When “The One” Isn’t — Why Are You Waiting?

When “someday” slips right on by…

Dedicated to my clients who ask me, “When is he coming back…?”

Sarah and Joe were inseparable in the last year of high school.  Everyone thought they were an item and basically treated them as such wherever they went.  The truth was, they had never even kissed or gone out on a date.  Did they have chemistry?  Absolutely!  Was there a mental and spiritual connection, as well?  Undoubtedly!  And Sarah “knew” in her heart they were meant to be together, that Joe was “the one,” her true soul mate.

But, Joe had girlfriends.  True, his relationships never lasted very long, all of them ending because they got sick and tired of hearing how wonderful Sarah was and Joe made it perfectly plain to all of them that Sarah was “his number one girl and always will be.”  So, Sarah, being Joe’s “number one,” waited for her true soul mate to come to her and begin the relationship they were destined for.  And she waited…and waited…and waited…

But, that day never came.

Why?  If two people are so connected, so in love, so belonging to each other, then what’s the need for waiting?  The answer is: EXACTLY!  When two people are truly in love and truly connected, there is no need for waiting.  If Joe really, truly felt connected with Sarah, then he would not have needed to fulfill his romantic needs elsewhere.  Furthermore, if Joe truly loved Sarah with all his heart, he would’ve owned up to his truth and not made promises he had no intentions of keeping, feeding emotional food to Sarah’s hungry heart.

We are honest with people we love.  So, why does Sarah wait and Joe not?  I use Sarah as the example because statistically, women are more prone to this behavior than men.  But, make no mistake that men can be just as guilty as well.  (And besides, this could be based on a true story very easily, couldn’t it?)

Now, there is a difference between patience in giving space and waiting.  The former is the generosity of not imposing upon someone we love so they can do what needs to be done to be healthy and then resume their partnership with you in a better mental, emotional, and spiritual space.  Waiting is when we are being patient for weeks, months, sometimes years and that relationship is off and on, off and on, off and on, or just off.

There are a few factors that make us wait for a specific person.  The first, of course, is pure romanticism.  Ah, amore’ – we see in the media, we read in books, we are surrounded by a culture that revels in the romantic fantasy!  “Our eyes met across a crowded room and there I knew at once…” keeps us spellbound and daydreaming for our own “one day.”  Truth is, yes, that can happen.  Possibilities are endless.  But, when it does, there is no waiting involved.  The magic is mutual and there is no question, no “what ifs,” no obstacles.

True love doesn’t say, “Hold on for a while, I’ve got stuff to do.  You stay right there, I’ll come back for you.”   True love says, “We truly belong to each other and my place is by your side, now and always.”

“SOME DAY MY PRINCE WILL COME! (Hopefully before I’m in a glass coffin in a coma…)”

Another factor that makes us wait is fear.  There’s a strange sense of security when we live in a fantasy world – we’re never rejected, we’re never put down, we’re never disappointed.  In real life, real time relationships, we put ourselves at risk to be hurt by others.  So, therefore the act of waiting is truly an act of suspension from pain.  During that time, we experience in our minds perfect love with this perfect partner that we once touched and smelled and every moment is perfect in every way.  The problem is, when it stays in your head, the rest of you is neglected.  There is no such thing as perfection, but there is such thing as happiness.  A real relationship requires taking chances and there is always a chance it’ll be worth the risk!

Finally, we wait because we do not feel worthy.  Sometimes, in the back of our minds, there’s this little harmful voice that tells us horrible lies about ourselves: “You’re too fat,” “you’re too ugly,” “you’re too stupid,” just detrimental phrases that convince us that we are anything other than the divine beings of Light put upon this earth to enrich the lives of others.  These messages do not belong to us.  We pick it up from our surroundings without even realizing.  The message of comparison is everywhere, in billboards, magazines, television, and internet.   Sometimes, we even hear it from home, growing up.  Most of it is not meant to be intentionally harmful, but yes, sometimes it is.  When we learn of our true self worth, we cannot be easily controlled.  When we stand up and say, “I deserve good things!  I’m beautiful and worthy!” we take away the weapon others use against us to keep us from being fulfilled.

When we are not fulfilled, we are vulnerable to control, even abuse.  When we wait, we are under that other person’s control.  They can give us as much or as little as they want, on their time and their terms and we will accept it because we are unfulfilled.  We allow this because we are convinced that there is only one person who can give us what we need.  When we wait, we become enslaved.

Sarah waited for Joe for over 7 years before she learned that he had married someone else.   However, if she thought with her head and not her heart back in high school, she would have seen the truth right away just from the simple fact that he dated other girls.  She was never truly in “first place,” just a stand-by.  What he did was cruel, not only to Sarah, but to those other girls as well.  His selfish actions showed that his needs came first and he belonged to no one.  In those seven years, Sarah had turned down perfectly good dates, missed opportunities to have fun, and limited her potential because she had convinced herself that Joe was “the one,” and she will never get those seven years back.

Waiting is not an act of love, it’s an act of masochism.  It’s painful.  It can lead to many different types of disorders, ranging from depression to rage, even physical illness.  We become obsessive with “maybes” and “perhaps” and “ifs” because there is no closure.  Waiting is hurting yourself emotionally, mentally, and physically and it also affects the people you love, as they watch you waste away.

Think about it: In the time it takes for you wait for “the one” to run into your arms and say everything you want to hear and be everything you could hope for in a partner, you could’ve met someone standing by, right now, who has been waiting for you.


About T. Ray

Writer, visual artist, student, musician, and "armchair nutritionist." She currently resides in Vegas with her jenday conure and two beloved rescue cockatoos. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and the National Society of Leadership and Success (Sigma Alpha Pi). While pursuing her degree in Journalism/Media Studies at UNLV, she continues to contend that all things come down to food and Star Wars. Contact: verteram@unlv.nevada.edu
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