When it comes to relationships, I can’t help it wondering: when is one supposed to stop looking, and say I found the one. And is there such a thing called the one?
Looking for love and social acceptance is a reality inherent not only to human nature, but to that of any social animal.
I don’t even know if there is a ‘right’ answer to it. Maybe those who consider they found their ‘one’ believe they have found the answer to my question. I’m not sure. They might be fooled, fooling themselves, or maybe, right.
I would like to start by giving my personal definition of love. What some people consider an absolute rigid pure-emotional process, I tend to consider it as a fluid conditional state of mind that never stops evolving.
When falling in and out of love, befriending or un-friending people, what we are actually doing is continuously looking for a wavelength that best matches ours. Because our acquired experience is daily shaping our beliefs, change remains the only constant in our universe. In other words, as long as we are living, we are somehow ‘evolving’. That said, it does not mean that partners should be changed like underwear.
What really happens in this ‘searching-for-the better-half’ process is first finding a person who resonates in our wavelength. Although this pioneering step is often challenging and self-consuming, how I really weigh love is by its sustainability. To me, love can continue to exist in only ONE condition: a synchronized evolution of both partners that allows their baseline wavelengths, no matter in which direction or how fast they change over time, to constantly remain at comparable levels. For the purpose of clarification, what I mean by wavelength is all possible characteristics that one would love to see in the other person at one point. So if I am fond of smart business men who have a particular hair color and speak 3 languages, this would be my wavelength at this time-point. These standards could change, and then I will be passing from wavelength 1 to wavelength 2. Now think about it, how many times have we heard that two people got married out of crazy love, but their marriage could not make it through till the end? Getting back to the origin of their problem, we almost always figure that although they were ‘matching’ at the start point, they evolved differently over time or discovered that they weren’t even matching in the first place, to the point where at least one of them couldn’t help it dropping out of their love equation. Whose mistake it was is a totally different question that I prefer to answer on a different note.
Going back to my definition of love, I feel like further elaborating on the ‘State of Mind’ expression. By using this term, It may sound as though my definition of love is rather biased toward people who are more rational when ‘falling in love’. But it is not. In fact, it is essential to highlight that every single bit of emotion, thought, or activity in our life is nothing more than the result of a complex interplay of neuro-chemicals in our brain. This is to affirm that there is no such a thing called “the heart” when it comes to feelings. This heartache we feel in a love crisis or when bumping into an old love is nothing more than an electric message sent from our brain to our heart muscle to accelerate its beating rate as part of what is known as a fight-or-flight response. As a matter of fact, like any other emotion, love ends up being a ‘state of mind’ where a complex network of neurons connects ’emotional’ cerebral areas to ‘rational’ cerebral areas and create a more or less emotional state of mind. That some people tend to be very rational in their love while others tend to be so emotional remains mainly of genetic origins, where one’s own genes determine which of the two areas is more dominant in their brain.
As such, I will jump back to the original question: When are we supposed to stop looking for a new love?
In one of my previous conversations with a friend, I remember us comparing our potential partnership to a basket. This basket being of different shapes and volumes for each one of us, we considered that one could fill this basket with an infinite number of partners, but only the partner who fits perfectly in there would not be easily toppled by a new input. But the main challenging question that remains to answer: how can we tell what our basket exactly looks like? Aren’t our standards of ‘the one’ changing with every new relationship and every new experience? Can someone tell that he/she found the one if they never loved anyone else?
The old me would have definitely rejected a one-partner experience, and argued about the importance of exploring panoply of choices. Not that I stopped believing in the importance of options, but the paradox of choice can also introduce confusion to the point where one loses interest in all choices. In fact, the more we meet new people, the greater our choices and feelings expand. Think of it this way: if you felt X, Y, and Z feelings with XYZ and felt O, P, and Z feelings with OPZ; at one point you might want to decide whether to be with XYZ or OPZ. Although you feel the greatest with XYZ feels, OPZ still made you feel the O and P feelings which you will never have with XYZ and that will make it harder for you to choose compared to if you had never experienced O and P. In other terms, as we explore new options, it is still possible to confine ourselves to a limited choice but the task of trade-off simply becomes harder.
My greatest concern in all this story is how people, at one point of their life, that varies across cultures and societies, enter in a race with their biological clock and start compromising their standards of ‘the one’ just to outrun their clock. Are we really meant to pick someone just for their availability? Or are we supposed to keep looking until the last possible minute of our life? Are we really supposed to pick someone that we can live with, or is it about picking that one that we can’t live without? The answer could be as easy as ‘live content with what you’ve got’, or it could be more complicated like ‘don’t let your biological clock mask your love life aspirations’. I am however convinced that every person reaches a self-agreement, as part of their survival instinct, on how best to proceed in their life and in choosing their partner.