You Don’t Find “The One”, You Choose “The One”

In Dating, Relationships, Single by Debra Fileta33 Comments

There are so many Christian singles out there who believe that they just need to wait around until God reveals to them the lucky “one” they are going to marry.

As though the right relationship is just going to fall from the sky.

As though God is going to knock on the door one day, and all of a sudden there will be the one they are supposed to marry.

As though somehow, they will “just know” when they come face-to-face with the right person. 

And sadly, Christian culture perpetuates this lie. I had the opportunity to speak at two different Christian colleges at each end of the country in the past two weeks, and the students affirmed to me that this belief still runs rampant within the student body. 

But no matter how many Hollywood films you’ve watched, or how many romantic stories you’ve heard, I’m here to tell you this: you can’t just “know” from the outside looking in whether or not someone will be a good match for you. It’s not about a feeling, and it’s definitely not just about getting lucky. 

Relationships don’t work like that. And generally speaking, neither does life.

I was at the grocery store this summer, and found myself standing in front of a bin of beautiful, green watermelons. My family loves watermelon, and especially my four year old son who could eat watermelon for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

So I decided to pick one out to take home.

Now if you knew anything about my family, you would know that purchasing a watermelon is a process. First you have to find the right one, typically because of it’s bright green color. After you’ve found the right one, you test it out to make SURE it’s the right one by drumming on the outside of it, and listening for the sound it makes. I don’t know if it’s just my family, or of this is a universal thing (I’d like to think everyone does this….otherwise my family is just strange) but based on the thumping sound the watermelon makes, you know whether or not it’s a good one.

The only problem with this theory, is that I actually don’t have any idea what sound it’s supposed to make. So I end up grabbing a watermelon, drumming on it one or two times, and putting it in my cart. When I take it home and cut into it, it’s always a mystery. Even with the special drumming I did at the grocery store, I still have no idea whether or not it’s going to be a good one until I bite into it. And frankly, it’s a hit or miss process. As illogical as this all may sound, I do it every time I go to the store.

But you know what? When it comes to relationships, SO many people are JUST as illogical.

They look for “signs and wonders”, “feelings and emotions”, “chemistry and connection” in a relationship that will ultimately tell them whether or not this person is going to “be the one”.

But at the end of the day, they ultimately have no idea what they’re getting in a relationship until the relationships progresses further – or even until marriage. 

You can choose a bad watermelon with little to no consequences, but choosing the wrong marriage is absolutely devastating.

Despite the lies we’re being fed from our culture on a regular basis, the most important thing you need to grasp about all of this is that good relationships aren’t just “found”. They are CHOSEN. They are made. 

They are built through a series of choices, a consistency of exchanges, over a proper length of time, with important conversations, healthy communication, and one positive decision at a time.

They are not something you find, they are something you CREATE, with someone who is just as willing to create a healthy relationship as you are.

There are so many people who rush into relationships without ever assessing the risk. Without knowing enough about the person they are dating. Without giving it enough time. Without having some really important conversations.

They meet. They like. And then they rush…..without ever knowing how healthy their partner is.

And so many times, going blindly into relationships, they up with a broken heart and shattered dreams.

God gives us the responsibility to use wisdom, discernment, and discretion in choosing who we are going to marry. We’re responsible for this most important life-decision, and we’re the ones who have to deal with the ultimate consequences. 

In choosing someone to marry, it’s up to each and every one of us to take our time, to assess the risk, to uncover the baggage, to invest in counseling, to prepare, and train, and learn everything we can possibly know. It’s up to us to choose well. Because once you choose “the one”, they become “the one” – til death do us part. 

*This post was adapted from my new e-course: Breaking Free From the Lies of Singleness. Sign up today to uncover the subtle lies you might be believing that are impacting your relationship status!!

Debra Fileta is a Professional Counselor, national speaker, relationship expert, and author of True Love Dates: Your Indispensable Guide to Finding the Love of Your Life, where she writes candidly about dating, relationships, and how to find true love. Her newest relationship book is set to be released in the Summer of 2018! You may also recognize her voice from her 200+ articles at Relevant Magazine, Crosswalk.com, and all over the web! She’s also the creator of this True Love Dates Blog!  Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter or book a session with her today!

