At Home with “The One”

Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Crimes to the Third Degree.

Every night this week, I’ve been up until 2:00 or 2:30 in the morning and then getting up shortly after daybreak just finish the copyedits on Dark Revelations and get most of my other jobs done, too.

Flying By Night novelI’m not sure how I found time to read, but I did manage to read Vicki’s incredible new novel, Her Perfect Life, sobbing through most of it because I kept recognizing bits of my own life, but I also took in a few articles of interest that reflected the novel in odd ways.

One article was about a woman in her late 30s, desperate to have a child and settle down. She’d been dating the same guy for almost 5 years and the relationship didn’t seem to be headed toward creating a family together. She’d invested so many years with him, but she didn’t want to leave him. She did, after all, love the man, but their relationship didn’t be seem to be going anywhere. At least, not where she wanted it to go.

“Should I give up on this relationship and look for someone new?” she asked. “After all this time has passed, nothing’s happened. Is this man ‘the one’?”

The short answer, of course, was no, and it made me realize that I had dated my ex an awfully long time before we married.

By the time he had the begun to think about a future together long-term, I was already beginning to question his interest in me and thinking of moving on. Nothing towards permanence had happened in our relationship, and we were seeing lots of our friends meeting, marrying, and starting families in the years we had been together. Maybe it was just our youth, but it’s interesting to look back on it now.

I can’t see myself just dating a man for 5 years. I can see myself making a commitment to someone a lot sooner than that, though. While it usually does take me a long time to make a commitment, it takes rather drastic measures to blast me out of a long-term relationship. When I make a commitment, it’s usually for the long haul.

But if the author of the other article is correct, then I could see making a commitment much sooner. Under the right circumstances.

The article writer had interviewed various long-term couples who claim to be quite happy in their relationships and that, yes, each one had found “the one” for them.

The article concluded that there are several traits of every “the one” relationship. About five in total.

The couple can still have fun together, that the couple can laugh easily together, and there’s a sense of flow between them, and that they don’t try to change each other.

The one trait that really stuck out in my mind was that there was a feeling of home between the two. Recognition. I like that. The sense not looking for refuge from a mate but finding sanctuary with their partner.

Looking back, I see now that my ex and I never had the most of the traits on that list. I tried. Maybe he tried. But we didn’t have them. Only time and perspective allows me to see that now.

I think this explains, though, why sometimes people meet and spend relatively little time together and know without a doubt that they’re meant to be with the other person. When that kind of connection is made, both people know it. When it isn’t made, they keep trying and nothing ever comes close or close enough.

Just because these articles remind me of old wounds and old patterns and make me reassess things in a different light doesn’t mean that I’m lost in the past or still focused on my divorce. If anything, it means I’m more focused on now and on the future so that I don’t repeat my history and so that I know what a good relationship really does look.

Life coaches do this all the time. They have their clients make lists of the non-negotiables and have them cut out paper dolls and paste them on poster board to show what it is they want to make their dreams come true—the house, the garden, the baby, the awards and accolades…whatever it may be.

The idea is that we need to know what something looks like so that when we find it, we will recognize it.

And recognition, I’ve decided, is never a bad thing. Ever.