The Soulmate: Romantic Ideal or sappy delusion?2comments
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: