Years ago I met this guy who I was convinced had to be “the one.” He was a six-foot tall graphic designer who had thoughtful tattoos across his arms and on his neck. He was smart and creative. His ears were slightly gauged, he mostly listened to indie dance music and he carried a skateboard. Plus he was a top. These people are like unicorns in the gay world. I was all, OK, now I’m done with dating. Tag — you’re it. But then he confessed that he wasn’t really attracted to black guys sooooo that was that. Hey, sometimes we’re not “the one” for the person we think will take us off the dating market for the rest of our lives and vice versa. Though we never became an item, I have had a few other “ones” since then. But the person I’ve been in a relationship with for at least ten years, who has always been there for me no matter what, is my best friend.
Having a best friend feels like going on an awesome first date every time you guys talk or hang out. It seems like momentum, potential. You and your best friend finish each other’s sentences. The rhythm of your conversations is speedy because your brains are working so fast to keep up with the other. Over the years you watch each other grow and you feel proud of them when they land awesome jobs. You can’t believe you’ve even been friends for that long. Ten years, really? In that time you develop inside jokes and you might even start to talk like one another. You’re connecting! Sure, these are all traits we look and hope for in our soul mates, but the truth is that you can always count on your best friend to be your soul mate, even if all of your other romantic relationships fail.
There’s no such thing as “the one.” Ideas about “the one” are probably the biggest myths that pop culture teaches us from a very early age, which is why a lot of us get brainwashed into looking for “oneness” in all of our suitors. The obvious truth is that there are so many different kinds of people in the world, like billions, that over the course of our lives we will have many “ones” — the one we think is the one because he or she likes the same things we do, the one we think is the one because they are exactly our type to a T, like my punk rock, graphic designing skaterboy top, or the one we thought was the one from that time we studied abroad in Spain and met this hotttt guy and almost married him so we could get Spanish citizenship.
Life is situational and we are always going through transitions and phases. Someone could be “the one” for right now, where we are at this particular moment in our lives, and we should take care to enjoy them. So the answer to the question “Is s/he the one? Are they my soul mate?” has a lot to do with where you are emotionally, intellectually, and physically.
But that’s why your best friend is your soul mate. No matter where you go in life, across countries, cities, or through different career paths, your best friend is the person you can meet up with in person for the first time in weeks, months or even years and it will feel like you just drank those mimosas at brunch yesterday. A best friend always sees the best in you, even when you are a hot ass mess. A best friend is there for all of your heartaches, breakups, and relationship issues. He or she will listen to you go on and on and on about how awful your boss is, will tell you that, Yes, he likes you based on that single text message or No, I think you should break up with him right now. Your best friend will listen to you talk about your dissertation project or law school case or book ideas, and eventually they will know more about those things than you do.
People sometimes cut their ex’s out of their lives, even when they’ve been together for years. I can understand that bad things happen and heartache hurts. But that’s probably the key reason your best friend is your soul mate because, for the most part, he or she is not going to break up with you. I mean, unless you pull off some really ratchet mess like stealing their man.