Saturday, February 27, 2021

How do you find "the one"?


I’ve never bought into that “You Just Know” notion. Love is a tricky thing. Sometimes it feels like an undeniable force that hits between the eyes and doesn’t let up. Other times, it’s malleable, questionable. It’s truth hidden in and amongst external obstacles and internal circumstances that’ve formed who you are, what you expect in the world, and how you can accept love. Oh, to say the least, it’s complicated. And if a mind’s abuzz with pressure and deadlines and “What if this and that,” I imagine love’s truth would be a near-impossible thing to feel. I wonder if, when all’s quiet in your mind, you’ll find your answer." - From Anne with an E

So how do you know if that person is "the one"?
Do birds really just suddenly appear? Stars just fall out from the sky?
Is it when butterflies start fluttering in your stomach? Or when you feel the flush on your cheeks?

When I was a young girl and didn't know any better, I have ideas of what "the one" is. I'm sure every person has their own preferences for a mate and while I don't necessarily agree with the "tall dark and handsome" criteria, I do like the idea of the "handsome" part. Problem is, I was a bit self-conscious about my physical appearance that "handsome" is somewhat way out of my league. Cute would suffice. Tall? Doesn't matter to me. I'm fine as long as he's not shorter than I am. Dark? Well, it's not that I have a colonial mentality and I'm not a racist, but I always get attracted to people with fairer complexion....well, and  also those who are slanted-eyed...

I will not enumerate the items in my loooong list of specifications but what I do want to mention is how that long list started shrinking as I get older.  You might say that's because I'm less choosy. Less choosy because I don't want to end up  "naiwan ng tren" (left by train aka spinster).  Maybe you're right and I'm just in denial but I really feel that is not the case.

Interestingly enough, at least for me, my preferences have evolved as I get older and after I have interacted with different kinds of people. While my list did get shorter, some of my preferences also got a little more intimidating (ie: from cute, he also needs to have a college degree). Ironically, my list also got a little less demanding (ie: from "he has to be rich" to "comfortable or middle class").  Mind you, I'm not settling, I just learned to be more realistic. Also, later on, as you meet more people from all walks of life, you also realize that physical appearance doesn't really matter at all. It's a nice-to-have but not the "be-all, end-all".  Again, I'm not 'settling', it's just how circumstances and experiences opened my eyes. Excuse the dramatics.

Case in point, have you ever met a couple where you would never think of them to be a good match just because the other one is too pretty (or too handsome) than the partner?  I have met a few of those couples. Let me tell you something tho, it’s only after you start talking to that person, who you think does not deserve the other (attractiveness-wise), will you realize what endearing characters this person have. As bright as day, you will know exactly what his/her partner saw in him/her. 


Most specifically, personality that matches or compliments yours. 

As my Emotional Quotient matures, atleast I’m hoping this is what’s happening, I realized how important it is for me to enjoy a person’s presence without feeling obliged to talk all the time. Someone I’ll be comfortable to sit with while I let my thoughts soar with the wind without the  need to rush it to come back to earth, meanwhile just enjoying that person’s presence or the touch of his hands on mine. I realized that someone who knows how to listen, and I mean really listen, and knows how to empathize is more important than someone with a washboard abs. I realized that someone who shares your passion, your love for travel or food or adventure or a book is better than someone with a perfectly chiseled face. I realized that someone who makes you laugh or shares your sense of humor and enjoys long walks with you is better than someone who showers you with gifts but is not really....there.
I know what you’re thinking. That those are hard to find. I agree. While it’s true that some had found their “the one” early in their life’s journeys (i met a few, and they are what we so fondly call childhood/highschool sweethearts), others will  take a while. Others will have to meet a few wrong people along the way first. 

I’m one of those “others” but I think there is still something to be thankful for about that. I sincerely believe that those who walked away from you may have left your heart crushed and may have made you feel that it’s better to wallow in self-pity and to stay under a cloak of despair and to never want to face the world again.  I will not sugar coat it, it will sometimes make you hate humanity and you will feel that your heart is broken into tiny little pieces like the sand scattered along the shore and that it would be hard to put it back together again. 

I know that feeling too well. I have been there more times than I wanted to. Inspite of it all, I’m still thankful because those who walked away from me also taught me a very valuable lesson about myself and about how important it is to find someone where both of you are looking at the same direction. How important it is to find someone that you know is in the same page as you. It is enough to convince you to slowly climb out of your somber and try again.

"What is done cannot be undone, but at least one can keep it from happening again" - Anne Frank

I’d like to think that if someone I love walked away from me, it is not because I’m at  fault. Well not “always”, at least. While it’s true that it takes 2 to tango there are still some situations where no one can ever point a finger at you. There are just people out there who were born to make you cry. Sometimes, it's not even that. Sometimes "you" are the one who needs to do the "walking away". It's a dreadful feeling but I try not to dwell on it for too long. Cry if you must. Seek solitude if you must. Then move on. At least that's how I deal with it.

I know, easier said than done. Each of us has our own level of tolerance about certain things, people, situations... but please do try. We learn from our mistakes. You might have heard that a thousand times, but don’t you think it’s true? 

Don’t you find yourself becoming more cautious after a certain mistake? I’d like to think that the more you learn from your mistakes, the better choices you make and the closer you get to the person born for you.


....maybe I should rephrase that. 

"Born for you”.

While it does sounds romantic, it also insinuates that we don’t have a say on the matter and that someone or some One (ie: God) had already decided for us because He thinks we are incapable of making decisions. I don't buy that. Do you? I'm sure you don’t too. So instead of "born for you" let's just say "the one you are looking for and is also looking for you". Right. I think that sounds better. I think. Less romantic sounding though but more, hmm, what’s the word, tangible. He/she is there, somewhere.

"Every long lost dream led me to where you are
Others who broke my heart, they were like Northern stars
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms


photo by yours truly

Post Script:

I want to tell you about my "the one".

We are, what you might call, an unlikely couple. We met under some extra ordinary circumstances and timing and if you are to try and dissect the timing and the hows of how we met, you would think that the universe conspired for us to be together.

He is handsome with an iridescence of a piercing blue eyes. Although this really wasn't part of my list, but it sure is a nice bonus but that’s not what attracted me to him. 

What I do like most about him is his big heart, how he takes care of the people who means to him, and how he takes care of  me. I never had anyone took care of me or have pour all his attention to me the way he did. 

I'm used to doing the “taking care” bit. The showering someone with affection. Let’s just say he showered me with the same language of love that my love tank used to be full of. It’s just hard not to fall in love with a wonderful person like him and I thank my stars for him.

We have our "moments" of course, as all couples do. No, I am not being defensive, but hear me out. 

Couples are two different people, with different experiences, culture, upbringing, etcetera and fighting is an opportunity to learn about each others differences, feelings and thoughts and an opportunity to compromise and work as team. 

I must say, it is hard to think of it that way when your blood is boiling, you have reached your tolerance level and currently swimming with anger,  but fighting, err, communication is important. It just, you know, have varying levels of "communication intensity", if you know what I mean *lol*. 

How about you. What's your story?