Still waiting for the right guy who’ll read your mind, finish off your sentences, and complete you? ELLE Singapore wonders if finding a soulmate is really necessary for a successful, meaningful relationship.
According to ancient Greek legend, the first inhabitants on Earth were 2-headed, 4-armed and 4-legged roly-poly hermaphrodites who were so irritatingly smug and self-satisfied that some god decided to punish them by splitting them down the middle into the first human beings, before scattering them all over the world. Since then, us humans have been condemned to search (usually painfully, and sometimes unsuccessfully) for a reunion with our missing pieces, our soulmates. Or so the story goes.
One thing’s for sure: a few thousand years down the road, romance and finding that “special someone” still haven’t gone out of fashion. Which is why people still flock to see remakes like the Cinderalla-inspired Ever After and Baz Luhrman’s Romeo And Juliet, even though everyone has already known the stories (and their endings) by heart since childhood.
Fairy Tales Or Tall Tales?
The question is: are you, a woman of today, really luckier than your grandmother, simply because economic independence and the fact that it’s OK for women to marry later, give you more freedom and the luxury to wait for and choose Mr Right?
After all, even though my grandmother would have preferred someone who enjoyed Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers’ dancing as much as she did, she still willingly married the suitor her parents chose for her. Was my grandfather her soulmate? That is a moot point, but she did learn to love him regardless.
We, on the other hand, seem to have turned into nitpicky Ally McBeals and Felicitys, ruthlessly putting every man we meet through some soulmate litmus test. He’s really handsome and successful, but has the table manners of a pig at his trough? No can do. He’d sacrifice an arm and a leg for you, but your heart just doesn’t sing as loudly as a chorus of angels every time you lay eyes on him? It’s over, honey.
Our heads have been completely turned by so many fairy tales and soppy Hollywood movies that we’re led to believe that a perfect someone exists somewhere out there, and that we’ll find him eventually. In the meantime, we just won’t settle for anything less.
Making Beautiful Music Together
It doesn’t help either that each of us has at least one close friend or relative who’s found Mr Perfect: someone who is truly passionate about what she is passionate about, and when she tells you about him, you can almost hear the strains of violin music in the background.
Take my friend Stephanie, for example. She met Daniel at a frisbee game organised by a friend, and apart from a love of frisbee, they literally shared a dozen other common interests.
“We’ve been dating for 2 years now, and we’ve never ever run out of things to say or do – whether it’s diving, hiking, camping, rock climbing, in-line skating or jet-skiing. We love to travel; we love the outdoors. And when we’re not doing that, we’re planning the next big adventure of our lives!” gushes Stephanie.
For another friend Serena, she knew straightaway when she set eyes on Paul, that “we were made for each other”. Adds the marketing executive, “Previous boyfriends wouldn’t understand my need to stay in the office till 3am to perfect that marketing pitch, but Paul does perfectly, and he even encourages me. We’re both ambitious, driven, and are drawn to the excitement of a high-powered career.”
And for the even luckier few, it’s more a case of one sensitive soul meeting another. “I’d define a soul-mate as someone I can talk for hours with, who expresses thoughts which I’m keen to hear more of. And I knew my fiance was the one when, while dating, I realised that he loved reading, and mind you, not the action-packed, espionage-y thrillers like Tom Clancy, but good, solid, literature that I had also read and loved!”
A Shot In The Dark
So, where does that leave the rest of us who’re still fumbling in the dark, unsure if we’ve hit or missed? Because if the theory holds that everyone has one soulmate, what if you’d already met him in college, dated him, and then broke up with him 3 years ago because he was cheating on you?
What if you’d been introduced to him at your cousin’s Christmas party last year, but didn’t pay him any attention because you were too drunk to care? What if the person who understands you most is your best (girl)friend, and no guy you’ve ever dated even comes close to being able to guess your mood just by the tone of your “hello” over the phone?
Does that mean you should accept that the person you’ll eventually end up with won’t be able to read your mind and stir your soul? On the other hand, how many of us have made the mistake of thinking that he’s the one, only to find, a few months or years or kids later, that the magic is gone?
After all, a woman in love can find the truth in anything – she can define virtually any common ground (or uncommon ground, for that matter) as evidence that he’s the one. But what is a soulmate anyway? While one woman may define it as someone being as much like you as “2 peas in a pod”, another woman may say that he’s the yang to her yin (Continued.. Part 2 Find Your Soulmate)
Authors Details: Natalie Chan – Reproduced courtesy of ELLE Singapore