We dated the Zeros… so you don’t have to.


The Soulmate: Romantic Ideal or sappy delusion?


I have a confession to make. I don’t think my guy – the man I have pledged to spend the rest of my life with and the father of my future children – is my soul-mate. I don’t mean that I have any doubts that he is absolutely the best man for me, or that I don’t feel grateful to have found him. Not at all. I’m quite certain that my guy is my One. It’s just that I don’t believe in the whole idea of soul-mates.

Our regular readers have probably figured out that I’m not the most romantic of ladies. I‘m not entirely unsentimental (My favorite book of all time is Pride and Prejudice, after all), but when it comes to romantic ideals, I’m a little more of a Elinor than a Marianne, if you know what I mean. In fact, most of the great love-at-first-site/soul-mate love stories leave me a bit cold. Some people read Romeo and Juliet and swoon from that tale of two people who fall instantly in love and can’t live without each other. I read the play and see it as an example two well meaning but misguided kids and some atrocious parenting.

Why am I such a bah humbuger when it comes to the idea of the soul-mate? Why don’t I believe in the idea that there is one person in the entire world who is the yin to your yang, and without whom your life, or at least your romantic life, will be somehow incomplete? First of all, what if you never meet this paragon of compatibility? What if your soul-mate lives in a remote part of southern Uganda and you never happen to travel there? Or what if your soul-mate is some cynical bastard like me who doesn’t necessarily believe in the whole concept of soul-mates and thus doesn’t wait around for you but instead marries someone else he merely loves and respects? Are you S.O.L.? And practical questions of finding one’s soul-mate aside, I’m a little unsettled by the implicit Jerry Maguireness of the whole concept… doesn’t soul-mate imply that alone, without a partner, you are somehow incomplete? Finally, the main reason I don’t love the concept of the soul-mate is that it doesn’t take into consideration a key element to two people’s compatibility… timing. At the risk of sounding smug, I’m very confident that my guy and I are a wonderful match… now. If we’d met ten years ago I doubt that would be the case. It took us growing up and maturing as individuals to be as compatible as we are. Now that we’ve come together, both of us will have to work to make sure that as we continue to grow, we grow together instead of apart.

All that having been said, I’m not such a romance-Grinch that I can’t see the appeal of the idea. Though I have plenty of rational reasons to doubt the idea of the soul-mate, perhaps, like many cynics, a part of me would love to be convinced otherwise. So I ask you:

A Zeros Before the One Poll

Do you believe that everyone has a soul-mate?

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2 Responses to “The Soulmate: Romantic Ideal or sappy delusion?”

  1. October 11, 2011 at 9:56 am

    The only person I’ve ever thought of as a soul mate is my male, balding, chubby best friend. I am straight.

  2. January 20, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    To me, I believe that the belief in “The One” goes way beyond merely not true, it is a romantic delusion. Most people who buy into it do so because they feel too undesirable and too incompetent to take responsibility for themselves successfully and become the best they that they can be for the best mate they can attract. They have bought into the lies of religion, Disney, sappy love songs, and the fantasies they keep as guilty pleasures from when they hit puberty. They stay in that childish realm as opposed to facing the “cold dark world” thinking like a grown up. I’m not saying people don’t fall in love or have compassion for that special someone on the flip side. This idea is usually rooted in the persons special imaginary friend having a “plan” for their life and picking that special someone for them before they were a twinkle in their daddies eye(talk about ego and needing to feel “special” or “chosen” IE:I’m better than you type nonsense). The flip side of this is that people who buy into this delusion blatantly ignore the fact that women outnumber men on this planet. To them, this belief actually INSURES that everyone is “destined” to be with “the one”, but the truth of it is that the belief insures that some women are doomed to be alone. Then in the unlikely event that they actually use some critical thinking skills, they hope and pray they aren’t one of the doomed ones as few want to be alone yet keep comforting themselves with this fantasy that their imaginary friend has their back, has “the one” waiting for them when they are “ready” preventing them from going out and doing what it takes to make it happen. Simply take responsibility, be an adult, a grown up, leave that delusion in 6th grade where it belongs, and take the actions they really don’t want to take(risking rejection, approaching someone they actually want, exercising, paying off debts, going to school to make more money, and learning how to communicate with people). Seems this belief is rooted in laziness and fear more than anything. Last I will say about this(sorry to be long winded) but being that a lot of this comes from religion, if we go back in history to when kings ruled the land, if the priest got everyone to believe in “the one”, the king could insure that the ignorant uneducated and illiterate peasants would buy it hook line and sinker so that he could have a harem of women at his disposal without causing an uprising by the men who want someone more attractive than “the one” they were manipulated into settling for by the clergy. Keep the ones with the strongest genes for himself(prettiest, healthiest, smartest, etc) to insure that his kingdom would go on forever(as those women would most likely produce the strongest offspring). Seems that we have been manipulated by lies like that for long enough, time to be self reliant and make our lives what we want them to be.

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