Are You the One You’ve Been Waiting For?

Man Thinking at TwilightMany fairy tales end with the line: “And they lived happily ever after.” Ditto for most romantic movies, which have the same implied message: true happiness lies in being coupled. The holy grail of life is to find that special person. Certainly, life can be quite wonderful if you are lucky enough to find a great mate, but what if you are in a hiatus between relationships? What if you haven’t met that person who tempts you away from singlehood? What if you are devoted to something else meaningful? What if you are in a different stage of life where plumbing your depths, being with friends, or work calls to you more loudly than romance? There are many paths to joy; a committed romantic relationship is just one.

What if you believed you’re the one you’ve been looking for? Sit back and allow yourself the luxury of thinking about how believing that might feel in your heart, mind, life, relationships, work, and family.

Where do you feel that thought in your body?

What physical sensations come up for you?

Did you notice a sense of peace?

Were you aware of a lack of striving, being just fine in the moment?

How would your life change if you really believed you are the one you’ve been looking for?

Think about it. Stop reading for a few minutes and really ask yourself that question and the following ones.

If you truly believed you were more than enough, how would that change what you accept from others?

Would your perception of yourself change? If so, how?

What would you consider when making life choices?

Would your view of your body change? If so, how?

Would you spend time with the people you associate with now?

How would this affect your relationships with friends, family, romantic partners, and coworkers?

How would your self-care routines change? Would you take more time to nurture yourself?

How would your sleeping patterns change?

How would your eating habits change?

How might your behavior toward others be affected? Start by thinking about generosity, compassion, and patience. Would they increase, decrease, or stay the same?

If you like the answers to your inquiries, how might you go about becoming the person who simply feels good inside?

Here are a few ideas to get you going:

When you hear that inner critic pushing you to be different from how you are, gently tell it you are being in this moment as fully as possible. It may not be your happiest moment because life intrudes. Perhaps you have cramps, a headache, or a sick child waiting to be picked up from school. You don’t have to do your best all the time. It’s OK to feel cranky, irritable, annoyed, impatient, displeased, even self-pitying.

Paradoxically, if you allow yourself to embrace whatever feelings arise, you will experience more peace and joy. As you become more self-accepting, you will accept other people’s foibles with greater ease and equanimity. Ironically, this ability to settle in with your least favorite moods and emotions actually makes you more present with other people’s. Your awareness and sensitivity make you a better friend, listener, and participant in life, whether you’re coupled or solo.

© Copyright 2014 GoodTherapy.org. All rights reserved. Permission to publish granted by Nicole Urdang, MS, NCC, DHM, LMHC, therapist in Buffalo, New York

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

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  • Cheri

    Cheri

    September 4th, 2014 at 2:15 PM

    But I want to BE with someone that I have been looking for!
    I don’t want it to be me.
    Is that too much for me to ask?
    I am a good person and I think that I would have a whole lot to add to a relationship but I just can never seem to find that perfect person to go along with me. Do you think that I am perhaps looking too hard for that? This makes me think that if I am happy with who I am then those other things will happen on their own but I never seem to get there. I don’t want to spend anymore time alone, I am ready to find that person to spend the rest of my life with. It all seems to fall into place spo easily for others but never for me.

  • Nicole Urdang

    Nicole Urdang

    September 4th, 2014 at 4:56 PM

    Hi Cheri,

    These are not mutually exclusive desires. You can work on the things I outline in the article and also get out and meet people.
    Meet-up.com is a great way to do something social while increasing your chances to find someone who enjoys what you like.
    Good luck!

  • Cheri

    Cheri

    September 5th, 2014 at 11:09 AM

    Thanks Nicole! I haven’t heard of meetup.com so I think that I will check that one out.

  • Marlena

    Marlena

    September 7th, 2014 at 5:03 AM

    What I have learned about myself is that in general I am very busy running away from ME because I don’t fulfill myself, and I have spent a lot of time looking for that “one perfect guy” who will fulfill all of my needs for me.

    I have been looking around at different websites and reading some different stuff and finally have had that Aha! moment that lets me see that no is going to make me happy until I commit to making myself happy.

    That’s it, that’s the little secret that alludes so many of us for so long. It won’t be easy to break all of my old habits, looking for someone else to fill in those blank spaces, but I am dedicated to making this happen because i know that the search will never be over until I am happy right where I am today.

  • Nicole

    Nicole

    September 7th, 2014 at 2:33 PM

    Hi Marlena,
    Thank you for taking the time to write about your personal experience.
    I know it’s a tough row to hoe.
    Another benefit of doing this work is that even if you are waiting to meet someone fabulous, you can enjoy your own wonderful company in the meantime.
    All the best,
    Nicole

  • timothy

    timothy

    September 8th, 2014 at 3:57 AM

    I don’t know what to think about this because it sort of goes against everything that we have always been told about being happy etc. It never used to be stressed to focus on yourself; it has been all about finding that missing puzzle piece. How refreshing to think that I have probably had that missing piece all along.

