This is a new feature that we're starting on this blog. Whenever our columns are printed in the paper, we shall also post a copy of it here. Easy access, what! If we're in the mood, we may also follow on these "COLUMN" entries with another short commentary or rant. In any case, feel free to leave the proverbial brickbat, rotten digital eggs or flowers in the comment box yah? ;) T x x x
ALL A GIRL WANTS...
. . . IS to destroy that nutty belief in “The One”.
Guess what, there ain’t a Prince Charming out there for the Happily-Ever-After Forever-And-Ever.
I think the idea of “The One” is rubbish and those silly chick-flicks and dorky romanticised novels which make it such a central part of a girl’s life are nothing but a fat fairy-tale lie that sets us up for a big fall.
In my (more realistic) version, Cinderella and The Prince realise that after 20 years of marriage, they have changed, move away and don’t feel the same anymore.
They get a fairy-tale divorce (nice lawyers, no bitter quarrels over children, agreeable alimony settlement) and go their separate ways.
The notion of ‘The One’ is just a fairytale.At a downtown ball a few months later, Cinderella meets a Marquis and they get on fabulously together. Soon they marry and walk into the sunset Happily-Ever-After – again!
See, sometimes things just don’t quite work out in a relationship or marriage. People we think are The One and “everything we dreamed of” actually turn out to be a bit of a nightmare.
People are getting obsessed with the search for The One. Sure, there are plenty of happily-ever-after stories of couples who’ve been married for 50 years – they show us that it is possible to find a partner for life and still be in love after the years have worn you down. But let’s be realistic, this doesn’t mean it’s going to happen to the rest of us. Wishin’ and Hopin’ for it is not a bad thing but believing in that romanticised fantasy of The One can only end in disaster.
For starters, if you never find him (or her), you’re going to be pretty miserable your whole life, which is just not the way to live.
Secondly, let’s face the cold hard truth that sometimes people change, move on and move apart; sometimes the relationship just doesn’t work and it’s nobody’s fault. Someone who was The One for 10 years of your life may not be The One for the next 10.
And yet, that doesn’t change the fact that he was still The (right) One for those 10 years of your life.
Just because a relationship doesn’t work out in the end doesn’t mean it’s of any less value – you learned something, you grew and you did have good times. Doesn’t that count for anything?
As with most disappointments in life, The One is just another example of how Great
Expectations can only lead to Grave Disappointments. The whole fantasy is just that: a fantasy that can never be as perfect as we con ourselves into believing. After all, we all know that no relationship can be perfect nor easy. Even the most perfectly envisaged qualities of The One are bound to fall short somewhere. Nobody’s perfect.
The biggest problem with belief in The One is the idea that we need someone to spend the rest of our lives with, that we can only be “completed” by somebody else.
The idea of “soulmates” has been far too romanticised, leading many a vulnerable girl to believe that the perfect other half has to be someone of the opposite sex; that marriage fixes two half-lives together into a perfect whole.
The thing is, if we’re going to depend on someone – The One – on to make us feel whole and happy, that’s already a plan that’s gone awry.
The old truth that nobody can make you happy but yourself really is true. The expectations you put on The One to make it all perfect are unfair and can only lead to disappointment when you find out that he’s got a whole set of problems himself.
Wishy-washy The One and Soulmate fantasies also discount the great and indisputably strong influence of friends and family. We are quick to forget that very close friends can often bring out the best in us and see us through the toughest times in a way even the most doting husband never can.
(In fact, more often than not, our partners are the ones causing the headaches and planting obstacles to what we really want out of life.)
So I say, raise our glasses to the many multiples of One – the first love, the ex-boyfriend(s), the current one, the future husband, the best friend, the crazy colleague and the sister.
The real Happily-Ever-After is about being happy with all The Ones of your life because after all, it’s the sum of many parts that truly makes up the whole.