I was seeing this girl once. She was really into me. Me, not so much. The thing is I liked someone else. A few months later, the first one got married while the second one dumped me. Today, we're both with someone else.
The funny thing is... back then, we both believed that we'd found 'the one'!
Which brings me to the big question: how do I know the person I am with right now is the one for me? How can I ever be sure? The skies didn't open up when we first met. We didn't crash into each other at the college library and I most certainly didn't help her pick up the books that had fallen. There was no drop-a-solitaire-in-her-champagne-glass proposal in front of the Eiffel Tower. Not that I can afford either of those things anyway. But yeah, basically our world did not turn pink.
So then, how in the name of Saint Valentine are we supposed to know who 'the one' is? How did our parents know? Or their parents, for that matter? My neighbours? My driver? Heck, even my maid?
The answer is: you will never know. In fact, the chances are that your 'the one' doesn't even exist.
From all the trysts I've had with love, I've learnt one vital thing - don't let movies screw with your idea of romance. Your life isn't as simple, scripted or short as they show in the movies. You've got bigger things going on in life and meeting 'the one' is a small part of your universe. And hence, your chances of meeting your ideal guy/girl is as slim as Anupam Kher's workout tee.
The whole generation's head has been messed up by the notion that a certain Prince Charming, Knight in Shining Armour or a Cinderella will turn up when the time is right. To make matters worse, just when this generation was about to come of age, Kajol danced in the rain, imagining what her dream guy would be like and this generation was back to square one.
It took some brilliant marketing tricks by Tinder and the likes to finally uproot the idea of love planted in vulnerable minds of this generation by Disney and Bollywood movies, and they introduced a new model of love: speed dating.
Thanks to dating apps, our generation started wondering: why search for 'the one' when the entire town is at your fingertips. Literally!
In fact, not just dating apps, it's also the expectations of our generation that have killed out potential 'the ones'. While women want their guys to be loyal like Bhai fans, consistent like Virat Kohli, and uninhibited in love like Ranveer Singh, the guys want their girls to look pretty off Instagram too.
If that's the standard this generation is rolling with, chances are you'll end up becoming the LK Advani of Romance.
But soon enough, after all the fooling around phase, you end up wondering in the middle of the night: was any one of the people you speed dated worth spending your life with? And on finding no answers, it doesn't take long for the die-hard romantic in you to reach out for the DVDs of Notebook or DDLJ and a tub of ice cream to see through the night of sulking, and finally doze off to photos of happy couples on your Facebook wall.
And there you are the next morning, willing to find 'the one' again, more determined than ever.
Call it jealousy, loneliness or the fear of missing out, our speed dating generation wants to give love another chance, over and over again. And that's how all generations are similar. We believe in eternal love and togetherness. The difference is that the previous generations did not have many options while ours is spoilt for choice. And yet, we're all looking for that one person who will end our search forever.
However, the closest you can come to finding that special someone is treating every partner of yours to be 'the one'. All you need is a little faith. If it turns out well, nothing like it; if it doesn't, it'll still be worth it.
Today, I get immense joy when I look back at my exes living happy lives with their boyfriends/husbands. But I'd be lying if I say that I don't imagine every now and then how different things would've been if we had held on. But with the happy memories of my past, I swiftly swim back to my present. For I am who I am because of my past and present combined. They were all 'the ones' I wanted to be with. There will always be 'the ones' I will want to be with. There will always be the people who will seem perfect in that moment.
And then, there will be the one I'll settle down with.
But will that person be 'the one' I always wanted to end up with? Maybe, yes. Maybe, not. But I am willing to take my chances!