Thought Catalog

You’re Not Quite The One

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You’re not quite the one because nothing’s ever happened. You’re in the back of my mind somewhere but our lives have never lined up. We’ve never worked out, not because there isn’t interest — there’s interest, I think — but because the timing’s never been right or the location’s all wrong. You’re not quite the one because we’ve never had the chance to see if you are. Maybe we never will.

You’re not quite the one because you got away. I let you take off in your car or get on that airplane and I chose not to go after you. I put down my sword and beat it into a plowshare. I was not prepared to fight for you. You said, “This is it. I’m gone” and I said, “Good. Good riddance” whether I meant it or not. You’re not quite the one because you left or I left or we both took off like two cowboys walking with our backs to each other, spurs clanking with no intention of turning around to fire our guns. We both just kept walking off into opposite sunsets.

You’re not quite the one because you don’t feel permanent. You’re lovely. You’re here. You’re soft and comfortable and I can curl up beside you and hey, at least neither of us are alone. You don’t feel like the start of something, you feel like the continuation of nothing. You’re not quite the one because we’re not even thinking about crazy concepts like the “one.” No one is meeting anyone’s parents. No one is going to be a plus-one at anyone’s friend’s weddings. No one is holding hands on the subway train. You’re not quite the one because you’re not meant to be the one. You’re a bookmark, a beautiful pause, a blinking light on hold at an office desk.

You’re not quite the one because well, maybe there isn’t a one. Maybe the concept of a “one” is dated and imagined, created out of a need to sell romantic comedies and Valentine’s Day cards. Maybe there’s a series of “ones,” all right for their times and places, but that’s all. If I married the guy I’m sleeping with now, would he become the one? How then is it that if I moved to India tomorrow, my one would change? It’s a narrative. Two of my very good friends in college dated for a long time and when they broke up, the girl started dating another male friend of ours. Now they are getting married. When she tells their love story, she erases the first guy’s place in her heart — maintaining that all along, she knew the second guy was her soul mate.

We tell ourselves the love stories that make sense. There’s no fault in that.

We want that perfect story sans coincidence or choice. We’ve been fed the normalcy — nay, necessity — of love to be fated or destined. We feel better thinking it’s all been out of our hands. There was no choice involved. They were our “one.”

You’re not quite the one because who cares about “the one?” We change all the time. We grow. We learn. We move. We start. We quit. How about: I am the one. I am the one and when I run into the other one? I will know. I’ll stop forcing novels out of passing glances. I’ll stop trying to conjure a timeline where our love falls into place. I’ll stop dramatically declaring that things need to be perfect to meet some sort of arbitrary narrative we can summarize on our wedding website one day.

How about: “Things were messy and then they weren’t and two people decided to be together or they didn’t and there is no story here and there is no ending you can feel good about because love is so much more than this paragraph surrounded by flowers we paid some graphic design student to upload.”

It’s okay, It’s a choice. It feels great. There’s a series of “not the ones,” until maybe there’s one. It’s nothing to freak out about. There’s no rush.

You’re not quite the one. But then again, who will be? TC Mark

image – Gencay M. Emin
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I used to get butterflies when I looked at you, but now they feel more like maggots feasting away on the heart you slaughtered.

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  • Jessica

    Oh, God. Walking into opposite sunsets. The only guy that ever felt was genuinely The One walked into the wrong sunset and there was just no way I could follow him. It’s been more than a year and nothing I do can make me stop missing him — even from 1200 miles away.

  • Lauren

    Bravo. I’ve been thinking about this a lot with my “not the one”- forever in limbo.

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  • http://writtenconfessional.wordpress.com Jude
  • frank

    “You don’t feel like the start of something, you feel like the continuation of nothing.”

    Wow. Brutal truth.

    • http://writtenconfessional.wordpress.com Jude

      Can’t agree more.

    • lefty

      Loved that line, too.

    • Wow

      Such a beautifully true line.
      That one and ” You’re a bookmark, a beautiful pause, a blinking light on hold at an office desk.”
      Love it.

  • S

    Perfect.

  • W

    Story of my life.

  • H

    Lovely!!

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  • iceman

    what’s up with thought catalog today? two entries that just described my f*cking situation right now.

  • Mei

    Beautiful! Really appreciate this article..

  • http://joeswanbergcompleteme.it MUMBLECORE IS BETTER THAN JEAN RENOIR

    I have to stop reading this site. It’s all a bunch of people describing the smell of their own butthole. Get out of your boring narcissistic head! Feed starving children! Give a taco to a wino! GO READ A BOOK!

    • Jk

      Your way with words is quite eloquent. Congratulations. Take your own advice, get out…read a book and stop bitching about everything on here.

  • http://alishawritinglife.wordpress.com Alisha

    Reblogged this on Because I Said So and commented:
    Beautiful writing

  • http://twentysomethingconfessions.wordpress.com twentysomethingconfessions

    beautiful

  • Kitty Pants

    It’s writing like this that makes stick around Thought Catalog. A breath of creative fresh air from those 10 Ways to Shave Your Pubic Hair articles. I look forward to reading more of your writing.

  • Nick

    This is instantly in my top few TC articles. A+++. Live *your* life. Puruse *your* happiness. Figuring out what fulfills you and accomplishing it (i.e. selfishness) is hard work.

  • Nicole

    Loved it. I’ve been thinking about this, you expressed it in a way I never could, thanks.

  • televisiastaff

    This is amazing

  • Ellipsis

    Kudos

  • Jessica Daley

    Beautiful, thank you!

  • http://noconsequenceslater.wordpress.com genn5

    Reblogged this on noconsequenceslater.

  • Freya

    So, so true. For the first time in my life I’m sleeping and holding hands with someone who I don’t feel is the one and it feels incredible. Thanks for writing this.

  • http://tattletale-joo.blogspot.com Jootot

    “We tell ourselves the love stories that make sense. There’s no fault in that.
    We want that perfect story sans coincidence or choice. We’ve been fed the normalcy — nay, necessity — of love to be fated or destined. We feel better thinking it’s all been out of our hands. There was no choice involved. They were our “one.””

    Amazing. Truly amazing.

    Thought catalog makes me understand that there are people who read below the surface and.gets.it.

  • http://eastcoastelegance.wordpress.com East Coast Ele

    This could not be more relatable right now. Thought Catalog, you’ve done it again.

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