Finding “The One”: 5 Things No One Tells You

Thanks to Karen for asking me this one on FaceBook. I feel that if I can nail this one I can likely retire. The answer to the question of how to find “The One” seems to be as elusive as the fountain of youth. Let’s start with a little bit of a disclaimer and background on me. If you have read any of my previous work on the subject of Love, you will know that I am somewhat of a skeptic, yet still hopeful romantic. 
If you haven’t already done so, you may want to start with my article “I Love You is Bullshit” for some context. 
While I am not entirely certain I believe in “The One” I would certainly like to. For the purpose of this article, I will use the term ‘The One’ to mean either what it states or what I refer to as “The Next One”. Hopefully, I will be lucky enough that my “Next One” lasts a lifetime.
So how do we go about finding ‘The One’? 
The more I thought about this the more I started to think that “How do I find ‘The One’?” is the wrong question to be asking. Instead, we should be asking ourselves “How do I become ‘The One’?” 
After my separation, I spent almost three years learning about what made me tick. I truly focused on “Becoming The One”. While I may not have called it that at the time in hindsight that is exactly what I was doing. In my marriage, I simply could not come to be congruent with who I was at my core without running into massive conflict. This is likely the topic for another article so I will not expand more here.
For me, the separation was really the beginning of my in-depth journey of self-discovery. Should I have been able to do that within my marriage? Maybe, though I ultimately made the decision I could not. I could give you all the cliches here. “I had to find myself”, etc. and while that was definitely true there was much more to it than that. I simply decided that I wanted more. 
I can share with you some of the critical components you will need to get there.
It all starts with awareness. Noticing those things about us that we may or may not enjoy. Finding ways to observe ourselves without judgment. To notice every little nuance we possibly can.
As I write now about ‘becoming’ the one I am brought back to something I say to myself often. I realize that ‘becoming’ may not be the right word. Sometimes it is less about becoming WHO you want to be and more about realizing who you ALREADY ARE. As human beings we spend an inordinate amount of time trying to predict who we think people want us to be and we try hard to pivot to become that person. The truth of the matter is, we will never be able to become something we are not. This then begs the question “Why the fuck do we spend so much time and energy trying to become someone we aren’t?” 
The first step in becoming ‘The One’ is to know who we already are. This takes keen observation and is a lot easier said then done. For me there are several tools I use to do this. The first and most powerful tool I have found is so simple that it often gets overlooked. Your breath. That is it. As a guy who tends to have many things on the go at once, it is easy to get caught up in the rush and fail to notice what is going on within. 
Breathing is a great ‘in the moment’ tool, a way to catch yourself when things get to be too much. Taking a moment to breathe will allow you to slow down, take stock of what is going on internally. 
The second tool I use is a deeper meditation practice. Making time to sit still, focus on your breath, acknowledge your thoughts without judgment and take a toll of how your body is feeling at regular intervals is a powerful way to become more aware of yourself. This dedicated practice will make it easier to catch yourself in more heated spontaneous moments. Much has been written about the practice and benefits of meditation. I will not try and replicate what a good Google search will provide you.
The third tool that I use is writing. Whether that be private journalling or taking a specific topic such as this.
Finding the words to articulate your thoughts is an incredibly effective way of becoming aware of that inner dialog. Writing forces you to distill those thoughts into concrete ideas and give you the opportunity, if you choose to do so, to really analyze them in depth.
Like most things in life, if you really want it you not only have to have a desire for the end result you also have to have a willingness to put in the effort required to get you there. Now for me this does not mean that the relationship should be work. It means that you need to be willing to put in the self work required to become ‘The One’. I honestly believe that the right relationship should be effortless. I know there are many of you who will disagree and say that relationships take work. If you are true to who you are you will attract the type of person who Loves your authentic self. If you have to work to be something you aren’t then there in lies the problem.
This one has been a long time work in progress for me. There are some things in life we simply cannot rush. We need to let them unfold. Unforced, natural and in whatever time it takes. So whether waiting for ‘The One’ to present themselves or working toward becoming ‘The One’ we must practice patience both with our own progress and the timing with which ‘They’ will present themselves. 
How many times have you seen the scenario play out where patience was ignored? How many times have you instead ‘settled’ for something? This will ultimately always fail. 
This one is a big one and is often overlooked by many. Are you really ready and willing to receive Love? I know this sounds like a no-brainer but how many times have you seen or participated in self-sabotage? How many times have you done things that destroy your relationship because on some level you do not feel worthy of the adoration of another? Are you willing to see yourself through the eyes of someone who Loves you? When they tell you ‘you look great’ do you accept it with Love or do you reject it with self-loathing? For me, this has been one of the hardest parts of the journey. It was during my interview with Bob Burg, author of The Go-Giver that this really came to light for me.
Truthfully, who are you to doubt what those that Love you see in you? Is it not disrespectful to them to not accept at face value what they show you? When you can see yourself through the eyes of someone who Loves you your world will never be the same. 
Everything I will ever tell you always comes back to practice. Try as we might we will likely not succeed each and every time. We do however need to take the opportunities when they present themselves and put the these techniques into practice. As with any skill the more we attempt it, the more we practice, the more effortless it will become. 
Final Thoughts
What if all of the above holds true today even if you are in a relationship? So often we look externally to see what is wrong when perhaps reality is we first need to take a good hard look in the mirror. If you are in a relationship already my hope for you is that you and your partner are on a parallel journey. Each of you striving to become “The One” for each other. It is easy to blame a partner for a failed or failing relationship but before you do take a good hard look in the mirror and ask yourself “Am I being true to who I am?” If you are not then you need to start. You also need to give your partner unconditional permission to do the same free from judgement and expectation. If you don’t you are only delaying the inevitable. 
At the end of the day, you either fully accept who they are or you do not. You cannot force them into becoming something that they are not no more than they can expect you to be something you are not.
So instead of looking externally for that perfect mate, for that twin flame, that magical unicorn perhaps you should start by looking inward and to what you find there instead.
Photo compliments of Steve Corba
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