09/26/2014 01:49 pm ET Updated Nov 26, 2014

3 Reasons Why Finding "The One" Is a Myth

Are you still searching for "The One"? That perfect partner placed on earth specifically for you? Or have you already found "The One"... more than once or twice? Falling in love and being in love are wonderful experiences, but we're missing the point if we think this state of love has anything to do with finding "The One."

The search for -- and often subsequent disappointment in -- love is one of the world's leading causes of unhappiness, not to mention being responsible for a tsunami of songs, movies and TV shows that make you want to crawl into a cave and hide forever, least you be pulled into everyone else's lovelorn misery as well.

Worst of all... we actually sometimes think we like wallowing in said lovelorn misery.

The thing is... finding "The One" is as much of a society-made construct as TV, traffic rules, school uniforms and... well... marriage. Finding "The One" is not a path we must automatically walk in order to have valuable, significant and blissful lives. Most of us, actually, simply find out that there are many "The Ones" along the way.

Does this sound harsh and dream-shattering to you? Or lucky? However you view it, it does have a happy ending and the fairy-tale part of the myth is still available -- once the myth is dissolved -- if you look in the right place...

Myth Number 1

Progression in Life Means -- Education, Career, Meeting "The One," House, Marriage, Babies. Also -- Be Sure to Follow This Exact Order.

We can't seem to bust out of this particularly limiting myth. Many of you reading this right now may think, "That way of living is so old-fashioned," but many may think, "What other way is there to live?" Still, others could believe, "But those are the only desires I have."

Regardless, in this day and age, movies, parents, schools and communities still invest an inordinate amount of time promoting this particular blueprint for life, as if it's the only one. Hence the feelings of low self-esteem and failure if we haven't met "The One" by a certain age, or we have several perceived failed relationships or we have to label ourselves a "divorcee." Think Bridget Jones. Funny, that most of us love her regardless...

If we didn't see this blueprint as mandatory, the meaning behind finding "The One" would become rather insignificant. So, unless following this particular method for a life path really sings to your soul -- know that you don't have strive for, or aim to, do it.

There is no order to do things in, no requirements for what you must do and how you must do it. We have to free ourselves from the illusion that the 'normal' way is the only way. An easy way to do this is to look at other cultures -- it becomes obvious, very quickly, that we only behave as we do because of training, depending on which culture we were raised in. There is no "normal" or right way, there is only YOUR way.

Myth Number 2

Finding "The One" Means Happily Ever After for Life.

This popular myth suggests we are one dimensional. That most everything we do must lead only to one desire as the fulfilment of all fulfilments. We can disprove this myth in a second by focusing on other desires we have, all of which are just as significant to our growth, regardless of what the media and society promote.

To use movies as an example again, a "Stepford Wife" is now a well-used term for a perfectly groomed woman with two kids, a handsome, rich husband and a picket fence. That's it. There's only so far one can go, in terms of evolvement, confined within these labels.

Why is this stereotype still seeping into the dreams of teenage girls, as their main desire, when they could be manifesting life as an astronaut or an environmentalist or a professional surf bum for that matter? Within living our life purpose, love comes to us as a bonus, a gift, rather than a "Must Do This Before 30 or 40 to be Accepted" scenario.

The Stepford Wife stereotype obviously doesn't embrace all the delicious parts of love, partnership and parenthood, a delightful scenario to envision and bring to life; still, it carries much of the blame as to why we think finding "The One" is crucial to our happiness, because it's still upheld as such a worthy and necessary ideal.

Within society, it appears more important to achieve this ideal, than to love ourselves, and put ourselves first.

Myth Number 3.

"The One" is a Person Other Than Ourselves.

Considering that the majority of us find many 'The Ones' throughout life, as opposed to a life-long partner, it makes statistical sense that "The One" is not, in fact, another person.

"The One" we are searching for, is ourselves. If we still think "The One" is out there, we're trapped in the illusion of an ideal we didn't create. We didn't even have a chance, initially, to pick or choose ideals; we were born into a world that drives concepts such as 'happily ever after' to sell Valentine's Day cards.

When we begin to look for and to know ourselves, we lose all attachment to the notion of "The One" being anyone but ourselves. We lose all desire to try and make ourselves happy through another person or external events.

If you're single and searching for "The One" right now -- stop and look in the mirror. If you're in a relationship that isn't giving you happiness, it's okay; you're not losing "The One," because you already are that. If you've found "The One" and are in total bliss, what you've actually found is a most gorgeous experience. If they were to disappear from your life, you would still have YOU. Wonderful, glorious YOU on a journey to fulfil your desires through growth and evolvement, regardless of the presence of "The One."

Loving yourself does not mean being self-absorbed or narcissistic or disregarding others. Rather, it means welcoming yourself as the most honoured guest in your own heart. A guest worthy of respect, a loveable companion. -- Margo Anand

Imagine dropping the whole idea of "The One." Just releasing it like a heavy backpack. Imagine the freedom of knowing, no matter who you're with or not with, you've already found "The One" who means the most? Fall in love with yourself, then all love that comes into your life is free of attachment, free of the ideals of others and, therefore, 100 percent authentic.

Free to simply Be, not the BE all and End all of everything, but simply free to Be, the beautiful experience it is.

Nicole Leigh West