It’s the million dollar question. Quite distinct from ‘how do you find love?’ because I think that you can find love anywhere, but it may not necessarily last a lifetime as it would with ‘the one’. Obviously there is no tried and true method for this, only that we have our own theories on this subject based on our individual experiences as well as those around us, so here I share mine.
For as long as I can remember I was always so desperate to find ‘the one’ and like a meerkat I was always on the lookout for any potential suitors. Maybe I’ve watched too much day-time TV but I am a hopeless romantic and I just wanted to find that person who was meant for me.
As a result my early twenties consisted of me grappling with unrequited romantic feelings constantly. There was always someone who I would admire longingly from a distance, wondering if they could be ‘the one’.
But at the same time I didn’t even know who I was. I struggled with low self-esteem, not knowing what my purpose in life was, and didn’t know what exactly my values were… I had this huge gap in these fundamental things that you should really know as an individual. And all this time I was subconsciously looking outwardly for someone to fill that void.
So while I never had a boyfriend I did realise a few things from my experiences with no boyfriends and what I had to do in order to find ‘the one’: (caution: many cliches mentioned below).
- Figure out who you are: Seriously consider this: if you knew you were going to die tomorrow- what would you want to do differently? What kind of person would you want to be? What would you want your friends and family to remember you by? A lot of people (especially doctors) are defined by their careers. But when you strip away your occupation, your belongings, your ethnicity, your family- who are you, really?
- Figure out your purpose in life: Some people might never figure this out. Some people might think that it has to be something extraordinary. But your purpose in life could be something simpler that is meaningful such as being a good parent, helping others, or just being good at something. It’s whatever you think is important to you and the driving force behind you getting up every morning.
- Realise your self-worth: Nobody is going to realise it for you. You need to know your value as a human being, and that you are worthy of love. Otherwise, you’ll end up with an unhealthy dependency on another person’s love to make you feel worthy.
- Figure out what you want in ‘the one’: Make a list of what characteristics you think is important for your life partner to have, and don’t settle. Have standards and check potential suitors against it.
- People who are serious about being in a relationship with you will be intentional with their actions: They will tell you if they want to be with you. And they will show it. You won’t have to play any guessing games or try to read signals. On the other hand, if they have told you that they aren’t interested- take that at face value. And then if out of nowhere they are giving you mixed signals, run! It’s a red flag for someone who is bored and has nothing better to do except confuse you.
After going through the motions of thinking that I would be ‘forever alone’ in my early twenties, I finally believed that I was worthy of love, and boldly exclaimed to my friends, “there’s gotta be someone out there who’s amazing and thinks I’m all that and a bag of chips”. I no longer actively had potential suitors on my radar, but I thought I had to do something different in my life if things were going to change. I decided to get out of my comfort zone and date- not to necessarily find ‘the one’ but to get out of my shell and learn more about myself and what I wanted in a partner.
As it turned out, the first person that I went on a date with ended up being ‘the one‘. There were no games, no guessing, no questions or doubts. With every date things just kept getting better and better and I’d always think that this was too good to be true. And to this day almost 4 years later it’s still the same. I don’t think that it was all a coincidence that it happened that way. I really think that once I was comfortable in my own skin, confident in my worth, and happy being alone, I was ready to meet ‘the one‘.