“Maybe we all have a lot of soulmates, each for a different time in our lives. Maybe every person we ever love is a soulmate in some sense, and that’s why they mean so much to us, that’s why they’re so hard to forget. People change and fall out of love, but that doesn’t mean that at one time, they weren’t perfect for each other.” ~ Unknown
I think this notion we’ve been taught, that we each have a soulmate, that one person out in the vast, huge world, who we are meant to be with, for most of us, is untrue. Instead, I believe we have many soulmates, both romantic ones and friendship ones, throughout our lives.
When we first meet a romantic partner, they captivate us. We are attracted to them on all levels. There’s chemistry and vibrating energy that magnetises us to them. We want to be with them. Our love grows and at that moment in time, we see them as the one. We see them as our soulmate. Our perfect partner. The person of our dreams. We happily see our future lives unfolding like all the romantic fairy tales we’ve ever watched. Every loved-up romcom is excitedly playing on repeat in our heads. Oh yes, this is our soulmate, and we will live happily ever after.
Until we don’t.
You see, I have a different idea of the purpose of our soulmates. Whilst there are a few who meet that one person young and stay together until death does them apart, this is not the reality for most people.
It’s also important not to just look at the longevity of these unions but the quality, because many of us know people who have stayed together all their lives in unhappy unions. But I digress, this is not about these people. This is about a different understanding of soulmates. Perhaps a new perspective or just a spin on what you already believe.
When I met my first boyfriend back in high school at the tender age of 15, I was smitten. By the age of 17, I had planned our future together in my head. I truly believed I would marry this guy and that he was my one true soulmate. Of course, I was naïve, and even when the relationship became unhealthy, I hung on because I had those memories of how things were in the beginning. And I wanted to believe so much that he was the one.
He wasn’t. And thank goodness it ended because it would have been a miserable life. Fast-forward a few years, and I met my husband of 26 years. He was definitely my soulmate. We built a life together and had two incredible kids. He was who I needed and what I wanted at the time, and for many years it was great. Until it wasn’t. We simply grew apart, and I no longer recognised myself.
Then I met a guy and it seemed like the universe had conspired for us to meet. There was an indescribable connection, and again, I was absolutely convinced this was my soulmate. This was who I was meant to be with all along. It had to be because it was just so kismet. I was so happy. Until I wasn’t. Until I realised the unhealthy outweighed the healthy.
Each of these relationships were exactly what I needed at those times. These partners fit like the glove that needed to be worn at that time. They each brought a love that filled me at that time. They were each a 10/10 for me, at that time. Because let’s be honest, we generally don’t start relationships with people who we don’t think are our 10/10. Aren’t our perfect partner. Or that we don’t see a future with. So yes, these relationships in our minds are with our soulmates.
Does it mean they weren’t our soulmates if the relationship ends?
Many people will have the opinion that no they definitely weren’t. But what if they were? What if we have many soulmates who come into our lives for all different reasons? What if our soulmates are sent to teach us, and us them? What if we meet a soulmate at every version of ourselves, because we are continually changing and growing? What if a soulmate is sent in to wake our soul up? What if soulmates are simply other souls connecting to our soul at a moment in time to remind us who we are at our core?
Maybe they are teaching us what deep love is even if it doesn’t last forever. Maybe they are there to teach us boundaries and self respect because we allow others to walk all over us. Maybe they come in to teach us that no matter what we think of ourselves, we are beautiful. Maybe they are the catalyst for us to heal ourselves, with or without them.
Maybe the lessons are terribly painful and we end up physically, emotionally, and spiritually hurt, and we can’t see why we would endure such pain, until we are able to look back and self-reflect. Until we are able to see that no matter how brutal the lessons, we actually grew into a different version of ourselves—because of them, or maybe despite them. Either way, we are fundamentally changed.
Each of these men I considered my soulmate. They were my person. My forever after. And each affected my soul in varying ways, and what I’ve come to learn is that regardless of these relationships ending, they were in some way or another definitely a soulmate of sorts.
My first relationship taught me that how someone presents themselves to the world is not necessarily who they are, and you need to look deeper.
My marriage taught me what you want is not always what you need. It taught me that people really can grow apart, even with the best of intentions. It taught me that we all have work to do and the partner we marry young is often our biggest trigger. That love is not enough. It taught me that if you don’t do the work on yourself individually and equally, the relationship may not survive.
My third relationship was the catalyst for me rediscovering myself. He came in like a typhoon and turned my world upside down. I was reminded that I was beautiful and desirable. He gave me beauty, but he also metaphorically broke me, repeatedly. As fast as he came in, he was gone and all that was left was a pile of rubble and my injured soul. When it ended, I could either shrivel up into a ball of bitterness and misery, or I could change my life. I chose option two.
The culmination of these soulmate relationships, I believe, happened as they were meant too. So that I could land in this space. I think the idea of a soulmate being this perfect human to fill all our needs and make us happy is what causes us the most pain. Nobody is perfect. Nobody can or should fill all our needs. It’s a fantasy and completely unhealthy and unrealistic. And it’s not the responsibility of another to make us happy. They should make for a happy environment but without expectation that it’s their job to make us happy.
Perhaps if we change our beliefs around soulmates, we would stop chasing this one ideal, like when we meet them, we will be completed. That we will spend every waking moment together because our souls need that to survive. Desire, want, and need are different things. Maybe we would stop believing that they will be without fault because surely our soulmate, our other half, will in every way be perfect. Nevermind, the fact we are already whole and another simply compliments us; they do not complete us.
Maybe we would stop believing we won’t argue. Not arguing and avoiding confrontation is a sure death of any relationship because one person, if not both, is holding back their feelings to appease the other. It’s abnormal to think two different people won’t have different ideas, beliefs, and feelings that at times will be tested beyond measure—welcome bitterness and resentment.
Maybe we would stop believing our attraction and chemistry will never dip. It will dip from time to time, but if it stays “dipped” then there’s an issue. Maybe we’d stop believing we will never require space from one another. Space is not only healthy it’s necessary. We are individuals not conjoined twins.
Maybe we would stop believing that when we find our soulmate, we will need nobody else in our life. This idea of a soulmate is a toxic co-dependent relationship, not a fairy tale.
Yet they are there to teach us nonetheless.
So what if we believe we each have numerous soulmates? And they are all sent to us when we need them and are ready to learn and grow? What if we considered that some soulmates’ purpose is to trigger healing, change, and growth? That this idea of romanticised perfection is a creation of our own doing, because love and romance is big business?
Don’t get me wrong, love and romance are beautiful, as is meeting your soulmate, but the honest truth is your soulmate may not be the soulmate you have created in your head.
Imagine if we accepted our soulmates for what they bring to us at the time. What they fill in us at the time? What they trigger in us at the time? How we feel with them at the time?
Every serious relationship we step into, we do with the belief this is the one, our soulmate, otherwise why do we do it?
Look back throughout your life, hand on heart, and honestly say there has only been one person you had a serious relationship with, that you considered your soulmate, even if for the briefest of moments. It’s a rare occurrence.
Soulmates for a reason. Soulmates for a season. And soulmates for a lifetime. All are intrinsically connected to some degree. On some level. It’s what you learn, give, and take from these soulmates that will define the experience for you.
I thank my soulmates for teaching me, triggering me, and reminding me of who I am. I thank them because they sent me inside myself and that has been my greatest gift.