Come on, let’s be honest here.
Even in the most loving relationship, there will come a time that you’ll want to rip his or her face to pieces. They will do something or say something that will drive you nuts. And, after a few years of being together and the magic is gone, the following will inevitably cross your mind: “You’re not the one I fell in love with, I fell for the perfect creature, the one I thought to be my soul mate – and yet, here you are, far from perfect. You do this and that, you are this and that and maybe you don’t deserve me”.
And you will be right, you know? They’re not the one you fell in love with. Because you fell in love with a fantasy – your fantasy about what your ideal partner should be like. Ever since our childhood, we think that, someday, the perfect partner will come along, one that will be all the things we’re dreaming of. And, unconsciously, we start creating a list inside our heads, a list we recall and check each time we meet someone new.
Smart – tick.
Handsome – tick.
Elegant – nope.
Romantic – tick.
Socially awkward – oh, shoot, no tick.
If we can’t tick enough of our boxes… good riddance, right? Someone else out there will be more adequate. And we continue our quest. If enough boxes are ticked, however, we proceed. But, as time goes by and we get to know our partner better, we feel like something’s going wrong.
And we begin to wonder, have we indeed found our soul mate? Or have we made a grave mistake?
We have made a mistake, indeed, but not the one you think. I had an epiphany a few years ago about this and I’d like to share it with you. Our mistake is that we try to find our soul mate. That perfect creature, the man or woman of our dreams that don’t have any human flaws and will tick every goddamn box on our list.
So, instead of focusing on what our partners have that makes them unique, we focus on what they do not have and count them as reasons not to be together. And trust me when I say, when you’re fixated on finding something, you will.
And after I had this revelation, I met you. So, please, hear me out.
I don’t believe in soul mates, sweetheart. I don’t believe in perfection and I’m not expecting you to be the man of my childish dreams. Who you are is more than enough for me.
Because, instead of taking out my checklist note and see what you lack, I prefer to see what you have. And when we fight, I don’t want to focus on what makes me mad at you. I try and remember what made me crazy for you. I recall each little gesture you make, the fact that you’re giving me the first bite of your ice-cream or that you come and cover me with a blanket when I fall asleep on the couch.
I remind myself all the things I’ve been through before you came along – and how utterly blessed I felt when you came into my life. And, as soon as I do that, I realize I’m mostly angry about my own issues and problems and not about the fact that you forgot to take out the garbage.
You see, darling, love (at least the kind that lasts) doesn’t mean we’re constantly surrounded by red hearts, glitter, and blissful ignorance of each other’s dark side. It means that we’re two people – human and, sometimes, weak – traveling in the same direction.
We weren’t brought here by a higher supernatural power, nor we were “meant to be together”; we chose to be together. And we’re willing to work on what we have and keep going.
So, no, you’re not my soul mate and no, you’re not perfect – thank the gods, because if you were, what would you do with me and my fair share of flaws?