Marriage: Is there such thing as "The One?"

About a week or so ago, I received the Catholic Answers newsletter and read Karl Keating’s article about how to view finding your spouse. He mentions that he has a problem with the Prince or Princess Charming viewpoint that states “There is one person in the whole wide world that God picked out for you to marry!” I have a problem with this viewpoint too, and I’m glad that I read his article and I’m glad that he mentioned that there are hundreds of different men who I could possibly marry.

But how does that tie in to the idea that God has a plan for us? I hold true to the idea that as long as we are open to God’s grace then He will lead us where He wants us to be, and being constantly open to the Lord is how we know we are following God’s plan.

But how do you articulate these ideas in conjunction to someone who may believe in the Prince or Princess Charming notion? What are some problems with the notion? Is there anywhere in Scripture or the Catechism that explicitly states anything relevant to this topic? Can you select anyone from the pool of multiple marriage choices and still be following God’s plan?

I have a few of my own thoughts on the matter, but I want to know your thoughts. :slight_smile:

I can only speak for myself, but there is no one else in this world that comes remotely close to the spouse I have chosen to be my wife. We’ve had our ups and downs through the years, but my wife is the only one I would ever chose. Sure there are other women who share certain traits with my wife, but none of them have it all. When I say “have it all” I don’t mean perfect. She’s certainly not perfect, but neither am I. We need each other and I am convinced that God drew us together to help draw us to a closer bond with God that would not have been possible had another person been chosen by either of us.

As far as the “Prince Charming” mentality, I can see that as being potentially dangerous. Ideals in and of themselves and okay, but the “happily ever after” that we never hear about from the stories could give a false sense of reality where perfection from imperfect people is unrealistic.

I too can only speak for myself, but I truly do believe it was God’s will for me and my husband to find each other and marry. I prayed long and hard about God leading me to my husband after I went through a heartbreaking broken engagement. I put it all in God’s hands after that. Is it possible that there are multiple men I could have married? Possibly, but I believe that there is only one man I should have married and I did.

I think people can get too caught up in the Prince Charming ideal mate mentality. Just because you find the one you’re suppose to marry, it doesn’t mean they are ideal or that life is happily ever after, after you get married. Marriage is just the beginning. But if you don’t believe that there is “the one” for you, some people could just keep searching and searching because they will think the next guy they meet with have more of the ideal traits they want OR some people may settle for less than what would be the perfect one for them because they think there are just too many choices anyways since there are multiple people they could marry.

If you believe its dangerous to believe that there is “the one” that God designed for you, I think that it can be just as dangerous to think there isn’t “the one” as well. You have to know yourself, you have to discern and pray, and you have to trust God has a plan for you.

I think that sums it up pretty well.

Discernment is key. God does have a plan for us, but, in the end, he allows us to make our own choices and will not abandon us.

I understand the dangers of the Prince/Princess Charming mentality. Once the infatuation fades, it becomes easy to justify leaving and/or cheating on one’s spouse because they think that “the one” is still out there and they must find that person if they ever hope to be happy. That’s not a healthy view. It can lead to a very selfish approach to marriage and relationships in general.

But then, picking a spouse isn’t like drawing straws or picking a number out of a hat, either. :slight_smile:

**"Do not be afraid, for she was destined for you from eternity."
Tobit 6:17 RSV

"But do not be afraid, for she was set apart for you before the world existed."
Tobit 6:18 NAB**


^ Funny how the passages that you site are from Tobit, since I tend to hear the “God picked someone out just for you” mentality from Protestants. shrug

Everyone’s responses make a lot of sense and I thank you for your contribution. This quote up here makes a lot of sense as well… I’ve always been pretty certain that my vocation is for marriage, and I’ve believed that there is a particular one person who right for me (at least, at a given time - God gives and takes away, you know) but for some of the reasons that people have explained already, it is a bad idea to go through life believing that God specially picked out someone just for you who you have to go find, when rather, God leads you to someone who He believes will be a good spouse. It’s no good to have trouble in your marriage and start to think, “What if I married the wrong person??” and keep that thought going with the Prince Charming notion in mind.

Maybe it’s that we ourselves shouldn’t believe that Prince Charming will come, and maybe we ourselves should just let God lead us where He wants us to be, but God Himself has a plan and it’s not our job to go and figure it out.

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