Lots of people in my world are getting married at the minute, and amidst the excitable chatter about dresses, cake, flowers and reception venues I have heard the world ‘soulmate’ thrown around a number of times.
Admittedly, I am hardly Little Miss Romantic, despite immersing myself in many a romantic comedy over the years. Most of these films seem to follow the same conventions – the characters meet, they fall in love, we see a montage that demonstrates some happy times together, something or someone interferes, they break up and eventually the film will end with a huge gesture and a proclamation of feelings and the couple will kiss while an orchestra plays intense, passionate music in the background.
However, what happens when Vivienne rescues Edward ‘right back?’ Did Harry continue to love the little wrinkle in the middle of Sally’s forehead? Did Hal love Rosemary regardless of her size or did he revert back to his shallow ways?
What we actually see in these films is not love, it’s a demonstration of mutual attraction and the fun, exciting initial stages of the honeymoon period in a relationship. It’s pure lust. These characters don’t appear to deal with every day situations – the stresses of work, being tired and grumpy at each other, having a nasty cold, having the car break down on the way to work, the death of a family member, friend or pet. Why? Because real life is far more boring.
The Bloke and I have been together for about four and a half years. (We’ve actually lived together for six, but that is a much longer story that I will save for later). He’s my bloke, my partner in crime, my other half. He’s the person I am pleased to wake up to every morning.
But he isn’t my soulmate.
Why? Because I don’t believe that soulmates exist, or at least not in the context that it is used in the present day. The concept is nice, but unrealistic. In a world where seven billion people exist I refuse to believe that there is just one person for each of us, and I’m positive that if we had never met and were living in different places we would be equally happy with somebody else.
It may sound harsh, but my problem with the idea of a soulmate is that there is a sense of perfection behind the term. While I am by no means an expert in relationships, and I am certainly not claiming to be, I know enough to realise that perfection, in all forms, simply doesn’t exist. As human beings, we are all intrinsically flawed, and unless we are willing to accept both our own flaws and the flaws of our partners we will be forever left feeling disappointed.
Soulmates are not born and meant for each other, they are created through an ongoing process of trust, honesty and respect with people who deserve to be in a relationship with each other. When things have been going really well, The Bloke has been there with me to celebrate, and I’ve done the same with him. When I’ve been hurt or upset, The Bloke listened, comforted me and told me it would all be ok, and I’ve done the same for him. When I was ill and in hospital, he was there every night and sat with me for hours. When we had to move house shortly after, he pretty much did the whole thing by himself as I hadn’t fully recovered. We talk, we laugh, we go out together. He makes my lunch, runs me baths, picks me up from work and rubs my feet. He’s not just my bloke, he’s my friend, my confidante, my rock. I love him, and he loves me. He makes me happy. However, he’s not perfect, and neither am I.
While it’s certainly a far less romantic thought, I think its far more important to stop idealising the concept of ‘The One,’ and start working on the creation of forever in our relationships. It might just save a lot of time and heartache in the long term…
What do you think? Have you found your soulmate? Do you believe in them? Are you still waiting to meet yours?
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