What happens if you are the one, well, after the one? Is that statement nonsensical? Does it cancel one of you out? Or does it actually negate the concept of ‘the soulmate’ completely?
Modern relationships are, on the whole, no longer born from necessity or tradition. Rather we move along a spectrum, from first dates to flawed romances. Inviting people into our lives, until, hopefully, we discover ‘the one’. This phrase is all well and good if you make it through, if you are blessed with a partnership that sees you till death do us part. But for how many of us is that true?
Cinders, Sleeping Beauty, that Snow White girl, all fairy-tales and myths that persist, evading the ageing process as well as the divorce statistics.Their finales remain ingrained within many a woman and girl. Eventually modern life will melt away and our prince will come. Fairy godmothers wave their wand, and, rather than dancing furniture (which would be uber cool). Puff! All our baggage disappears. The wicked witch of neuroticism and self doubt is doused in water and that happy ever after belongs to us.
But what happens when you or your partner have had it all? You made those declarations of undying love and yet, against the odds, that love died. We all know (or maybe have been) people who have thrown themselves into relationships, some to the extent of mortgage, marriage and babies. We have been wholly committed, the search was off. Then, for whatever sad reason, it ended.
I have struggled with this concept since the demise of my first big love. There were so many ‘I love yous’ until suddenly we realised we didn’t. We had grown up and grown apart, which for me, then begged the question, how long would those words last with the next person? Yes we would love each other right there and then, but how could I predict it’s translation into a forever?
Maybe we have to consider the concept of love. During infancy it fizzes and pops, alive with excitement. Yet the longer you stay with someone the more you have to accept the natural altering. For me, two years in, it appears more like a blanket, security. Those who have committed to the longer haul speak of compromise and acceptance. Whilst others advise of an emotion which ebbs and swells like the tide, its intensity growing and diminishing throughout your time together.
The problem with ‘the one’ is that inference of fate, that we are predetermined to find someone who we will fit with, like jigsaw pieces slotting together. This ideal hides the hard work required to nurture a relationship. Or the fact that relationships end. That doesn’t mean we don’t want to believe. During difficult times with my own boyfriend I have often wished for a soothing and naive ‘we’ll be together forever’, but really, that’s a cop out. Instead, isn’t it better to admit that you are there, in that moment and that for as long as you can you will strive to make it work. That way there is no wishing on a happy ever after, rather we become active, honest and most importantly happy in our relationships because we are no longer beating ourselves up about perfection. We are writing our own fairytale.