What if You Never Find ‘The One’?

By Heidi Priebe on Wednesday October 26th, 2016

Daring to Ask the Forbidden Question

Imagine something crazy for me, quickly.

What if you peered into a fortune ball right now – this very second, today – and saw with indisputable clarity that you were never going to meet the love of your life?

That’s a sad thing that I’m asking you to think of, I’m aware. You’ve been hoping to meet “The One” for a while now – or at least someone half-decent who you can deal with for the rest of your life. I know, I know. You’re not fanciful like everyone else. You don’t believe in soul mates. But you were expecting to meet someone you liked a fair amount. Someone to curl up next to at the end of a long day, who would take care of you when you got sick and listen to your stories every evening after work. We all hope for that. We’re human.

Because here’s the thing about finding love – it affects us constantly. And we all loathe admitting it, but love is on the forefront of our actions, even when it’s not on the forefront of our minds. It’s the reason you bought those new jeans last week. It’s the reason you went to that barbecue that you didn’t want to go to last weekend. It’s the reason you sometimes feel cripplingly insecure and inadequate and scared about everything that’s coming next. Love is what inspires most of your greatest changes.

Love is on the forefront of our actions even when it’s not on the forefront of our minds.Love is on the forefront of our actions, even when it’s not on the forefront of our minds.

What Would Change?

So if you knew, with indisputable certainty, that love was never going to be yours, how would you live your life differently? What about your daily routine would you alter? What about your long-term plans?

Your first inclination may be to say “nothing.” After all, you’re a smart person. You have plans that don’t involve someone else’s influence. We all do. But ponder it a few moments more. Because here’s what we don’t want to admit about love: it is a crutch that we use all the time. The idea that someday somebody will love all our flaws is a subtle excuse not to work on them. The principle of two halves making a whole restrains us from becoming our own better half. We want someone to swoop in during our darkest hour and save us, but what if we knew they never would? We’d have to start doing everything differently.

If you knew that love would never be an option for you, what would be? How would you structure the rest of your life? Would it have a heavier focus on career, a stronger inclination toward success? Or would you use the time to invest in yourself – go on a few more vacations, travel further outside your comfort zone? If you knew that you would never again feel the rush of budding romance, where would you turn to for your thrills? How would you get your blood pumping?

And what about your other relationships – would they suddenly take on more weight? Would you spend more time appreciating your family, if you knew that they are the people who will have loved you the most strongly at the end of your life? What about your friendships? Would you nurture and care more for the people who love you platonically if you knew that nobody would ever love you romantically? Would you show up a little more often, share a little more of your life?

Would you show up a little more often, share a little more of your life?Would you show up a little more often, share a little more of your life?

Embracing the Freedom

My inclination is to believe that never finding love would be a game-changer for most of us. One we’d initially consider to be devastating but may eventually realize is the ultimate liberation. Without the fear of ending up alone, the opportunities open to you would become endless. You could live on every continent. You could scale the corporate ladder. You could go back to school and get that degree you’ve always felt interested in, without worrying about the financial burden your debt may place on somebody else. Love holds us back in an infinite amount of subtle ways that perhaps we do not even realize. And the guarantee of its absence may just be the ultimate sense of liberation.

Because if we didn’t have to search for the love of our lives, we would finally be free to realize that we are allowed to be the loves of our own. That we can spend our lives developing ourselves, challenging ourselves, pampering ourselves and building ourselves up to be bigger, more capable people than we ever once hoped to become. We could become everything we’ve been searching for. We could construct our soul mates in ourselves.

img1We could become everything we’ve been searching for.

What You Need to Do

If there’s one thing we all need to stop doing, it’s waiting around for someone else to show up and change our lives. Just be the person you’ve been waiting for. Live your life as if you are the love of it. Because that’s the only thing you know for sure – that through every triumph, every failure, every fear, and every gain that you will ever experience until the day you die, you are going to be present. You are going to be the person who shows up to accept your rewards. You are going to be the person who holds your own hand when you’re broken. You are going to be the person who gets yourself up off the floor every time you get knocked down and if those things are not love-of-your-life qualities, I don’t know what are.

