Tell me if you’ve ever done this:
Snuggled up for a nice little chick flick marathon on the couch late at night, indulging in some harmless Nicholas Sparks’ love stories, swooning at the inevitable kiss, and then when the movie ends and the lights come back on…
You look at your own man and wonder,
What the heck?
Thanks to our affinity for the over-the-top romanticism idealized from people like Sparks, who are getting ridiculously rich off of our misguided hopes and dreams, many of us believe in the notion of our “one and only.”
The one person we are meant to be with for the rest of our lives.
The one person who was created, just for us.
The one person we can affectionally call, “my soulmate.”
Well, I have news for you:
Your soulmate doesn’t exist.
In one his more tender moments, my husband recently informed me just why exactly we were so compatible as a couple.
“Really, it’s because we could have been with anyone,” he explained. “I could have married anyone and been fine.”
After I picked my jaw up from the floor in response to that romantic comment, I understood what my husband was saying.
It’s kind of like this blog post that I came across the other day, in which a newlywed proclaimed that her husband was not her soulmate.
“I like it better this way, with the pressure on me and not on fate, cosmos, or divinity,” she writes. “I will not fall out of love, cannot fall out of love, because I willingly dived in and I’m choosing daily to stay in. This is my joyous task, my daily decision. This is my marriage.”
I think she’s right.
When I think about it, I could think that I switched schools during my 10th grade of school, was elected to homecoming court, where I met a shy boy in a white t-shirt, and went out on a date with the man who would become my husband as divine intervention, sheer coincidence, or a carefully orchestrated twist of fate.
Or I could look at it as a choice.
The choice I made to smile at the boy in the hall.
The choice I made to say ‘yes’ to the date.
The choice I made to walk down the aisle.
The choice I make each and every day to continue to work, to live, and to love.
Because when it comes right down to it, loving our partners is not always a supremely orchestrated event every day. Will fate help you to be the first to say sorry? Will the fact that you once believed you were soulmates make you any less angry when he forgets to put down the toilet seat again and you plunge into awful, cold water in the middle of the night?
Loving each other is a choice.
Not something that just happens because you’re soulmates.
Photo credit: J & J Brusie Photography
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