I have wonderful people in my life; does it matter that I haven’t found The One ?
It happens all the time. By the time we reach our thirties our group of school friends, or university mates is replaced by a husband or a wife. We move out of the city, where our closest companions have lived in close proximity for the last five years, to the suburbs or to the country. Our city lives are replaced by suburbia and comfort. Our chaotic lives are replaced by choreographed and planned domesticity. Our community, our network, our gaggle and group of friends gradually gets supplanted by The One , the soul-mate, the life partner.
Now there is nothing wrong with this, nothing at all. In fact a life partner is a wonderful thing and I too, at some point, hope to have one.
I went for a drink with a university friend the other night. We lived together at university. We used to share stories of our sexual and dating exploits. We used to hold back each other’s hair when we’d indulged in too much Pinot Grigio. We used to spend many a Sunday watching catch up television or some rubbish game show as we nursed a hangover and moaned about the looming essay deadline. She is now a mother of three living in Winchester with her lovely husband. I am now a single mother living with my lovely (although he’s not always lovely) three year old in London.
We talked a bit about sex. We talked about work. We talked about parenting. She talked about her husband. I told her a couple of my disastrous single mum on the dating scene stories. She looked at me sympathetically and reassured me that I would find the one . “It’ll happen when you least expect it” – she said. “He’s just around the corner.”
Why does everyone always say that?
The thing is, I have a friend with whom I can go to the cinema. I have a theatre buddy…who happens to be a different person from my cinema buddy. I have Sunday roast mates and I have a friend who I occasionally meet at yoga. I have coffee morning mums with whom I moan about toddlers. I have a work colleague with whom I share my work woes. I have a mentor at work who is effectively my career coach and HR counsellor. I know that I can go on a date and have a short term romantic liaison. I have the support of my parents and family. I have all of these things that the one can provide, it just that these things are provided by a whole network of wonderful people in my life.
I like the fact that these multiple roles are played by multiple people.
A life partner may be just around the corner, but I sincerely hope that he isn’t The One . No one can be everything and no one can have everything that the network of friends, family and colleagues give me.
A life partner may be just around the corner, he may be a couple of decades away. If he is a decade or two away that’s just fine, in fact it is more than just fine, it is absolutely wonderful.
My life is incredibly rich and supported and diverse – I don’t need The One to make it so.