It doesn’t matter how educated, liberal, unattached, or even polyamorous we are, there seems to be a belief embedded within us that somewhere there is one person—just one—who we are supposed to find, and when we do, love will make sense and life will seem sweeter.
This isn’t to say that romance or “forever” is dead and washed away with the tears of our breakups, but what we find may not be what we were originally seeking, especially if we take the time to look at the harsh lessons our loves lives are trying to teach us.
To search for the one is to search for companionship, love, stability—but it’s also that piece of magic that it seems only romance provides. We have reduced everything down to logic, sensibility, and personality tests; and for many of us, the only time we feel that spark, that zing, that connection to something bigger than us, is when we feel we’ve found our one.
We believe that somehow the universe has conspired all along to bring two people together because we’re meant to be: meant to be in love and perhaps even meant to create and fulfill a purpose greater than ourselves. And so, we spend our days either looking for a relationship, in a relationship, or getting over a relationship. We don’t even realize that many of our days are spent solely in the pursuit of love—and in the process, we can miss what we already have.
We can miss the idea that maybe we’re the one we’ve been looking for.
What I’ve learned is that you are the one. I am the one. And so is she and he. We look outside for what can only be found within. We think that we need love from another in order to feel love, that we need someone by our side in order to feel companionship, and that somehow, we are less simply because we are not part of more.
But there is no plus-one, there is no title, label, or commitment ceremony that will make us feel as if we’ve found the one if we’re still searching for it outside of ourselves. It’s ironic, but sometimes we have to give up on love in order to find ourselves in the receiving energy which keeps us open but not needy, ready but not pushing, certain but no longer needing validation.
What we don’t realize is that by focusing on something we don’t have, or the perception of something that is missing, we are radiating lack. Then we focus on that lack by filling it with dating apps, flirty DMs, cute selfies, or “accidentally” bumping into the cute guy coming out of yoga. We approach finding the one as a job opening that we’re looking to fill, wondering if around every corner he or she might appear.
Yet all the while, we project upon others what we haven’t yet found for ourselves.
This isn’t about us not needing anyone; it’s about realizing that until we see ourselves as our one we’ll never actually be in a place to attract the relationship that might make us believe in magic once again.
Something shifts when we stop looking for the one and treat ourselves as if we already are. We start seeing our own magic, we start enjoying our own company, and we begin to feel satisfied with our life as is—no plus-one necessary.
The love we desire exists: whiskey kisses and midnight laughter, drives that go nowhere and sunrises that seem too perfect to ever end. But in order to get to that, we must get to us. We must get us right and stop looking for anything from anyone. We must see that we are already complete, that we are loved, and that there isn’t anyone else who could make us feel better than we do ourselves.
We don’t need to shout our self-love from the rooftops or pretend that we don’t desire love and the company of wool socks and feather comforters on cold evenings. It’s about being so comfortable and secure with ourselves that we actually stop looking; we stop trying to find anything and we stop focusing on what we feel we don’t have. Instead, we become it.
We become the lover we’ve always desired—not for anyone else, not to make a point, but because we owe it to ourselves to love the sh*t out of exactly who we’ve always been and deserve to be.
Because the truth is that we don’t ever find that one person, that love, that relationship we’ve been seeking. We don’t find it because we can’t find magic—magic only ever finds us. Love finds us. It comes sweeping in at 2 p.m. on a Wednesday, it comes against all logic, all rationale. It stumbles upon us when we’re hiking in the mountains, and it whispers forever as we’re watching the sun rise. Love finds us where we are, which is why we need to be in love with ourselves before it does.
We need to know all the crevasses of our hearts. We need to know what makes us tick, tingle, and sweat with possibilities, but we also need to move past this idea of loneliness. Because when we’re in a state of lack, we will end up attracting someone to fill that void, instead of attracting a partner who compliments our luscious, real selves.
The only person we are fully accountable for in our lives is ourselves, and while it might seem less exciting to choose ourselves, date ourselves, or even make love to ourselves rather than a partner, it’s also exactly what we need to be doing to attract the one.
Someone who chooses us as fiercely as we choose our own goddamn self.
Someone who doesn’t cower in our fire or fear our strength, but who sees us just as we have already seen ourselves.
And someone who will know, without a doubt, when they look into our eyes that life is better together, but only because we’ve learned that we were already whole—we just needed to love ourselves enough to believe it.
Enough to actually become what we were hoping to receive.