Let's face it: Not everyone ends up with a partner who truly feels like "the one." In fact, many people settle for someone who simply treats them well, even if the love they share is underwhelming — or absent entirely. And now, people who feel like their partner isn't "the one" are sharing their stories in a viral thread.
It all started when Reddit user u/violetshug posed a question to the internet: "Women who settled for someone who you knew wasn't the one, but was otherwise a good person, how is it going?"
Here are some of the top-voted responses from users:
1."I finally ended it just under three years ago, after a decade of on and off. I'm now living a happy life with someone who is definitely the one."
2."It's been almost 10 years and we aren’t married. He’s a good person but has no work ethic and can be quite lazy. He has a long history of unstable jobs and chronic unemployment. He proposed at the beginning of quarantine, and when I declined he went on a bender. He’s okay now but I’m constantly on egg shells wondering what’s next. I’ve been close to ending it a couple of times but I am cursed with the fear of change."
3."It went bad. Staying in a relationship like that felt like giving up a piece of me. It's mature to compromise, yes, but do it for the rights reasons with the right person for you. If your truth is to feel safe, if that's the most important always, then go for it. I personally felt a void, something missing...I ultimately felt lonely and we broke up."
4."It's sad and boring, but safe. I do miss 'the one' sometimes, but we're just friends and we could never be more than that. It's either this or total solitude, so at least I have companionship, sex, and someone who truly loves me. Of course I would give my right arm to have my true love, but here we are."
5."Married for five years, together for 16 years. It isn’t always easy. We’re in a rough spot and it’s easy after every issue to think, 'I knew I never should have stayed with him.' Sometimes I wonder if I’m being a coward... My husband adores me and is a good man but does not fulfill me intellectually, is emotionally immature, and we are on different planets of sexual desire. It’s a struggle but it’s not a nightmare."
6."My husband now is good. He's a fine person, a strong provider, he makes me laugh, the sex is satisfying. We can talk to each other easily. It's just not the 'IN LOVE' experience that everyone says they want. Don't get me wrong: There is love. But the romance/Prince Charming/ride-or-die thing is not there. I'm in this for the long haul. So is my husband."
7."It's going fairly well — ups and downs for six years now. He works long hours and I love spending time on my own! It’s harder when we have his kids, as I have no desire to be a mother, but I’m better at organizing than him, so I take on a child minder role anyway. Hoping for the world to open up soon, as one of the things we enjoy is a romantic getaway. I love him, but I’m not in love with him."
8."It's going decently well. We have some communication issues to work on (as well as emotional maturity on my partner's side), but otherwise it's functional and I'm mostly happy."
9."I was convinced 'the one' was going to give me butterflies and be overwhelmed by my presence. When I met my current partner, none of those things were true. I kept questioning it, being like, 'Something's wrong. I don’t know if he’s the one.' We’ve been together for a while and I’m glad I didn’t listen to those shreds of doubt. Butterflies are overrated. My partner shows up for me every day, and we have built a really strong and solid foundation."
10."Married for 28 years! We have had our ups and downs, but to be honest, he was the one — I just didn't know it at the time. Sometimes 'the one' is an ideal based on youthful priorities, but with maturity, you realize some of those qualities aren't as important anymore... I might add too, that I ran into 'the one' again a few years back. Was not impressed, and I think I made a good escape there!"
11."Twenty years of marriage and three kids later, we are very good partners and make a great team. However, I am somewhat sad about how little we have in common outside of that."
12."It has gotten better with work. He’s a good man and I love him, but I never fell in love with him. At the time we met I didn’t want or need that. I needed safety and stability. Now that we’ve settled into life together, I’ve embraced those traits he brings, and when I get the urge for something more exciting, I find it in other ways."
13."It’s going. I know it’s not right, but he is a good person. Sometimes I want so much more. Right now, it would cost me so much to leave, and I do have love for him. Our children have a great support system between us, and we live a decent life."
14."I didn't know he wasn't right until our first argument after getting married. I was convinced at that point that we would get divorced one day. I'm still pretty sure it will happen eventually. We have been married for seven years and have three kids. We keep our finances separate. I have protected myself in case of a divorce. We are great friends and he is a good dad."
16."I love my significant other and I know he loves me but we clash and see life in two different ways. He is more down to earth and keeps to himself while I am more likely to be caught in a spontaneous adventure. We do go well together and coexist well. Sex is far and far between but I have adapted to that. We do show each other random appreciation, and obviously celebrate birthdays and milestones together. Sometimes we seem more like roommates than lovers — but it isn't a bad thing. Being friends with your significant other instead of romantic isn't the worst thing on the world, is it?
17."My partner and I are doing alright. We communicate well enough and we support each other well. Is he 'the one'? I don't think so. I don't feel a passionate love between us and I'm not super sexually attracted to him (even though he is conventionally good looking). We have been together for four years on and off. We live together. But if he asked me to marry him, I would say no. That's usually a good way to determine whether you're 'meant to be.'"
18."Pretty good. It wasn’t really a honeymoon at the start but we have now been together for five years and are very happy."
20."I chose my husband because he meets a lot of my needs, and I love him for that and for who he is. He’s not a GQ model, he’s not rich, and yes, sometimes he bugs the crap out of me. But I chose him. And I chose to love him for who he is rather than hold out for the idea of 'the one.'"
21."Will be six years together in a few months. He is the kindest person I know and he has always treated me with nothing but respect. He is the definition of a good man. And — I can't explain how I know this — but from the depths of my heart I just know that he will never, ever hurt me. And safe is what I need to feel."
You can read the full thread of responses on Reddit.
Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.