Extrange

About the Other Half, and the One

Sun, 28 Apr 2013 | norman

I'm writing this now because recently a guy I know, an adult in his late thirties, in other words old enough to know better, told his girlfriend that she was not the One.

My wife calls me the dreamsquisher. I have been known to take people's blissfully held but unfortunately incorrect beliefs, and assume the duty to correct them. I try to be tactful. But my wife reckons, and she may have a point, that tact would dictate that I keep my mouth shut.

But if everyone kept their mouth shut, homeopaths would successfully convince African governments that homeopathy alone can cure their HIV epidemic, and millions more would die.

The dream I want to squish now, though, has nothing to do with trying to cure HIV with water memory.

It seems to be a far more common belief, and has grown its carcinogenic tendrils into our everyday vocabulary. And I reckon if you think about everyone on the planet, collectively, this pernicious delusion results in even more heartache than HIV.

I'm writing this now because recently a guy I know, an adult in his late thirties, in other words old enough to know better, told his girlfriend that she was not the One.

What?!

The One what? The One True Love? The person destined to captivate your heart for the rest of your life, regardless of how many people had captivated your heart for brief periods of time in the past?

Even if destiny existed, which it doesn't, would you want it? Would it make you feel safe? Or would you realise that you are locked into a future you have no control over? Destiny is just another word for helplessness. If that's what you want, it's easy to arrange. Build up a heroin addiction. Or go to a casino and lose all your possessions at a roulette table, repeatedly. That's what destiny feels like. Look, roulette is pretty popular. Almost as popular as heroin. It might be your thing. But it's not for me.

Fortunately destiny is just a figment of your imagination. So without destiny it could be that you wander the planet searching for the yin to your yang; the soulmate who has shared lifetimes with you through the ages. But what if that person is in Outer Mongolia, and you are looking in Senegal? Or she's on night-shift at MacDonalds and you're on day-shift at Burger King, or he's an Islamic suicide bomber, and you're a Westboro Baptist, and you never meet each other, ever. Imagine. You'd wander and wander and wander, and then you'd die, in the words of Sid the sloth, a lone lonely loner.

Well, if you are one of those people who believe that bollocks, I have brilliant news for you! There is not One for you. There is anyone you choose who chooses you back. So choose carefully. But not too carefully.

Life is like a Sunday drive. It's not about the destination. It's about the trip. And you can choose to go alone, or you can take a travel buddy with you. A lousy travel buddy is a pain in the arse, but a great travel buddy can turn even a bad journey into the perfect journey.

Sometimes a travel buddy just goes part of the way. That's OK. Sometimes you know this from the start and sometimes you don't. But sharing your journey with someone even part of the way usually makes for a better journey, and you are usually a richer person for having met them.

Now that you know all that, I guess I don't have to explain that this you-are-the-yin-to-my-yang thing is bullshit too then, right? People are not mysterious puzzle pieces that either fit together or not. A partnership is like a team, and one person might be better at some things than the other, but there does not exist one human that perfectly complements the shortcomings of another. There is no perfect Other Half.

Nor does anyone have a hole in their soul that can be filled by another person (or entity, including a Holy hole-filler). Because there is no hole. I promise.

Oh, I nearly forgot. Travel buddies, even old travel buddies, do not have blind hearts. Their hearts will see other people. They might be attracted to them. Hell, they may even fall in love. This does not necessarily mean that you shouldn't be travel buddies any more. It just means that you're not dead yet.

Love is not just a feeling. Falling in love is a feeling, and love often starts off that way, but after a while it's a decision, followed by action, over a long period of time. That's the deep, lasting kind of love that can overcome difficult situations.

So go find yourself a great travel buddy. Love them. Over a long period of time.

Grow old together.

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