God Help You if You Ever Find “The One”
Here’s why the surest way to NOT find a compatible mate is to look for “The One”…
– – –
See the author’s TEDx Talk on Creating Extraordinary Intimacy in a Shut Down World
– – –
My partner and I were out having nice intimate dinner a few evenings ago in a quiet restaurant. Sitting next to us were a couple of attractive women, one of whom was celebrating her 40th birthday, as yet still single. Honestly, we couldn’t help overhearing the conversation as the birthday girl animatedly went on about how so many of the men she’s dated have all turned out to be jerks. That she’s given up on the whole idea of even finding a man and is now going to focus fully on her business. Then, and I swear this happened, about two minutes later, with a sly look, she tells her friend about a conference she’s going to and maybe there she just might, sort of, you know… bump into “The One”. As my partner and I exchanged glances upon hearing this, I knew we were both thinking the same thing: God help her if she ever does.
It’s All Walt Disney’s Fault
The threaded mythos of “The One” is firmly weaved throughout the fabric of our culture. It is blatantly present in nearly every romantic fairy tale, with Cinderella being the poster child. All by itself causing the dreamy look in so many young girls who grow up with the same look and longing in their adult eyes.
Then there is the new-age chic of searching for one’s “Soul Mate”. The one and only that you’ve shared countless life-times together, without which this one truly sucks. I don’t know about you, but something just doesn’t add up here. If I’ve lived countless life times, then surely I’ve been with countless others who, by definition, are all my soul mates. Which begs the question, who is “The One” in this scenario? While this mythos really impacts both men and women, men are perhaps less aware, or less willing to admit, of its effect. Women (not all, of course) seem to be particularly susceptible to its spell and some are willing to go to ridiculous lengths to see its fruition.
It’s All in Our Wiring
I believe, underlying all of this is our cultural and genetic wiring designed primarily for propagation of the species. As the gender that bears and nurtures children, women in particular tend to have very strong urges to find a dependable provider and father for the brood. Stability is crucial for the progeny to maximize their chance of surviving long enough to repeat the process and so on. And this is where our highly educated, rational and civilized minds collapse the notion of relationship stability with finding “The One” whether in fact children are desired or not. This is a primal, ancient drive that, if one is unconscious to, leads to heartbreak or worse every time. It is also the force that causes many women to see potential princes within every sincere, warm, charming smile. And, if the heart beats a little faster with this first look, all the better. After all, it was meant to be!
Giving Up Our Power to “The One”
The subtext of this mythos is that once you find “The One” your problems are over. Because they are such a perfect fit, you really don’t have to work at it. And that, is the real source of the problems that always ensue with this foolish pursuit. By definition you abrogate your responsibility to work on your relationship because being with “The One” means you never have to. Now, I don’t know about other life times, but in this one I can state unequivocally this thinking is pure and utter garbage. I don’t care how well matched or perfect you are for each other, it takes constant work and vigilance to keep a relationship growing and fulfilling. And not doing so means you will be disappointed or heartbroken. And, the crash is all the more devastating when you fall from such high hopes and expectations that are concomitant with finding “The One”.
There are Lots of “Ones” Out There
In 1977, I remember reading the book “Looking Out for Number One” by Robert Ringer. In one part he talked about relationships (he was single at the time) and that there might be two or three women in all of Los Angeles that would be right for him. Looking back, I can’t help but think that there must be more than two or three women within humongous L.A. that would be attracted to him enough to consider a permanent relationship. Maybe, maybe not.
The point is this. Forget about finding “The One” and focus instead on finding and being the best match you can. And this my friend takes some work –starting with identifying and being very clear about all the qualities you want (and don’t want) in a mate. And just as importantly, why this person would be attracted to you. Then, go about your life and live it fully –some he or she that sufficiently meets those criteria will eventually make themselves known to you. Trust me, there are literally thousands, if not many times that, potential matches in this world for you.
And I say this having a relationship with a woman who is as close to perfect for me as I can imagine (and yes, I did the work first). Yet I also know, if our relationship were to end, she and I would likely find another near perfect match at some point. This confidence is based upon the fact we both continue to do the work.
Just know this. Looking for “The One” is a perilous quest at best. And God help you if you actually do find him or her under the delusion that then and only then will everything be okay.
– – –
About the Author
Michael J. Russer is a prostate cancer survivor who was left completely impotent as a result of his treatments. Yet, it was because of his impotence that he and his partner discovered an entirely new approach to emotional, physical and spiritual intimacy that far exceeds anything either experienced prior to when things were working “correctly.” His mission is to help men, women and couples everywhere to achieve extraordinary intimacy on all levels.
He is an international speaker, author and thought leader on the issues of human connection and intimacy. He also speaks pro-bono to Cancer Support Centers and Gilda’s Clubs around the U.S. for cancer survivors and their partners about regaining intimacy in the face of cancer. Go to MichaelRusserLive.com to explore the possibility of having Michael speak at your next event.
Michael is also a champion of the nonprofit men’s work being done by the ManKind Project (MKPUSA.org). He completed the New Warrior Training Adventure in 2012.
iTunes: Creating Extraordinary Intimacy in a Disconnected World
TEDx Talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XK8f8w7ICng