Don’t let “the one” get in the way of love

By Evan Gaudette


The other night my roommate and I started watching the Netflix original show “Easy.” Each episode follows one couple and highlights an aspect of relationships. I’m three episodes in. It’s a very good show.

During the second episode, “Vegan Cinderella,” Chase, played by 05 describes to a friend how she met the girl she had hooked up with the night before. Chase starts by explaining how their eyes locked from across the floor of a concert hall and how she felt an instant connection. Later in the conversation, the two friends muse about how often people must miss out on “the one” because they were looking down at their phones instead of having that locking-of-the-eyes moment.

If you believe in the idea that every person has their “one” who they are meant to fall in love with, you can stop reading now. I don’t believe in “the one”, and I don’t think you should either. But, I don’t want to ruin it for you.

The classic, age-old love story always ends with true love, whether it’s a tale of someone finding “the one” after years of searching or a breakup story where someone thinks they were with “the one” only to find the true “one” in the aftermath of the breakup. These stories are designed to be distractions from the messiness of the real world but can establish a footing in our minds that changes our perceptions of real relationships.

In real life, “the one” doesn’t exist. With over 300 million people living in America alone, I’d imagine I could marry thousands of them, and so could you. But, the age-old love story exists with such ubiquity that it’s hard to escape. A rational mind can declare “there’s a lot of fish in the sea,” but there’s always a little voice second-guessing and questioning if this person or that person was “the one.”

It’s actually a very terrifying concept once the romanticism wanes. In the entire world there’s only one match for every person. There isn’t another aspect of life where there is such pressure, so much at stake and so little odds of achieving that best-case scenario. Separating fantasy relationships, and the standards of love perpetuated by them, from real life ones is incredibly difficult. When those lines are blurred it can cause people to constantly question their relationships or to myopically wait for their fateful love to fall into their laps.

When a person is young, often the only understanding they have of relationships, adulthood and sex is from media—whether it is a book, TV show or movie—because they can’t experience those things themselves. Why do people party so hard at college? We watch “Animal House” or “Greek”, assuming that’s how college will be, then act accordingly. The concept runs true in our relationships. We watch shows where major plotlines revolve around ideas of destiny, true love and romanticized fantasyland relationships. Think about “How I Met Your Mother,” where the thesis of the show is that we are destined for perfection in our love lives.

In life, there isn’t perfection in anything, and rarely is there that “aha” moment where love is realized on first sight. Relationships take time, effort and persistence. The person you call the love of your life probably isn’t the only person on Earth to make you the happiest, but simply a person that makes you happy. And that’s fine. Real love, as opposed to true love, is the mutual admiration, respect and connection that leads people to make a life together. It will get hard and it will never be perfect, but in real love partners will work through problems, not with an inspired monologue, but with gradual improvement and a trust that both sides are invested.

Don’t let a doubt that something isn’t destined, or a thought of “is this really true love?” get in the way of real love. Don’t settle, but don’t fall into the fantasy world trap. Life isn’t a TV show.

Evan Gaudette is a Collegian columnist and can be reached at [email protected]