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Comments

  1. But, why not and isn’t that limiting God? Some people are more intuitive than others and you can and should back up that intuition with other information (and I do think this is true in life in general as well). It doesn’t have to be either/or. I know a lot of people, including family members, who say that they *knew* they would marry their spouse upon first meeting them. It’s just too strong to say that God never reveals information to a person that way and that it is a lie – He is abundant in varieties of information gathering as much as anything else. The mistake would be to assume you can’t find a spouse in other ways. You might marry your best friend that you’ve known for years, you might marry someone who ticks off all of your boxes after dispassionate assessment, you might enter into a marriage that your parents arranged or you might just know.

    1. Author

      Hi T! They key is what you just said, “you can and should back up that intuition with other information”. That’s the point and something too may people are missing…the “other information”. Whether or not you get that “feeling” upon first meeting someone, it cannot and should not stand alone. But that’s what happens too many times, and people end up in very unhealthy relationships because they based too much of it on feeling or confused “feeling” with God’s Spirit. There’s got to be more than a feeling when it comes to hearing God in our lives.

      He reveals in both Spirit and in Truth.

      1. Amen to that Debra. I totally agree with “God reveals in spirit and truth. The other major issue I see with relationships and marriages are people are ill prepared or not prepared at all for trials, tribulations, and hardships. Sadly from what I see, read, and hear, its typically women who are not prepared for the hard times of marriage. We hear too many of these “Prince Charming, & Cinderella stories. We’re fed too many myths, and lies, as children and we grow up to be grown women who actually expect to be Cinderella, and/or a Princess in our marriages, and our Husbands Prince Charming. Because too often people expect everyday of marriage to be a walk in the park, and are clueless about how to deal with the worst, because they only expect the best, things end very badly. When the worst happens, and it will happen at some point we are in a bad way. One of the most important things the married elder women in my family taught me was this- “In order to have a marriage that can withstand the tests of time, and last a lifetime, you must be able to endure the trials, and tribulations and the worst. If you can’t, then you should not get married until you can.” Too often we as Christians take for granted that tests and trials will come, and we will go through pain and hard times. We think that when we accept Christ into our lives and hearts, and become believers that life will be a cakewalk full of only blessings, and good times. We think we’ll live in this Euphoria, and that’s just not true and not reality. When I’m going through hard times, I reread the book of Job, and all that God allowed him to go through. And how much stronger he was, in addition to be blessed after he survived those hardships. I think about the story of Jesus and all that he endured just to save our souls from a life of eternal damnation. A human race who did not deserve to be saved for all the sins we’ve committed, but he died on that cross and sacrificed himself and took our place anyway. So we can’t go through life as Christians thinking, and expecting to be exempt from hardships, trials and tribulations. Marriage is not an answer and cure for loneliness, and to not fornicate, and have someone to cook and clean for you, and provide for you. Marriage is a covenant, and should be a reflection of Gods covenant with us. If we don’t have the right mindset, and mentality and a full understanding of exactly what marriage is, then you’re not ready for it, and regardless of who you marry, you’ll have serious issues in your marriage that will begin, and end with you.

      2. I agree that feelings and intuition are not the same thing and a lot of people don’t know the difference. And, yes, you should investigate!

        Separately, it’s been my experience that (many) married people tend to overemphasize the hard parts of marriage while at the same time, overemphasizing the easy parts of singlehood. I know this isn’t true for everyone, but as Rachel mentions below, it makes you wonder why people would want to get married at all the way people talk about how hard it is all the time. I also think most of them (at least the ones I know) would rather be married than single regardless of what they say.

        1. Author

          You’re right about that. The truth is, you have to move through the hard to get to the great 🙂 And you are right, more married couples need to talk about the GREAT!!! And it’s so worth it when you do!! (Hence, my next book – woohoo!!!)

  2. Have no idea about relationships but the watermelon should sound hollow. 🍉🍉😀

    1. Author

      LOL…..best answer ever, Linda. You seriously made laugh out loud here.

    2. Yes that’s right Linda. All Melons should sound hollow. It’s a sign of ripeness. 🙂

  3. My family does the same thing with the watermelon. I asked what sound are we looking for and NO one knows LOL!

    1. Author

      Funnies thing ever!!!!! Although I’m learning it’s supposed to sound hollow supposedly….not sure how hollow impacts ripeness, or if it’s an old wives tale, but I’m going to try it!

  4. You don’t find the one nor you choose the one based on your understanding for the all-knowing God has a plan for you when you submit to Him.

    “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
    Isaiah 55:9

  5. I think the best idea of the moral to your story Debra is this: In life, there are on guarantees. Nothing wrong with expecting the best, but definitely be as prepared as you can be for the worst, and don’t take for granted that the worst will come.