We have to start appreciating all that we bring to our own lives. Because the ironic truth is, you are most attractive when you’re not worried about who you’re attracting. When you’re living your life confidently, freely, and without restraint, you emit the kind of energy that it just isn’t possible to fake. The kind of energy that’s capable of transforming, not just your own life, but the lives of people around you.

So stop looking for ‘The One’ to spend the rest of your life with. Be ‘The One’.

And let everybody else come searching for you.


Read Next: How to Hold Space for Yourself

Featured Image: Ana Luísa Pinto

How do you feel about this article? Join the conversation.

Words By Heidi Priebe

Originally posted on Ideaspots




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47 Responses to What if You Never Find ‘The One’?

  1. What about many of us single good men that really wanted to have a good wife and family to share our life with, instead of still being single and alone today as i speak? And there are many of us that aren’t single by choice either, since we never met the one at all unfortunately. Then again, God really punished us for some unknown reason. Not fun being single at all, especially when we get older.

      • It is the women nowadays that have really changed since many years ago making love very difficult to find for so many of us single guys today unfortunately, and to think how very easy it was to find love back then the way that our family members did. Well they certainly were born at a much better time back then. Weren’t they? Well i would say so. Women nowadays are very independent and really don’t need a man anymore.

        • Interesting perspective. I personally believe that because divorce was more taboo ‘back then’, there were a lot of unhappy marriages that people just kept quiet about. People were much more private about their home lives and much more concerned with saving face, so whilst I agree that women are changing along with the patriarchy, I’m not convinced it was a better time. Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts 😊

          Team UPLIFT

  2. I re-read this article from time to time and I just want to say thank you for the message. It really has helped me with being single and loving myself… even just having that mindset… just changing the way I think.

    Some people read this and you can tell they don’t 100% get the message… based off comments.

    Re-read it.

    Trust me.

  3. Most women have very high outrageous standards nowadays for us men which makes these type of women real total losers to begin with.

  4. Thanks Heidi for this brutal but necessary article. I am a 56 year old single lady that just recently came to the realization finally(!)after all these years and heartache that there is no one true love/soulmate/twin flame for my life. My last “failure” really did me in and I’m still suffering after effects as I really thought he was “the one”. Like an ice cold bucket of water flung in my face-my illusion of my so-called soulmate imploded on me-for reasons I won’t get into here- I’ve been a deep funk ever since-this last one REALLY has hit me hard.Your article drove home the fact of what I’ve always known deep in my soul but never wished to admit is that I will be alone until I die.Soulmates are a dangerous delusion for people to believe in as this gives false hope which leads to heartache and thus emotional health issues-which I am trying to deal with now.Sometimes the cold hard reality of “love” is that it’s not a fairy-tale and some of us will never live “happily ever after”. Blessings to all.

  5. I’d probably kill myself? I mean, maybe not immediately, but if I knew for absolute certainty that I would never find someone to love and be loved in return, I’d be effectively living unfulfilled for the rest of my life. Why should I pretend that that’s okay and just deal with it? At least now I don’t know, so it’s possible that I will find someone. But if I knew for certain, I might as well just give up.

    • I’m sorry to hear that Chris. I wonder if there are not other ways to experience the fulfilling love you speak of? Perhaps through your passions, or caring for others?

      Blessing and love to you on your journey. Please don’t ever give up on love.
      Team UPLIFT

      • Dear Uplift- What you said to Chris is commendable but let’s face it…as adults,we all know NOTHING replaces the fulfillment of having a soulmate for life. Hobbies/passions/careers and caring for others is admirable. But it doesn’t replace the affection,sexual passion,trust,”warm and fuzzy”feelings one gets from a real soulmate/true love relationship.A real live human being, not a Cause/hobby/charity or whatever can replace true love in one’s life. Only a man can keep me warm at night-not an Interest/Cause/Career. I know how Chris feels-if I knew I would DEFINITELY NEVER find my true love-that would be enough to thrown in the towel. Even though I have given up-I know deep down there is a tiny glimmer of hope that the Universe will take pity on me and allow me a soulmate.To be told for sure that one will be alone until they taken their last breath-is truly sad.

    • this is one of the saddest thing I’ve heard.

