“He’s the one, I just know it. We’re soulmates.”
That word: soulmates. It’s what everyone is supposed to want to find. There’s just one problem with it: soulmates don’t exist.
I know, I’m a bitch. And I don’t mean to be, at least not this time. I’m not saying soulmates don’t exist because no one’s ever loved me before or I have daddy issues — I’m saying it because I think people need to stop wanting to believing in this fantasy. I think people get too caught up in the idea of a fairytale love, which is silly because the name should give you an indication that it’s not realistic.
Fairytale love and the idea of soulmates don’t exist, but it’s not something to resent or feel sad about. Real life love is so, so much better than any book or movie.
Here’s the thing. The very idea of having a soulmate means finding the one person in the entire world who you are supposed to be with. Your very existence is intertwined; you were “meant to be.”
Soulmates are destined to be together. By definition, you have no choice but to be with this person. The idea of not having any say in the matter or not being able to control how you feel is… alarming. This person is your soulmate — no matter what they do to hurt you or hurt themselves. You have to love them. They have to love you.
There’s just one problem with this: you always have a say in who you love and if you want to love them. You can always change you mind about wanting to be with someone. This is why soulmates don’t exist — because you have the right to decide to leave, if you want to.
The other thing to consider is that people aren’t stagnant. We’re ever-changing and growing and learning, and we might grow apart from people in the process. You know your best friend from middle school? The one who you barely talk to anymore? You still think she’s a good person and you still care about her, but you just aren’t close anymore. That can happen with a lover, too. You will inevitably change, and so will the person you think is your soulmate.
The best and strongest kind of love is a love that changes over time. Change is good in relationships. It tests you and makes you stronger as a couple and as humans. If you grow together, you will never grow apart. But sometimes you don’t grow together. Sometimes you change, or your needs for your relationship change.
Love is a choice. The idea of having a soulmate takes away that aspect of choice. You have to wake up every morning and decide to love that person, good or bad. Sure, when you get married you stand up at an alter and vow to love someone for the rest of our life, but just because you say in front of 200 of your closest friends and family doesn’t make it automatically true. You have to decide to make that commitment every single day of your lives together, and it’s hard sometimes.
If you say a person is your soulmate, you’re taking away that choice. You’re saying to that person, “Now you have to love me forever. No matter what I do or what I say to you. You’re stuck. It’s out of your control.” Loving someone should always be a choice, or else it’s not love.
Then there’s that old saying, “you just know when you know.” It’s what people say when they say they’ve met The One. It’s a feeling that they succumb to, powerless.
But that’s the thing — you don’t know. You don’t know what someone will do later on down the road. You can’t predict if they’ll love you or leave you or cheat on you. You never truly know if you found The One, you just have to trust them. You have to take their word for it. You have to trust that they will make the choice to love you every single day, and you don’t know if they will, but you have to take that leap of faith.
I think the main problem I have with soulmates and fairytale love and finding The One is the ignorance. To me, it’s so incredibly ridiculous how someone can blindly subscribe to this childlike idea of love, instead of admitting what love actually is.
Love isn’t a fairytale and it isn’t easy. It isn’t just handed to you and you don’t just “know.” You have to work for that shit. You have to go find it, and once you find it, you can’t just give up on working on it. You can’t just get married to someone and sit back and chill for the next sixty years.
Love is work, and some people don’t like that analogy because they think of work as something hard and boring, but it doesn’t have to be. Working on your relationship can be fun and exciting and also hard at some times, but if you’re working at something, you’re keeping it alive. You’re constantly making improvements and changing together.
If love is work, and you work hard, you’re getting better at loving someone. That doesn’t seem boring to me..