|Posted on May 9, 2012 at 11:55 PM|
I don't believe in the idea of a soul mate. The entire notion that there is only one person in the whole wide world who is right for you is nonsense. If it were true, finding that special someone would be like winning the goddamn lottery. It would also imply that there was someone up ↑ there offering the slightest chance of real happiness (at best) or just fucking with us (at worst). There are no fairy tale endings - true love's first kiss is not the end of the story, it's just when things start getting messy.
If there is any truth to the soul mate fantasy, it's that it can happen eventually. You take two people from drastically different backgrounds, different genders (no offense you same-sex cheaters), and even different parts of the country, or even the world, and tell them to make a life together and there is going to be a shit storm. Most couples never make past the first few laps, let alone through some of the rougher parts of the marathon. You show me a couple who hasn't thought long and hard about throwing in the towel and I'll show you two people in persistent vegetative states.
Marriages, or domestic partnerships for the hippies, are a full time job. Getting to know the real person behind the pretty face, building up a tolerance to all the weird habits they have thanks to less-than-great parenting, sharing your carbonated beverage at a fast food joint when you told them to order their own - those aren't things for the faint of heart. If you get lucky you might just find someone who will put up with you and who you are willing to put up with; if you really strike it rich you may also find that they are exceptionally easy on the eyes as well.
So, good for you. You managed to snag a good one and outkick your coverage at the same time. Now what? Even if you do your best, life will get in the way from time to time. Debt, kids, houses – they can suck the romance right the hell out of your happy union faster than you can say "Hey, what does it mean when the bill is pink?" There's also the risk of forgetting what made that person so special in the first place. You start to take for granted that they will always be there, no matter what, and quit putting the effort in to make sure they have a reason to stay. Plus, people change, meaning that you and yours are not quite the same as you used to be. New interests, new friends, a few extra pounds - it can start to feel like you have a stranger next to you.
Most marriages don't end with a bang, but with a fizzle. Things go south so slowly that the folks in it don't realize until it's too late. The biggest marriage murderer isn't a strange shag, it's pride. Too proud to admit when you're wrong, too proud to accept good advice, or just too damn proud to honestly and openly say "I love you" when it counts the most. If you get the chance, do what it takes to keep it alive. Make that person feel special, wanted, protected, listened to, attractive, but most of all, loved. Change yourself for them and make their happiness the priority. Don't let something good slip away just because you think you're fine how you are. We can all use a little reinvention now and again.
And that's the rub. You won't meet your soul mate until you've been with them for quite a while and put in the work. But it is worth it. It has to be, right?