Did you know that the average woman will be in at least two long-term relationships before they finally find “the one”? And they will kiss, sleep with, and date far more men than that. This is according to a study commission in conjunction with The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. If you’re interested in learning more about the study, there are more tidbits in The Telegraph, Daily Mail, and Glamour.
But interestingly enough, even though it’s common sense that not every one can be the one, most women still get their hopes up and plan for longevity in their relationships. In fact, according to another study from Avvo Inc, “Women are significantly more likely to believe that relationships are meant to last . . .” As in, over 20% more likely than men.
So what does it matter? Well, we could probably attribute this pattern of wishful thinking on a combination of evolution and societal influences. But regardless of the reasons, the fact remains that there is indeed pressure to be with the person you’ll marry someday.
What is worse, is this expectation doesn’t discriminate by age. From 22 to 42, women of all ages often deal with the pressure of dating with one main intention – don’t just find and date anybody, find and date “him”. However, rest assured. Statistically speaking, the person you’re dating probably isn’t the one. But they also don’t have to be, and here’s why.
1. If you met your future husband tomorrow, you might not want him.
Let’s be real. Some people might be fortunate enough to truly feel like they’re with not only a great person, but their soulmate. But for the majority of people? It’s all about timing. And I don’t care how much two people love each other, or even what their ages are, if you’re not personally ready to enter a serious commitment with someone then it’s not going to last.
2. Relationships take mental strength and a lot of self-confidence.
I consider myself a pretty confident person. But nothing makes me realize how prevalent my insecurities are like dating does. There are times where I know my feelings and reactions are irrational, and I realize that I still have a lot of work ahead of me. No one is perfect, but if you know you have work you still need to do on yourself, it’s better to focus on that than worry about whether who you’re dating is “the one”. You’ll meet that person when you’re a better version of yourself. Not any sooner.
3. There’s nothing wrong with not “knowing”.
There’s a misconception that you are somehow supposed to predict the future and one day just “know” whether or not your boyfriend or girlfriend is your future. The reality is that some people never know for sure. They just make a decision to enter that commitment, or not. Emotions and thoughts aren’t always like the fairy tales we grew up with. So if you do feel that confidence, great. If not? That’s okay too. If you asked me five years ago if I would be where I am now, I would tell you I had no idea! And neither do you, so stop trying to control or predict it. You are not Professor Trelawney.
4. Relationships, marriage, and monogamy are very hard.
Time and time again we are shown that marriage and monogamy do not have a great outlook. Let’s say you make it through the two relationships that are projected for you and now you’re getting married – awesome! Now, you’re married and have basically a 50% chance of getting a divorce – not so awesome. It gets even better because the chance of infidelity occurring in what is supposed to be a monogamous marriage? Sorry guys, chances are pretty high. The good news? You’re currently dating someone (or not) and you’re (hopefully) happy. Enjoy the bliss while you can. Because statistically speaking, getting married is going to sprinkle quite a bit of pain on top of your chocolate ganache wedding cake.
5. You might not marry him…but you’re happy.
There are so many people in this world that aren’t happy. If you’re one of the lucky people that finds yourself feeling generally positive and satisfied with your life, and specifically, your relationship…don’t take that for granted. Maybe this person isn’t “the one”…and you know that already. There’s nothing wrong with them being the one for right now. There’s nothing wrong with living your life doing what makes you happy as opposed to what people expect you to do. I’m always a believer in communicating openly and honestly in all of your relationships. If you’re doing that, are treated well, are still happy, and aren’t sure you want to spend the rest of your life with that person? I think the bigger question is, who cares? Do what makes you feel good.