Finding ‘the One’ is a belief that still resonates and drives people who are looking for love. There is nothing wrong with wanting to find and build an enjoyable long lasting relationship. I think God wants us to enjoy romance and intimate relationships. However, by rejecting ‘the One’ myth, I think we will be better placed to find and maintain healthy and great relationships.
I still deliver many talks on singleness and dating. I’m still passionate about exploring this issue with people and answering questions they have. Dating is an area that takes up so much time and energy, finding God in amongst it all can be a bit confusing. (Find out more about booking a talk here).
Whenever I talk about ‘Finding the One’, and how I think ‘Making the One’ is ultimately more biblical and fruitful, I still get funny looks from people. (Read ‘The One’ Myth Robs Us Of A Great Relationship).
In this post, I want to share a story from Rachel, my friend that I wrote my Dating Dilemma book with. I think it challenges us to think about this myth from a very helpful perspective.
(The following extract is taken from page 21-23 of The Dating Dilemma book, read the introduction for free.)
It was 3 am, and for the second night running I (Rachel) was sitting up in bed in a cold sweat. As I looked down at the sleeping figure of my husband of three months, I was gripped with a fear I could hardly voice.
What if I had married the wrong guy? What if ‘the One’ I was destined to marry was still out there somewhere? What if I was now going to spend the rest of my life never knowing what life should have been like?
Don’t worry about it, babe. Everyone thinks that at some point
Jason rolled over and saw me sitting bolt upright in bed. ‘You can’t sleep?’ he murmured groggily.
‘Just got a lot on my mind,’ I mumbled. A few days later, I told Jason of my deep, dark thoughts.
‘Don’t worry about it, babe. Everyone thinks that at some point.’ ‘Do you think I might not be “the One” for you?’ I asked, astounded.
He shrugged: ‘Sure, sometimes. But then I remember that a more amazing thing than falling in love is growing in love. We’re going to work at that for the rest of our lives.’ And with a wink he was off to work.
Jason and I have been married for over ten years now, and whenever people ask us how we knew that we were right for each other, we tell them, ‘We didn’t know if we were each other’s “One”; we just got married!’
OK, so we loved each other, got on well together and shared our love for Jesus, but it’s been the years since of getting to know each other and working hard at our relationship that have made us realise how great we are together. Most of the time!
And this reveals a dilemma we hear voiced in lots of different ways by lots of different Christians at the events and churches where we speak about relationships: ‘How do I find “the One” God has for me?’
Both guys and girls ask us about finding ‘the One’.
And with this question comes an assumption that God will engineer our love life. The logic goes: he loves us, he loves marriage, so he’ll make sure we get the right person to date. Won’t he?
It’s simply not a promise that God makes
It’s a story we hear time and again, but it’s simply not a promise that God makes; it’s not biblical.
Please don’t throw [your arms up] in disgust! We’re not saying that God doesn’t have a plan for your life or that he doesn’t care about your hopes for finding love. Because he does!
But we need to be careful that we don’t translate that into some vague belief that God owes us a great romance, or even a husband or wife. Why? Because it can lead to all sorts of ungodly attitudes and behaviours, particularly when it comes to dating.
How many people do you know who have been dumped because the person they were with had some fantastical notion about the perfect relationship God had waiting for them just around the next corner?
How many people do you know who went too far sexually with someone they were dating, only to blame their ex, or God, for not keeping them pure?
If we believe that God will one day swoop in, clean up the mess made by our bad dating choices, and present us with Mr or Miss Perfect, then we don’t need to ask him to transform us.
We might find ‘the One’, but then feel totally unprepared for the reality of building a relationship with another person who is just as flawed as we are!
I think this story shows that all couples can experience doubts, and relationships take work and communication.
(Read the introduction of The Dating Dilemma book for free now, or buy the book here.)
Other posts on this website discuss this idea more (Read ‘The One’ Myth Robs Us Of A Great Relationship). And also talk about the importance and of learning to Build a relationship and how to do it (Read What Makes A Happy Couple? Fresh Insight)
I think this story shows that all couples can experience doubts, and relationships take work and communication. ‘The One’ myth can rob us of the joys and realities it takes to make our relationship thrive.
Imagine if we were honest about our struggles and fears and helped people to work through the highs and lows of a relationship, instead of just focusing on finding someone and hoping it will all be okay.
Do you think ‘Making the One’ is more exciting than ‘Finding the One’? Why? Comments welcomed below.