Before reading, note that this is a very personal view on the topic. I don’t claim to be an expert on subjects such as this, but these are life learnings I’ve come across along the way and I thought I’d share it. You are free to agree and disagree!
I’m an avid Refinery29 reader and I was more than interested when I came across this article around the same topic about how knowing a guy is the one is totally warmed up crap. The author, Maria Del Russo, gave a pretty heavy dose of her opinion and you may call me cynical, but I agree with her. There is no such thing as knowing some guy is the ONE just by one date. Before you start throwing rocks at me, hear me out. Please. Listen to understand, not to argue (sometimes, at least).
As with anyone with a smartphone, I swiped left and right into a hell and back on Tinder. I’d ditch the guys without a bio, and stuck to those who looked accomplished (points for you if you had a picture in a suit). I swiped right on potentials that I assumed would make my parents happy (yes, in this culture, parents’ opinion matters). With hopeful feelings, I had chatted up with CJ* who I thought would be the one and wore my most ‘I-am-successful-but-also-pretty-cute’ outfit. We had a great chat over dinner and proceeded to go for drinks at a snazzy bar in town. He acted like the perfect gentleman (he paid for everything albeit the arguing), he held my hand, gave me a chaste first Tinder date-esque and asked if he could take me out for a movie a few days later. I was in la-la land. I had done my share of Facebook stalking and realized we had a lot of mutual friends in common. The reality was, he was accomplished, he had a great family, he was doing a steady job and was well known amongst the local crowd. CJ wasn’t some dodgy guy with a hazy past. I was over the moon! Did I finally meet the guy of my dreams? I wanted to be in an exclusive relationship with him faster than you can say Kavi is stupid.
We proceeded to meet for a late dinner and headed for the 10 PM movie. He held my hand during the entire screening, with forehead kisses in between and promises of salacious activity to continue the evening. I got goose bumps, I was reluctant. I wasn’t the type to get frisky with a man on the second date. After the movie, we got into a cab and sped to my house (as I declined his invitation). This was the worst cab drive of my life. He groped me and tried to get his hands in my pants. I was scared. I didn’t want to make a noise as I was in a cab and I didn’t want the driver to know what was going on in the back. I ran home as soon as the cab stopped and locked myself in my room. I scrubbed every part of myself until I was raw and my eyes bloodshot. It was such a small thing, but it affected me. But what shocked me the most was that I had built up this whole idea that he was the one. But the one I wanted to end up with wouldn’t grope me inappropriately in a cab. After this incident, I asked him what he wanted. Did he want a relationship? Soon after I popped the question, he ghosted. Nada, zilch, zero messages. He didn’t want a relationship and he wasn’t a gentleman enough to tell me that. He called me a few days later if I wanted to meet in the evening (for what I’m sure you can imagine). I declined calmly (even though I was raging mad).
I’ve given up on romanticizing the idea of finding the one. Because to me, there is no ‘the one’ who ticks off everything on your checklist, who will make your parents happy, who will still lovingly talk to you even when you’ve completely shut him out.
The reason why I think we’ve gone wrong is because we’ve built a story around who is supposedly ‘the one.’ We’ve made assumptions after assumptions of what would it be like to be with him, to introduce him to your family and everything else but when he doesn’t act accordingly, we get hurt. Had I not imagined the idea of him to be the perfect gentleman, I wouldn’t have had as big of a problem of what happened that evening in the cab. Assumptions are the mother of all screw ups because we paint a reality we’d like as opposed to the actual reality of it all.
As the author of the R29 article mentioned, we can have a feeling that he is the one, but we can’t know. We can’t know if we’ll get a job, or if there is a 100% guarantee that we’ll get the promotion. In the same regard, we just can’t know if he is the one. You can have a pretty good feeling, but you can’t know because in my reality (note: my), there is no such thing as the perfect one. Instead, there is and will be a guy who will love you unconditionally, your flaws, your multiple personalities, everything. There is a guy who will love you for all that you are and will grow your entire being, but he most certainly will not tick all the boxes on your checklist. Inevitably, he might hurt you (i.e. heated arguments and disagreements), and you will hurt him. He might not act the way you want to in a scenario and vice versa. But that’s all OK. All I’ve learned is to resist building stories and ideas about the guy because he is his own person. He will act as per his will, and seldom will your imagination and reality overlap. And that’s all OK. You will know if you want to spend the rest of your life with him but you can’t know he’s the guy to fit the bill because he is an individual who deserves to be loved for who is he as opposed to the picture you’ve painted of him. That’s where I went wrong. I fell for the guy I painted, not for who he was and that was my mistake.
I am growing, however, and I am learning. That’s all we can do in any instance. We grow and learn from our mistakes. My experiences after have been wonderful and my current boyfriend is a dream. We’ve had our ups and downs but whilst I sometimes think of him in a painted angle, I try not to because he deserves to be loved for who he is and not for who I want him to be, and that is, the one.
I’d love to know your thoughts on this topic, too! You’re welcome to grossly disagree with me (just don’t start a fight with me for it…)
Credit goes to the author of the Refinery29 article for inspiring me to write this. Check out her article: I don’t believe that you’ll ‘just know’ when someone is the one.
*name and events changed to keep things anon.