The Myth of “The One”

How did you know she was the one?

We got this question a lot when we announced our engagement. The short answer I like to give is “She told me she was.”

No but seriously, while we’d all like the answer to be something romantic and sappy like:

Finding the One by Naija Husband

Finding the One

All those things are lovely and nice but the truth is really that there is no such thing as “The One”. Honestly. it’s more like

darts-155726_640

Yep. Shooting darts. Now Hollywood might assassinate me for saying that, but it’s the truth and it needs to be said.

This idea of “The One” is a false concept. There is no such thing. Frankly, you could have a successful marriage with almost anyone (anyone who isn’t a psychopath, sociopath or serial killer) if you have certain core basics in common and you both are willing to apply the right attitude towards the marriage. Yes, churches like to preach “bone of your bone and flesh of your flesh”. but I think it’s really just symbolic and that’s as far as it goes.

If you’re stuck thinking there is some mystical “The One” waiting out there for you to find them, you’ll find yourself in a never ending loop of self-doubt, constantly asking yourself “Is she The One?” “is he Mr. Right?” “Was it the other person I dated that was Mr. Right?” You’ll continue to compose numerous and ever growing lists of the qualities you think “the one” should have and constantly rule out people who fall short (thankfully, my wife had no such list). It’s crazy, and I find that most of us post-university adults go through that cycle at some point.

Aargh! What if I make the wrong decision?

Aargh! What if I make the wrong decision?

…and the women in particular might fall into this trap

Waiting for Mr. Right

Waiting for Mr. Right

Not that men are completely immune to that trap of “waiting” forever for the right one. I have more bachelor uncles than I can count who have crossed the age of 55 because they never found “The One”.

Not wanting that to be my situation, and when I got tired of asking myself questions in a loop and never getting the answer I wanted (because people like me are always rethinking our steps), I decided to step out in faith.  So I asked God to stop me if I shouldn’t move ahead and waited.  And waited….and waited some more.  I drove my wife crazy with my waiting because as she put it, I was just playing games with her heart (and playing games with her future).

Funny enough, once I was ready to move ahead, she suddenly got cold feet!

At the end of it all, I didn’t marry my wife because she was “the one”. I married her for the following reasons:

  1. Because I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her.  I pictured life without her, and decided I much preferred life with her. I pictured the worst possible scenarios (e.g. death. dismemberment, disability, job loss) and thought about whether I would still want to be with her if such things were to occur.
  2. Time + Trials + Acceptance + Faith + Choice.  After some time together I’d learnt a lot about her.  Things you can’t learn in just a few months. Time meant that I waited for clarity and Time also meant we went through a few trials and still came out strong. Those trials revealed our personalities to each other. Whether it was family wahala or financial hardship…only time can reveal how people act towards you during those times.  Time also meant I learnt acceptance. I accepted the things about her that I liked as well as those annoying things about her that would probably never change (longer blog post on that later). I exercised my faith that God was in control of our future and then I made a choice to love her for the rest of my life. It was a conscious choice and one I have to remake every morning, when I wake up next to her.  That was the last step, making the choice.

Now if all those things mean she’s “The One”.  So be it. But there are two more truths.

  • You will have some days where you question your decision.  Doubt will always be there. You’ll ask yourself “Should I have gotten married?” “Should I have even dated her?” “Will this last?”
  • You will never know the definite answer to your question. It’s kind of like asking “Is there a God?” You can be as confident as you want to be, but you only find out the answer in the end.  Until then, you pray and have faith that you made the right choice to believe in a God. Same goes with marriage. You trust and believe and have faith that this is the person for you, and you strive to make sure it works with the person you chose, but you won’t know if it will last until it does.

Until 50 years later and then 60 years later…till death do you part.

NaijaHusband

Welcome to the musings of the “not so typical” Naijahusband and his lovely Naijawife. Follow us on Twitter: NaijaHusband and NaijaWife

27 Comments

  1. Wow! This gives a whole insight on this topic. Thank You! I’ll follow on twitter hope you follow back. 🙂

  2. Love is many things to many people, but I think lasting love is a choice… a choice to follow through everyday.

    I agree with you that “… and then I made a choice to love her for the rest of my life. It was a conscious choice and one I have to remake every morning, when I wake up next to her.”

    I pray that come 50, 60 years, you’ll still be choosing to love each other every day.

  3. I believe in the one, which explanation funny enough is very close to yours here. The One is a choice you make consciously but there aren’t so many people you can make it with, and for weird people like me, it could be just ONE person!

    • Very true. But what of when remarriage happens e.g. after death, and people find their “one” a second time. That could mean there were two “ones” or there was one “one” for a specific time.

