I listened to a great interview with The angry therapist and he vehemently disagrees with the notion of “the one” or finding “the one”. And I can’t stop thinking about it. His response to “do you believe in the notion that there’s the one?” was “I say the one in front of you.” Work on the one in front of you. Love the one you’re with!
OK, let’s dive in.
His reasoning was that if you believe in the ONE, then you will think every one you meet is the one and therefore, you will mold yourself and convince yourself that they are the one, no matter how many red flags there are.
That’s definitely a possibility. But what ELSE would you have to believe to A) mold yourself into what the other person wants you to be and B) ignore red flags? Let’s ask younger Karen. She’s the reigning codependency expert. Karen, what else did you believe when you were codependent and pretended everything was fine, no matter what?
I believed that I was never good enough, I was too fat, I was too loud, I was too overwhelming, my butt was too big, I was damaged and broken, I was terrible with money, I wasn’t perfect so I was already going to hell anyway.
It’s impossible for the singular belief that there is the ONE determines your thoughts, actions, and habits in relationships. Our thoughts and actions are a result of the culmination of all our beliefs, self doubts, confidence and lack thereof, our past experiences, our childhood traumas that haven’t been resolved, etc. etc. One belief doesn’t determine everything we do. The melting pot of all of our beliefs we’ve cultivated throughout our lives determines how we think, feel, and act.
However, on the other hand, if I believed that there was only one for me, what does that make my ex-husband? The wrong one? A mistake? That can’t be. I was absolutely supposed to be with him and have my two children. Just because our marriage dissolved doesn’t mean that he wasn’t the one for me for that season. Of course he was the one for that season in life.
When I set out to improve myself and my life and attract an awesome husband, I believed that God had someone just for me. We can’t control the future, but I believe that it was destiny for me to be with John, and that belief has been strengthened over the last 8 years with everything we have been through, learned through, and grown through.
Liz Taylor said:
She also had 7 husbands. Married 8 times to 7 different men.
But, she said every one of her husbands was perfect for her at that time.
While that does make sense in a way, I see challenges with that line of thinking. One challenge I see is that if you believe that there is no “one” for you, so just love the one you’re with, I think it’s way easier to give up when things get tough. Marriage is beautiful, and, it’s not all rainbows and vacations. It’s tough to navigate our own struggles and emotions alone. In marriage, we still work through all of those, plus the struggles and emotions of your partner, and the struggles and challenges that inevitably arise between you.
The other day John and I were talking about something (I can’t remember the subject) and I saw it differently than he did. I understood his point, but I just didn’t agree. He started to get frustrated. And what I know now is that his knee jerk reaction is that he feels as though he is being attacked. (Since he spent years and years actually being attacked from all sides.) So I said, “John, its ok if we don’t agree. We’re not going to agree on everything. And that’s ok. I’m not arguing or attacking. Just expressing a different opinion. We can have our own.” Gave him a kiss, and we had a great rest of our night! 7 years ago I didn’t know how to do that. I didn’t know him like I know him know. The intuition and ability to communicate in a way that strengthens our relationship can only be cultivated over time.
And, the belief that we were meant to be together has served me greatly. Part of the “being together” deal is navigating disagreements, learning how to communicate with each other, learning how to fulfill one another’s needs while not expecting the other to fulfill all of your needs. Some skills can only be developed with a partner. Goes back to the old adage, you don’t know what you don’t know. I didn’t know exactly what challenges John and I would face. And I didn’t know exactly what lessons we would learn along the way. I didn’t know that he would get fired, have to live in another city for 3 months, get cancer and then have open heart surgery. But the belief that we are meant to navigate life together gives me the strength to lean in when it gets hard. Those experiences made me stronger. Made us stronger. Each experience throughout the years has changed me. I wouldn’t even be the same person without John and my journey together so far. I believe in God, and I believe that HE has the plan. We don’t. Like one of my favorite sayings:
We plan; God Laughs.
Holding to that belief helps me look at hard things with a different lens than I would have otherwise.
We can make ourselves miserable by believing that we are a victim of our (less desirable) circumstances. Or, we can look at life as an education. When something difficult comes up, we can shift our focus and discover the lesson. What do I need to learn from this argument, this sickness, this cancer, this move? What skill is this helping me develop? If I had held onto the belief that there was no destiny, and I’ll just date until it’s not new anymore, then move on, I wouldn’t learn this level of communication. I wouldn’t have learned unconditional love (it’s not really UN-conditional. It’s ONE-conditional love. If John cheats on me, I’ll push him off cliff and make it look like an accident. 😂)
Then from another angle, some might argue that if you believed there is “the one” and your marriage is toxic and/or abusive, you would be compelled to stay. Millions of people are facing this exact scenario and they have millions of reasons why they stay in their marriages. Holding onto a believe that you are supposed to be together forever could be one of the reasons why one would stay, it’s again just one belief. One part of the equation. My heart aches for everyone in a toxic marriage right now, truly. Resources are abundant. Therapy can be done online now, and there are websites like better help and talk space with experts standing by to help.
Being single and holding onto the beliefs that nothing matters, every thing is random, I might be single forever, I might meet someone, I might not, and that there’s no plan has its challenges. When I believed that, I didn’t have the desire great enough to inspire me to make changes within myself.
On the contrary, holding onto the beliefs that God doesn’t make mistakes and there was “one” for me gave me the inspiration to become the person I wanted to be. Believing that there was the one helped me keep focused on the days when all the evidence in front of me “proved” the opposite. My belief that there was someone out there who was perfect for me gave me the fuel to look at my life, assess what I wanted to improve, and set goals. My belief that humans are not solitary creatures and my desire to have an amazing husband was put into my heart by GOD and therefore it was meant to be gave me comfort, peace, and patience. My belief that my job was to work on myself, cultivate the relationships I have now, and achieve small goals to grow my own self worth propelled me to take action to improve in areas I cared about most: Health, Finances, Family, and Environment. That belief still serves me today. I still make family goals, health goals, finance goals, and I still work on my home and environment. And working towards those goals gives me great joy and fulfillment: Self-Worth.
The most important thing you can bring into a relationship is your own self-worth.
So maybe that’s what it comes down to. Not any one singular belief, but perhaps the evaluation of what beliefs are serving you and which ones aren’t serving you any longer. Keep the ones that are serving you, and transform those that are no longer helping you create the life you want.
But those are just my thoughts! What do you think, friends?
If you’d like more strategies for cultivating self-worth and attracting your dream partner, check out my book Becoming Mrs. Stanley. I still need 100 more books since I’m still a work in progress, but these strategies got me off the hamster wheel of attracting the same type of partner over and over again. Breaking the cycle can only be accomplished by doing the internal work. Oh, and I’d love to be friends on Social! Come find me on Instagram or Facebook and say hi! Thanks for being here and reading my blog!
Wishing you lots of love,