      So you are saying the only goal in your life is to meet someone special?

      Don’t you have a family that loves you back, if not, don’t you have friends? if not then how are you even thinking about finding a soulmate? make some friends first!

      If a student fails in one of the subject in school doesn’t mean that he/she has to leave the school itself, go excel in other subjects.

      All I am saying is what the author mentioned, go explore other parts of live, travel a lot, see new culture, learn a new language, build something, read something or write something.

      There are a lot of other things to do in life other than finding a soulmate.

      • Thanks for your response Prashhant … and yes we agree with you … Self-love and an inclusive love of this divine mystery is what we strive for. Romantic love is just one possible aspect of this divine existence. Much love Team UPLIFT

  6. I am reading this three years after your original post and I am floored. Literally, your message has brought me to my knees and I am so very grateful for the insight you have given me. I have never offered myself what I wanted someone else to offer me, until today. Many thanks and much love always.

  7. Today we really are living in a totally different time compared to the past when it was much easier finding the one back then, and our family members were very blessed and lucky to be born at a much better time than we were. Finding love wasn’t hard at all in the past, and there are a few couples believe it or not that have been married over eighty years and still together now. Women were certainly a lot different back then, very old fashioned, and Real Ladies too which is why men never had trouble at all meeting women in those days. Today feminism is everywhere now which most of these women don’t even like men at all, especially when many of us single men will try to start a conversation with a woman that we would really like to meet which they will be very nasty to us most of the time unfortunately. So now with so many women having a career today which a great deal of these women now are so very high maintenance, independent, selfish, spoiled, greedy, picky, narcissists, think they’re all that, gold diggers, and very money hungry altogether since they will want the men with the big bucks to begin with anyway. So this is why many of us men will never find the one at all since most of these very pathetic women now will only want the very best and will never ever settle for less either.

  8. Hi Heidi!

    I found this article awhile ago- when I was a freshman in high school. At the time, I had just confessed to this guy I liked. I wasn’t the most comfortable with my sexuality, and although he didn’t react negatively, he did not reciprocate my feelings. When that happened, the first time I’d felt butterflies, I thought that I’d never find a soulmate.

    That was years ago. Just last year, I began university by travelling abroad to Britain and I found a boy I thought was my soulmate. Everything that I was afraid of, that I wouldn’t find another guy who was cute and funny and kind and loving- all of those fears faded away. Things were magical, for a while. Then I went home.

    We tried our best. We went 4 months long distance, he in his home country and me in mine. Just this month, he told me that he couldn’t do it anymore, the relationship was wearing him down. I was devastated- I really thought I’d found a home in him, a soulmate, a reason to be happy.

    I’ve done a lot of thinking since then, and it all comes back to this article. This article, that I almost live my life to, because it’s not enough that I find the one- I have to become the person I want to fall in love with if I want to love myself.

    Thank you for this gift. You’ve helped me more than you know.

  9. Well it is the kind of women that are everywhere that are the real problem now for many of us single good men since Feminism today is much worse than Cancer now, and with these type of very pathetic low life loser women that are real men haters to begin with which they really are the ones to blame as well altogether. MGTOW is getting much stronger today more than ever before, and it is a real lifesaver for many of us smart men as well. GO MGTOW MEN, and save yourselves a lot of trouble.

  10. I dont think theres an age u reach where u stop seeking attention and connection from the other sex. It doesnt just turn off imho. The rest of the article had some good points

  11. I am perfectly ok knowing I will NOT find the one, no biggie, I’m a tough one to handle, I “dealt” with someone for a long while, we had kids, he was not the one, I say this b/c he cheated constantly. Now, I won’t settle and knowing I’m a stubborn, tough chick who can take care of herself really puts most men off. I’m ok, I know exactly how I’m going to live my life, loving my family and spending as much time as I can with them and traveling, I want to see everything and no one can hinder that.

  12. I am fine with not finding the so called love of my life. I have loved my family more and loved those in my life more. The one person that be all end all is not to be found. If ot is meant to be it is meant to be. One foot in front of the other and keep moving forward.

