When I was growing up I dedicated my heart, with reckless abandon, to the idea of finding my soul mate. Wistfully I listened to stories of the ancient gods, and how they split each and every single human being into two parts. We were one part, and the other half, our counterpart, would make their way into our lives at some point, completing us and pouring into us a love that we had never experienced before. Now I am realizing that such a philosophy is actually more harmful than it is valuable.
I do believe that we should feel something unique when we finally meet the person we choose to spend our lives with, and I do believe that we should be inspired and deeply moved by the love we are gifted in life. However, we are not incomplete human beings, and there is no one in the world who is going to fill the voids of our soul other than ourselves. That rush of feeling that we want to experience when we meet our soul mate is not a feeling that is bred from the stitching together of two reunited hearts, and it isn’t as tell tale as we often think it is.
In reality, there is more to forever than simply finding someone who you feel extremely connected to. We have to stop allowing this surge of feeling to act like a compass towards healthy relationships. Distinctive and enchanting feelings for someone are a great compass, but they shouldn’t be the only thing we take into account when falling in love. We cant keep striving for this absolute, perfect love, because when life throws us some less than perfect situations we are going to need more than connection, more than an emotional upwelling of exhilaration. We are going to need pragmatic love, we are going to need levelheadedness, we are going to need a person who fights for us every single day – who chooses us in spite of circumstances.
Soul mates don’t exist. Real human beings do. The goal is to redefine this idea of the perfect kind of love, and turn it into an openness to a very real kind of love. You aren’t going to find someone who completes you, and you shouldn’t strive for that. Instead, strive to find someone who inspires you to complete yourself. Strive to find someone who pushes you, and breaks into you in ways that allow for you to see all of the potential that exists within your bones. Strive to find someone who your loves grows with – slowly, strongly. Strive to find someone who ignites within you the motivation to love in the most enduring of ways because, luckily, that kind of person does exist.