No matter who you are, or where you are, or how ultimately sawi you are in this loveless existence, there is hope that somewhere out there, someone is waiting for you – it’s just a matter of looking. And waiting. And maybe praying.
For such a grand thought, the allure is entirely sensible. How comforting it is, to know we are never truly alone in the world. And while no one can prove the existence of soulmates, no one can disprove it either; so for all die-hard romantics out there, it may very well be a real thing.
The concept assumes that inherently, we are incomplete. That life’s ultimate struggle is to discover The One. And oh, the lengths we’d go to safeguard our happily ever after; we hold every person we meet under the Soulmate Compatibility Test, ticking off items on our invisible handy-dandy checklist: Makes me feel whole? Check. Inspires me to fight world hunger? All the time. Uncanny mind-reading sentence-finishing capabilities? Well...
And because relationships – real relationships – are flawed, they ultimately fall short against this measuring stick of perfection. We grow impatient, unsatisfied; we toss out relationships that have a real chance of growth at the first sign of anything other than the childhood Disney fairy tale we’ve fashioned for ourselves. But love isn’t perfect, it isn't this easy, pretty little thing that’s “found” or “born”. More than anything, love is work – tears and time and gritted teeth – and like all else, flimsy beyond belief. And, contrary to popular belief, love can’t conquer mountains on its own. It needs us to do the conquering #hugot. (Thanks Mr. Levithan).
Let’s now return to our donut metaphor. There is a consensus that soulmates, often in the romantic sense, are the ultimate kind of love; the epitome of what we should aspire to have. But if love is like a box of donuts, that comes in different flavors – who’s to say what kind of donut is the best? Who died and made you an authority? Wherever your preference lies – be it the plain glazed ones, or drown-me-in-sprinkles, or both; maybe you don’t even like donuts to begin – not one is better than the other. Love manifests itself in different ways – different, not stronger. The hierarchy is a myth; romantic love is not the standard, nor is it purer, or any greater. To say otherwise reveals a very narrow, very ignorant view of the world. And frankly, you miss out on a lot of incredible flavors.
Maybe love is in three other people. Maybe love was never romance, but in someone who you can’t think of kissing, ever. Maybe the love you needed was right inside you. Maybe love is confusing and transcends everything we know. Like a love that doesn’t last. That meets you only on Tuesdays. Over coffee, when you’re stressed out of your mind, and the existentialist tendencies begin. You may not even meet again after this, but that’s okay – because they’re right where you need them to be, and the company can be just as profound and meaningful as it is fleeting. And right now, at this moment, you together, are kind of – perfect.
- Andrea Lopez
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