In my late teens, I truly believed I had found my soulmate. There was a passionate, soulful connection that blew my mind and filled me with desire and wonder. It didn’t work out. I wandered into my twenties firmly believing that I had already found and lost my one true love.
However, it is in my nature to love, and so I went on to love a lot of other people as the years passed. Many of those people did not love me in return. Some of them did. Some of those connections were deep and powerful and some of those people remain important to me and part of my life.
I did it for a second time. I found someone who could touch my soul in ways I had never previously imagined. There was wonder and intensity, and also drama and heartbreak and I thought ‘this person is perhaps my soulmate’. We may well always be friends, but that wasn’t the relationship I wanted it to be, either.
The trouble with the idea of a soulmate is that it’s so singular. If you invest in someone imagining them to be your one true love, that one other soul to whom you belong… if or when that goes wrong it will hurt you to staggering degrees. What is there left if the person you thought was your soulmate doesn’t want to be with you, or doesn’t feel the same way, or for technical reasons you just can’t make things work?
To further complicate things, I’m polyamorous. My default state is to be in love with more than one person – not least because I’m not in the habit of ceasing to love people just because a new person has caught me that way. The singularity of the soulmate as an idea really doesn’t sit well with my plural nature. I find the intensity of it attractive, though. I have a need for intensity that has on many occasions drawn me into situations of drama because I can’t reliably tell the two things apart.
At this point in my life, I have put down the idea of the singular soulmate. It just doesn’t work for me. I am embracing the idea of the soul friend – it’s a more spacious notion with much more room in it for multiple people. It also doesn’t have the romantic connotations of the soulmate concept. Soul friends are deep, substantial connections where there is richness and love and sharing of meaningful things. There are a number of people in my life who I would call soul friends, and who I am fairly sure could apply that term to me as well.
It also means I get to change my story. At no point in my life have I found and lost the one person in the universe who was meant to be my true love. I’ve had some amazing experiences with people, I have loved deeply. Nothing in my history prevents me from loving anyone else with my entire being, on whatever terms that actually make sense.