  • JC

    JC

    September 8th, 2014 at 10:47 PM

    I sometimes think that we are forced to face ourselves, I thought I met the “perfect one” I felt complete, whole, and the sense of being loved was overwhelmingly wonderful, until that is, the unconscious relationship seeped through the mask, into daily life, in which we were both living out our unresolved pasts, and it turned into a nightmare,and to be the worst person I could be with, abusive and controlling. The sense of loss was crippling, for a while at least, and the shock of suddenly becoming self aware of unresolved issues, or rather being confronted with them, was painful. The question we need to ask ourselves, is not that we shouldn’t be with another, but why we pick the “other” in the first place. That “perfect person” is very often what we think is the answer to our past, not our present.

  • Nicole Urdang

    Nicole Urdang

    September 9th, 2014 at 4:38 AM

    Hi Timothy,
    We all drank the Kool-aide, and it tasted good.
    I am not saying it isn’t wonderful to deeply connect with another person. It is.
    Developing a great relationship with yourself can be sustaining and satisfying in a different way.
    In addition, when you truly appreciate your own company others are drawn to you.
    Sending all good thoughts,
    Nicole

  • Vera

    Vera

    September 9th, 2014 at 10:28 AM

    I don’t know, I read all of this and on some level it all makes sense but there is still this part of me that no how happy I am with me, I still don’t want to be lonely. I want to have someone else to share life with.

  • Nicole Urdang

    Nicole Urdang

    September 9th, 2014 at 5:03 PM

    Hi JC,

    You are so right. It’s easy to unconsciously set our radar to what is familiar; especially, if we haven’t worked on our issues (and we all have them), consciously chosen differently, and created a good, compassionate relationship with our self.

    From reading your post and seeing how you look at your life, I can tell you are moving forward with courage and self-awareness.

    I know it’s challenging to do this work. If you don’t already have a yoga practice let me strongly suggest you take some classes. While I believe therapy is incredibly helpful in life, yoga can be amazingly healing, freeing, creative, balancing, empowering, and supportive.

    Once you know the basic poses and correct alignment, you might want to try a website called My Yoga Online. They have truly gifted teachers. It’s a great way to take your practice home so you can do it daily.

  • Nicole Urdang

    Nicole Urdang

    September 9th, 2014 at 5:06 PM

    Hi Vera,

    Please read what I wrote to Timothy.
    It’s right below your comment.

    We all feel lonely sometimes, even if we are in a relationship. It’s just part of the human experience. No one likes it; but, luckily, it doesn’t last.

  • KJ

    KJ

    February 17th, 2015 at 2:15 AM

    Thank you for my “Aha” moment! Could this be the answer to years and years of my struggle with depression? Could this be the reason for being so miserable even though I was married for 23 years? Is this the reason I am so miserable now in my current relationship? Is it because I have been expecting that other person to make me happy? To fulfill all my needs? And when they can’t, I become lonely and depressed and sometimes angry. What happens to my current relationship if I embrace this relationship with myself?

  • Nicole

    Nicole

    March 28th, 2015 at 5:31 AM

    Hi KJ,

    I apologize for not replying sooner, as I am just seeing your comment.

    Let’s take your questions one at a time:

    Could this be the answer to years and years of my struggle with depression?
    It might be a big part of your depression, though I doubt it is all of it.
    You may find it helpful to also look at cognitive-behavioral approaches to depression. A book by David Burns, “Feeling Good,” is a great place to start.
    Also, make sure you are sleeping enough, eating well, and getting exercise daily.

    Is this the reason I am so miserable now in my current relationship? Is it because I have been expecting that other person to make me happy? To fulfill all my needs? And when they can’t, I become lonely and depressed and sometimes angry.
    It is likely that part of your unhappiness in your current relationship is due to putting all your eggs in their basket; however, almost all relationships have plenty of other issues that lead to dissatisfaction. I doubt that it is the only reason.
    Look at it this way: it can only help to develop a better relationship with yourself. One with more unconditional self-acceptance, and a boat load of self-compassion.
    Interestingly, one of the great side effects of meditation is how it enhances your relationship with yourself.
    Studying some Buddhist ways of looking at life can also be a great help. You might like Tara Brach’s book: “Radical Self-Acceptance.” She also has a podcast.

    What happens to my current relationship if I embrace this relationship with myself?
    It can only improve, as will all your interactions with other people. Why? Because you will be coming from a more integrated, solid sense of yourself.

    I also suggest checking out Internal Family Systems Therapy (YouTube has some good intro videos by Richard Schwartz), and using my free website: Holistic Divorce Counseling (despite the name, it’s for all life’s issues and transitions).

    Wishing you every goodness,
    Nicole

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