What Is A Soulmate?

Ah, Valentine’s Day. The day of happiness for some and dread for others. This one day during the year where the primary focus is who you have beside you, who you can depend on, and who gets you a card. Most people dispute the idea of Valentine’s Day, calling it a “Hallmark holiday”. While it definitely can be said that a lot of capital goes into this holiday, it makes you think about love and all things romantic. I specifically recall the moment in the first season of Friends, where Ross laments his divorce with Carol and uses it to question his beliefs about love. However, it is a point of intrigue. What if there is only one person for everybody? What if we’ve already found them? What if we’ve lost them?

Personally, I believe that soulmates do exist, but not just one. They fall under three categories – reason, season, and lifetime. Reason can be backed up by the phrase, “When one door closes, another door opens”. If you hadn’t gotten on that bus, if you had, if you didn’t go to that party, etc. You lose something, you miss an opportunity, but you gain something much more worthwhile in return.

Season focuses on particular times you needed someone when perhaps you thought you didn’t. A certain hard time in your life, a bad breakup, a fight – these are times when someone can come into your life and be your light without you even knowing.

Then there is lifetime, which is very very hard to find. However, once you do, you are totally sure that they are not going anywhere. Once you know the specific time you can find a soulmate, how do you know that it has to be romantic? Soulmates, people, come in all different forms, and can be exactly what you need at that moment.

Contrary to general belief, a soulmate doesn’t always have to be romantic. Soulmates will always fall under a specific kind of criteria, but sometimes, you can encounter a person who understands you way past the point of a romantic relationship. This will often be your best friend, but again, it doesn’t have to be. Think of that friend in your life who you have never had romantic feelings for but you feel a sense of safety when you’re around them. You could be having a terrible week and feel like something is missing but you can’t put a finger on what. By chance, this person gets in touch with you and once you see them, you feel like everything is alright in the world. Nothing or no-one can hurt you when you’re around this person because, when you’re combined, you feel like you two could stop anything. This person is your wall of defence, your safety net, and they feel the same about you too. You find sanctuary within each other and no matter how far apart you are, geographically or emotionally, you will always find a way back to each other and still feel that same calm.

You can talk about anything with them and feel no sense of judgement, because they understand how you feel and, if not, will try to. The love you feel for this person isn’t exactly something that can be described, it’s just embedded within you. Again, even if you two aren’t joined at the hip physically, you still always cross each other’s mind, and you will always care about each other, even when it feels like times are hard. That’s your ‘friend soulmate’, the one person you’re always connected with beyond romantic love.

The other type that is quite hard to navigate is the ‘romantic soulmate’. Whether you are in a relationship now, or have been in one, you would probably be hesitant to use the word ‘soulmate’ because of its heavy connotations. However, as I have said previously, there always exists a lover that fits you at specific moments in your life. Generally speaking and, without spiritual notions, a romantic soulmate, much like a friend soulmate, is one that works well with you as a unit. When you’re with this person, it becomes ‘we’ instead of ‘I’. It’s not an absence of issues in your relationship – in fact, any problems that you may face becomes a puzzle for which you team up to help solve. There is no pettiness or mumbling under your breath – you just don’t have time for that. You recognise each other’s anger and find ways to better help the situation, because you’re both that committed to help your companionship flourish.

You are fiercely loyal to that other person and every decision you make involves them, while still being independent. You have some qualities of the ‘friend soulmate’ in that you are best friends, with a bonus of extended intimacy. By this combination of romantic and platonic love, they help you grow into the person that you want to be. You can feel more assured within yourself and more confident knowing you are part of a unit. That’s your ‘romantic soulmate’, your partner and your friend.

This Valentine’s Day, don’t be a Ross. Don’t get caught up in the idea that you have this one chance of true, unconditional love, and then that’s it. Ross found Rachel. No matter what happened in the following 9 seasons, they found each other at the end. Rachel had Monica – the woman who, after not seeing this woman since high school, took her in and became the person she could depend on, the person who helped her gain the strength and confidence to become an independent woman.

Look around your life this Valentine’s Day, and celebrate the people who make you feel that way, whether they’re your friend or your lover.

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