Finding “the One”. It’s saturated in the media. Disney princesses, romance novels, Valentine’s day, Hallmark cards — all of them promote the idea that there’s one perfect match out there for us, and it’s our life’s mission to go out and find them.

And anyone who’s been in love — truly, deeply in love — can understand why society is so obsessed with this idea. Finding your person — your one true love, out of billions — is a transcendental feeling. It makes us feel warm and tingly and lets us forget about our pain and hurt.

But when we become fixated on the idea of finding “the one,” all these happy, lovey-dovey feelings can take a sudden turn south. In fact, placing too much emphasis on finding your one true love can seriously hinder your personal growth, for a variety of reasons.

Trying to find “the one” can cause us a lot of fear

Imagine you’re on an Easter egg hunt. Sounds fun, right? Now, imagine you’re told that you better choose carefully, because one of those eggs holds the key to eternal happiness, whereas every single other one will end up in heartbreak and sorrow.

This is the kind of thinking behind the idea that we have to find “the one.” This begs an obvious question: what happens if we don’t find “the one”? Are we doomed to a life of loneliness and sadness? Will we enter old age with only our 16 cats as our companions? Will we end up dying alone?

Obviously, this creates a lot of fear! Indeed, putting all of our relationship eggs into one basket is scary. And, as we know, fear isn’t conducive to growth.

Thinking we’ve found “the one” can cause us to stay in toxic relationships

In Enrique Iglesias’s hit single “Finally Found You,” his joy is infectious: he’s come across the love of his life, and he couldn’t be more thrilled about it.

If you’re in a relationship and you’re convinced that you’ve found “the one,” this very well may be the case! It’s entirely possible that you and your beau will get married, ride off into the sunset, and live happily ever after.

. . . except when it’s not the case. Sometimes, you might think you’ve found your beloved, but things just don’t work out. And there’s nothing wrong with that! Falling out of love is just as natural an experience as falling in love. But if your nagging inner voice keeps telling you, “But this is the one!” — well, things can get messy.

This kind of thinking can lead us to stay in relationships that aren’t healthy for us or our partners. And it goes without saying that staying in toxic relationships is one of worst things we can do for our self-development.

When relationships get rocky, there are plenty of reasons to try to make things work. But if the only thread the relationship clings to is your belief that it’s “meant to be,” it may be time to reconsider.

If we’re convinced we’ve found “the one,” we catastrophize after a relationship ends

Remember our Easter egg hunt? Well, say you got lucky, and you happened to find that one egg that — supposedly — held the key to eternal happiness.

But one day, the egg breaks, and you’re left thinking . . .

Now what?!

Breakups are always hard. But if you believe that your relationship is the pinnacle of your existence and can provide happiness that you’ll never find anywhere else, they can be truly devastating — more so than they should be.

Now, I’m not talking chocolates-and-crying sad, I’m talking life-falls-apart-around-you crushed. This is what happens when you rely on someone else to make you whole: if something goes awry, suddenly you find yourself lonely, lost, and without direction.

It’s all about you

Just a few months ago, I believed that I’d found “the one.” He taught me how to laugh — I mean, how to really laugh. He taught me not only that I was interesting, but that I was sexy and loveable and that yes, when you’re really in love, music can play in the background of your mind.

But then he disappeared, and I found myself feeling more alone than ever before.

I also know, however, that the universe provides us with equal or better — and I sure as heck will not take equal, only better. Because now, I know that I’m worth it.

It’s my responsibility to keep myself happy and whole and growing and moving forward. I can’t rely on another person or on a concept to make me whole — and neither can you.

Your “one and only” will only come into your life through your personal growth work. Finding “the one” will be a result of your wholeness — not your brokenness.

Love each person to the fullest, cherish the people who care about you, take a moment to care for yourself, and always treat yourself with the utmost respect.

You deserve it.

Personal growth isn’t an Easter egg hunt. So take a moment to live in the moment and let your thoughts go. Stop looking, rid your mind of harmful terminology, and start being.

It doesn’t matter what the rest of the world believes, the only thing that matters is what you believe.
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