“The Back-up Plan” has been the springboard for a lot of discussion since its release a couple of weeks ago. On the site we’ve talked about making back-up plans when life doesn’t turn out the way we expected, searching for multiple streams of happiness, and choosing single motherhood when the elusive “one” is nowhere to be found – which brings us to today’s topic – the search for the elusive “one.” You know the one – he’s the guy who meets all the criteria on that list you’ve been carrying around since you were 21, revised when you were 27 and then again at 35. I know the list well – I’m on my 3rd revision myself.
So what makes the elusive one so elusive – is it a numbers game? There’s no shortage of statistics that tell us the ratio of single women to men – remember the line from the now infamous Newsweek article – a ‘40-year-old single woman was “more likely to be killed by a terrorist” than to ever marry (Newsweek later apologized for the ridiculous line.) Are we being unrealistic – do we want something, someone who just doesn’t exist? Or have we limited our own chances of meeting someone great because we’re firmly entrenched in our comfort zones and nothing short of a miracle is going to budge us.
20 years after that Newsweek article we live in a society where many single women are perfectly happy – maybe even happier – being confirmed bachelorettes. For many, being unmarried and/or single at 40 doesn’t carry the stigma it once did. And so now, the search for Mr. Right is about finding a soul companion and not about feeling the need to be married because they’re a certain age. For these women, whether the search is like the hunt for red October, or whether it takes a more laid back approach, the desire still exists to find “the one” – which brings us back to those darn lists.
At 20, the list was easy. He was gorgeous, tall, rich – but humble about it, nice – but not a pushover, sweet, kissed babies, loved his mama, had no kids, remembered birthdays, etc…and was gorgeous. And did I mention he was gorgeous? But as we get older, and hopefully wiser, the list changes a bit. We still want someone we’re physically attracted to, but what we find attractive at 40 is probably a little different than at 20 (remember high top fades?) For some of us, gone are the height requirements, the status symbols and the career requirements. We learn that men who are great fathers make some of the best boyfriends. And we now know for sure that who he is, is far more important than what he does, wears or drives. We still want the things on our list, but the list is shorter, has been tested by time, and the qualities that remain are essential.
On our search for “the one” some of us have ventured out of our comfort zones by dating men we never imagined we would. But many of us, although wanting companionship, stay “safely” within the boundaries we’ve erected for ourselves. We’ve got a long list of the men we won’t date – men who are younger, older, fall outside of our ethnicity or race, political beliefs, denomination… and the list goes on and on. No one’s suggesting we compromise our core beliefs for anyone, and certainly not for “the one”, but are our own fears and preconceived notions holding us back? Are we making “the one” even more elusive than he has to be? (Image: sunshinecity)
This week we want to hear your thoughts on “the one” and that infamous list. Have you ever made a list, and how do you feel about the whole list thing anyway? Are you still waiting for the one or have you found him? And are you willing to venture outside of your comfort zone to find him? Join the conversation by sharing your thoughts in the comment section, on our Facebook fan page or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.