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 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


  1. I don't believe in soul makes. But I disagree wholeheartedly with Gilbert's quote, as well. I don't want to "seal a respectful bond"!!! I want shoulder aching laughter, steamy-hot/beautiful-sweet sex, ear popping highs and someone to lean on lows.

    Right place, right time never occurred to me when it comes my relationship. Do people wonder about place and time when it comes to friends? Thats what my guy is to me, my best friend and lover. A chance meeting, a passing introduction by a mutual friend, was all it took to spark and motivate our hard work. It was hard work living 2 thousand miles away for the first year of our relationship. It is hard work now (after being spoiled by a blissful year of playing house) being alone for 3 weeks out of the month while he works his ass off on a distant island to make our future together better. What was easy was falling in love, our precious time together, and making plans.

    What I do know, is no matter who I was with, where I was in my life, if I met my guy at age 10 or age 60, I would drop everything and run away to adventure with him and only him.

    You know what? After writing this, maybe I do believe in soul mates. We were bound to meet sometime. Two people- no matter what age or stage, should be with someone because they KNOW they HAVE to be- not because of some social standard. whew.

  2. Interesting that you feel it would have been the same guy no matter what. Sounds like a soul mate situation to me. I could feel the same way about the boy, we met through 2 friends (they both knew each other after meeting in a bar) that we both hadn't seen either of in months, just so happened to be drug by my friend at 2 in the morning to see her friends new place, and the boy had been bored that night so drove 45 minutes to see his friend he hadn't seen in months. And we hit it off, been together ever since and haven't really spoken to the 2 friends since we met each other(they weren't really good friends anyway). In fact, I'm not even sure my friend even knows we're dating. I could call that fate, or I could call it being in the right place at the right time, that he met little ol me around the age that he was starting to be interested in marriage and I sparked that interest.

    I don't know what I think, I'm glad to hear what you guys think (it's why I asked!). I do know it's more magical and meaningful to think we were meant to be, so maybe I'll hold on to that :)

  3. I definitely don't believe in soul mates. There are probably other people in the world I could be just as connected to as my fiance. Six or seven billion people in the world and there's only one out there for you? How depressing is that thought. Because if you haven't met them... they could be in Asia or on a tiny island in the Caribbean. The odds are not in your favor.

    I met John. And then I fell in love with him. It's not always perfect or magical, and certainly we have our disagreements, but at the end of the day, I am always so happy I chose to spend the rest of my life with this person. It's work and compromise, but it's all worth it to me.

    ...But if we're supposedly each other's soul mates and then - God forbid - one of us dies... that's just it for the other person? Their soul mate is dead, and they'll never love again? No way. I think the whole soul mate thing is crap.

  4. I thought the same thing Katie, so if my soul mate dies then I'm alone forever! In complete grief?! There's no one else out there even remotely compatible for me? How depressing!

  5. I believe in soul mates!!!!

    The key is that it's plural. We have several soul mates in our lives. One of my best friends is a soul mate...the others aren't. It's not a bad thing, but there is a feeling that is different with a soul mate. They are the people we can speak to without opening our mouths. They just get us and we just get them.

    I absolutely think people marry because they are marring age. Love, unfortunately, is not the reason most people marry. They will argue this, most certainly, because they can't get honest with themselves. Getting honest isn't so bad, and really, it's better than living a life full of lies. Better to say the truth and live with responsibility than chalking everything up to fate and destiny.

    We bring those to us that we need at that moment. So it's entirely possible to marry someone and not need them later....leading to divorce? I used to think people who got divorced were weak, didn't try or shouldn't have gotten married in the first place.

    But, as I've lived on and learned, that simply isn't the case. Marriage is a promise. How many promises did you make and not follow through on? It's not a bad thing! Really, we make promises that we'll do this or be that way, and then when we live and grow we just don't want that anymore, so we make new promises.

    We're all just grappling for certainty in a world where the only thing certain is the feeling in your heart.

  6. I agree that timing is everything. Both people have to be ready in their lives. But I also believe in soul mates. But not just one...I think we have many. Our closest friends are our soul mates. Even family. I believe our love soul mate could be anyone we connect with in that way. I even feel my ex bfs were soul mates we were meant to be together for a short while to learn certain lessons :) xo