is what it is!

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