Soul mate is a title earned over time.
A few weeks ago I was involved in an interesting debate over an article about finding the “One”, the person who you will love for the rest of your life. What brought about the debate was not the article itself but a comment done by one of the reader. He questioned, in a rather spirited and colorful way (lots of swearing and F@U’s where involved), the author’s ability to talk about “the One” when barely past his 20’s. The group got almost automatically divided by those in their 20’s and those past their 30’s. Keep in mind that the comment never questioned the author’s ability to write about love, or about young relationships. The comment did question the author’s life experience in a long term relationship to be able to talk about “the One.”
I have never been one to question the millennials, as every single younger generation has been questioned by their older counterparts. But in this case I had to agree with the comment this time, as I feel that time and life are the truest test of a relationship.
One of the younger writers questioned this, especially when I criticized the use of the term “Soul Mate’ and how easily this word is thrown around. He questioned the idea that age automatically gave wisdom. Sure, age doesn’t necessarily give wisdom, as I have met plenty of unwise older people. And I also will admit that some young people will have lived more before their 30’s than most people live their entire lives. I would never question the life experiences others have, or turn them into a pissing contest. The most I can do is consider things based on my own life experience.
By my mid-twenties I had been engaged twice, found 4 ‘Soul Mates’, about 6 ‘Happily Ever After’s, and endless ‘This Is The One’s. Now in my 40’s and well over a decade married, I realized that love is not about how much you love the person when you are happy with them, but rather how much you love them when you are ‘not as happy with them.’ (Read as ‘Pissed Off’ at them.) Because anyone who thinks that relationships are a happy world based off unending random waltz’s, happily ever after’s, and magical sunsets has been pretty much set up to fail thanks to Romantic Comedies.
Relationships are hard work, as it’s all about having the dedication to keep it going and keep it interesting. You will have those magical moments, but you will also have moments when you can’t really stand each other. It’s about finding that special someone you want by your side willing to fight life’s challenges with you. It’s about finding someone worth “Not Quitting” for, even when everyone around you expects you to quit. It’s about finding someone who still fills your heart, even after those same challenges and those same thoughts about quitting fill your mind. And that’s something you don’t know you have till you have walked through the fire. It’s easy to talk about ‘happily ever after’ when you haven’t thought how long ‘ever after’ really is.
And that’s the challenge. Find someone you love enough that makes you want to be your best while at the same time makes you keep in check your worse. Find someone who loves you enough to do the same back. And more importantly, build a strong relationship that, after the worse of either one is shown, both of you want to keep it alive.
To all the young readers, THAT is a Soul Mate; a title earned after surviving challenges, challenges that only come though time. And I wish you the best of luck at finding it because many of those not as young are still searching for theirs.