A One as “The One”

A One as “The One”

I believe in the institution of marriage, and I intend to keep trying till I get it right. 

Richard Pryor

The One seems like both a myth and a reality. I cannot take seriously, on their individual merit, the claims of a singular “One,” as in the titular name “The One,” divinely breathed into the world directly intended for you. It seems solipsistic, immature. 

Some personal evidence for all of us. We’ve, typically, dated more than one person and felt deeply about them. Every similar claim of a soulmate, a kindred-soul, one’s promised, the one-and-only, twin flames, and the like, fall into the bin of The One, to me. 

The reasoning is, in fact, rather simple, unsophisticated, so straightforward. The world is big. Lots of people live – and have lived – in the world. You are an individual among those many people in that large world. The odds of finding The One looks about as plausible as the journey to Mount Doom for Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee in The Lord of the Rings. 

The reality of the matter seems to come from those simple observations. Statistically speaking, lots of people existing in a big, wider world means lots of people would be sufficiently compatible with one another. Lots of ones looking for The One, whether by need or cultural push. 

Yet, we’re all the product of successful reproducers of one kind or another. We didn’t pop into existence as a rabbit out of a hat. This leads to the idea of the trait of ever-hopefulness as ingrained in most of us, in this life domain. 

It’s a bias in perception, not a bad thing, in fact. It facilitates love, marriage, mating, and family. The stuff of a persistent culture and society, not to mention the personal health and longevity benefits of those things. 

In a big, wide world with lots of people, it shows the fact of the case: We matter, individually, little in a realistic, healthy view, but we each have deep feelings that matter much, personally – and interpersonally. 

The positive side of this realism emerges in the more open landscape of possibilities. When taking personality, financial stability, income, kindness, maturity, emotional stability, social status, honesty, trustworthiness, physique, and so on, into account with oneself, many ones exist suitable to you. 

Your own unique self and qualities, achievements, sensibilities, ethics, and so forth, make for something idealized by another person out there. Someone as a one who, in fact, could become The One. The mythology about The One sits with the stunted view of the world and oneself in it. 

The reality of The One can be expressed in the number of marriages lasting for decades every year in this region of America, or the country as a whole. One estimate is 38,690 weddings happened in Ohio in 2020 at an average cost of $17,899. That’s a lot of ones spending a lot of money. 

Someone who they deem The One to become hitched for a possible lifetime. The loss of the idea of The One shouldn’t take away from the realization of finding and falling in love, or the reality of love when one forms the identity of The One with someone. Because, as you look at The One for you, they’re looking back at a one, who they deem to be The One, too.

Author: Scott Douglas Jacobsen