First off, there are countless examples of this type of deep, passionate, all-consuming, yet ultimately challenging type of love throughout real history. A few of those examples include: Napoleon Bonaparte and Josephine, the actors Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor- this was a big one that spanned off and on over the course of a decade, Cleopatra and Antony, John Lennon of The Beatles and Yoko Ono, and so the list goes on.
Hundreds of examples of this passionate, soul-mate type of love can also be found throughout literature, film, television, music, poetry, etc. To name a few of those examples: Lyla Garrity and Tim Riggins from Friday Night Lights, Lancelot and Guinevere, Scarlett O Hara and Rhett Butler from Gone with the Wind, Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice, Peeta and Katniss from The Hunger Games, Cal and Emily- the main couple from the film Crazy Stupid Love, Allie and Noah from The Notebook, again, the list goes on.
Not one of these great love affairs was without some major challenge and obstacle. This is not to say that great love is always challenging, nor that it should be. But it seems that more often than not, it just ends up being that way. And I think an interesting question to examine is why might that be?
People often assume that when you find one of these soul-mate like relationships, that it will be easier than other types of relationships. We assume this because of the depth of connection one feels with a soul mate, the closeness of friendship likely found with this person, the similarities between these two people as well as the crackling chemistry that exists. One might wonder, well how could it not be easy with something so incredibly amazing. But these breathtaking components do not make for a cake-walk and I will explain why.
When one cares this deeply for a person, passions are easily stirred. Sometimes sparks can turn into raging flames. Such deep caring, connection and passion can also mean hot tempers, sometimes obsessive demeanors and demanding behavior. As well as, the closer you are to someone, the more deeply they can wound you. When you have more invested in a relationship emotionally, you have more to lose.
Another reason why these relationships that contain such deep, extraordinary love can be so difficult is because the role of the soul mate is to bring to us the energy that we need to experience in order to grow. Their entrance into our lives is not random, it’s for a reason, and we are going to learn from them.
Therefore, demanding, challenging, draining, painful, intense, haunting, addictive and passionate are all adjectives that can be used to describe the nature of soul-mate relationships. That is not to say that these relationships are like this all the time. They are not. Just as often, if not more so, these relationships are cozy, loving, major chemistry exists, a deep understanding and friendship is present, lots of joy is felt between the couple, etc. But the point is, with soul-mate relationships which are so incredibly close, they come with challenge. Because of the depth of emotional closeness and intense feelings involved. As Bob Marley so famously stated, “The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just have to find the ones worth suffering for.”
These soul-mate relationships require that a couple evolve together or be divided. Neither partner will be able to remain as they were prior to the relationship. If one of them does, then the relationship will fail. The couples that ‘make it’ together through this turbulence and last, have without exception, been able to reform themselves and both continually grow, in order for the relationship to survive. Great emotional struggle therefore is invariably experienced in these relationships. This is part of the deal with soul mates.
So many people settle for relationships that are good, or pretty decent, or with someone they love and with whom they generally enjoy the company. Yet, they may know in their subconscious that despite the relationship being good enough, this person is not THE extraordinary love that they have either experienced once previously, or could potentially find at some point if they keep searching. Life is unimaginably short and passes even faster than that; there will be enough average things in your life. Don’t let love be one of them.
Extraordinary love does not mean being with the person that you most easily get along with. Because as detailed above, extraordinary love very often isn’t easy (in fact, it usually never is) but in one way or another, it is always worth it.
You will know, in your deepest heart of hearts, when what you have is it. You will feel it. Your soul will tell you that what you have found is that kind of love. And when you find that love, do everything in your power to hold on to it.