From Our Readers
December 15, 2015 8:04 am

It all started at a party. We crossed paths and a stranger charmed me with the sparkle in his eyes and his carefree smile. He fit all of the things on my list of qualities that I would value in a partner. After a couple months of shy glances and awkward conversations, he asked me to be his girlfriend, and I thought everything was falling into place. I knew I had found “the one.” I felt more comfortable with him than I had with anyone else, and was confident that we were going to go the distance.

Until we didn’t. Our break up happened at the most inopportune time, and I spent the long taxi ride home (and quite frankly, the next few months) feeling devastated and wondering what went wrong. Was it something I had done? How could he, who was clearly the one for me, decide that he didn’t want me in his life? It’s been over a year, and I still couldn’t tell you exactly why. But in that time, I learned the following about the idea of “the one” in terms of approaching relationships.

Don’t let thinking someone is “the one” cloud your judgement

Or, in other words, what Maya Angelou said: “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”
This quote really resonates with me as I think about how seeing someone as “the one” can impact your judgement. We had started a serious dating relationship when we barely knew each other. I had an idea of who I wanted him to be, so I would dismiss things he said or did instead of recognizing them as indicators of real problems in our relationship. I was shocked by how he treated me at the end of our relationship, but with further reflection I saw ways that he had shown himself before and I just didn’t recognize it.

There isn’t a “perfect” person

I know this may seem redundant or obvious, but it’s also something I needed to recognize in my thinking towards relationships. Part of waiting for “the one” is this idea that some guy or gal will come in one day and get rid of all the cobwebs and dreariness in your life. However, the reality is that in sharing your life with another person so closely, you’re opening yourself up to their problems and struggles, too. And in realizing that a relationship is between two imperfect people, there is also the real possibility that the end result of the relationship will not be perfect, either.

There are seasons that we all experience in life

At risk of ruining the title, I don’t know if I’ve completely gotten over this guy. I mean, I shared a really exciting, happy time in my life with him, and I do think of memories with him from time to time. But when this happens, I can choose to ruminate and feel betrayed by the guy I thought was “the one,” or I can recognize that it was just a season of life that we shared. When I look around at where I am now and all that has happened since he left my life, I am thankful and excited for what will come next. I try not idealize guys I meet anymore and even though I still have a lot to figure out in the relationship department, I know now that I’m doing great without “the one” I thought I couldn’t live without.

Madeleine Lee is a college student and hopes to use her education to help people in the US and abroad. She would describe herself as painfully shy and introverted, but she loves to learn about other cultures and dreams of traveling around the world. Madeleine loves baking, reading, and listening to music. 

[Image via Searchlight Pictures]

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