I’ve always believed in a soul mate, a true love -– The One.
And like many others, I find myself a little more hesitant to believe it with each passing year.
You’re just growing up. It’s perfectly normal. It comes with maturity.
Then last week, while doing research for my previous piece, Google and experts in various fields provided such overwhelming evidence against the existence of such a person that the entire foundation of my beliefs was shaken.
It’s like finding out that Santa was just my dad in a really great costume…no wonder I saw Santa watching ESPN in our living room last Christmas.
I spent a few days with my head and heart completely out of alignment. I understand that we will meet many different people in life who have the potential to be a suitable partner for us. That we can grow love patiently for someone we didn’t feel anything for at the start. That waiting for The One to come along could be a disaster for people who keep thinking there’s someone better out there.
But despite my rational side, I’m still in love with the idea that someone out there is my soul mate, and here’s why.
The very idea of The One means that there is someone out there who is yours. More importantly, it means that there is someone who will, with the lightest of touches on your hair, tell you quietly that you’re mine.
This person will be irreplaceable. He will not be the rock that you build your life on. Instead he will be the sand that flows through the crevices of your being, filling up any holes left by the brutal hand of life. You will still be you -– he wouldn’t want it any other way -– but the tender traces of himself that he leaves will put an end to the exhausting journey you’re on to find the missing pieces of yourself.
This person will be the house that you finally decide to buy. It’s a huge, life-long commitment (unless you’re a billionaire, in which case it’ll probably be your life-long holiday home in St. Tropez). It’s the perfect house but there’s still work to do. After all, you will have to live with each other forever. There will still be kinks here and there. A creaky floor board. A leaking faucet. But even if you have to give the front door a little kick to get it to open, it’s nice to know that your house will always be there, waiting for you to come home. And you’re the only one who holds the key.
When you don’t believe in The One, your partner becomes more like the house you are renting indefinitely. There is the chance of it lasting till the very end, but you are always sort of mentally prepared to move. You still call it your home when your friends ask you about where you live, and you still try to make it comfortable. But you tend to buy that 20 dollar wobbly book shelf and ignore the dent in the wall, because what’s the point really, if I might be leaving? You’re always saving the best stuff for the right place, when you find it. That’s when you’ll buy that painting you’ve always wanted, and all those expensive kitchen appliances that you will never use but you know will make a house feel like home.
And this is the essence of what I love about The One. It’s not the ridiculous declarations of love or all that romantic fluff. It’s the absolute certainty that you have made the right choice. You will never wonder what it would be like to be with someone else. You are indifferent to the thought of another pair of lips on your skin. You can give your 100% every second of your every day without wondering if it’s wise to do so, if it’s a worthy investment. You are contented, and perfectly satisfied.
We have an innate desire to belong. We all try to find a reason for our existence. It’s the reason I have a Lakers jersey in my closet. It’s the reason why we instantly take a liking to someone after going no way, I love Call of Duty too! It’s the reason why people write, and create pieces of art, so that they can leave something behind when their time is up.
But someone who loves your book could read a different book the next day and be equally struck by it. Kobe Bryant would thank me for being a fan, and sign my jersey, but I’m just one of his million faceless fans.
The One accepts your affection and returns it in its entirety. You belong wholly to each other, in every nuanced way something could belong to another.
He will be the most eloquent reason for my existence.
“They say a good love is one that sits you down, gives you a drink of water, and pats you on top of the head. But I say a good love is one that casts you into the wind, sets you ablaze, makes you burn through the skies and ignite the night like a phoenix; the kind that cuts you loose like a wildfire and you can’t stop running simply because you keep on burning everything that you touch! I say that’s a good love; one that burns and flies, and you run with it!” ―C. JoyBell C.