If you’ve grown up in the ‘Disney era’ you have been encased in a culture that has told you there is one perfect person out there for you. You’ve been raised on movies that show a spotlight surrounding the person you are destined to be the with first time they walk into the same room as you. It’s all dreamy and exciting and who wouldn’t want that? But do these ideas help us or harm us when it comes down to brass tacks. For a few reason I want to prepose that it may do more harm than good.
Making Dating Stressful
First off this idea that there is one person out there for you can make dating even more stressful and anxiety filled than it already is. Gary Friesen in his book makes a rather comical illustration in “Decision making and the Will of God” of how this idea makes us overthink too much. What if we marry the wrong person? If we marry the wrong person then the person they were supposed to marry will marry the wrong person. In the end by us marrying the wrong person we have ruined everyone else’s perfect match. This is course ridiculous, but it illustrates clearly that there probably isn’t some one single match out there for us, and just because God didn’t send a beam of light on the person we are with doesn’t mean we haven’t found a good match for marriage.
Unrealistic hopes for a relationship
Furthermore, if we have this idea that one single person is the perfect match for us it can make us think we haven’t found the one until we have a relationship that is perfect. Of course if we wait around for the perfect relationship we’re going to be waiting a while. . . well forever. . . No one is a perfect match and you’ll always have to work things out. The danger of thinking there is a perfect match out there is thinking when times get hard that you must not have found the right person. This can ruin your dating life or your marriage.
When you are just getting to know someone who may be a good fit you may always see someone who you can imagine is an even better fit. In a sense it can create this ‘maybe I can do better’ mentality, which in an age of online shopping and online dating is easy to fall into.
Damaging perseverance in relationships
Still even after you’ve settled in and tied the knot the idea of ‘the one’ can still ruin some relationships even if you aren’t in danger of thinking you married the wrong person. All of us know that couple that became so involved in their new found relationship that other relationships dissolve. There’s a level that of course a marriage needs focus but there can be a danger that becoming so focused on finding ‘the one’ can make us think we don’t need any other relationships. Yes, you’ve found your spouse but that shouldn’t mean all other relationships don’t exist. In fact it would be unhealthy for your marriage if you don’t continue to pull from and give to those relationships outside of your marriage.
Is it all bad? No. I think there is some real good to making sure people keep their standards high and don’t just go for the first person that comes across your path. Too many times people settle for someone less than a good fit and that comes with its own troubles. But perhaps there is some better phrasing we can use to help people set themselves up best for success.
One idea I have had is from my previous blog (insert shameless plug here) Two questions to help you know when you’ve found the person you should marry.