Why Finding The “Right One” Is All About Luck

I usually have a particular topic and the angle I want to approach this topic from already in mind when I sit down to write a post. Some days, this goes even further, as maybe 600 words out of a 800 word piece were already written in my head before I began writing.

Sometimes, though, I’ll start off with a preconceived angle and shift course while I’m actually writing. This occurred yesterday.

My original angle, the idea that was in my head before I shifted to “all relationship advice is bullsh*t,” was that finding the right person might be the most difficult decision any of us ever make. While I do actually believe that relationships should be much, much easier than we tend to make them, finding the right person to begin that relationship with will never be an easy process, and the people who have somehow managed to make that happen were, well, very, very, very lucky. Not skillful. Not determined. Not adaptable. Not ready. Just f*cking lucky. And, as is the case with anything dependent on luck, your success and/or lack of success is dependent on a bevy of arbitrary variables largely out of your control.

For those who don’t think luck plays a major role in finding the one, think of all the conditions that have to be in place in order for it to happen.

(Oh, and for clarity’s sake, when I make reference to “the one” I don’t mean to suggest that there’s only one person out there for everyone. It just refers to a person who you’d have a great relationship with. Each of us can have multiple “ones,” but there still has to be a bit of luck/chance/serendipity involved for you two to meet each other)

This person has to be attracted to you, interested in you, interested in pursuing a relationship with you, compatible, and available. Each one of these conditions also has to be true for you. If any one of these actions are missing — if you’re, for instance, attracted to each other, interested, available, but not compatible — it’s a non-starter. (The worst is when all other things are in place, but the person, for whatever reason, isn’t available)

And, even if all these things are in place, if this person would be a great match for you, you still have to actually meet them. There has to be a point in your lives where you cross paths with each other, and not only do you have to cross paths, you have to interact in some fashion.

You might have met your soulmate yesterday if you chose Wendy’s instead of Au Bon Pain for lunch. You would have bumped into them in line, smiled after saying “excuse me,” been surprised by her pleasant demeanor, made some awkward conversation about the weather or the length of the line, became a little amped (in your head) when seeing that she was interested in the conversation, despite said awkwardness, noticed something on their person that allowed you to extend the conversation (ie: “Man, you Deltas are something else. Do you really need to have an elephant on your keychain?”), made an awkwardly sweet segue to see if anyone was joining her for lunch, and, when finding out that she was taking her lunch to go because she had a staff meeting, did a little cheer on the inside when hearing her follow that with “But, I’ll have more time tomorrow, though.”

But, you wanted a turkey bagel sandwich for lunch instead of a junior bacon cheeseburger, and that seemingly insignificant but totally healthy decision impacted the rest of your life. Instead of meeting your soulmate, you’re just going to end up dating, impregnating, marrying, and divorcing whichever current f*ck buddy makes the best scrambled eggs in the morning.

This — the serendipity involved with meeting someone — is why, for those interested in finding the “right one,” the process involved with finding the right one can be so damn unnerving, so stressful, so difficult. And this, more than anything else, is why I believe that much of the advice offered about dating, mating, and fighting crime just doesn’t have as much value as we tend to think it does. While all of that talk is great and practical and eye-opening and insightful, the one thing we can’t control, advise anyone about, predict, or plan for just happens to be the most important detail: Luck.

Now, does this mean that you can’t somehow increase your chances of being lucky? No. You have a much greater chance at being “lucky” while out and about than you would while crocheting on your couch. And, well, the more improvements you make to yourself, the likelier that more people will find you attractive…another factor that could increase your odds.

Still, with all that said, much of what happens to us is largely out of our control. And, in this sense, luck is like global warming. Whether you believe in it or not, it still has an impact on everyone’s lives.

—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)