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  • Writer's pictureJacob Priest

You Aren't The One

This past winter, I spent a lot of time watching Netflix. With a new baby, a pandemic, and freezing cold temperatures, there wasn’t much else to do.

One show that caught my eye is called “The One.” Aside from being a murder mystery, the main premise of this show is that scientists have determined how to genetically identify someone’s perfect match. The show is built on the idea that there is one person out there who’s genes will fit perfectly with your genes, creating a love that will last forever.

This, of course, is fiction. But the idea of “soul mates” or of a “one-and-only” person who you are “destined” to be with is pretty common. It’s an idea that seems good on the surface. If you find “the one,” it’s assumed, you’ll be happy and in love for the rest of your life.

But this, too, is fiction. There isn’t just one person out there that you are destined to be with. And even if there were, it’s likely that this relationship wouldn’t be as perfect as we are told it should be.

The idea of “soul mates” is problematic because it perpetuates the myth that good marriages or lasting loves are found not made. If we just pick the right person, everything will be good until death do us part. The more we cling to that idea, the less stable our marriages and love will become.

The idea of a “soul mate” also sets up unrealistic expectations for one person. To expect one person to be our best friend, lover, co-parent, share the same interests, like the same food, finish our sentences, and want the exact same things we do at the exact same time we do is heaping a lot of responsibility on one person.

While finding a good match is important, building a good relationship is more important. So, who can we build a good romantic partnership?

Make room for growth. The person you marry is going to be very different from the person you celebrate your 50th wedding anniversary with. Make sure you are continuing to get to know your partner as they grow.

hare passion but have separate passions. Tell your spouse about the things your passionate about and listen to what they are passionate about – but don’t expect these to be the same. Some of them might be, but don’t put pressure on your spouse to always like what you like.

Create a village. Children aren’t the only ones who need a village of support to be successful – marriages do too. Invest in relationships outside of your marriage. Just make sure that these people are supportive of your relationship – not trying to knock it down.

Finally, be intentional. You couldn’t build a house without plans, materials, and dedicated time to construct it. The same goes for a marriage. If you want to build a great marriage, you need to make plans with your partner, invest in things that strengthen your marriage, and be patient. Just like a house, things will break and need to be fixed and occasionally you’ll need to remodel, but you’ll be able to build something you can be proud of.

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