I’ve always wondered what it really means to be in a loving relationship with a soul mate. Is this person really the alpha and the omega of your life? Are they your best friend, your inspiration, your partner in crime, and the most attractive thing on the planet? Is this a lot to ask of one person?
I think so. Elizabeth Gilbert agrees in her book, Committed. It is a lot to ask of just one person to fulfill all of these requirements that you can find in your other relationships. Your best friend can be your significant other, or your mom, or that person you went to high school with. Your inspiration can be public figures and even ideas. Your partner in crime can be your dog. Or, actually, all of these things can be found within you.
I’ve read parts of my old journals from my high school and university years, and while a good chunk of it is embarrassing, there are many times that I surprisingly found my younger self introspective and genuine. There is one thing that I clearly remember from those journals, and it’s that I had mentioned several times how incomplete I had felt. And that the only thing that would fill the empty space would be with a boyfriend and a relationship. This next part is embarrassing, but I just recently realized that I don’t have to have a boyfriend to feel whole. I can and have found fulfillment in other ways: writing, having meaningful conversation and other relationships, spreading sprinkles of kindness, watching my favourite TV shows and movies, feeling grateful, and living in the moment.
Another thing that I remember writing about is whether a relationship with a soul mate takes on either ones of these formulas:
1 + 1 = 2
1/2 + 1/2 = whole
The latter is definitely more romantic, which is why I had firmly believed in it for so long. It’s about two people finally finding their other half and feeling complete. They complement one another and perhaps need one another. But let’s talk about the former. The former believes that the relationship is a partnership of equals, and takes into consideration that these are two people trying to make a life together and will butt heads once in a while. And so I think the first formula is more realistic.
However, I kind of don’t want to accept it as the only formula or the right formula. I want the reality and the romance. Also, relationships aren’t stagnant; they’re ever evolving because people need to adapt to new situations in order to survive. So maybe, relationships can be either formula or a combination of the two. Maybe there’s another one that works even better. In any case, let’s just say that people find fulfillment and a sense of completion within themselves and with others, and it’s different for everyone. I know that may not sound romantic or poetic, but it’s the truth. And I hope that you find something beautiful in that truth.