The young and datable generation of today didn’t learn about “destiny” from the Protestant definition of predestination or from Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex tragedy. They learned about destiny from Walt Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and chick flicks starring Drew Barrymore and Sandra Bullock. Destiny wasn’t a higher principle; it was simply the comforting idea that, win or lose a few, “the one” will come into your life and you will live happily ever after.
It’s easy to see why we all prefer to believe in destiny. When we do, there is no chance of failure. There’s no such thing as a mistimed move or an awkward exchange. The one who is meant for you will see through these peripherals and realize that your love is a universal force, a miracle of circumstances that cannot possible fail. After all, “true love never fails.”
For a moment, let’s look past the grand Hollywood romances and think about the origins of destiny. The concept of destiny is “a predetermined course of events based on the belief that there is a fixed natural order to the cosmos.” Hollywood’s vision of romance (which you must remember is self-aware and self-deprecating on purpose) glosses over destiny, which by all accounts, is a rather depressing view of what love should be.
Destiny or fate comes from a philosophy called “fatalism”, which implies that human beings have no choice and that we all end fatally—we die forever and our lives usually end in misery. Your destiny comes from an outside agency, and not from your own heart. The exaggeration of fatalism traces back to biblical prophecies and divine intervention. As in, God has chosen me the perfect mate.
Someone else has chosen me my match. Sound familiar? Yes, these concepts of destiny all beg comparisons to a Jane Austen novel, complete with arranged marriages, fixed courtships and aristocratic family matchmaking. Guess what usually happens when relationships are fixed? Love is absent. The bride longs for someone else, even while she begrudgingly marries Lord Coldsheart. Again, a very bleak portrait of romance.
Destiny is the myth we sometimes hold onto as young or idealistic single people. The facts show that there are over six and a half billion people on planet earth, and roughly, there is a 50/50 split between men and women. That means that biologically speaking, you are physically compatible with three billion partners! Is that going to happen? Way to go you, if you can manage it! No, obviously we filter out many partners based on demographics, location and personality.
The point is that you are potentially compatible with an uncountable number of dates. There are infinite possibilities out there just waiting for you to make the first move. Perhaps the sheer number of plausible matches is what scares people into settling for destiny.
I’m here to take you by the hand and pull you away from Destiny’s clutches. Don’t be afraid of taking chances. Instead of waiting for that one destined lover to pop into your life, why not start exploring your world of opportunities?
Believe me, it’s much better to learn the truth about fate/destiny and romance early on, rather than having to learn things the hard way: you know, the moment you realize the guy or girl you thought you were meant to be with, walks away and dumps you for someone else! (Show of hands…be honest!)
In the end, the happy ending is that you got together with someone you really liked and learned to love through an amazing courtship. These are the memories that will stick with you for the rest of your life…and you won’t have to thank Destiny for a romance you and your partner created!
This was a guest post by Danny who works for a dating startup called top 10 dating websites and provides dating comparison.