Soul mate or soul myth?
“Soul mate. Two little words. One big concept. The belief that someone, somewhere is holding the key to your heart. All you have to do is find them. Where is this person? And if you love someone and it didn’t work out, does that mean they weren’t your soul mate? Are they just a runner up in this game show called “Happily Ever After”?”
— Carrie Bradshaw
We often hear the expression “the man (or woman) of my life,” my “soul mate”, my “other half”.
All these expressions that imply that somewhere there’s one person “made for me” also mean that love is impossible with anyone else.
If that’s the case, then where’s my soul mate? Is he rolling sushi somewhere in Tokyo? Should I open tinder Japan then?
When it comes to the soul mate concept, people- in my opinion at least, fall in two categories:
Those who believe that there is one soul mate made for each one of us. Those are the fatalistic among us, those who think that no matter what you do no matter where you go, your fate will catch up with you if not now, then later. All you have to do is trust the timing. Que sera sera.
Those who like me think that love is a matter of desire, choice and will.
Fatalistic thinking gives a great relief in the sense that it never leads to questioning/remorse/regret/trips/what ifs/if onlys and guilt trips. “If it did not work it means it wasn’t meant to be.” “If we are separated now it means he/she wasn’t the right person for me.” “If he or she has decided to leave, it means he/she wasn’t the man /woman of my life.”
Except that this beautiful idea of one single person, “made for me”, who exists somewhere, and with whom, somehow, if we met, love will erupt with no effort because “it’s written” is an idea that has no basis in real life.
We think that people are unique. That there are no two identical people. Right?
Let’s imagine finding two perfectly complementary people, perfectly complementary in everything. We humans are the product of experiences and thoughts. I am not what I was last year. Hell, no! I am not what I was yesterday!
We evolve. We change. Accordingly, and since people change at different pace, there is absolutely no guarantee that these same people will always complement each other, is there?
Why do people get a divorce with time?
Most of the divorced people I interviewed in the past months said that they evolved on the personal level while their partner remained the same. Hence, differences became bigger, the gap widened, and it was impossible to stay together.
The probability that two people remain perfectly complementary and in sync throughout their personal evolution, like two symmetrical rails, is impossible.
The concept of “love of my life” is a myth. But that doesn’t mean that it is impossible to spend all our life with the same person. But it’s not about fate. It’s about will.
To illustrate my point here’s an excerpt of the Little Prince of Saint Exupery:
« What does that mean – tame?” asked The Little Prince.
“It is an act too often neglected,” said the fox. “It means to establish ties.”
“To establish ties?”
“Just that,” said the fox. “To me, you are still nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you, on your part, have no need of me. To you I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in the entire world. To you, I shall be unique in the entire world….”
There you go! “The unique in the entire world” that I believe in is simply the one we want to establish ties with… That will make him or her unique to our eyes.
Establish ties and maintain these ties throughout the natural personal evolution of each.
So yeah. My soul mate might be rolling sushi in Tokyo or sprinkling thyme over manoushi dough in Beirut. When we’re both willing to go the extra mile, I’ll know he’s the one.
Romantic partners by choice.