Everyone around you is coupled up and you feel like you’re the only one left standing. They are cohabitating and getting engaged and getting married and you’re buying frozen dinners for one at the grocery store. You contemplate if you’ll ever find “the one”, that person who makes everything in the world make sense. Who gets your obscure jokes and likes that worn out grey band t-shirt you wear to bed sometimes. Who doesn’t mind sitting in the aisle seat all the time and who lets you eat the last donut. You wonder if maybe that person has been in your life all along and you’ve just accidentally passed them over, so you run through your mental catalog of all the people from your past who could possibly be “the one”.
The boy who you had a torrid and short-lived love affair with; who came to visit at your dorm while surviving a 9 hour trip on the Chinatown bus during a snowstorm. Who stayed on the phone with you late at night while you read poetry to him and he told you how much your prose turned him on. How you took his virginity late one night in his room at his mother’s house on Staten Island. How he held you in the living room after watching Menace to Society, and said I love you in the lights of the Christmas tree. And then how he broke your heart and said it was all a lie; that you didn’t really love him, that he was a tortured soul. And yet, you still held this connection, this bond, on and off again for so many years, finally reuniting recently during Thanksgiving. Older, wiser, a little worn for haul – but he had sent you a text reminding you that you’d promised to marry him when you turned 30. You lol’d and wrote back saying, hold on, I’m not quite there yet.
A boy you met through an Internet dating site that you went on a few mediocre dates with and when he kissed you, it felt like kissing your brother. It was underwhelming and there was never any chemistry, but you still hung out and you still slept in his bed, but you never let him see you naked. And both of you would text each other to hang out every few months; you’d wonder if things would change next time you saw him, but it was always a well-worn friendship and never anything more.
And then there’s the one that you thought was “the one”. Who was quick witted with even more obscure jokes and who never let you wear that grey band t-shirt to bed because you were too busy making love and falling asleep naked spooning each other. Who showed you the best and worst of yourself back to you like a mirror and kept urging you to grow into the person you are one day going to be. Who started making everything make sense in your life until the day you realized that you were never doing the same things in return for him. The one who told you that he couldn’t love you because love needs to be nourished and fed, even though he was the one nourishing and feeding your love of him for three years.
None of these guys are “the one”.
Maybe you’ve met “the one” already and maybe you haven’t. Maybe “the one” doesn’t exist at all. And so what? Who cares? For now, just be the only one you need.