Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Is there a ONE? Buying into the Lie

Everyday, millions of people are bombarded with ads for dating services such as and eHarmony. They all claim that their unique program can help you find the “one” you are “meant to be” with. With so many singles out there searching for their other half, it got me thinking. Is there really a ONE?

This week, I find myself home sick again, and at one o’clock this afternoon a soap opera that every woman in my family has watched religiously since before I was born, came on the air. The plot lines had barely changed since the last time I’d watched. The characters were still wrapped up in webs of lies and were scheming relentlessly as ever. They were all trying to rearrange their situations and did nothing short of manipulate every one around them so they could get back their one “true love.” In these endeavors, not a single character had any respect for marriage or regard for the truth. They were morally bankrupt to the extent that their driving force was only to reclaim a lost love no matter what the expense to other families. One character repeated the cliché “true love conquers all,” even though it was clear that if true love was what they saw it to be, it surely had failed them.

I remember growing up watching this show with my mom when I was just a little girl. I grew up wishing I could have a marriage someday like Bo and Hope, wanting for someone to come rescue me at every turn like John and Marlena. For those of you who’ve had the misfortune of watching “Days of Our Lives” or ever had the delusions that a soap-opera romance was possible, you know what I am talking about. And it got me thinking, that THIS is exactly what’s wrong with the world. We’ve somehow all adopted the soap-opera mind-set. Deep down, we all want the fairytale. Whether or not we’ve yet resigned to the fact that life is seldom like that, deep down we are all dreamers to some degree.

How many housewives sit home everyday watching programs such as this while their husbands are at work, wishing to themselves that their marriage had the passion or drama as their favorite soap couple? How many husbands are needlessly belittled or undervalued because they cannot live up to the hype that their wives are absorbing day after day? Forget about the Young and the Restless, whatever the age of these viewers, deep down they are all wanting for more, believing the lie that romance, passion, danger and adventure are all there is to life. And when they have to undertake the mundane tasks of preparing supper or washing the dishes or getting the kids ready for bed, their hearts are growing colder, their minds are wandering, their situation seems more and more helpless. These are the real Desperate Housewives.

No one ever told them that the honeymoon eventually fades into the lull of everyday life, that marriage has it’s share of suffering, that the 24-7 soap-opera romance is impossible once the realities of life set in. That’s why people take vows for richer or poorer, sickness and health, good times and bad. Because it won’t always be exciting or fun, it may sometimes be unbearable. Yet the plots of these daytime dramas don’t show that part. When the marriage gets tiresome, when the passion fades, it doesn’t mean it’s time to tackle the problems that have weighed it down, it means you’ve settled down with the wrong person. It means your spouse is not the one! And if you are with the wrong one, then the right one must be out there somewhere, and it’s your duty in life to make sure that you find that one. The vicious cycle goes round and round and I’ll bet my bottom dollar that few of the women who undertake this attitude in real life ever find true happiness. They will always want more. They will always think they’re missing something. They’ll continue to buy into the lie like a sick addiction.

So is there really one person out there for each of us? In a world as big as this, it’s hard to imagine that it’s possible, and it does seem like an awful lot of work, doesn’t it? I do believe that God has a plan for each of us and so I do think it’s possible that there is someone special out there suited for each of us, but I guess there is no real way for us to ever find out, is there? We can either make the most of what we have, or we will be fated to the circular path of Sammy Brady, trying, scheming, manipulating and lowering herself whenever necessary to get the “man of her dreams” which, I assure you, varies from month to month.

Life with M has its share of problems from time to time. Surely, there are days when it feels like a fairytale but there are still days that bring their problems and challenges, but that’s just life and part of the process is learning to get through the hard times and making the most of the good times. Thinking that we can be happy 100% of the time or that any impasse means it’s the end of a good thing can only bring pain and regret. And I’m not a big fan of either.

Surely, we all eventually must realize that there’s more to life than candlelit dinners, spontaneous getaways and long walks on the beach. Though those don’t hurt either… "Like sands through the hourglass..."


Damian said...

Life is full of ups and downs and mainly in betweens, that's the conclusion I come to. The point I find myself feeling most secure in is God. Nothing else is more sure. Still nice to have a companion of the opposite sex though, :)

~Deb said...

The solution? Start watching The Sopranos in place of those soap operas. Instead of desiring your husband/wife when he/she gets home to greet you-----you're just gonna wanna ~wack them when they arrive.

End of story! Wha? You lookin' at me? I'm Italian---can't help it. ;)

How YOU doin'???

Anika said...

Nan, this was brilliant. I totally grew up watching Days, back when Sammy was scheming against her sister (whose name I can't remember) and Lucas was joining her... oh, sad. Very true words about the lessons and views in these shows... but I have to say that I miss watching the hilarious melodrama of the Stefano family. Wasn't there a mysterious Maison Blanc mansion down in New Orleans or something? And someone being buried alive? Out of control.

naive-no-more said... are the days of our lives. (cue cheesy music)

I wouldn't have guessed that someone could take a soap opera and turn it into a beautiful post such as this.

I also wouldn't have guessed that Marlena and Bo & Hope were still on Days. I haven't watched in over 20 years. Are Jack and Jen still there too?

audrey` said...

Jesus is our best lover :)

Flex J! said...

I like the way you picture the reality of marriage in one's life, in women and men as well. It's definitely not a bed of roses all the way, perhaps because we can't be able to appreciate the smooth one if we haven't been to the rough road thus learning could be very minimal. Marriage is surely a big challenge to keep and if Jesus would be allowed to be in between and within what an adventure a couple would have.

