For years, books and movies have sold us the idea that there’s this special one person out there in the universe that will make our lives complete and make us happy beyond reason and love us forever and ever and ever till we die. Even when we die, this person will never find this all encompassing, i’d-do-anything-including-die-for-you love again. Ever. Because their love for us is so big and strong that no one else can raise up the feeling in them.
I think this is a lot of nonsense. There is no such thing as the one. As much as we want to buy into this feeling that we’ll find one person that will automatically fit every aspect of our lives, check every thing on our lists and “makes us complete,” our life without them has no meaning.
Life is a game of chances. Probability. This may happen or it may not happen. I may study Psychology or Medicine or even Arts. Nothing is given and nothing is certain. You may marry your first love. You may never marry.
If the course of your life had gone differently, you probably wouldn’t have met that guy or girl that you love so much that you think you’d do anything for. If you had gone to University of Abuja instead of staying in Lagos, you’d have met Umar instead of Lekan. Let’s widen the scope even more and say you went to the University of New Mexico instead of staying in Nigeria. You’d have met Lorenzo and not Kene. Again, all these things are not certain.
The thought that out of the over 7 billion people in the world, there’s only 1 person for you – your soulmate, your other half, the [elusive] one is not only depressing, but stupid. What if your one lives in Australia, but you’re on the other side of the world in Kenya. Think of when there was no internet, no phones, people didn’t know about other tribes beyond their immediate vicinity. It doesn’t make any sense. Or what if the person dies or something
Anybody can be your one. Anybody, anywhere in the world. You make your house one. He/she doesn’t just happen. You meet this person. You like her. One day you realise you love her. You think you can’t spend the rest of your life without her, but you can. Imagine she dies [maybe before you even get to marry her]. Does this mean you’re doomed to a life of loneliness at the age of 24? Nope. It means you have another chance to find someone else and to make a life with that person. Whatever happens, you’d be alright in the end.
This is not to say that I don’t believe in love. Or that love doesn’t exist. It does and I believe in love. But the thing is love is usually not enough. Love is a good basis, but it can’t be the only ingredient.
The concept of the one glosses over a lot of truths and tells you that a good relationship is effortless once there is love. It tells you that once you fall in love at first sight, you and your one are always in sync, you never argue or fight and everything is always right. It tells you that your husband/boyfriend is a mind reader and not only does he know when something is wrong, he knows exactly what is wrong, even without you telling him.
The realities for people are different. So you wonder why it took you so long to fall in love with this boy. You forget that sometimes, love comes softly. It’s not always roaring oceans and rumbling thunder. Sometimes, it’s slow, and soft and sitting under starry skies. Love can be long walks and comfortable silence.
Relationships require effort. All kinds of relationships. Your relationship with your parents, siblings, friends and your significant other require effort. It doesn’t just happen. You will argue and you will fight and your opinions on important (and unimportant) issues will differ.
So, the next time you find yourself angry at your boyfriend for not immediately discerning that you were unhappy and the reason for your unhappiness, remember that he isn’t omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient. He’s a person like you. You open your mouth and you talk about what’s bothering you. If talking is hard for you, write. Relationships are about communication.
The one doesn’t just happen to you. You create your one.