Wednesday, February 10, 2010
To be or not to be my soul mate
When the boy first told me he knew that I was the one he wanted to marry it was not too far into our relationship. The beginning of our time together was still rather fresh in my memory. I remember that we had just come back from his sisters wedding and that events completion had steered us on a natural progression of discussions, one of which was getting married.
I remember when he told me I was flattered, and it made me feel wanted, and that is a nice feeling; to know that someone out there wants to spend their life with you, that's quite a commitment and quite a compliment. I thought a lot about that day after it happened, I thought of all the boys I had thought I wanted to marry, some of them were real and some were celebrity daydreams, I think one was even a prince (I aim high). It got me thinking, were the boy and I soul mates? Or was it more like we were at an appropriate age, where it could now be a realistic consideration? Did he want to marry me because we were meant to be, or did he want to marry me because we were in the right place at the right time?
I asked him this question once during a good oral hygiene session, mid tooth brush I looked him right in the eye and asked him if he had ever wanted to marry any of his other girlfriends? He said no. Then I asked if he thought he wanted to marry me because I was dating him at the age where people started considering it an option, the next step? He said probably.
While this is not romantic, it's honest and true and I would bet that the reason why a lot of people get married to the person they date in their mid twenties is because they happen to have run into each other right around the supposed "marrying period." I know a guy that dated a girl for 6 years, all through college and grad school they were together, and they were serious, everyone thought she was perfect and that they were perfect together; but, the relationship ended without so much as a glance at a ring. Right after the relationship was over he started dating another girl and after being together for almost 2 years he's already saving up to buy her an engagement ring. This puzzles me, he didn't even consider marrying the girl he had been with for ages...to me it appears that she just didn't come into his life during the "marrying period" of his life story and that ended that.
There were lots of boys when I was younger I talked about marriage with, but it never seemed plausible. We were young, and poor and we didn't have any idea where our individual dreams would take us, so we couldn't see how we would fit into each others lives. I'm now at an age where I know exactly where my dreams are going to take me, and I am able to see how those dreams fit into a relationship with the boy. He knows where his dreams will take him and they appear to be taking him in a similar direction as mine, because we are able to do that, we are able to blend our dreams together and this makes lifelong commitment to one another a realistic endeavor.
In Committed, Gilbert writes, "Moreover, they would likely agree that there is not one special person waiting for you somewhere in this world who would make your like magically complete, but that there are any number of people (right in your own community probably) with whom you could seal a respectful bond."
But what about that magical love we have so dutifully bought into? The butterflies and the idea that we have found the magical missing piece of ourselves in someone else? We are raised on ideas like this, practically bottle fed these stories, and a lot of grown women still believe these things to be true.
So my question is this, do you believe in soul mates? That there is truly one and only one person out there for you and you're meant to be? Or do you believe that you just end up in the right place at the right time? That you've reached a level in your life, with your age and where you are with your goals and your partner has done the same where you can see yourself marrying?
Maybe if we let go of the soul mate idea we might have a better chance of realistically embracing a partnership with someone. Being someone's soulmate, completing someone is a lot to live up to, and almost impossible a dream to fulfill. Perhaps this is why so many relationships end in disappointment.
Photo from Kristine May's photostream