“The One” Doesn’t Exist.

“I’ll never find anyone like her again.”

“She was the one. I blew my chance.”

“I can’t tell if she’s the one yet, so I’m going to give it more time and keep my options open.”

“I’m afraid I’ll never find the one.”  

“I’m terrified of losing him because he’s the one.”

In my private practice as a life coach, I hear these statements from clients on a regular basis.

We’ve been programmed to believe that there’s a mysterious perfect someone out there in the world, waiting for us to play our cards right and stumble upon them.

But, although it seems like believing in “the one” is a hopeful and empowering notion, it’s not. The idea that there objectively is “the one” out there allows us to place responsibility for our happiness outside of ourselves.

Believing in a black and white dichotomy—the one or not the one—keeps us in reacting mode and prevents us from creating our relationships. It puts us into a mindset of judging and evaluating everyone we come across.

“Are you the one?”

When dating, we can’t be genuinely interested, accepting, and curious because we are too busy assessing how many items on our soulmate checklist they fulfill. If they are up to snuff, we get clingy, needy, and desperate. “If I lose him, I’ll be alone forever!” Or, “I’ll have to resign myself to someone inferior!”

And, if they don’t meet our criteria, we doubt whether they are the right one, stop taking responsibility for the relationship, and become resentful and manipulative. We keep one foot out the back door and feel justified in not fully committing to the relationship.

The idea that there is “the one” out there is a veiled attempt to avoid vulnerability.

We think that we’ll be safe from disappointment and heartbreak if we keep the faith that we’ll find that perfect someone.

“They’re not the one,” is a ready-made excuse that we use to avoid having to give a relationship 100 percent. It allows us to avoid having to fully commit to the one we’re with.

And, “I had ‘the one’ and lost her,” is an excuse for not putting ourselves out there. It allows us to avoid having to commit to creating the relationship we want—which includes rejection and disappointment.

Believing in “the one” doesn’t protect us from anything. It makes us judgmental when we’re searching for the one, resentful when we think we’re not with the one, and desperate when we think we’ve found the one.

All in all, it keeps us from actively creating the relationship we want.

So, let’s completely give up the notion that “the one” exists and instead, start believing that with enough acceptance, open-mindedness, commitment, and willingness—we can create “the one.”

A relationship is not about finding the right person. There is no rightperson in reality.

It is about being willing to vulnerably put ourselves out there time and time again until we find someone we are ready to choose with all of our heart. Someone we want to devote ourselves to. Someone we want to serve. Someone whose life we want to fill with our love.

Not because they’re “the one.” Because they’re them.

We don’t find the right one. We choose someone and declare that they are the one. Not because they’re the only person out there that’s right for us. They’re the one because we have chosen them. Choosing someone fully allows us to accept them for everything they are and everything they aren’t. For every way they match our criteria and every way we don’t.

So let’s give up the “my partner isn’t the one” excuse for not fully committing. Let’s put both feet in or no feet in. And, let’s give up the right to wallow in self-pity because we “lost the one.” When we’re single, let’s choose that, knowing full well that when and if we are willing to do what it takes, we can create the one.

It’s not about finding “the one,” it’s about choosing wherever we are and whoever we’re with.

-Brandilyn Tebo

Kris van Genderen