I remember, as soon as I had announced the news of my wedding, one of my colleagues had chirped, “Ohhh! I’m so happy that you have found your soulmate!”
I stood there for a second, examining the word: soulmates. I couldn’t connect. I tried to picture my soon-to-be husband’s face and associate the word “soulmates” with him, and I just couldn’t. Had I made a mistake? What if there was someone out there who was my soulmate, but instead of running around trees with him, I was getting married to this man whom I couldn’t really think of as my soulmate?
For days, I was dull. My fiancé kept asking me if there was something wrong, and I would brush it under the rug, ever-so-spotlessly. I would dissect everything annoying he would do — like slurping coffee from the mug or grunting while laughing — and my worst fears would be confirmed. The man I was going to marry might not be my soulmate.
So how exactly do you figure out if your partner is your soulmate?
Do you agree on everything? Do you never have a fight?
Is it always oh so blissful?
Are there hearts and roses fluttering around all the time?
Do you hear violins when you meet him or her. Does everything slip into slow-motion?
If you have experienced even one, or all of this, then you’re rare. Most people, like me, never do. Surprisingly, despite the seeds of doubt planted by my colleague’s innocent words, I did take the plunge and got married to the same guy. It’s been four years now. Do I think he is my soulmate?
It’s all right. We click. We connect. No, it’s not romantic all the time. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that it’s mostly not romantic, at all. Most of our conversations revolve around what supplies we need to buy, and what I’ll be serving for lunch or dinner. If you are married, I’m sure you can relate. It’s not because we have lost the spark; it’s because we choose to be practical.
If you expect your married life to be full of fireworks, then most of the fireworks you’ll end up experiencing will be in the kitchen — sorry to disappoint you. I’m not at all hinting that there is no chemistry between us. Oh, we are part of an amazing equation. However, it doesn’t mean that we are all touchy-feely everywhere, like most couples are when they’re dating and all. With marriage, there’s a certain sense of practicality that dawns upon you — that’s all.
Does being in love come with an action-reaction manual? I guess not. Does it mean being prim and proper all the time when your partner is around? Nope. The whole concept of soulmates is way too perfect for the real world. It’s utopian.
You can’t always make your partner happy. You can’t always find the right words and do the right things. You screw up. You irritate. And you choose to live with it. No two people are the “perfect fit.” No two people are “meant” to be with each other. Your partner might be equally happy, or even happier with someone else. But they choose you, not because you’re soulmates, but because you are you.
So, why am I still with my husband if I think he’s not my soulmate?
Getting an apple that he kept in my bag because I skipped breakfast, tiptoeing in the bedroom before leaving for the gym in the morning, so that he doesn’t wake me up, offering to cook me a meal when I feel lazy — these might not be the things that soulmates do. These are things only a partner can do. That’s my definition of romance.
I mean, what am I going to do with a bunch of roses and a couple of kisses when what I really need is someone who can help me fix the messy house? How will sweet nothings cooed into my ear help when I could really use a helping hand? Think about it.
You know a relationship is successful when you can acknowledge and laugh at each other’s flaws, not glorify it. A relationship is meant to be when you can fart shamelessly and comfortably in front of your partner and treat it like it’s no big deal. Does that fit the concept of soulmates? I think not.
So, yes, I’m not with my soulmate, but with my husband who does things for me without romanticizing them. I’m with him because I can just be myself, in my dirty pajamas and a messy bun and not get judged for it. He doesn’t write poems for me but makes jokes on me, and I find that adorable.
That’s the whole idea. You can’t spend the rest of your lives believing in a happily ever after, unlike what the concept of soulmates makes you believe. You’ve got to work hard, patch up the little cracks that are bound to show up, live with the flaws, and seek happiness in the smaller things.
Romance is overhyped, and comfort is overlooked.
And that’s why, my dear, the concept of soulmates is absolute bullshit!