The idea of a ‘soulmate’ is both lovely and awful.
It’s lovely because it means finding a soul that fits effortlessly with your own. It means finding someone to build a life with, someone to share yourself with, and someone to make you feel a little less alone in this world.
But it’s awful because the word also carries a lot of pressure, a lot of assumptions, and a lot of preconceived notions. It has been so built up in our heads, and so obsessively talked about in our culture, that it’s hard not to feel like finding a ‘soulmate’ is the be-all and end-all in terms of our ability to ever find happiness. A soulmate would give us purpose, a soulmate would make us no longer feel insecure, a soulmate would give our lives meaning, a soulmate would fix all our problems, a soulmate would finally give us a direction in life.
But that’s not what we need. We don’t need someone to fix all our problems and give our lives a sense of purpose and make us suddenly feel completely confident and secure in ourselves. And not only do we not need someone else to do that for us, but we will never find someone like that – because that person does not exist.
There is not a soulmate in this world – not a husband or a wife or a partner or a girlfriend or boyfriend or fling or crush – who will ‘fix us’ and heal us and give us meaning. That part, we have to do on our own.
But we can find someone to hold our hand while we go on that journey. Someone who will pull us up when we feel like we can barely stand and someone who will listen to us when we feel like our anxiety is suffocating us and someone who will just sit next to us and remind us that we’re not alone.
That’s what we need. Just a regular ‘someone’ like that – not one, single, meant-to-be, life-fixing soulmate. Just someone who ‘gets’ us and supports us and lets us be the most real and least affected version of ourselves. So don’t search for a soulmate.
Instead, search for someone who challenges you to be better every day, while still loving you right now, unconditionally, for the mess that you are.
Search for someone who doesn’t try to fix your problems, but does act as the most supportive, encouraging, honest, and comforting sounding board you’ve ever known.
Search for someone who loves you enough to be truthful with you – someone who will tell you when you’re letting your fear get the best of you instead of going after what brings you joy.
Search for someone who both teaches you and learns from you.
Search for someone who changes you – not because they refuse to accept you for who you are, but because you’re so inspired by the way that they live that you yearn to grow and try and explore, all on your own.
Search for someone who encourages you, frustrates you, comforts you, challenges you, makes you laugh, supports you, and loves you – for exactly who you are. Search for that person, and they’ll make you forget all about your ‘soulmate.’