The fallacy of the one

Rosie Kay aka ThisKindaGirl
9 min readDec 21, 2023

I have wanted to write this particular article for some time now. Although the subject of the article itself (monogamy not being the answer) is one that I often create content on (it’s kind of my thing), I wanted to dive into the fallacy or illusion that we, as humans, have made about finding the one, and why having this belief can be so damaging for us. It’s a big undertaking; after all, it’s how we all live; we have either found ‘the one’ or are on a quest to find ‘the one’. But I’m up for the challenge. However, before I launch into the facts, I want to introduce you to someone with whom I used to work.

‘He is my one’

While living and working in London, I met a woman called C. C, and I became quite good friends. We still chat occasionally and share the oddly relatable meme. During our time in London (she also escaped the city), C was in a long-term relationship with her male partner, who she always spoke very highly of; when I met him, I was struck by what a charming couple they were.

Once, C and I were chatting casually about pet names and terms of endearment.

‘I call him my onnie’ She said

‘Your onnie?

‘Yes, he’s my one, the one, you know, like my only one.’

‘Your onnie’

‘Yes!!’ she exclaimed

‘My onnie, my only one, the one, he is everything’

I smiled politely and agreed that that was adorable, but my ENM brain (although I didn’t have the knowledge or understanding that I do today) was already asking questions. Somewhere about my body, a red warning light was flashing.

The one in popular culture- Disney

So where does this belief in the one spring from?

There are many places where the belief of the one resonates; it’s found in religion, societal expectations- the pressures to find a partner and reproduce and, of course, popular culture. But there is one particular culprit that is responsible for much damage. And that is Disney fairy tales. Not the Modern-day Disney with fierce female leads and the good will triumph over evil in the end storyline, but the old school, traditional Disney, the Disney that I was subject to growing up.

Let’s take a typical Disney storyline of the ill-fated princess who succumbs to some kind of evil, be it an evil stepmother, queen, spinning wheel or the like, and the only way she can be saved is to receive a kiss or love of her one true love.

Her one. Her saviour, her one and only.

Do you see where I am heading with this? As a society, we have allowed this fallacy and many others just like it to play out time and time again, creating the idea that we can only be saved by our one or that we are unable to live without our one, or that the one is going to provide us with everlasting happiness, based on little more than them being ‘the one’. Disney is only one example; the theme of ‘the one’ is in songs, movies and plays and has shaped what we call romance. Why do we believe in the one? Is it a realistic way to live? What happens to us when we become ‘the one’ devotees?

Can one person satisfy us?

Let’s talk about the science of the one.

Monogamy or pair bonding provides a suitable environment for passing on your genes and raising your young. If you have selected a partner to procreate with, created strong bonds and nurtured an environment suitable for raising offspring (whether you choose to or not), you have fulfilled your duty as a mammal.

However, those mammal instincts of wanting to breed and procreate with others don’t just go away, and you may find yourself experiencing desires to have sex with others. This is entirely normal. Bring bisexuality into the mix, and Woah… you have opened a whole new avenue of sexual adventure that is just itching to be explored. Can your the one relationship with your one provide you with the answers? Probably not.

Can ethical non-monogamy? Absolutely. When we practice ethical non-monogamy, we are allowing those urges to have sex and experience sexual intimacy with others to be fulfilled in a way that is not in any way harmful to our chosen partner and the life we have built together. Couples who practice this type of relationship are often emotionally exclusive with their primary partner, allowing them the emotional security of being in a ‘one relationship’ without expecting their one partner to fulfil every sexual need and desire they have.

As human beings, we are not meant to live monogamously forever.

Monogamy helps raise young and allows us to create strong, lasting bonds (great for building on), but we are still hard-wired to procreate with other humans.

Ask yourself this: if we are meant to be monogamous, why is it that so many people cheat?

Now, in no way am I anti-marriage, but I feel if we accepted that we are simply responding to human nature and spoke about these feelings with our partners and then discovered ways to be non-monogamous ethically, it would save a lot of heartaches!

Some people love to argue that we humans are meant to be monogamous, and if this wasn’t the case, why is it that we have lived monogamous lives for hundreds of years?

I hear you, and I agree with you; yes, we have lived monogamously for hundreds of years, but have we lived exclusively monogamous lives? Have we? Or has someone, somewhere along the line, cheated? Have they lived a seemingly monogamous life on the surface but been playing away, hoping not to get caught?

Sound familiar?

It may surprise you to know that cheating and monogamy go hand in hand. They are so intertwined that one is the biggest fear of the other. Let’s ask the question, what is the biggest fear for most people in relationships? The answer is getting cheated on. We know all about monogamous relationships, and we know all about cheating, but what we don’t know about is that middle ground, the middle ground called Ethical Non-Monogamy. We are so wrapped up in cheating or not getting cheated on that we seem to have forgotten that, actually, humans were never designed to be monogamous. If monogamy were the answer, why is it that cheating, the threat of cheating or the thrill of cheating is so prevalent?