  13. A few years ago I started looking at my couple friends (most of my friends) and realised that most of them were unhappy; I realised that I was wondering what was wrong with me to be alone, rather than being proud I’d never ‘settled’; I let go of the idea that I needed someone else to make me whole (in the eyes of society). When I let go of the idea that having a partner was the only way to go it was like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. I’m ok, I’m happy, I am attending to my needs and my son’s and I am growing and learning and ever-evolving. I actively don’t want a partner, now, though am open to the idea of that changing. I’m 46 and I know I still have a lot more growing as an individual to do…

  14. I’ve found “the one” and honestly I wish I never had. I’ve loved him for over 35 years and he has been “fond” of me, my heart breaks over and over. We where together as teenagers for 3 months until adults who didn’t approve tore us apart. I moved to another country and we went on and had separate lives. Thirty years later we meet again and the chemistry is still very much there, and my heart breaks again, because now we are committed to others – but he is “the one” and I wish and pray with ALL my heart that I didn’t feel this way. How lucky are the people who never find “the one”.

  15. I’m a 46 year old single mum and about 5 years ago I decided to stop believing that you can’t be ok if you’re not in a relationship – society DOES NOT tell us that and I’ve spend a lot of time telling friends that ‘no I’m not seeing anyone’ and that that’s ok, when they look at me in a pitying way. When I made the choice that I’m ok without a partner it was as though a weight lifted from my shoulders and suddenly I was free to be as I wanted and who I wanted to be. Naturally all my friends are married/coupled up, most feel frustrated by their situations and are unhappy with their partners but , you know, kids etc… I just think we are fed so much rubbish about ‘the one’ and what we’re meant to do that we’ve stopped thinking for ourselves. Marriage was invented by the church in order to control people, back when people only lived to 40 – nowadays I’m not sure it’s viable. Of course in self aware couples who grow together that’s wonderful, but so many people aren’t so aware, don’t discuss their issues with their partners, grow in different directions… Maybe we need to start looking at things differently, have series of monogamous relationships that are right for us at the time, and move on when that time is over. I know I’m very happy to be alone, I’m concentrating on better knowing myself and bringing my son up, and I really don’t miss ‘the one’!

  16. I like that idea “Be your own one and only”. Because ultimately, that is who we all have who we can truly rely on to fill our needs. But I sure as hell would not want to try it, because I did so in the past and failed miserably. I am so blessed to have found someone who loves ALL of me, including my flaws and weaknesses. I guess I am just old-fashioned. Thank you, God, for giving me the love of my life!

  17. I think I would stop giving a shit about trying to live life as the best version of me. I mean, I’ve loved and lost and I’ve worked damn hard to better myself and learn from my mistakes, and if the best payoff I get from that is “me”? F that! I would choose to live my life with no remorse or care for my behaviour. I wouldn’t live it with the intent of maintaining good karma, I mean why would I at that point? I’m good with myself now but I’ve worked hard to get there and being in love with “me” isn’t worth that effort only to end up alone. So if I’m going to be alone, I will do as I please rather than act in a way that pleases. Screw climbing the corporate ladder or travelling, what good is it if you cannot share it with another by your side. Might as well go out in a blaze of glory…..saying F U universe….

  18. Myself i did find the one soulmate love of my life the person i wanted to spend the rest of my life with and heres the catch i wasnt hers, so i decided to make the most of my life went on dating sites but soon realised i wasnt interested in anyone else, so i started to do things i wanted to do taken up a couple of new hobbies and living to be the best i can be because you have to love yourself sounds corny i know but im comfortable with who i am and enjoy myself as much as possible, i have some great friends that i think the world of and are gratefull for, the main thing i had to do was enjoy my company and put my thoughts into other things, im prepaired to be single for the rest of my life now and im not afraid to accept that i could be, i have 2 wonderful kids ive been married and have a great friendship with my ex wife which again im gratefull for, i think theres a stigma in society about being single but its personal choice at the end of it, you have to know your self worth in a relationship and alot of people lose sight of that when you care for someone that much.

  19. This! I’ve always felt like I’ll never find that person and so I’m doing all the things I love. I’m constantly learning new things, doing new things, traveling,nurturing my relationship with my family. I don’t wait for that person to show up before I do something worthwhile with my life. If he shows up, good. If he doesn’t, better luck next time i know i can cope up.

