28 Women Share Their Experiences Marrying Someone Who Wasn’t “The One”

Getting cold feet before walking down the aisle seems totally understandable. You’re about to commit to someone for the rest of your life and suddenly all of these doubts come rushing into your head. Getting married is pretty much the biggest commitment you can make. It feels like you only have one shot to get it right….but what if you don’t? 

Women on Reddit are sharing their experiences being married to someone they settled for because they knew they were a good person but they didn’t actually feel like “the one” and their responses might shock you. Many people are in happy and loving relationships with people who don’t feel like Prince Charming, but they feel loved and cared for. That might be what’s more important. 

Many people brought up that they don’t truly believe there is “the one” for everyone, which could be true. These women offer a lot of good insight that could definitely help others make their tough decision.


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There’s no such thing as “the one”. This is a toxic idea that destroys relationships that might otherwise work out. People are compatible with you or not. And then there are principles of marriage that you follow to have success. People don’t follow these principles and then they rationalize with this idea that they just weren’t soulmates. It’s tragic.


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I personally don’t believe in “the one,” I believe in making a choice just like with anything else. We choose our partners based off a long list of reasons of everything from looks to how comfortable we are with them, etc…. 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 choose to love him for who he is rather than hold out for the idea of “the one.”


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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!


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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


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I don’t believe in The One TM so I married a man who is an incredible human being. I spend my time working on our partnership with a very pragmatic view.


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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.


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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


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I fell unexpectantly in love with a man 31 years older than me. It creeped me out because I was in this cycle of dating guys five years younger than me. He kept giving me gifts, helping me, and taking me to lunch. We somehow were married five months after meeting. Even after a year of marriage, I couldn’t wrap my head around him being so old. I was always holding out for someone in my age range. After a decade I realize that he is definitely the one and realize that men in my age group are stroke-inducing. It’s going well.


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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


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It ended years ago. Like some others have said, when you feel that someone isn’t “the one” it’s usually your mind trying to indicate to you that something is off. After some years I realized my emotional needs just weren’t being met no matter how hard he tried. Also, while I was attracted to him, he was not my physical type so when the going got rough, I didn’t want to sleep with him.

Now, I prioritize emotional compatibility and physical attraction more than I had in the past.


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He’s wonderful, a big part of my life and my best friend. We’ve already agreed that he will be my maid of honour and I will be his best man. Sadly we were too incompatible romantically but it’s turned into a fantastic friendship. He even chats to and plays game with my other half.


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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.


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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


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It became clear after 8 months in that he never wanted a relationship, just a girlfriend as a sign of successful “adulting” and to not show up at family functions alone anymore. All the time, I was completely committed to the relationship even though I knew he wasn’t the one from the get-go.

My saving grace was that I found my dream job roughly 2 hours away from where we lived (we lived in the same town, just not together). I was eager to move away and finally pull the plug. I still would have broken up with him anyway, but I was glad to be moving far (enough) away.

Two weeks before I officially ended it, he told me that if one of his friends was dating someone like me, he would tell him to run and never look back. So I quoted this in the breakup and asked him what exactly he thought would happen? If he felt that I would want to stay after being told something like this? He said, and I kid you not, that he thought that by saying this to me that I would try to be a better girlfriend


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We got divorced after 3 years bc he wasn’t the one and he turned out to not actually be a good person either. I settled because I wanted a family but actually ended up wasting even more time by staying with the wrong person. Now I’m divorced and 40 with no children and no partner.


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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


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It went bad. Staying in a relationship like that for me 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 felt ultimately lonely and we broke up.


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It went well for 10+ years. We are now apart but co-parenting. Life isn’t perfect, but that’s ok


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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.


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Pretty good. It wasn’t really a honeymoon at the start but we have now been together for five years and are very happy.


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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’


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Divorced. Currently remarried and sometimes I could wring his neck, but it feels SO good to truly be in love and be attracted to him


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I don’t know … I’m definitely with the one, but we are miserable as we are not very compatible.

So, I don’t know … I’ve always wondered if I could be with someone I wasn’t passionate about. I want to say yes, but I also have to be honest with myself. I am not sure I would be happy and may end up being tempted outside the relationship.

I had tried the practical route before and it didn’t work out. So I determined to marry for nothing but love. God knows I love him more than anything or anyone, but he is just a horrible partner


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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.


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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


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I thought he was perfect, always complementing me, buying gifts, being positive. But deep inside I didn’t love him or get butterflies. He pushed for marriage and I was hesitant but ultimately talked myself into it. I thought “he’s good for me, you’re just used to bad guys that treat you like shit”. Married him and he turned into a nightmare. Ran up my credit cards, constantly wanted to buy new cars, new everything. Then as suddenly as he came on, he dumped my ass but not before meeting another woman. And another, and another. And in less than 7 months since he ended our 4 year marriage he got engaged to a new woman. She makes a lot of money. I hope she doesn’t get fooled like I did.


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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.’


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It drained my soul. And he turned out to be not such a good person.

Divorced for many years now, amicable for a few years. Once he met his now wife it turned very antagonistic and mean

Hannah Riley

Hannah Riley a comedy writer and content editor with ADHD living in Seattle, Washington.