There are several reasons that people cheat, and you may be surprised to hear that I believe one reason is rooted in fear. Many people are scared of talking to their partners about their relationship and what Non-monogamy could look like. Yet, they still experience the urges and desires to have sex with others, so they think their only option is to cheat on them and hope not to get caught. They perhaps don’t fully understand why they seek out intimacy with others. All they know is that they are experiencing the desire to want to have sex with other people.

The dangers of relying on one person

Very often, when I hear people refer to their partners as the one, they also talk about how their partners complete them and are their perfect soul mate, and at times, they tend to place their one partner at the centre of their universe.

This behaviour, my friends, is damaging to both individuals but is something that we are all guilty of. However, it’s okay to do this to some degree if you understand that one person doesn’t complete us and that we, as individuals, are responsible for creating our own life experiences. Just because your partner doesn’t want to experience something, let’s take salsa dancing as an example. Does this mean that you won’t pursue this interest? You would probably sit there and say no, of course I’d do it, but in reality, we all know it’s easier sometimes to allow ourselves to be passive.

When we rely on one person solely for everything, not only do we limit our own growth, but we place that person in a very precarious position. We expect our partners to support us emotionally, physically, and intimately whilst they lead their own lives; take it from someone who has been in a relationship where I relied on my partner to meet all my needs; it becomes toxic.

When we place our hopes, dreams, and expectations in the hands of another, we devalue their importance to us as individuals. You are saying:

I hope you might make this happen, but it’s okay if you don’t, as will I leave it for you to decide.

Relying on the one to fulfil you is only ever going to provide you with their take on reality, and if that reality doesn’t include your desires, then so be it.

By all means, have a relationship where you have emotional intimacy, but understand that you are also individuals within that relationship. Living in the hope that the one will provide you with all the fulfilment you need is not a healthy way to live.

Unlearn what you have learned about the one.

If, like so many people, you have previously been taught that the ‘correct way’ to have a relationship is to be monogamous and that even discussing the possibility that there are other relationship types is wrong or taboo, don’t worry; you are not alone.

As a society, we aren’t taught about Ethical non-monogamy or alternative relationships, so not knowing where to begin or if you should even begin is entirely understandable. The first step is to unlearn what you have previously learned.

Is it wrong to want the one?

No, I don’t think it’s wrong, and I am all for relationships where emotional exclusivity is shared between a couple.

What I don’t think works in a relationship is relying solely on one person for every little bit of sexual intimacy, sexual chemistry and sexual exploration. We can’t all be into the same things or enjoy the same interests, so why do we let our desires fall by the wayside when we think we have found ‘the one’? Fear of rejection from them? Possibly. Dismissing our own desires in favour of not wanting to rock the boat? Most certainly.

Here is an example that is very real, as it is, in fact, my reality:

I am in a relationship with a man with whom I am emotionally exclusive, and we reserve all of our emotional intimacy for one another. In many ways, we are a seemingly ‘normal’ couple. But here’s why I don’t refer to him as my ‘one’. I am a bisexual woman, and despite him being many wonderful things, a vagina owner, he isn’t. So, where does this leave me? Unable to embrace all parts of my sexuality because it doesn’t conform with ideals set out by popular culture? No. Instead, I find myself in the same position that many bisexual people do, in a secure relationship with my chosen partner but unwilling and unable to rely on them for all sexual intimacy. In simple terms, he doesnt have the right bits.

Relationship hierarchy is the correct term for what I call emotional exclusivity or primary attachment partner. Most forms of Ethical non-monogamy have some element of Relationship hierarchy within them. All this means is that you reserve certain emotional and physical aspects of your relationship only for that one person.

What should we do instead?

Let’s go back to when I said I used to be in a relationship with someone I thought of as the one. During this time, I lost all sense of who I was as a person. It became easier to rely on him for everything, and I forgot that I was an individual within that relationship. I thought that because I had found my one, I didn’t need to keep growing as a person; my mission was complete. Societal expectations would tick me off its list. Job done!

It wasn’t until after I came out of that relationship that I realised how blinkered I had been and how much of life I had missed out on. Instead of making life happen, I had dropped life into the ‘suggestions’ box in the hope that maybe he might read it, and this was fine as he was my one, my happy ever after, and he was the answer I had been looking for.

Even after having this experience, I still am not entirely against the idea of the one, as I believe that in my current relationship and the many successful ones that I get to hear about as part of my work, a compromise must be made. Yes, you can still have an emotionally exclusive relationship, but what you should never do is dismiss who you are in favour of your one true love. I have now realised that a relationship only works when two people work together to make one another’s dreams a reality. They accept that they do not have all the answers for one another; instead, they work to find those answers together.



Rosie Kay aka ThisKindaGirl

💕Swinger Lifestyle Expert 💯Open Relationship Coach 🗝️Unlock The Lifestyle With Me 👇🏻Use the link to start your journey