Hana Shafi The Soulmate Debate

Are some relationships just meant to be? Is there one true love for each person—one “other half” who will complete you like no other, one person that you could call your soulmate? It’s a popular concept; it adds some substance and significance to that search for “the one”, gives people hope that no matter how out of place, dejected or alone they feel, they will one day meet their soulmate and that person will be perfect for them in every way. 

My first reaction to the concept of a soulmate is a definite "no". The idea of that one perfect person for you seems like something straight out of a fairytale—too idealistic and melodramatic to be realistic. But I asked around. I wanted to know if I was being purely cynical or if others were being far too optimistic. And the answers made me start to question my initial reaction, because I learned that there isn’t just one idea of what a soulmate is, but several.

Some said that we do have a soulmate, but there’s no guarantee that we’d meet them or we push them out of our lives and perhaps never realize that they were right for us. But then, doesn’t that defeat the purpose of having the soulmate? Wouldn’t that connection be too obvious to let go of? Others said that we have many soulmates, people who we click with and can wholly express ourselves too, and that this can include lifelong friendships, rather than just expected romantic soulmate. Or that even when you meet your soulmate, the connection might not be instant; it takes time, effort, and trust, just as any other relationship does. 

It seemed that the people who believed in soulmates, weren’t the ridiculous fairies and rainbows idealists that I assumed they would be. Rather, they reinterpreted the classical idea of what a soulmate is and tweaked it to be more realistic. Still, I can’t will myself to believe in a soulmate. I think we can fall in love with many people over our life time, and some people come to set the bar for others in the future, and while we might find that one person that we spend the rest of our lives with, who’s to say that in this world of seven billion people, they were the one most right for you? Could it be that they were simply the one that you happened to meet? What if the person who’s really perfect for you lives in some remote village in rural China? Again, in such a highly populated world, how could only one person, or even a small handful of people, be the perfect ones. Not to mention, it depresses me that there could be that one right person, but you may never meet them. Unless of course, fate brings you together, but I don’t believe in fate either.

A friend made an interesting point to me as well, that while a predestined one true love might seem like a romantic concept, she found the idea of choosing to love someone out of your own free will, not necessarily because of “fate” is more romantic. It means you have other options, but you choose this person instead. All in all, I don’t believe that there is one perfect person for you, there is nothing that is “meant to be.” I think in the end, we choose our own soulmates. 

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