Sorry, but it’s true. Don’t worry, though, no one else has a soul mate either. It’s one of the great misunderstandings fed to us by the media engine, and it’s nothing new. Romeo had his Juliet, Isolde had her Tristan, Orpheus had his Eurydice. These – and countless other couples – form the backbone of the myth of the soul mate.
At its most basic this myth says that each person has one, and only one, perfect lover out there, the man or woman you simply could not live without. This couples love is so pure, so excellent, that it simply is unrepeatable . . . outside of the hundreds of other stories repeating it.
One of the critical elements is that not only is the love wonderful, it is also wholly singular. It very regularly ends in the death of both members, not because they both suffer some terrible tragedy, but because they are unwilling to imagine living without their soul mate. This love drags the living into death to satisfy itself.
No matter how much we wish it (if we even do), it is not real. There is no one person for you to love, no specific man or woman who alone can provide the perfect love, no unique other that cannot be replaced.
The truth is, we all fall in love and can keep doing so until the end of the our lives. Sometimes these loves are more poignant, perhaps because of the situation of the love, or the circumstances of our lives, or the more exact psycho-physical connection. But they are not better loves, just more strongly felt ones.
We handicap ourselves by imagining there is this mystical perfect love waiting. Our search for Mr. or Mrs. Right is hurt not by out desire to hold standards (which are critically important to the survival of love and marriage) but by a waiting for the most spark-filled love extravaganza. The nearly perfect man may walk into your life but because their isn’t an instant, overwhelming rush of unstoppable inloveness, he is passed by in favor of waiting.
This desire for the perfect soul mate is not, however, an aberration. We do not have a deformity that encourages us to pursue the impossible. Rather, our wounded nature causes us to expect out fulfillment from the wrong source. Each man and woman is a finite being but the desire for love in us is an infinite desire. No one man or woman could fill this, nor could all men and women fill it. Only infinite Love can satisfy infinite desire.
We persist in our hunt for the soul mate, for the love to outshine all loves. (Or, as is more common today, we keep shuffling through loves once love runs out.) There can be no satisfaction here, but if we turn our eyes to Love itself we may finally see that the love of this man or that woman, here and now, is enough, for there is no infinite desire to fill, for it has been filled.