There are 7.125 billion people on earth. If you’re looking for “the one” — as is your “one in a million” person, that gives you roughly seven thousand one hundred twenty-five people to choose from… and that’s if you prefer both sexes. So, divide that number by two and you’re given a little over 35,000 people to choose from.
That’s a lot, yet with these stats in your face, people are expect to choose only one person and spend the rest of their lives with them without at least wondering who else is out there? If this sounds crazy to you, you’re not alone. If these statistics fill you with confidence and reaffirms the choices you’ve made as correct, you’re also not alone.
Still, recognizing you’ve found the one person you want to spend your life with is a lot easier said than done. Then, what happens when the love goes awry or when someone better comes along? This might help.
1. How Do You Know You've Found The One?
A person should always have a list of prerequisites constantly open in their minds like an ongoing collaborative Google doc. It should list the attributes they wish to see in a person and a checklist of ways someone else should make you feel before committing to a relationship. At the same time, that list cannot be too specific (i.e. black curly hair, one green eye and one blue one) because you’re setting yourself up for disappointment with such in-depth requirements.
“There are multiple things that come together when we meet someone special, someone that we can envision planning a life with,” says ‘loveologist’ and sex expert Wendy Strgar, We become a better version of ourselves because of this partnership. The relationship not only brings out the better selves of both partners but it also encourages the independence and freedom to evolve even more. Often, people feel like this relationship is new to them, different from previous ones in the ways that it builds us up and gives us hope.”
What Wendy is talking about is the idea of trust, which gives a relationship a foundation. One has to wonder, though; can’t you trust multiple people? Isn’t it completely possible to, both, enter and exit relationships still trusting the person who was — at one point — a total stranger to you? This is where it gets complicated. Psychology Today put out a story a few years ago in which they say the belief in a soul mate (a.k.a. “The One) could ultimately lead to disappointment while dating: “If an individual finds they are repeatedly falling in love with the ‘perfect’ partner, only to be disappointed and dumping them soon after, their belief in soul mates may be to blame. It may motivate them to not compromise, work, or change, when others don't love them completely for being exactly as they are.” They end the story concluding that the belief in soul mates can lead to the termination of a relationship for the sole purpose of finding someone who’s the “perfect” fit.
Does that mean people are onto something? Or are we all just throwing away healthy relationships?
2. What If Someone Better Comes Along?
Let’s all take a minute to thank online dating for so easily giving us the opportunity to find someone better in such a short amount of time. Let’s say you’re in a perfect relationship and you happen upon someone through social media, or at work, who just clicks with you. “She’s the one,” you think to yourself; “she’s everything my current partner isn’t.” This thought, while totally damaging and frustrating isn’t uncommon, says Strgar. However, it should lead you to start asking questions.
“If you are deeply engaged in a relationship…the question that ‘if someone better is out there’ should not even come up,” says Strgar. “We start looking elsewhere when the special engagement in our relationship wears off, not when we are committed to someone.” Strgar brings up the difficult task of separating love from lust — the latter of which being known to lead people to bad decision making. Finding the one means finding a person who make both of you the best versions of yourselves, which — if you truly believe in monogamy — a person who is content with the situation at hand. While it’s not uncommon to be attracted to someone else while in a committed relationship, the idea of being with the completely wrong person should set off warning bells.
3. Can You Have Multiple “The Ones?”
So, what if a person is happy in their current relationship, but think someone else could — not only be the one — but be another one? Could a person have more than two ones? Certainly, the aforementioned statistics could lead anyone to think this is possible. With so many people on earth, it’s not insane to think there’s more than one soul mate out there for everyone… or is it?
“I think the idea that there is only one special relationship for us in the world is both unhelpful and untrue,” says Strgar, “Besides the experience of expansion and fullness that special relationships offer, what makes someone ‘the one’ often comes internal meaning.” Hear that, guys? You’re not so crazy after all! Strgar’s opinion — while only being the opinion of one person, so please consult with other experts if you’re stuck in a pickle — can lead some of us to accept the fact that we have a whole world of options out there.
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To conclude this complicated idea, in which we have a whole world of choices out there, leaves us where we started. This is dating, guys; this is everything we’ve — in a way — always known since we hit puberty. Of course, there’s going to be multiple people out there that will make you feel warm and fuzzy. The odds are in your favor, but the ball is in your court. What Strgar is saying shouldn’t discourage you or question the person you’re with — they’re simply words of wisdom that will guide you into the perfect relationship. It’s about who you’re with, but it’s also about the person you’re with making you feel complete.
When you have that, you’ve found the one, but, if it doesn’t work out, there are plenty of other people out there to make you feel the same. The feeling Strgar refers to — that “internal meaning” you get isn’t elusive and rare, it’s something you can get by simply keeping that checklist in your head open and finding someone who makes you feel the best.