  20. Yes, this is all very well but i am hopeless on my own. Believe me, ive tried, been on holiday alone etc but i hate it. Still ….thats how it is…..

  21. Even though I enjoyed reading the article and naturally we all saw ourselves in some lines, I still don’t get how this self empowerment article ended up in ‘ do this and your love will come your way’.
    I strongly believe one should be one’s love not because of the outcome, but because the process is mind blowing.

  22. This is wonderful☺ However some of us are programmed to keep looking due to the way they were raised and their beliefs. For some of us looking for love is an INSPIRATION. Yes you can have different passions in life and be content with your parents and friends as a safety net…but!!! YOU WILL NEVER discover the most amazing and daring things about YOURSELF untill you fall in love. Love motivates me greatly.

  23. This reminds me of a poem I read in a paper years ago.

    The time will come
    when, with elation
    you will greet yourself arriving
    at your own door
    in your own mirror
    and each will smile
    at the other’s welcome
    and say
    sit here
    You will love again
    the stranger
    who was yourself.
    Give wine
    Give bread
    Give back your heart
    to itself
    to the stranger
    who has loved you
    all your life
    whom you ignored
    for another,
    who knows you by heart.
    Take down the love letters
    from the bookshelf
    the photographs
    the desperate notes
    peel your own image
    from the mirror
    Sit-Feast on your life.

    Joseph Walcott (Nobel laureate)

  24. I’m open to the possibility and hoping for it, but at the same time I’m going on with my life. No, I don’t think that I would live my life any differently than I do now because I would want someone who would want the best for me also.

  25. Lol. Chrystal ball? I have a mirror that tells me that. You just keep on doing the best you can do, with whatever you’re doing. No deep mystery to that.

  26. I came to the understanding that I might never find love again and at the age of 62 gave up my business, divested myself of everything I own and left my friends and family to travel across the country to go back to school. I didn’t know a soul in California and 3 years later I have graduated and have been sparked back to life again! I recommend it highly!

    • This is fabulous! I also would LOVE to do this as IM turning 61 soon and have come to the same conclusion. I would love to finish my nursing degree – even if I’m never able to use it in the capacity I would have in my younger years! I do hope that you and yourself are extremely Happy!!

  27. I agree on many point with this post because most of people (not excluding myself here) are so eager to find what they call ‘the one’ or ‘true love’ and use it as an excuse to not better themselves (stated in this post) or do/not do certain things. What I don’t agree on is what you call love. In my opinion, finding a person you want to spend your life with or trying to find that person is not bad, in case you don’t focus solely on that and forget about yourself or that ‘search’ keeps you from achieving things you always wanted. In the very end, you (whoever is reading my comment) and I are both ‘products’ of love and so are many people around the world.
    I think this post made some really good points about ‘finding the love of life’ but don’t agree with how it treats that particular concept.

  28. I don’t think it’s about ‘finding love’ exactly – I think it’s more like ‘finding your one true love’ that causes the trouble – when I stopped looking for my ‘one true love’ I suddenly discovered that everybody loves me! Duh!

  29. I think that waiting to win the lottery is similar and fills the role of love walking through the door for many.and for many it’s a more realistic device for modern slavery. Smiles lol

  30. I agree with the sentiment, especially the final sentence “So stop looking for ‘The One’ to spend the rest of your life with. Be ‘The One’.” I love that. Interestingly enough, when in a good long term relationship, this should also be your goal. Relying on someone else to be your other half will never bring you happiness, or bring happiness to the one you are with. So if you are looking for love with this intention, you are never going to find ‘the one’ anyway because energetically, you are going to repel any mate that wants a good LTR.

    Perhaps you need to look at how you define ‘Love’ first. Because the attitude of finding ‘your other half’ isn’t love. Its dependence.

  31. I have issues with this question, because if you don’t find “the one,” then you’re putting your family bloodline at risk. What if you’re related to someone famous and want that bloodline to survive for generations? It’s not finding love also the reason why Japan is suffering from a declining population, which would eventually lead to their own extinction.

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