I have a confession. When I first met my husband, Chris, nine years ago, it wasn’t love at first sight. We met in a college class, and even though I thought he was cute, I turned him down when he asked me out. I wasn’t trying to be cruel; I just didn’t think he was “The One.”
You see, I had spent 19 years of my life waiting for the perfect person to fall in love with. I watched romantic movies and dreamed of the day I would find my soul mate. Like many girls my age, I made lists of what I wanted in the perfect man.
Chris wasn’t what I thought I wanted, but he was exactly what I needed. After years of friendship, I realized I was in love, and I didn’t even know it. It was a love that was a hundred times better than any love I had ever seen in a movie.
How could that be? He wasn’t “The One” who fit into the list I made as a 15-year-old girl. We’ve been happily married for six years, and I wish I knew then what I know now: The idea of “the one” isn’t romantic—it gives us an unrealistic picture of what love is. Here are four reasons why.
- It makes love about destiny rather than an active choice. Love doesn’t just happen; it has to be formed. True romance is making a commitment to love someone every day, even when it gets hard. The Bible says love between a man and a woman is a sacrifice, but it isn’t forced upon us. I love my husband because I choose to, not because I have to.
- It sets you both up for disappointment. The idea of “The One” implies that there is one perfect person for you who can fill every need, want and desire you ever have. What if things go wrong, and the butterflies go away? Does that mean you didn’t marry “The One”? No, there are bound to be hard times in any relationship. Love is a daily exercise in selflessness between two sinful people.
- It takes away your freedom to choose. God gives us the freedom to choose in our lives. He tells us that he has a purpose and a plan for us, but he doesn’t dictate our lives and move us around like puppets on strings. Marriage is a big step, and it shouldn’t be taken lightly, but I truly believe only two things matter in marriage: 1) Does your partner love God, and encourage you to love God more? 2) Is he willing to commit for life, no matter what? Everything else is just a bonus.
- It takes away the excitement of being surprised by love. We serve a big God. He wants good things for your life, but that doesn’t mean that there is only one person who can make you happy. Don’t limit God.
It might sound horribly unromantic, but there is no biblical evidence to support the idea of soul mates. But take it from someone who knows from experience: True selfless love is way better than anything you’ve seen in the movies.