Your soulmate will not make you feel happy all of the time. They will probably not look the way you thought they would, or come when you think they should. They will bring up as much petty frustration as they do absolute bliss, so on what basis do you “just know” it’s them?
I struggled with this for years: Who would be right for me, and how would I know that they were? What formula of compatibility + chemistry = right, and how could I possibly predict how those things would play out so far down the line?
Chemistry is only sometimes an overwhelming feeling of love, and compatibility is not an exact science. I’ve heard that the person that’s yours is the one who comes back after you’ve let them go, the one who makes you feel totally at ease, the one who comes when you’d least expect it, the one who is your best friend.
But your soulmate is really this: the person who brings out your inner child. The person who makes you feel so truly safe that the kid inside you can come out. The person who makes you cry again, who makes you more yourself because you’re with them. That is your soulmate.
Your inner child is, of course, who you really are. It is the person who you were before the world damaged and conditioned you, before you learned and had to unlearn how to be a person and then evolve into who you really are. Your inner child is the one throwing tantrums to get your attention, the one who is still fearless enough to hope, the one who is happy for no reason.
And when I really think about it, when I really look back on my life, that has consistently been the perfect measure of the chemistry + compatibility equation: how much like my childhood self someone made me feel.
Because you can love someone and still not be right for them. You can be best friends and lack a spark. You can go through rough months and years and then see your love blossom again after enduring it’s trials. You can’t always trust “how you feel” to determine who is right for you.
But you can always trust how you behave. And if you’re ever stuck wondering whether or not you’re in love, whether or not you’re happy, whether or not you’re in the right thing, what you should ask yourself is who are you not only when you’re with them, but when you’re not? Who have you become because they entered your life?
The person who makes you more of who you really are is the one you’re meant for. The one who makes you not only the adult that your child-self would be proud of, but the one who makes you realize that that child is still very much alive.