Rebecca and I have spent a lot of time with a lot of couples. Pre-married. Married. Post-married. Inevitably we have to engage the issue of the one. Usually it comes out like this:
I’m so glad I found the one.
He definitely wasn’t the one.
I’ve decided that the one is a myth. A lie.
Let’s just talk about the math. There are 7 billion people on the planet. 7 Billion. I’m pretty sure that number doesn’t mean anything to you. You have no context for what that number means. 7 billion doesn’t factor into your life in any meaningful way.
Can we agree on that? If so, then can we also agree that it’s a little ridiculous to think that, somehow, the one just happened to be in your 11th grade Chemistry class or your freshman dorm or the bar you went to that one random Thursday.
Can we agree that just because you go out for groceries on Christmas Eve and you happen to bump into an intriguing stranger. And she happens to also love, but can’t find, artichokes in December. And just because you slam your cart into her hip and she says something adorable…this doesn’t make her the one.
She’s simply one of the 3.5 billion partners that you have the opportunity to choose. You get to choose the one. Indeed, you’re required to choose the one. And the choosing is constant. You have to wake up every day and choose. And this choosing is hard work. Healthy marriages aren’t born out of magic or destiny or artichokes.
Healthy marriages are born out of choosing. Every day. Even if you think you’ve found the one, it’s not as simple as sticking it out. Any stubborn person can do that. Any one can stay married because their supposed to. But’s that not healthy. Can we agree on that too?
Healthy is proactive. Healthy is intentional. Healthy is recognizing that the one is a lie. Choosing is the truth.
In fact, if the one factors into it at all, it’s in the choice to be the one. Every day. That’s healthy.
And the math is a easier to manage.