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When is “Just One” Enough?


When is having or wanting “just one” something normal to humanity? When does any person desire only one of anything is a world where value is in numbers? Although many individuals desire the multitude, the real satisfaction is in the age old phrase of “quality over quantity”. This may see contradictory to the many desires of the normal human state but emotionally and spiritually, sometimes “just one” is just enough.

The dilemma of having a sole possession is non-conforming to societal norms.  Having just one car, just one lover, just one house, etc. is seen as not enough. In essence, we have become addicted to materialism as a result of selfishness and social pressure. Therefore, our lifestyle becomes a dangerous cycle of desire for more unfulfilling items, trips, people, and anything else on planet earth.

I realized how prominent this issue had become while talking with a very close person we will call Adam. We had a 6 hour straight, in-depth discussion about the social ideologies and issues faced when committing to just one of anything. In his case, Adam was referring to the secretary dilemma he was dealing with in regards to dating. As many others, Adam said after going through over 80 partners, he always moved on in search of “something better” to come along and essentially never fully committing to “just one”. The mindset of Adam is one a majority of other Americans face with issues that expand beyond personal relationships. However, he mentioned something important to the overarching concept—what number is enough? When have we been on enough dates, bought enough stock, or had enough kids? It’s a dilemma that cannot be answered in a scientific manner because no one knows the effects of moving onto what appears as the next best thing. Conclusively, Adam was slowly reasoning that he might have reached a stopping point where “just one” might be enough in certain aspects of life.

Although we do not know what the future holds, psychology points us towards efforts to align our goals with our values to achieve some sense of content. When we have overarching goals and are striving to achieve those finish lines, we often forget the after effects our values play when neglected to reach goals. In essence, we should analyze our future paths to see if life after reaching the goal will be in line with our personal values in life. For instance, an individual could have a goal to become a millionaire but their values are to be a stay-at-home parents and nurturer. Although this individual might reach their goals in a lifetime, it is highly unlikely they will have the satisfaction of their personal values, had they not neglected the values while reaching the goal. Although it may seem like this refers to teh phrase “you can’t have it all”, psychology suggests both goals and values have benefits when neither are neglected at the expense of a sole subject.

So next time you ask yourself if you want a new lover, new car, new house, consider whether the trade is going to bring you a positive benefit for both your goals and values. As for me, I’m perfectly happy resisting the Lays potato chip bet and having “just one.”


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