I must start with a disclaimer, this post is not about how to find your person or my journey to finding mine. I do not have a "person" nor have I found "'my person" and my views on the topic may be considered a little controversial.
This year, I have had a very small taste of dating apps and speed dating. From my limited experience I have found that there are two types of people; those who want absolutely no commitment and those who so desperately want to find "'their person" that they are willing to lower their standards and be with someone who isn't right for them. Of course there are exceptions, I am generalising for dramatic effect but I digress. While I have no interest in telling people what to do or questioning there desires, I can't help but consider what life might be like without the pressure of finding this mythical person.
For me, as soon as I have the "'where is this going conversation" and my prospective new beau tells me he wants to find his "person", this immediately makes me want to retreat and run for this hills. Of course, as you are reading this you may be thinking that I clearly have commitment issues. I've been married, I've had boyfriends, I have no issues committing myself to another human. What I don't want is the colossal pressure of living up to being someone's person.
Stick with me, let me tell you why I don't want to be someone's person. The expectation is too much. There's the expectation that our lives will suddenly be better when we find that person. I hear it all the time "I just want to find my person and settle down and all my pain will be gone". Don't let me have you think I haven't had these thoughts, I myself have been a victim to this kind of thinking but let me tell you, all it brought me was disappointment.
What I've come to realise is no person on earth has the kind of power over mental health that we sometimes might wish for. I agree, people can make us miserable but we heal our pain ourselves. We can heal with someone, yes, in a supportive environment but ultimately it's us doing the work. My happiness comes from within. My validation, my worth, it all has to come from my own mindset and control over my thoughts. If you can thrive outside of a relationship, then the relationships you do have become stronger because you don't have co-dependency.
How about a different angle, what about "'I just want to find my person and them be my best friend and us be together forever". Let me ask you this, how many best friends have you had in your life? I'm guessing a few. So to that end, surely I can't be someone's person. I can be right for someone at a certain stage of their life and mine, but how can I promise the rest my life to someone? I value honestly above most other traits so I can't willingly make a promise I might not be able to keep. I wouldn't want the pressure of having to uphold a promise like that.
I think people come into our lives and it's beautiful but it's ephemeral, like a shooting star. Could it be possible that there are many people who could be your person at different stages of your life? And if there are many people, it makes the phrase "'my person" redundant. And what about when things don't work out? When I was with my ex husband, I thought he was it for the rest of my life. And then he wasn't. Your whole life can change in a single night. He turned out not to be my person even though I had chosen to marry him.
I've found myself in entanglements with men, thinking he's not going to be a long term thing and if he's not the one, what's the point? I might as well stay single. What if my person suddenly gallops into my life, in slow motion, on the back of a horse to sweep me off my feet but I'm stuck in a situationship with the wrong man? I jest, of course, but there's a serious question in there somewhere.
To go into each relationship or even just casual dating, getting hung up on the "are they my person?" narrative in our heads, feels to me that it would get in the way of the experience? Not everyone is supposed to come into our lives and be there for a life time. I hear so many of my friends come back from dates and say that their date was amazing but they don't know if they will end up being their person. Who cares, change the narrative. Sometimes all we have is one great date with someone but it still has value in our life. These small encounters can have profound impacts on our lives. So many of the adventures I've found myself on are the result of a conversation or interaction with a stranger for a brief moment in time.
If I think hard on it, I believe my disdain for finding "'my person" or "The One" as it was called in the 90s, probably stems from a completed marriage and many completed relationships. Notice here how I say "completed" and not "failed". Each relationship, and even friendships, that have come and gone have all had their place in my life at the time. They have all taught me something, they have all given me stunning memories that I will treasure however they were not beholden to that status of being "The One".
With the best planning in the world, we can't see the future. What if we put aside this fantasy of there being just one person for us? What if instead, we enjoy the moment? If you're single, enjoy being single and get to know yourself? I've always said the greatest changes and most success I've had in my life is when I've been single. The reason being, I get to focus on my goals and making my dreams come true. I'm certain that at some point on my journey, there will be someone who takes my breath away but until then, I'm going to trust in the plan the universe has for me.
Dear Reader, Thank you for reading this article. With love, Joy in Blooms