The one isn’t real.
There is not a single person out there that is perfect for you in every way, a person who will give you chills every second of the day, a person who will make you feel like your heart is about to explode every moment that you are with them. There is not a person out there who will never annoy you, a person with whom you can guarantee it will last forever, a person who you will love at a million miles an hour, always, without faltering, without having peaks and valleys. There is not a person out there for you who will never screw up, a person who will stare at you adoringly without ever getting angry, a person who will be able to solve every problem, whether internal or external, that you’ve ever had. There is no person out there who is the secret solution to your depression, or your self-loathing, or your issues with your mom, or your deep-rooted insecurity, or your inability to get that promotion, or your problems with your own body.
There may be someone out there who can make things better. Someone to lift you up, to help you bandage your wounds, to make you laugh and to make you feel loved. There might be a person out there who will give you chills, who will make your heart feel fuller than it’s ever been, who will, at times, make you feel like your feelings for them are moving at a million miles an hour.
But they are still human.
If you are lucky enough to find them, you will also find that sometimes, they annoy you so much that you want to throw a book at the wall. Sometimes, your heart feels perfectly comfortable the way it is around them – at its regular, relaxed size. Sometimes, you will find that your love for them is moving at ten miles an hour, or – if they’ve really screwed up – is frozen for a tense second or two.
The idea that there is someone out there so perfect for us that we scoff at the idea of divorce – because how could you ever get a divorce, when loving them is so easy? It’s tempting to think about this idea, to bask in it, to practically drown inside of it without even realizing what’s happening. It’s tempting because it’s an escape from everyday life – from the stories we hear, both about celebrities and about people we personally know, about scandal, infidelity, abuse, mistreatment, divorce. We’re sympathetic and empathetic creatures, so we feel deeply for the people who have lost a chance at love. But we’re also thinking about ourselves, about how we never, ever want to feel that way, how we never, ever want to go through that.
So we turn back to the one. And convince ourselves that we won’t deal with struggle, doubt, or conflict, as long as we find them.
Those types of people don’t exist, the ones who are free of sin, mistakes, poor choices, annoying quirks, difficult pasts.
The one isn’t real. But what is real is a relationship that you fight for. One that becomes all the more special, and all the more strong, because you decide that it is worth it. When you find someone you love that truly loves you back, someone that doesn’t fix your problems but makes you at least feel like you could tackle said problems with them by your side, you make a choice. A choice to fight together through the debt, or the loss of parents, or the mortgage, or the stagnation that come your way. A choice together to fight through even the more mundane problems – arguments over who will take care of the dishes, your irritation when they forget to turn out the light, your frustration when they whine about going to a dinner party with you.
You make a choice, to work through those things, every day. Because the one isn’t real. The one is boring and unremarkable. But the person who can simultaneously make your heart explode and frustrate you so much that you want to scream – that’s extraordinary. Because it’s the realist thing there is.