Almost a decade ago, I found my soul mate.
It was love at first sight. I stared into his eyes and saw the whole universe spinning in his iris. Although our relationship didn’t work out, we couldn’t stop the intense chemistry we had.
We ghosted each other more than once. There was confusion, heartache, and loss. There was waiting—a lot of waiting. There were beautiful moments that were tainted by uncertainty and endless emotions that had nowhere to go.
Despite it all, for me it was worth it. It was worth all the nice guys I had pushed away and all the healthy relationships I could have been in. It was worth it all. What kept me holding on, though, wasn’t the chemistry; it was the image I had in my mind.
For many years, I believed that he was my soul mate. Nobody could convince me otherwise—not even my intuition that’s almost always right. Looking back, I can see how throughout much of our connection I only made a fool of myself.
Holding on to the idea that he was my soul mate left me broken and disappointed. It took me many years and many realizations to understand that meeting your soul mate has nothing to do with the connection or the chemistry you have.
It’s not about your heart racing when you see that person or the nagging voice that keeps telling you that, one day, you might eventually end up together.
It’s not the sleepless nights under a full moon or the 15-minute kisses.
That person was never my soul mate. He was merely someone who willingly chose to not do the necessary work to keep our relationship successful.
I read a quote on Instagram yesterday by Dr. Nicole LePera who took the words right out of my mouth. She wrote:
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“Your soulmate is whoever you put your energy into. It’s whoever you learn to compromise with. It’s whoever allows you to feel safe and accepted as you are. It’s who reminds you that you’re greater than your circumstance. Soulmates are the results of work.”
I didn’t know about this at that time, but had I known about it, my romantic life would have been more promising and less painful. Our feelings were real, and the chemistry we had was beautiful, but these things should have never been enough for me to call him a soul mate.
You will save yourself a lot of unnecessary pain if you understand that soul mates, just like relationships, are the results of work too. The idea of meeting your soul mate isn’t limited to emotions and hopeful thinking; it’s much more than that.
If the partner you’re with today is constantly working on your relationship and doing their best to keep your union healthy and strong, then your partner is your soul mate—not the one you wish to be with.
Consequently, a soul mate is created, like Dr. LePera says. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you can force someone to do the necessary work to be with you. We can’t force love and relationships. We can only make room for them.