    1. Author

      Appreciate that, jayla!!! I do believe that there are a lot of steps a person can take to get really close to “the best” (meaning, the context of a healthy relationships – although no matter what we can always expect hardships within marriage to be sure!)…and minimize risk as I said. We just have to know what we’re looking for!! (Unlike me and the watermelon, lol).

  6. I love this. I used to think love was like some Disney fairytale where this “meant to be” Prince Charming came out of nowhere in this “too good to be true” fashion. What I figured out is that usually when it seems to be too good to be true, it is! Prince Charming ended up being a big fat toad because I let my feelings take over instead of throwing some logic into the mix as well. After lots of heartache and learning from my past, love seems to me to be a good balance of logic and emotion. Without a healthy balance of the two, you’re falling right off the tight rope.

    1. Author

      This is such a good perspective, Shannon. You are so right and I’m so thankful for the insight you gained from this experience, although it stinks to go through it!!!! Thank you for sharing your heart and wisdom, because your story has the power to impact a lot of people!!!!

      1. It does indeed stink to go through it, but everything (good and bad) is a learning experience! Thanks for sharing your wisdom! I just started your book last night (finally, after months of being on my shelf), and I’m already loving it! 🙂

  7. Thanks, Debra. This is a post we need, because we actually like to look for that “experience”, instead of the investment. May God gives us wisdom.

  8. I also thump drum on a watermelon. To get a good watermelon takes time and listening to how hollow it is sounding. Just like choosing the one to marry. You can look on the outside it might look like it is the right one. But if you don’t take the time to listen, to know, you can end up with a dud.

  9. Hey Debra! First, love your book. Second, you said knowing how healthy that person is. I’m struggling determining that because I’m tempted to “date” with that person in order to determine how healthy they are. I know talking with mutual friends might be a good idea (and I’m in the process of doing that) but at the same time, I wanna hear if you have any additional advice (and perhaps there’s a chapter in your book that I can go back to). Not sure if it’s just temptation that I want to hear her out face to face.

    1. Author

      This is where I think friendship is a really important part of the process, and getting to know someone in an informal setting of a group of friends or activity. My husband and I spent a lot of time together with friends before we got married and really got to know a lot about each other in the context of friendship before we started dating. In the chapter of True Love Dates about The Seasons of a Relationship, I talk more about the friendship stage. You can learn a lot about a person’s emotional and spiritual health from being friends!

  10. I agree that we shouldn’t rely too heavily on emotions. But there are also a lot of people who take it to the opposite extreme. There are a lot of people who come up with a bunch of reasons for staying single, when really they’re either just hiding their selfishness or have lost faith in relationships.

    There are also those who marry someone everyone else but them thinks is a good match for them. And for the rest of their lives, they wonder why they ever listened to their peers in the first place.

    I agree love isn’t just a “feeling,” but it’s not just an “action” either. There are plenty of parents and spouses who work 24/7 to do everything for their families, but at the end of the day, they feel tired, frustrated, and resentful. Not to mention there’s also the reality of codependency.

    I agree marriage is not easy, but neither is being single. The single life is not one of partying or endless irresponsibility. Life in general is hard. But what I’ve discovered is that there are a lot of things in life that are hard simply because they want them to be.

    If all marriage is is just “hard work” anyway, why would anyone want to be married?

    1. Author

      The beautiful thing about it is that often times when we choose the right actions, the emotions are a healthy by-product! Meaning, that even in the “work” of marriage, when you make the right choices you move into feeling a deeper love for one another as well.

      But this article is more for people PRE-MARRIAGE, because you have to choose someone who is just as willing to “do the work” of marriage as you are, otherwise you end up in a one-way relationship and that’s a really hard place to be for the rest of your life.

  11. Beautiful! Good stuff! I like this. More of it Mama. Blessings .

  12. Debra,
    I love this blog post, but I am concerned by the lack of biblical support for the points you bring up. I know that your points are in line with the Bible, but just as I am concerned with Christian singles believing in The One, I am also concerned with people not utilizing the Bible as their source of truth and looking exclusively to the world, even other Christians, for all their wisdom.

  13. Debra!!!

    Watermelons are not magical guessing game either!

    Look for one with a single yellow sun spot. The yellow spot means it had plenty of time to ripen in the sun & is nice a sweet!

    But two yellow spots means it sat in the sun after being picked and is a no go.

    Works everytime, pinky swear!

    I could hardly concentrate on this article because I was so concerned that you need to know how to pick good watermelons… 😂

  14. This is a great article. it’s very true that we often look for the ‘one’ and overlook what a person means for the everyday life and long-term treatment in life.

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