      • if It ends up in divorce … it was the wrong ONE…. I feel there can only be one person who will be true to you as you both change and grow in marriage through each stage and still accept you regardless…. Gods choice at the end of the day is the ONE whether we willingly accept it from the beginning or not. may God help us single ones left … 😉

  4. I’m so glad you guided me to this post because it was so good and I loved reading a man’s perspective on this topic. What you said about Time + Trials + Acceptance + Faith + Choice struck a chord because it puts into words the feelings I’ve had in past relationships but couldn’t articulate well.

    I too don’t believe that there’s only one person that’s meant for you…I think choosing a person makes them the person…until death do you part, but like you said in your comment to Myne, should the unthinkable happen and one is single again, it doesn’t mean you can’t find love again because you already had it with “the one”.

    One last thing: what you said about your wife, this is why I’m waiting. I don’t have a huge list of things I want in my future husband: he doesn’t have to be considered attractive by society’s standards, or wealthy, or have a particular profession, but please God please, let him treat me and talk about me like he doesn’t want to live without me, like there is something unique about me that makes me the woman he’s chosen. This is why I cannot marry a guy who tells me he’s ready to marry and he thinks I’d be a good woman. Call me greedy but I want more.

  5. I agree with GNG – choosing them and they choosing you makes them the one. And for some people that really happens only once.

  6. I love love this post! Thanks for stopping by and giving me the heads up..Now your statement about the one being the one you chose to be the one makes absolute sense….
    *Hi! You have a new follower 🙂

  7. This is an awesome post. I too believe in the one – after a lot of back and forth on whether there is even such a thing. I know it now that I’ve found it.

    I’ve been in relationships before, some where I thought I was in love but it turned out not to be love, some where I knew I wasn’t in love but kept the relationship going anyway. This time, however, I fell in love and instantly knew I wanted to be with this man for as long as God allows us both to live. We’ve been tested and we’re still standing strong. The thing that sealed the deal for me was when I asked myself whether I would still marry him knowing I might end up a young widow (he recently had a health scare) and my answer was a certain “yes.” No reservations whatsoever. Thanks for such a lovely post.

  8. This post reminds me of a certain conversation on twitter where people argued if there was any such thing as a soul mate. All your points are valid, because these were the thoughts I shared on the subject that day.

    ‘The One’ dies, and is replaced eventually with another ”one’ that could make the bereaved feel just as good..if not better. And in an article I was writing today, I said it will always be a challenge sharing life with a ‘stranger’ no matter how in love you think you are. So in choosing the one, you’re better off with someone whose not-so-good sides you’re willing to have to deal with for a lifetime. We can never love people enough by default. Takes constant conscious efforts. We miss this all the time and wait for God to appear in our dreams with a picture which is hardly ever the case.

    I almost feel like I’m repeating all you said but these are actually thoughts I put down in my notepad this morning. Lol

    I especially loved reading this part;

    “I pictured the worst possible scenarios (e.g. death. dismemberment, disability, job loss) and thought about whether I would still want to be with her if such things were to occur.”

    Awwn :’) . Love is so beautiful.

  9. Ok! *smiles*
    I agree with your “there’s no ONE person for you” and stuff, BUT I disagree with the not exactly having a list part. I’m of the opinion that if you don’t know what you want, you’ll pro’ly take anything that life throws your way and why should I get stuck with someone when I can actually pick.
    I made a list a while back, its on my blog (here’s the link in case you’re interested http://heartstringsandkeynotes.wordpress.com/2011/09/04/my-man/ ) and I got what I wanted. And I had gotten to a point where I actually wasn’t going to settle for less.
    Is he perfect? NO. Is he everything I ever wanted? YES and much more.
    “The expectations of the righteous shall not be cut short”
    😉

  10. Great post!

    My husband and I are enjoying reading and discussing your posts. This particular one struck a chord cos we’ve never liked questions relating to “the one”.
    We completely agree with everything you said. Well except rather than saying one can make a successful marriage with anybody, we believe that there are several potential “the ones” out there, and the person we end up with is down to choice and largely to timing as well. We look forward to reading more from you 🙂

  11. Tonight’s my first on this blog, and I find it refreshing and true. I particularly loved the part where u talked about waiting and naijawife thinking u were wasting her time and future and developed cold feet when u were ready. That speaks of me… I’m yet to get married… Still battling the ‘marriage cold feet’. God bless you real good.

  12. I totally agree with your post! I also don’t believe in th whole “one” principle. U make the person u are with “the one”

    PS. I totally love your blog. The only problem is that I don’t get notifications on new posts! 🙁

  13. This is a wonderful post. Completely in love with it.
    Staying in love is a choice. Human beings are generally emotional people and emotions can be flighty and fickle.
    Staying true to someone you are with is the choice.
    God bless you for this.

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