Being brought up on a healthy diet of fairy tales, The Disney Channel, primetime soaps, and chick flicks does a number on your psyche. You come to believe that destiny and fate play a part in just about everything ... but mostly in love. You ask and answer questions like, "Is he The One?" with grave sincerity. Because you've been trained your whole life to narrow love's battlefield down to the single person who will make you the happiest you've ever been -- and will continue to do so for a lifetime of forever and ever. Or so you think.
That's until you grow up and realize love and life aren't so black and white. We're not presented with a bunch of frogs and just ONE prince or princess.
In reality, there has to be more than one. But the one you end up with is the one you choose of your own volition.
A married friend and I were discussing this recently. She said she and her husband think there are probably several different people out there in the world they could have been compatible and happy with as partners. But they made the conscious decision to commit to one another. She explained, "What if G-d forbid my husband died tomorrow? Would it mean that I was supposed to be alone for the rest of my life, because he was The One?" She makes a really valid point, right?
And I appreciated her insight, because I think it's a sham when people say you "just know" and "don't have to question" that the person you marry is The Ultimate Only #1 Destined Person For You. What you do "just know" and should know is that you love that person and that you want to commit yourself to a monogamous relationship with them for the rest of your life. You can't 100 percent positively know that they're the only person you could be happy with. Not only is that concept unrealistic and limiting, but it works under the assumption that we're living a Matrix-like existence or are marionettes and some "greater power" is pulling the strings.
Not to mention how the search for fated "perfection" can paralyze us from moving forward or working through challenges our relationships are bound to present us. (How many divorces happen, because people have an unrealistic view of what the ultimate relationship should be? They mistakenly believe that if their relationship truly were a "destined" fairy tale, there wouldn't be bumps in the road?)
Even though I still appreciate the idea of destiny and believe it plays some part in who we end up with, I'm just now starting to realize that making the conscious decision to be with someone might be even more romantic as being "meant to be." In many ways, there's more power in knowing you made up your mind that your partner will be "The One."
Do you believe in The One?
Image via Mariola!/Flickr