I was at lunch with my friend Jill the other day, talking about the new man in her life. They have just begun dating and are still in those fun throws of “getting to know you” dates. You know the ones – Where you still get the fluttery feelings in your stomach when you see the person, or you stumble into the great void of awkwardness because you just do when you are with them. These are the fun moments that are to be enjoyed and, well cherished, since you never really get them back.
Jill, however, has a lot of friends that are married or have been married, or maybe some that are just insane. Over her tuna melt she told me that it has been awful telling people that she is dating someone new because everyone wants to know if he is “The One”.
Being a 35 year old single gal, Jill understands that some of her friends think she is supposed to be in a different place at this point in her life, yet it seems her friends don’t understand that Jill is okay being in her skin, taking care of herself as she figures her life out on her own. Yet, the questions continue to come.
I know I have been in this situation myself. Sitting across the table from a friend that looks at you as you are telling them about a fun night at dinner with someone you are dating, and they look at you with big, wide eyes and whisper,” So… do you think he’s the one?” while smiling and pursing their lips in the ‘this will be our little secret’ manner. I want to say to them, “How can we think about this person being “The One” for the rest of our lives and still be in the moment?”
It is the single girl’s nightmare (at least the single girls I know) to have someone ask them this question. Does there really have to be “The One”? Can’t we just date someone and figure it out on our own? Why is there the need to label the situation to our friends right away, does it make them feel better or is it truly their concern for us?
You know those fun parts in the beginning that I mentioned, the ones I think should be held on to? Well, those go away and the dust of new romance settles… Then the real stuff happens. That is when you get to see what you are dealing with, on both sides. How the other person hangs in there with you or if there is a true art of compromise in order to help both parties be happy. None of this “The One” crap.
This push for labeling almost makes me feel like we are losing what is our individuality when we find ourselves faced with the prospect of being in a relationship. My friend Christine brought this to my attention a few years ago when working on her vows for her wedding. She struck out a line about being united as one, because she felt that she and her husband were two individual people that would always stand together, not just as “one”. It made sense then and it makes sense now.
What is “The One” exactly? I have dated “The One That Drove Me Crazy By Singing Musical Numbers” and “The One Who Has ADD”. There was also “The One Who Likes To Put Others Down To Feel Better About Himself”. I have decided that if you ask me from now on if I am dating “The One”, I guess I can say yes, because essentially, they all are.