Every once in awhile, I'll be talking to someone, and they'll mention that someone is (or isn't) their 'soulmate'. The idea, the way I understand it, is that there is one person out there, who is perfect for you, and assuming you want to be in a relationship, you have to find them. I find this difficult to believe. Also, somewhat depressing. What if they're perfect for you, but they get hit by a car, and you never get to meet them? What if they're already married? What if they're perfect for you, but they're in Sudan, and you're in Stockton, and you never have a chance to meet? What if they're 90, and you're 2, and there's no way it's gonna work out? Then what? And why, if there IS someone perfect for each of us, don't we take more care when getting involved? Why is divorce so rampant? Is it that we just haven't found the right person yet? I watched "My Husband's Three Wives" last night on TLC, and the third 'wife' (who was divorced from her first husband) was just devastated, because she felt that she had met her soulmate, the one man for her, and dang it all, he had two wives already, and they weren't too excited about having another join the household.
Personally, I think there there are a lot of people out there for each of us. At least several. There are people out there with whom we can be happy, with whom we are the person we want to be, with whom we 'click'. So, what if I had gone to USC instead of SFSU? I wouldn't have met Ted. (Although, he thought of going to USC too, so maybe in an alternate universe, we're together though we met there...hmmmm) If I hadn't met Ted, would I be in a miserable relationship? Or alone? (Picture the spinster Mary, from "It's a Wonderful Life", doomed to spend her days in that place of unimaginable horror...THE LIBRARY!)
Somehow, I doubt it. I think I would have dated awhile, and found someone that was a pretty great guy, and we would have gotten married, and we would be happy. Also, Ted would have dated a bit, and found another woman, gotten married, and would also be happy. I mean, there are a lot of great men out there. A lot of great women out there. We would have met them, and we would be fine and happy. I don't think it's very hard to find people to date when you're in your 20s.
Of course, there are plenty of people out there that we could have married who would have made our lives a living hell. They could have locked us up in the basement of disappointment and dread and threw away the key. We could be working on our 6th divorces by now. But I don't think that would have happened. I think (I hope) we would have found someone wonderful.
The danger, I think, with believing that there is only one person out there for you, one perfect person who 'completes' you, makes you happy and strong and wonderfully blissful, is that into every relationship comes troubles. And if you think that another person can make you happy, and you're not happy with the person that you're with, you're much more likely to think...maybe this is the wrong person. Maybe this isn't my 'soulmate'. Maybe what I should have done was kept looking. Maybe he/she isn't THE ONE. So instead of working through a rough patch, committing to your marriage/relationship, and making it as strong and vibrant as it can be, instead of looking at your partner, you're looking over their shoulder, wondering...when, when will I meet my Mr./Ms. Right?
So, for those of you out there who are still looking, don't despair. I don't think there is just one person out there, and you have to find them or be miserable or alone (not the same thing, many people are not in relationships and are perfectly happy that way...the idea that you have to be married to be happy is pretty stupid, and I think pushed on us by Hollywood and religion and our culture in general...but that's another post entirely.) I think there are many people out there with whom you can make it work. :) The trick, I think, is being open to that and finding them.