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One true love

Is there one person we can love forever?

We have seen it everywhere around us, in societies, in families, in romantic movies, in Disney fairytales. We were always raised to believe in one true love, in the chivalrous prince coming on a white horse and sweeping us to the land of forever and ever. Ever since we’re young, we believe that love is through a long-lasting, marriage-like relationship where we endure everything, have sex with the same person, never have to fantasize about somebody else, never have to even venture into looking at someone else. The idea that we have drifted in thought or behavior towards someone other than our partner is simply sinful and wrong.

The early supporters of this notion are our parents; they’re the ultimate manifestation of how love blossoms (or not !) throughout the years. We grew up firsthand witnessing how two people got together to stay together through the idea of “forever after all” and that we, ourselves, managed to emerge from this love. It is an essential element in our lives. Without it, there’s no doubt that societies would fail the way we know them now, and the concept of the conventional family would no longer be applicable.

But why are we drawn into the idea of one person? Humans ever since the dawn of time seek safety and comfort. We need certainty around our daily direction; we search for security. We need stability and familiarity because newness can be troublesome and threatening if maintained frequently and for extended periods. But we also crave adventures, the sense of trying something new every once in a while; otherwise, life would lose its edge and enthusiasm.

And that is our biggest challenge; we don’t know precisely how to reconcile these innate opposing natures in us. And we are not aware that there are two sides to who we are, so we try to mold ourselves into beings that are either too conservative in love or forever free and living on the edge of life. There is no solution per se to this dilemma, but understanding our essence is paramount in not trying to pretend to be someone else, someone who is not in tune with their feelings and desires and who doesn’t know how to adjust to them.

Monogamy vs. Polyamory, one true love vs. multiple partners: how many times have we found ourselves internally debating what we ought to do and whom we want to be in this regard? This is no easy question, and the answer is far more complicated. Love and relationships are tricky and complex; it is already tough enough for people to deal with their psyches and issues, let alone manage everything with another person in the equation. But a confident hope lies in consciously apprehending that no love is supposed to be “one” and “true” forever, at least not in the familiar fairytale-like understanding of it.

It is very typical to find ourselves evolving and changing, taking a different path in our lives, liking other people, fantasizing about different relationships, going insane with our current partner for various reasons, changing one’s gender, perhaps. This isn’t to say that monogamy doesn’t suit us, or we are bound to live forever alone in a cruel world and time. But we might need to be kinder to ourselves when we feel the need for something new and exotic, for something wild. We might need to rephrase our internal speech and understand that it is simply very ordinary to have all these sentiments. They shouldn’t mean entirely giving up on anything we are currently and particularly invested in. But the notion of romantic love we grew up on is simply flawed, and it sets us up for failure when the relationship no longer matches our lusts and passions.

We need to understand that relationships involve some solid and intense work independently of what they are. We should be open to the idea that we are not transgressing per se if we find ourselves unable to live up to the concept of romantic love. Instead of viewing relationships as though they are brought from heaven, they are more about crucial communications and partnership than anything else. They are about understanding that our partner will not be “in love” with us every second of the relationship lifetime and that sometimes, they may wish to walk away. Yet when they don’t, actual work is done on themselves and the relationship because they believe that the other person is worth fighting for. It is not wickedness or debauchery; it is very human to have conflicting reflections sometimes, and it doesn’t say much about our commitment to the relationship.

We should start adopting a more open-minded view about love and romance and thinking about relationships with more practicality and pragmatism. Love is beautiful; eternal fantasy is unattainable; however, a sensible, healthy relationship is the key to our solace and redemption. We need the safety and security of a partner, yet we also indelibly hunger for reinvigorated, unexplored territories and experiences. Harmonizing these two aspects is grueling and may sometimes seem unfathomable. There is no particular formula for this. Yet, the first step is to acknowledge that we are trying to live up to expectations that we cannot meet, that the world has us indoctrinated with idyllic concepts that do not work with our human nature and that we need to be more realistic about what we’re seeking from our partners.

You can read my other article on relationships below.

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