As a child I was raised on a steady diet of true love. My parents, as far as I could tell, were happily married, and even if communication were somewhat lacking in our household, the books and novels that enthralled me for hours were full of meaningful romance and relationships that stood the test of time. As such, when I began to navigate adulthood and adult relationships, I somehow expected I would find “The One.” The one person who met every emotional, physical, spiritual, financial, sexual, intellectual, and hypothetical criteria or need I had–or might have–over the course of my entire life. This person would be my soul mate; my destiny; my true love, and we would weather the tests of time, together, tightly bound in our cocoon of One-ness.
After all, that’s how it happened in the books and movies I devoured.
What I didn’t factor in was that I would change as a person, or The One would change. Or maybe, all of those important criteria would shift and be weighted differently once adulthood was firmly established: Something vitally important to me might be a deal breaker to The One once we had settled into our roles; become different people, or actually lived real lives for a while. That’s what happens in real life, but I didn’t know that, yet.
My daughter asked me recently if I believe in true love. I told her I believe in love, but not the kind of true love for which she was seeking confirmation. I think everyone has a Person… the one person they turn to when the stars shine brightest, or the shit hits the fan. I think you have love for your Person, even though you may not be in love with them, or you might actually abhor them on a regular basis. But your Person is your person because they know you, and when it’s really important… Your Person delivers the goods.
I could tell this wasn’t the response my daughter wanted. But I told her if you’re lucky, you’ll have different relationships in life with different people who will meet your most important criteria to the fullest, at the time when you need it the most. I told her I feel blessed to have experienced so many different connections in the course of my life, even if The One, for me, was actually just one for a particular time, and what he represented or fulfilled, was somewhat transient.