Finding lifelong love doesn't mean finding the One. It means finding someone who you really love being with — even though you realize there are other people out there.
It may sound unsexy and downright un-Hollywood. But the romantic notions the silver screen has of "the One" and soul mates has never been quite accurate in the first place, as even movie stars can admit. Elizabeth Banks told Allure that her marriage wasn't the result of a lightening-bolt style immediate love, nor has staying together meant she and her husband are each other's "one and only."
"I didn't meet my husband and think, I've met the man I'm going to marry," she said in the magazine's June 2015 issue. "I was like, He's cute. I'll fuck him, because I'm 18 and in college."
"Really, what happened was I've never met anyone that I liked more ... In the early years, did I have crushes or little interests here and there? I know my husband did, and so did I, but we stayed together. We still to this day take the long view."
One true "soul mate" for everyone? It's a nice concept. But a lifelong love involves a lot more choice than that — and that's an awesome thing.
You don't need to find a "soul mate": Much as we'd like to embrace the "love at first sight" story, it often doesn't arrive like a bolt of lightening. After all, how many first dates end with an ambivalent calculation: "Should I give this person another try or just cut my losses here?"
We make a decision then, and we keep making it along the way. Eventually, we might fall in love — but even then, love doesn't live in a vacuum. The most refreshing part of Banks' love story is her acknowledgment that she of course liked other people; she just liked her husband the most.
There will always be other people out there, surrounding our relationships. That could lead to short-term temptation; even more importantly, knowing there are other people who might also make great matches for you could lead to long-term doubt.
"Presumably ... 'soul mates' shouldn't fight when one 'soul mate' pulls the covers off the other in the middle of the night or when the other refuses to shut the kitchen cabinets," none other than former Bachelor Sean Lowe wrote about the study. Seeing yourself as destined would lead you to question that destiny when things get tough. People who actively chose each other because they like each other, on the other hand, buckle down and try to grow together. As Banks said, she and her husband made an active decision to stay together.
And if it doesn't work? That's OK. There isn't just one person out there for everyone. And who knows, maybe that cute f*ckable guy you saw at the bar will end up being the one you stick with.