“A soulmate’s purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life.”
- Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
Our society places a high value on the concept of fairy tales, growing up with a vision of meeting that ‘one special person,’ our soulmate, and together we will live happily ever after! We dream of lives together, growing old hand in hand, comforting one another on our death beds.
The truth is that while we may meet that special person, the one that sweeps us off our feet, showing us a deeper meaning of love, it may not always be for the long haul. In fact, a survey conducted by Siemens Festival Nights shows that each of their respondents reported falling ‘head-over-heels in love’ twice in their lifetime. Meanwhile, a 2012 study out of London concluded that people fall in love 4 times throughout their lives.
While there are many aspects of a relationship we can control, there are several that are well out of our reach including illness, disease, or irreparable differences.
In some cases, these relationships may end over a major, life-altering belief such as a difference in religious views among those who highly value religion in their lives or a moral difference that one or both partners are unable to ignore.
Other times these differences may revolve around the direction of our lives, and just how much each of us is willing to compromise. While one partner may want the American dream – life in a suburb, a house with a white picket fence and children playing in the front yard, their partner may instead highly value their career goals, willing to move to a bustling metropolis, with no interest in focusing the time, energy and finances that it would require to raise children and have a family.
Nothing that we say will take away from the pain of these relationships ending – they were real, serious and important. The fact that they didn’t survive ‘Happily Ever After’ doesn’t take away from the time that you did spend together, or the deep connections that you felt. They were real, they were soulmates, and they helped to shape who you are today!
But don’t close your hearts – true love may find you again!
What is true love? The Siemens Festival Nights report found that 75% of the adults surveyed reported that their definition of love continues to change and evolve as they grow older. Our definition may heavily depend on where we are at any given stage of our lives.
The moral of the story? Let go of our preconceived notion of what ‘love’ should look like, or the need to find our one soulmate – Instead live life with an open heart and allow love to find you! Your next soulmate may be just around the corner!