This is a follow up to a previous blog post I wrote called “To the single people out there“, inspired by Mbalenhle’s “You are the one you’ve been looking for“. In that post, I wrote about how one can indeed be happy and single.
Today’s blog post is tailored towards the single people who would like to be in a relationship one day. To the ones who daydream about that sort of stuff. To the ones who consider themselves romantics- hopeless and otherwise.
We all know that being single and happy doesn’t stop us from daydreaming about being in a relationship. It doesn’t stop us from daydreaming about being in love nor does it stop us from appreciating the beauty in the relationships that we see.
This is probably because at some point, a lot of us desire the opportunity to form this type of deep connection with another person or maybe just cute Instagram pictures but that’s neither here nor there…
Today’s blog post is on soulmates.
The Cambridge Dictionary defines “soulmate” as:
“someone, usually your romantic or sexual partner, who you have a special relationship with, and who you know and love very much”.
I also hear soulmates being referred to as “the one”. In terms of my thoughts on the concept, at one point I thought soulmates were a thing. At another point I didn’t. That was where I stood for a very long point up until the other day when I started to reconsider.
My inner thoughts and questions led me to an article called “Soul Mates Do Exist — Just Not In the Way We Usually Think“. The author- psychologist and researcher Shauna Springer provides an alternative way of looking at the idea of a “soulmate”.
Springer suggests that we can become another’s soulmate as opposed to automatically being one:
If humans can develop finely honed skills in music, athletics, and language arts, wouldn’t it be equally possible for them to become perfectly suited and completely irreplaceable to their spouses?
I’ve included some more key parts from the article below:
- Two individuals who have become perfect for and irreplaceable to each other have become soul mates.
Isn’t that beautiful?
- In the final stages of marriage, the bond that can be created is a deeper, more satisfying level of love than anything that anyone encounters in the initial cocaine-rush phase of a relationship. In one sense, to make a comparison between the experiences of love at these two relationship stages is like comparing apples and oranges. I would argue that love of a deep and meaningful kind is only possible when based on real knowledge.
- If being loved is based on being known for who you are and cherished despite your flaws, then the feelings one has during the initial cocaine-rush phase of a relationship can’t be love. These feelings would be some combination of other pleasurable things, like hope and attraction, and illusions of the soul-mate variety.
I really liked the article because it finds a balance between the “airy-fairyness” associated with the concept of a soulmate and the more practical side of things:
…this is not a passive process — marriages don’t get better as a function of time alone, rather they get better as a function of two partners continuing to treat each other with love and respect, despite the challenges life brings.
So, all of this got me thinking.
If “love of a deep and meaningful kind is only possible when based on real knowledge”, this would entail forming a friendship with the person (whoever they end up being) first.
And then if that is true, shouldn’t we get to know ourselves as much as possible?
This is a point I raised in the previous blog post. Not that being in a relationship would hinder you from “getting to know yourself”. I just feel that on the basis of the whole “love yourself before you love somebody else” sentiment, maybe the real knowledge of ourselves that we gain through introspection etc can be beneficial.
Maybe really knowing ourselves can help us love ourselves more and then extend this love outwards. A love that acknowledges in the same way we all have our “issues”, others do too. In the same way I’m not perfect, nobody else is and so on and so forth.
Let’s face it, a lot of us may be single for a while longer. (I know somebody just read that and thought “no, no no, not me.”)
Regardless of your feelings on the matter, all I’m saying is that you might as well make use of your time alone through gaining self-knowledge and more.
This is so that in the future, if you do meet your “soulmate” (the way Springer defines them), not only will you already love yourself, you’ll also able to love someone else even after the “honeymoon phase” is over. This will be the result of you realising that really knowing and loving someone (*cough cough* yourself) includes knowledge of the good and the bad.
And if worse comes to worst, knowing yourself first can be used as a precautionary measure. Real knowledge of another person may not necessarily lead to loving them but realising you need to:
WE CAN’T FIX OTHER PEOPLE but when it comes to you, if real knowledge of yourself includes things you don’t like and are able to change, you can do so!
I’m sure all of this doesn’t mean we won’t make mistakes but I believe it’s a step in the right direction.
Let’s be what Springer calls “grounded romantics“. Others don’t complete us, they complement us.
So whilst you’re single, living life (hopefully your best life),
don’t get caught up in desperately looking for the person who can become your soulmate.
With that said, keep practicing gratitude for where you are right now, keep finding the balance between daydreaming and reality and most of all, keep bettering yourself.
Main image source: https://weheartit.com/entry/302860247