Believe it or not, I’m extremely optimistic about whether or not a relationship can make it. However, I don’t necessarily ascribe to the idea of “soulmates.” Accordingly, I tend to be a bit wary of people who’ve assembled long lists of qualifications for a potential mate. I happen to think that holding out the hope for a “soulmate” or bumping up members of the opposite sex against a checklist can be detrimental to the desire for long term or lifetime companionship.
It’s only fair to note that I’m remarried after divorce. So, go ahead and say it. ‘Of course she wouldn’t believe in soulmates.’ Well, yeah. But just like it took more than one class for me to understand history, the ending of a marriage was not my only lesson toward disbelief in soulmates or lists. And like anything, there are exceptions.
Look. The bottom line is…your soul is evolving. If it’s not – check your pulse, read a book, or watch a documentary. We should all be evolving and growing. To think that who my soul decides to mate at 25 is who my soul will want to mate at 45 seems a bit absurd. And to believe that I can concoct a list that encompasses all the qualities my soul needs to grow, prosper, and heal for the rest of my days is also a bit absurd.
That doesn’t mean I don’t believe that relationships that begin at 25 can’t last because of growth. I mean the exact opposite. I believe relationships work based upon:
- Mutual respect
- Determining what works best for your relationship
- Commitment to work
Of course there are other factors, but those are a good start. When you’re feeling disappointed, discouraged, and flat out angry enough that you’re willing to walk away from it all, it’s unlikely that your “ideal mate” checklist will make a difference!
I believe we all want the type of deep, lasting connection with another person that the term soulmate suggests. However, I understand that what my soul wants or even connects with isn’t always what I need long-term.
So, if not soulmates or lists – then what?
Although I discourage checklists that other people have to measure up to, I do encourage a different type of list. It’s one you make about you.
- What is my purpose for living?
- What are your deal breakers (non-negotiable standards or principles) that you abide by?
- What has your past taught you about relationships? Is it healthy? If not, throw it away!
Get the idea? Allow your list to be comprised of who you ARE in relationship, not who you’re looking for. Your standards and principles – if communicated openly and practiced consistently – can attract someone that will be more apt to growing with you. What you need is a person who’s aware of the real you and willing to work through even the hardest of times.
My inner work was far more beneficial to my relationships than anything I could ask for in someone else. I’m a proponent of doing the tough self-work that promotes and attracts love. Once I did the “soul work,” then I could guard against hooking up with another knucklehead. (And I didn’t.) More importantly, I was no longer a knucklehead either!