For many of us, the idea of finding ‘the one’ is something we spend a great deal of time fantasising about. Having that ideal, incredible person enter our lives one day to sweep us off our feet seems to some to be a certainty and to others to be little more than a pipe dream, like winning the lottery. What most people have in common though, is the pervading desire to find this person. It consumes us. We read novels and watch numerous films and TV shows (Jim and Pam from The Office, anyone?) where two people have such an intense and personal romantic connection that it seems to transcend everything else. We watch, and we desire, and we hope for the same thing to one day happen to us.
Regardless of whether or not you believe in souls, you can safely assume that someone out there (in fact, multiple people, given the world’s population of almost eight billion) is the perfect match for you. It’s just a matter of meeting them. At the right time. And knowing what to look for when you meet them. Easy. Right?
Imagine ‘the one’ as you see them in your mind’s eye. What are they like? What is it about them that makes them so perfect? Perhaps they’re your best friend. They know you better than anyone. They listen to you. They’re thoughtful. They like the same things as you, you have a mutual bond cemented with trust and respect. You have each other’s backs. They laugh at all your jokes. You never disagree, you never argue. Everything is picture perfect. The two of you meet, fall deeply in love, and live happily ever after.
Except that’s not the way life works. Often, the idea we have of ‘the one’ in our minds is far too idealistic. Perfection is not attainable. You cannot place someone on that pedestal of being totally and utterly perfect – because that person simply doesn’t exist. That said, you can still find someone that’s virtually perfect for you. Not a perfect human being, but a perfect match (or close to it).
The problem is that finding this person is extremely difficult. Us humans are a strange, diverse bunch. Each of us is different from the other in thousands of small, subtle ways. The experiences we go through in life shape and mould us, and no two people can have anything close to identical sets of past experiences. There’s no guarantee that you’ll find ‘the one’ for you at any point throughout the course of your life, but there’s a few things you can do to make it more likely.
Becoming the person you need to be
This is what’s known as self-actualisation. It means becoming the best possible version of yourself, maximising your potential and pushing yourself to grow and develop to build a brilliant, fulfilling life. Too often, happiness is seen as a point in life that you’ll get to eventually, if only you could get that promotion, that new car, that house (or find your soulmate!). The truth is that happiness is a state of mind. It’s knowing that the present moment, the journey, is what is really important – the destination never really arrives. You arrive at the place that you expected to reach and finally be happy, only to find that the things you want have now changed. You want more. The boundaries of happiness have been pushed that bit further away. This process never stops – we always want more. If you keep deferring your happiness to some perfect vision of the future, you’ll never arrive. You have to learn to be happy in the moment.