The Fiction of Soul Mates
The Romantic Idea
This entire notion of a "soul mate" is pure fiction. Everyone wants to think, "Oh, this is the one I've been waiting for all my life." That's romanticism. I agree that if you can establish a friendship before marriage, you are on the right track, but it's no guarantee.
We hear about couples in their late 60's or even 70's deciding to split after being together for decades. People change over time -- for better or worse. Nothing is set in stone. All of us can only do our best to try to preserve a long-lasting and rewarding relationship. But we're forced to live day by day, minute by minute, and change is really the only constant. If you can adapt to the changes then the relationship will continue. If not even the longest-lasting commitments can falter.
We all desire a sense of constancy and predictability, but that just doesn't mesh automatically with someone who will always be an individual. First and foremost we are all individuals. Just because we marry someone does not make them our clone.
Yes, each relationship brings us somewhat closer to ourselves -- and the whole thing is a crazy learning process filled with tremendous fluctuations. Just try to be as flexible as possible. Try to be accepting. Let your partner have his/her say and be silent. Not everything has to be contested. Let the trivial stuff just flow.
Allow yourself to trust what seems like obvious errors of judgment. We're all planted in different soil. Allow your partner to make their seemingly obvious mistakes -- even if they will have a big impact upon you. We all see things differently, so allow your mate to make mistakes and let them learn from the consequences.
If you want a relationship to last you have to be able to bend like a palm tree under a hurricane. It takes an amazing amount of self-control to retain your balance and acceptance. A mutually-agreed upon bond requires a lot of self-restraint and even abnegation. As long as your partner is sincere, faithful and doing the best he/she can, you have to bend with the breeze -- if you can handle the strain.
Sometimes you will feel like you'll break. Don't be impulsive. In a while the hurricane will pass, as all things do. Be patient. If need be let the shit hit the fan. In this life we are all at different stages of self-awareness and cognizance of the outside world. If you truly love your partner, allow him/her to influence events in your life -- otherwise, why be with anyone?