The One

Ask questions. Ask them early and often. You may sound stupid in the process, but I’d rather know the answer to something than stay silent and think about what could have been. Maybe I should already know the information I’m inquiring about, but I’m going to ask anyways. I ask because I want to make sure all my bases are covered. I ask because I’m curious, and because I want to know as many things as I can possibly cram into my head. Sometimes, even if you’ve heard an answer several times, that next time you hear it can really drive the point home. Maybe you’ll hear something in a different way, or it will open up a window of your mind that you didn’t know existed.

It can be a challenge to ask certain questions, but what’s even more challenging is thinking of questions for someone that’s going to leave you.

That’s the situation I found myself in with my father. I knew that he had months left, not years. I had so many questions I still wanted to ask him. In the moments alone with him, I’d bust out my laptop and ask him about his life, ask him about my mothers, anything I could think of. The hardest part was that I was only 23/4, and that there were so many things in life I still had to experience. There were questions I didn’t even know I wanted the answers to, and I would not know those questions until later on down the road. There’d be times in life where I’d want his advice, and he wouldn’t be able to give it to me.


Years later, as I sat on the couch watching a hockey game with my roommate. We were chatting, and I told him that what I should have asked my father, a man who married three different women through no fault of his own, was how did he know that each woman was “The One.” As I watch more and more friends get married to a person I hope is the one, I find myself wondering what that crystallizing moment was like, when certain people said to themselves, “This is the person I want to spend the rest of my life with.” Does it happen slowly, or do you feel like you’ve been struck by a lightening bolt? I don’t know, but I’m looking for an answer to this question. It’s definitely too important not to ask.

It seems so farfetched. I know that people do meet other people, that they do fall in love, and that some people remain connected for the rest of their lives. There’s something really special about that, something I really admire. I love that people feel so strongly about each other, and that they are able to grow together. Most people don’t change overnight, but you do change a lot over the course of a lifetime, and I’d be willing to bet money on the fact that the person you marry is not the same person you grow old with. Still, there’s something really amazing about picking one person you love, and staying by their side through every challenge that life can throw at you. I know that it’s a real thing that happens, that it happens to people everyday, and yet for me, that kind of love is an abstract concept.

As it currently stands, I’m not close. I’m not seeing anyone, and the chances of finding that perfect person seem little more than remote. I’ve had a few relationships over the years, but I’ve never been at a point where I’ve said to myself that maybe this is it, and of course then the thought shoots into my brain that maybe I’ll never be at that point. I doubt myself, and this doubt is only reinforced by the fact that I seem to be getting worse with age. I’m more selective than I’ve ever been, and I just hope I’m not getting too selective. I hope that I’m not just becoming a crotchety old man, but maybe the way to look at is that when I do find that person, I’ll know with the utmost certainty, that is, if she ever comes along.

I believe that love does happen, but I also believe that not everyone gets a shot at it. Maybe everyone does get a shot, but I’ll remain skeptical for a long time, maybe until it actually happens. I just can’t say for sure. In the universe I inhabit, it seems like the people that have recently gotten married will make it. They met each other in college or possibly even before then, and they spent the majority of their twenties together before they tied the knot. As for the rest of my friends, there seems to be a continuous stream of dates that yield nothing but entertaining stories and subpar experiences. People date, but it’s almost as if they’re doing it with the intention of having fun, rather than actually looking for someone to be with. The field seems to be dividing into two camps, one with people who are in couples, and the other consists of people who are just playing the field. For some of these friends, the frustration is palpable.

It’s enough to make you want to stay home, metaphorically-speaking. My Dad met my mother on a blind date in college. Their friends set them up, and I’m pretty sure it was love at first sight, or something like that. That sounds wonderful, truly wonderful, but it doesn’t help me now. It doesn’t seem like it could really happen, especially in today’s hostile environment. It seems like a good work of fiction, and if I didn’t know the couple personally, I’m not sure I’d believe it. My Dad and my Mother just knew, and I love that.

I’m trying to maintain that optimistic outlook, but something in me worries that I’ll never find that one, but maybe worry is a strong word. I know that I don’t need to have a partner in order for my life to be enjoyable and fulfilling. If I do meet that special someone, I know I’ll have to rearrange my life in many ways, but I suppose that’s not such a bad thing. If that person means that much to me, I’m sure it won’t be too painful of a process. I’ll want to open up my world to them. I’ll want to let them in, and to create a life with them that we’ll both be more than happy to live. I like the idea of that too, and so I guess there is no reason to be nervous. Either way I win. Either way, I’ll live a life that makes sense. What’s meant to be will be.

It’s too early to turn myself completely off to a romantic life, and I suppose that in some ways you’re never too old to entertain that idea. People can’t help when they meet, and you can’t help who you fall in love with. I know that it’s important to keep putting yourself out there, even if the results aren’t what you hope for. You have to be positive about it and enjoy it. That’s the only way it’ll ever be fun. If I ever meet the one, I hope I’m paying attention. I hope that I go after her, and that I never let her go. I guess that’s the only way I’ll really know. Thanks for reading.


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