How do you know if someone is “the one” and what does that phrase really mean, anyways? If you’ve grown up in the last century, you’ve probably heard the fairy tales or at least are familiar with what it means to have the “happily-ever-after” ending—everything you’ve dreamed of when it comes to relationships finally coming true.
There’s an element of fantasy to love, especially in our contemporary world. We believe that the person we’re meant to be with will be perfect, everything we’ve ever wanted, an answer to our proverbial prayers and wishes.
While it’s great to have hopes for our future love, while it’s wonderful to hold onto the hope that the right person is out there, and that our vision of soulmate will undoubtedly come true—there’s also something (perhaps even more) important to consider: Love isn’t about perfection.
Maybe “the one” we’re searching for isn’t going to be all that princess or prince charming we once dreamed about. And maybe that’s okay.
Maybe “The One” Isn’t About Finding A Perfect Person
Have you ever considered the possibility that “the one” isn’t actually real—and not in the sense that you can’t find someone you’re meant to be with forever, but that this person is not actually going to check all the boxes?
Sometimes the greatest loves are the ones who come to us by chance, by surprise. Rather than ticking off all of the things we like, we realize that we’ve fallen head-over-heels without trying. Rather than trying to make someone fit a box, we realized we’ve thrown out the box because this person has made us rethink all we thought we wanted.
True love doesn’t fit boxes, doesn’t make rules, and doesn’t match a laundry list of expectations—it simply is—and THAT is what truly matters in the end.
Maybe “The One” Will Have Flaws
When we grow up with fairytales, we are conditioned to believe that the right person for us will be someone who never picks fights, who never thinks negatively about us, and who would never hurt us. But the truth is, we are all flawed. We are all imperfect. And we are all going to hurt one another from time to time.
This doesn’t mean we’re any less loveable. It simply means we’re human.
Maybe “The One” Is Less About Physical Attraction
We think that finding “the one” is about finding someone who matches with us in all levels of compatibility. We think that this person will be physically attractive to us and make us feel something. And while yes, in a perfect world that would be great, the physical attraction isn’t everything.
In fact, it is the intellectual connection and emotional connection that goes beyond the superficial. If someone understands who you are and why you are the way you are—that’s intimacy. And that’s what makes a relationship really work.
Maybe “The One” Is Simply Someone Who Gets It (And Stays)
The idea of soulmates or forever people is beautiful. But sometimes life doesn’t quite work like that. Sometimes we fall in and out of relationships. Sometimes people change and hurt us, or vice versa, even if we didn’t intend for it to happen that way.
Maybe instead of pursuing “the one” as if there’s this perfect person (and putting pressure on him or her to live up to that standard) we simply accept that real love is finding someone who gets it. Someone who sees you for you—flaws and all—and loves you the same. Someone who understands the layers of your past and still says, “I’m here to stay.”
Maybe love is simply finding people—romantic and platonic—who value us and deciding to value them in the same capacity, too. Maybe it’s not about finding “the one” but about finding your community. Because yes, romantic love is beautiful, but it is not a fairytale. And that’s okay.
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