Very insightful.....

martie said...

If there is just "one" perfect match out there for each individual what happens to those of us who were widowed? I don't buy into that whole scene either. Life is tough and not always easy....we just have to learn to stick with it and tough it out ourselves!

Great post, Nan! Hugs to you!!

Corry said...

Great post, Nan.
Love may start with feelings but is not all about feelings, it's a concious choice as well. There is more happiness in fullfilling and meeting the partner's needs and to see to their happiness to the best of one's abilities, then to satisfy one's own volatile and often invalid feelings for the moment.

God's Grace.

ericdheimer said...

Good post.

I couldn't live up to my ex's joy of the golf course and her bar friends.


Leesa said...

okay, first, ~deb scares me. No more girl crush for a women who may rub me out. I was looking for a different type pf rub.

second, wonderful post. Okay, I watched Days for years. Not that there is a perfect "one", but once you choose, then you are locked into the "one." Okay, I was a slut-whore for a while, but I am a good girl now. Other than "lusting in my heart" for the occasional person, I am on the right track.

Nunzia said...

Thanks guys. I'm home sick again today and needed a good laugh! :)

for those of you who asked about Days...(sorry to all the men, who can read no further):

Sammy Brady is still scheming to get her sister Carrie's exhusband Austin and Lucas (sam's ex) is now engaged to her because Sammy blackmailed Lexy into lying that Carrie and Austin share a rare genetic marker that would cause their children to have severe birth defects. Lexy is being blackmailed because she had an affair on her husband Abe with a guy named Tek.

As for Marlena and John, yes, they are both still on the show, only Marlena (who was once possessed by the devil) has amnesia and doesn't remember being married to John and is now marrying Dr. Alex North who is a shady character that came back from the dead.

Jack died for the 3rd time last year and now Jen is back with her ex Frankie. No word on whether or not Jack will rise from the grave again as he has been appearing as a ghost throughout this year...

Stefano is also apparently dead but God knows how many times he's risen from the Ashes.

VERY true to life, isn't it? ha!

Laurie said...

It's amazing the number of characters on Days that have come back from the dead...Stephano, Marlena, Roman, Tony, all the ones from last year who "died". And Sammy is still after Austin who loves Carrie even though Sammy loves Lucas who's after Carrie.

Joseph said...

There is "one" for everyone...He is the same "one" for everybody. He is Jesus. I spent a great deal of time looking for my "one" perfect woman. It is how I intended to "identify" myself. It was the script I wrote for my life. It was my plan. There was "one" problem, it wasnt God's plan for my life. I was engaged and nearly married to the "one" (or so I thought), when God scuttled that "plan" of mine and instituted His own plan. He gave me His Holy Spirit and I was born again. I became "one" with Him. The void in my life i thought would be filled by the "one" I had been looking for, for sooo long, was a void that could really only be filled by Jesus. That "lack of completeness" I had felt all my life was the void that every man is born with since the fall of Adam. it can only be filled with God. In Him we are complete. I still would like to be married and have a "mate" or a companion to get through life. Proverbs says that it is a blessing from God to be married and thus we should rely on Him for the "one" just as we should rely on Him for everything. I think this "blessing" is a help in getting through our days on earth until we reach Him. It means too much to most people. When people who don't know Jesus, ask me for relationship advice, I invariably give them "Savior" advice. He is the answer to all of life's dilemas. I now identify myself by Him and for Him...His son first and maybe someone's husband later...if I am so blessed.

Bushwack said...

Ok I don't ever want to be accused of commenting about "Feelings" But Nan that was a good post.
Shhhhh don't tell anyone I was here.

Pia said...

nobody is perfect but someone can have a "perfect" partner IF we wait on God. nothing beats His perfect choice for us.

audrey` said...

May our Heavenly Father answer all your heart's desires according to His will.
God bless you, Nan :)

Nunzia said...

thank you all.. and Joseph, you said it better than i ever could have. thank you!

Bradley said... all depends on who's perspective you are looking at this whole thing from...I mean...if we will eventually get married to someone, of course God knows who that person is, and in that sense, and from that perspective, there is only "one" person out there for you (if indeed there is anybody, and if indeed you live to see that day, etc.)......but in another sense there it is unhelpful to be looking for that "one" as if you were not to consider options (and consider that you have several options, not just "one"), seek the one which best fits your purpose in life (to Glorify God) and use your own discretion of their character and chemestry as the decisive factor....yundahstahn?

green said...

As one who was engaged/married for 11 1/2 years and now separated divorced for more than 2 1/2 years I can heartily agree with the soap-opera sentiment.

Do I believe that there is someone ouot there for everyone? Absolutely. Did I make the wrong choice? Apparently I did. Will i find the 'one' meant for me? Hope so.

Also I can say, being a current member of e-harmony and having experimented with other dating sites I can definitely say eharmony is better. Not perfect, just better.

God Bless.

WES said...

Having been married for six years the mundane gets buried when Christ becomes central.

Like your blog.

Kitty Cheng said...

As someone who has been through a few problems with past relationships and now in a 'budding friendship', this post offered great insight for me to reflect on. Thanks Nan.

cybeRanger said...

Another wonderful post! :)

nathaniel adam king said...

Hey, I got your entry on my colophon page. I want to add some kind of picture...or not, if you don't care to have one. BUT if you do want one, give me an idea. I was thinking about using this one:

If you don't like it...then ok. If you have another...then ok.