is she the one?

i should apologise for writing on such a cliche topic for this month’s cleo. i blame the festivities. think sleep deprivation from the mammoth cleaning i had to do (it still baffles me how one guy can amass so much junk in such a short period of time forcing me to exercise the option of cleaning by displacement i.e. displace the mess into a room and close the door and tada… optical illusion. eat your heart out copperfield), food so spicy it’ll disintegrate your stomach lining (doesnt help if said stomach has tolerance of an infant) and shelling of money (light wallet = light headed). yes, i’m making excuses for churning out such an incompetent piece. after all, no one else will…

How Do I Know if She is the One?

I can’t think of a question I ask myself more often. I am positive this is a question most individuals starting out on couplehood ponder upon. I envy friends who proudly announce with great conviction that the person they are with is their soulmate. They know, either from the start or along the way, that the woman they are with is the one they will end up spending the rest of their lives with. I am probably better at predicting who my next taxi driver will be.

I am both amazed and suspicious of these professions of love and undying faith. Yes, I am a cynic and sometimes I wonder if they tell me about how much they love their partners because they want to assure me or themselves. Just how many first loves end up eternal? More pertinently, how do we know if it is love?

I love football and chicken rice but when it comes to women, the question of whether I love someone is usually met with a sheepish grin or a shrug of the shoulders. It is not because I do not believe in love nor do I think no one has been deserving of it. It is because I am not convinced that we truly know what love is and by that argument, if the person we are with is the one. There is no standard barometer to gauge our emotions, no universal guideline on when infatuation ends and love begins.

I accept that this is just one cynic’s opinion and it is only fair to gather more perspectives. After much prodding and questioning among different groups from friends to the less friendly, the blissfully married to the mysoginists, I found out that men are almost equally split between two camps when it comes to knowing if they are with the one – The Cynics i.e. Team Me, and the Romantics, or those who have watched one too many Hillary Duff films. What was interesting though, were the reasons cited by them justifying their points of view.

Male cynics believe that guys never really find the one. They find someone and convince themselves that she is the one. Sometimes it is because of a trait they really value like a physically enhanced part of the anatomy which they hold dearly in more ways than one. At other times, it is simply for lack of a better option. Yes, men are about as faithful as their options. These men do not believe in everlasting love. Instead, they highly value current gains of relationships. They are generous in providing for their partners as long as they are spared of any responsibility or attachments. The cynics believe it is not so much an issue of knowing who the one is, but whether we need to find the one. After all, finding the one in a world of 6.5 billion people is like sifting through a stack of needles to find a piece of hay – too many painful pricks for an unceremonious finding.

The romantics see things differently. Steven, a close friend of mine, often finds himself in relationships with “the one”. The only problem is the one true love is a different person every year. Whenever he is in a relationship, he is totally dedicated and faithful to that person, professing to her as well as others (much to our disdain) how much he loves her. Steven has honed the enviable skill of knowing which girl he will marry within the first week of getting to know her. Not surprisingly, this always coincides with the first girl he is introduced to after a break-up. My sharp sense of intuition says Steven, like most romantics, is more in love with the idea of being in love. Of course I am not saying all are like that. My own sister is proof. She dated her first boyfriend (she being his first girlfriend as well – cue your “aww”) since junior college for almost a decade before finally deciding to tie the knot. They’ve been married ever since. So it can be said that love and kismets exist. Something only time can validate. Sadly, time is a luxury most cannot afford in this fast-paced world of speed-dating, hasty marriages and quick divorces.

Perhaps I am being too harsh on love. Perhaps it is a larger social issue of mass desensitization and consumer preference for sensational stories than heartwarming ones. Or perhaps, it is simply a case of not being able to determine the exact combination of traits which would make for an ideal partner. As I always tell others, my ideal partner would have had Natalie Portman’s face, Cameron Diaz’s posterior and Heidi Klum’s legs, if not for the hideous stitches. So instead of dating the human quilt, the one for me is probably the one that reflects me best. If I love me best, perhaps my soulmate is me, or at least someone close to it.

With so many differing opinions, my final say on this matter is that no one truly knows if his or her partner is “the one”. Then again, it probably does not matter. What matters is what you make of it.

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