When I was in university…I had long conversations with girl friends about meeting “the One” one day. What that’d be like. What he might be like. What fun things we’d do. etc etc. And then I grew up. The end.
Seriously though, I think we’ve got a major “soulmate” complex in our Hollywood-glamourized-romanticized culture. All rom-coms have the same story line: Boy meets girl, they don’t like each other or are with someone else already, then in some vulnerable drunken moment they kiss, and suddenly they know they’re meant to be together despite logic or reason. Passion trumps all things. If there’s struggle in your relationship or if things get dull, you must be with the wrong person. Because if you find “the One”, if you find your soulmate, everything will be easy and exciting.
Well, the rate of divorce amongst Hollywood actors should be a sign that the soulmate thing isn’t working,
I have a different theory….that soulmates are MADE not born. And that “the One” doesn’t exist…at least not in the way Hollywood has made it out to be. I believe through life we will meet a number of people who we get along well with, who we might have mutual attraction to, and who would potentially make a good life partner. There are definitely many more who do NOT and will not. But when we decide to make that commitment to marry, THEN that person becomes “the One”. It is in a committed relationship, particularly AFTER you make vows to each other in marriage, that you learn to become each other’s soulmates. And this is a daily decision you have to make. “If I’ve commited to be this person’s soulmate, how would I treat him/her?” etc.
Relationships ruled by passion are doomed to fail. It’s a bold statement…but truth is, our hearts are deceitful. Our emotions can wage war on our minds and make us do really rash/stupid/regretful/hurtful things. I’m not saying to take passion out of the picture, but it should not rule your decisions.
This means your decision to get married should also not be ruled by passion. Sometimes passion-led decions do lead to marrying the “wrong” person (i.e. someone abusive or unfaithful to begin with) but more often it leads to marrying someone who’ll take much more time and work to become soulmates with each other. Yes, I do think it’s possible to be in a difficult marriage and still make it work. But it takes mutual commitment to the marriage and willingness to be transformed by Christ. That is a critical point too, that only by being reconciled to God can we be reconciled with each other, even for the most hopeless of cases.
So…I think a good start would be to toss the idea of finding your soulmate or finding “the One” out the window. Instead work on strengthening your character so that you can be a good soulmate to someone one day. And look for someone of good character, with passion on the side, because that’s good soulmate potential too.