I never believed in soulmates. I think we recognise certain qualities in people due to our attachment styles, our understanding of the world and experiences that we’ve been through, and we can see this from across the room somehow without ever speaking a word. That’s incredible, and confusing, and of course it feels like fate. I don’t believe in fate, or soulmates, I believe in freedom of choice. I talked in my last post about how nothing is really real, including our emotions. We believe them 100% in the moment, but we’re in control of them. I believe that people play a role in your life, and sometimes those roles play out. They run their course and serve there purpose, then they end. Or they should end but people grip to them because they can’t understand the impermanence and fluidity of life and the lack of willingness to let go will make them miserable.
A good example of this is when people ask if I regret my marriage. I got married to this wonderful man, after 6 years of dating, when I was 23. We split up when I was 24. I don’t regret anything. Even before the wedding, people would ask me if I was worried or had doubts. My answer was always the same: Whether we’re married for 72 years and die in each others arms, or break up tomorrow, I’m making this decision based on how I feel right now. I loved him deeply and I was committed and he wanted to get married, I wanted him in every single way and I wanted him to be happy. How can I regret that? So it didn’t last. What we had was important, and luckily we were both very introspective and honest and we acknowledged when we didn’t work anymore. It was a very amicable break up, and although we’re not in contact anymore (we have no reason to be), I still love and respect him and wish him nothing but the best. We saw that we weren’t what the other needed and that we couldn’t meet each others needs anymore and went our separate ways. To me, that’s a very happy ending.
Considering all this, why be open to a relationship at all? If I don’t value soulmates, romance, fate and I believe that many relationships have an expiry date, then why put myself through all the effort? I hear you, and sometimes I’m not prepared for that either, but really, all that matters in life is people. My best friend and I have an amazing relationship. We went through all the stages, small talk, shared experiences and game playing. We were incredibly honest with each other, we were patient and helped each other grow throughout it. Now we’re emotionally intimate and it’s the best relationship I’ve ever had. Feeling emotionally connected to people is what it’s all about. We can be vulnerable together and still feel safe. Maybe it won’t last forever (I hope that’s not true, I can’t wait to tear up the nursing home one day with our box wine and dance moves), but for now it’s one of the best things in my life. I don’t need it, I would survive without it, life would move on, but honestly connecting with people is where fulfilment in life is.
The key in connecting genuinely, is being on the same page. My best friend will listen to me explain sessions I’ve had with my therapist and watch videos about transnational analysis. She wants to grow as much as I do, so we grow together. In my last relationship, my ex actually said to me at one point that I had chosen to go to therapy, not him, and he had no interest in changing any of his flaws. There’s no way to connect with that, unless it’s in an unhealthy and toxic way. The right people to grow close to don’t come around often and sometimes they are disguised as soulmates. Sometimes it looks like fate, but a lot of the time it doesn’t. It grows slowly and changes naturally. The important thing is, to find these people you have to be open and willing. Look past the sparks and fireworks and see who they really are and you could be rewarded with something far more exciting and magical than pretty lights.