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The word 'soulmate' has so much pressure attached to it. Think about the weight of that title. Soul Mate. Someone who is, essentially, the person you believe to be eternally bonded to your own soul… quite a hefty responsibility.
It is my personal opinion that a solitary ‘soulmate’ does not exist. Whilst I believe you fall in love and can end up with the right person—the best person for you, the person you love more than ANYONE—I think soulmate is a strange title to bestow upon them.
Here is why: Throughout my life (and I’m sure yours, too) I have loved, I have lost, I have found people that have made my life incredible, and I have realised they are not so great after a time. That is life. I thought my first boyfriend was my ‘soulmate’ because he was my first love, or what I thought was love at the time. We spent six months screaming at each other and having teenage make up sex. I was convinced I would never love anyone else, and I cried for a year and wrote sad poetry after we broke up. Then I moved on.
I fell in love, again, and I was tortured emotionally for years by my next love; convinced he was the one, my only, I would never love anyone like I loved him… and in a way that’s true. Because you will never love two people the same way. Each relationship will teach you something new. Whether it is good or bad, it will help you grow into a new person. This is why I don’t necessarily believe in a ‘soulmate,’ but more that each person in your life will add a little to your soul. You take something from each person you share your life with, be that your best friend, your lover, your parents.
However, that is not why you clicked on this article. You want to know how to meet your ‘soulmate,’ the love of your life. Your best one. In those I do believe, and I do have mine. I can’t pretend to be an expert on relationships, but I’ve gone through some pretty horrendous ones and lived to tell the tale. To the contrary, I have experienced the most amazing one, the one that makes me feel safe, happy, content, and warm. The person that I would consider my ‘soulmate’ if we were to use that term. Everyone’s relationship experiences differ, but here are some tips that lead me to mine.
Don’t look for it.
I spent years pining after my perfect relationship, I so wanted to be loved in a way that made me cry with happiness. Spoilt on my birthday, whisked away on surprise trips. I wanted someone to want to live with me, to love all my quirks and still want to have children with me when they know I’m a huge Pokémon and Harry Potter geek that shamelessly picks her nose, swears too much, and used to do hardcore porn.
When you look desperately, you end up putting too much pressure on yourself and everyone you meet. It can come across desperate and slightly terrifying. I found Tony when I absolutely wasn’t looking. I didn’t want a boyfriend. I was married to my job and I didn’t really have the time to obsess over whether he liked me, of course, once I started falling for him I had to obsess a little bit. I’m only human…
Sure, use dating apps, go to bars, go on blind dates, let your friends hook you up (Tony and I were hooked up through friends of ours that were also dating each other). Don’t stop 'looking,' but don’t put pressure on the search. Enjoy the journey, and try not to imagine your wedding day with every single person you meet!
When we meet someone that we find attractive, we instantly want to show them the most attractive version of ourselves. That is normal. We want them to desire us as we desire them. In some cases, this can lead to creating a version of ourselves that isn't entirely our true form. We begin to act a certain way to impress our mate, like what they like, do as they do—lose part of ourselves to try and fit in to the mould we think they would most want in a partner. I did this for almost eight long years, and it was EXHAUSTING. When the relationship ended, I felt like a shadow of myself; I wasn't sure who I was anymore.
When I met Tony, I was more relaxed. I didn't put pressure on him or myself. I told him honestly what I liked, what I hated, what I thought of things, I dressed how I wanted, I allowed him to see me without makeup the second time we met (terrifying, I know), and it worked. He stands by that I was SO weird, he just wanted to see what the hell I would do next.
Of course we want to impress our new mate, and we want to look good for them. But on the other hand, remember to be honest with them and yourself about who YOU are rather than starting something masquerading as someone you are not.
Love yourself first.
I used to HATE it when people told me, "If you don't love yourself, no one will love you." In a way, it is true, but also, I am the queen of self loathing, so let me just break down what I mean.
No one wants to be with someone that is so broken all they do is complain about themselves, their life, their ex, their money situation. Of course things happen, I have suffered with depression and anxiety most of my life, so I get down A LOT. Everyone goes through ups and downs, and your partner or 'soulmate' will be there to love and support you. What I mean by this statement is that you shouldn't give up on yourself. Loving yourself is about believing you deserve more and having ambition and determination, even if you aren't there yet. Even if you do feel sad or your ex still fucks with your life occasionally or you get fired and need a little cry, there is nothing more attractive than someone that has ambition and drive, peppered with a little self love.