The myth of the soul mate has to stop. There may be someone out there for you but more likely there is a nice guy, someone to love but not someone for whom you should sell your soul. Someone who is not your be all and end all, your everything, but someone whom you can love and who will love you.
I finally take off my wedding and engagement rings; this day has loomed large. I have worried and fretted and made plans about this day. Do I take off the rings when the divorce is granted? Or before? Do I wait?
I decided to wait. I wasn’t ready to tell the world that I had no soul mate, no partner.
The removal of the wedding rings was a sign to the world, I thought, that I had no Prince Charming, indeed, he had ridden off, on his middle-aged, token white horse, a while ago, leaving me and the children without money. Leaving me clambering to discover a new identity.
This is what the myth of a soul mate does to women. It robs us of our identity. It prevents us from discovering who it is that we really are. It makes us rely on others, on the supposed soul mate, to define us. To define our lives.
We are sold on the idea that there is one out there, “the one”, who will love us, know us, share with us, cherish us, care for us, help us…
You know what? For most of us, there isn’t.
And we clutch at men in our inexperience, in our eyes starred with soul mate lights, thinking his smile or his phoning or texting or even his not calling or texting ( see He’s Just not That Into You) are signs that He Is The One.
We put our career second place to his. We move across country for his job, we tell our friends we can’t see that movie for a girls’ night tonight because he is tired and needs us, we try to cultivate interest in his hobbies, his pastimes, we see movies he loves. We smile at his jokes, and at his friends, friends with whom we have nothing in common, except him.
In believing the myth of a soul mate, we shut our eyes to glaring imperfections and we mask that niggle in our stomach with activity and smiles. Disdainfully we ignore our intuition and opt for believing that this is our soul mate, he who will be our all, he who will love us forever.
We believe in Snow White being rescued from that wicked stepmother. Intellectually, we laugh at such fantasy. Outwardly we mouth feminist ideologies. Deep down, however, we know, out there, someone is meant for us.
These fantasies are just that, fantasies. What’s more, they prove to be a disservice to women, in encouraging us to believe that we need to find a soul mate. Believing this myth, we sell our soul to be who it is that the man we love wants us to be. We prevent ourselves from reaching our full potential. We are tough hard working career women but emotionally and secretly we know that his needs come first.
The myth of the soul mate has to stop. There may be someone out there for you but more likely there is a nice guy, someone you love but not someone for whom you should sell your soul. Someone who is not your be all and end all, your everything, but someone whom you can love and who will love you. Someone who may be a part of your life but not your whole life.
There may, too, be no romantic interest for you, now or later. There may be good friends of both sexes. Giving up the myth of the soul mate frees us to make good friends, to explore varied interests and varied facets of ourselves.
Don’t cover up yourself, who you are, your dreams and aspirations, for the supposed soul mate.
Build a life. Be who you are, a person with dignity.
And if someone comes along, allow him to be who it is that he is, without pressure from you to be a soul mate,
Don’t let him pressure you either, to be his be all and end all.
Be you, that divorced mom. Wiser. Older. More fun, in love, with yourself and in love with life.