The Soulmate Myth

This may surprise you, Dear Reader, but what I’m about to tell you is devoid of my usual tongue-in-cheek demeanor. Instead, it is with complete sincerity that I tell you this truth:

Soulmates are bullshit.

This is not to say I don’t believe that it is possible to meet a person and fall in love and live happily ever after (with some bumps along the way). Love is real and wonderful and thrust upon the most fortunate of us all, but the belief that each of us has a perfect match roaming the earth, destined to join together to make us whole, is a lie.

The Soulmate Myth |

Now, I could point to the staggering statistics of the miracle that is your creation, coupled with the miracle that would be your soulmate’s creation, plus the odds of you living in the same time and speaking the same language – but I’ve never been one for numbers.

No, let’s talk about the impracticality of one person providing another with everything they need in life. One person from whom you will derive all matters of pleasure: intellectual, emotional, sexual, recreational. One person who will enjoy each and every thing that you enjoy. Who won’t just be dragged along to your annual convention of nerdery, but who will buy your tickets ahead of time as a surprise and plan your itinerary for you! A person with whom you will grow at the same rate and direction!

That’s too much pressure for one person.

This is the point where you might be calling me a cynic. A bitter single. A sad, pathetic woman afraid of romance. You might not be wrong about me, but if I am any of those things, it’s not because I don’t believe in soulmates. I’m not advocating for settling in order to settle down with someone. No! We all deserve someone who makes us happy, who loves us unlike anyone before, who fits most of the criteria of the dream lover hidden somewhere in the idyllic romantic corners of your mind.

Most of the criteria. Not all.

Dan Savage says we should round up to one, and he’s right. We should find someone who is almost perfect for us, and get what’s missing from other people in life. How that looks is up to you and whomever you end up with in the end.

Maybe that means you have a wonderful with a partner who loves to race you lakeside, cooks a mean pasta verde, and laughs at your jokes, but hates camping. Get the camping from your friend who may have been raised by Grizzly Adams! Maybe it’s having someone to come home to who rubs your feet after a hard day and can write a sonnet on Twin Peaks, but who doesn’t like the same kind of sex you do. You’re allowed to find someone else who does! (Assuming, of course, that you’ve had an open and honest discussion with your partner and come to an agreement with which you both are comfortable.)

You’re never going to find a single person who can meet all of your needs in the same way that you will never be able to meet all of the needs of someone else. That’s why the community around you is as important as the person you take home tonight.

If it takes a village to raise a child, I don’t see why it wouldn’t take a village to maintain the soul, too.

2 Responses to The Soulmate Myth

  1. Dāsha says:

    Don’t give up or give in to making it work with some one who meets some or even most of your needs. Because I can honestly say that my wife and I meet each others needs. Do I worry that it’s too much pressure? Of course; I’m human! But it’s been 7 years and neither of us have cracked under the pressure. I hate it when I’m watching a movie and time after time we’re conditioned to believe that there have to be all these bumps in the roads and things to overcome and now we deserve to be together forever. BS! If you pick the right person it is easy. Living and loving my wife is an absolute treat. The only challenges were associated with being a lesbian which would have been there no matter who I chose.

    • Kaitlin says:

      You and your wife give me hope! I agree that you shouldn’t settle for just someone, but I also worry about the unrealistic expectations that we can get from years of Disney love affairs and romantic comedies. Where is the line between goosebumps and having it all with one person? Was there a single moment that made you realize you had found The One? I have so many questions for you!

What do you think?