When you’re going through a break up or feeling insecure in your current relationship, people like to remind you there’s someone else out there for you. Because no matter how perfect your current guy – no matter how many boxes he checks – there are more like him. It’s just statistical probability.
It’s a comforting party line. But one with which I take issue.
That there are more men in the world who work the same job, drive the same car, like the same books…? Sure, I’ll buy it. There are, in all statistical likeliness, other humans in existence with a list of very similar qualifications to the person I have chosen to love. (Though whether I’ll ever cross paths with any of them is a whole other probability…)
But tell me there is another man out there whose breath will sound the same when he rolls over in his sleep and wraps his arms around me. Tell me someone else has the same birthmark I love to brush with my lips when I wake up on the side of the bed he used to sleep on but doesn’t since we met. Tell me he’ll have the same outdated and out-of-character musical taste and that way of looking at me that makes me feel the most like myself.
Tell me there’s someone else out there with the same soul and the same scars, the same history and hangups and just weird ways of being. Because those are the things I love.
I think it’s really dangerous to tell ourselves, or each other, that there is always someone else out there: to subconsciously convey this idea that people are ultimately interchangeable, that they can be replaced, that no one is truly unique, that love is just a feeling and all love feels the same.
If that’s true, why would anyone ever commit to a single person? Why would anyone subject themselves to the flaws or the struggles of a partner? Why wouldn’t we leave each other at the slightest provocation, on the faintest whim, believing we risk nothing by going and everything by staying?
So please don’t tell me there are more fish in the sea when I complain that my boyfriend is imperfect like that’s reason to jump ship. Don’t comfort me in the midst of a breakup by telling me I’ll only miss him until I find my next him. There is no other him. Just like there is no other me. Maybe we’ll decide to let the love go and find other people – different people. But that love will never be the same.