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Another time, another place (a discussion on the existence or non-existence of soul mates)

We’ve all heard this before. The phrase carries a lot of meaning, but today I’d like to touch on one that refers to lost chances in love.

I confess, when I was in college, I had a crush on a married guy. I know, that sounds so bad, but nothing ever happened. In my mind I’d wonder how different life would be if he were eight years younger and we went to school together. Maybe we had a criminology class together and we hit it off right away. We’d stay up late studying and end up falling hard for each other. Only to have the relationship last as long as the semester, doomed at its best because let’s face it: I’ve been told that if it wasn’t meant to be in real life then it probably wasn’t meant to be at all.

However, I’m not sure I believe that. I don’t believe in soul mates either. At least I don’t believe that every one person has one soul mate. When I think back on my past love relationships, most of them doomed from the start, I remember how we came into the existence of ‘us’. Call it what you will, but they each came to be under varying circumstances. Thus producing the mystery of love. This is what thrills me most about these connections. My first boyfriend was one of my best friends and he held his feelings back for months only to discover his devotion by a common friend. At first I was like, “No way, I can’t fall in love with my best friend”. But I did. That lasted seven months before he fell out of love with me. I was devastated for months thereafter. Not only did I lose someone I loved, but I lost my best friend too.

Then there was the one who broke me in more pieces that I could count. Who abused my adoration in ways I couldn’t believe I stayed around — he asked me out three times before I said yes. He ended up cheating on me and I found out after I had lunch with his mom at his home.

These two were loves I thought I would stay with forever and both times, I was proved wrong. That’s when I learned that every relationship is a learning experience. That each time I walked away from a relationship, I learned more about the variances of connection and the traits that attract me to another. But the truth is, every time the traits have been different. Because everyone is different and each love I’ve ever known, has extended different gifts to me, as I have done in return.

Who we may end up with, is a promise of commitment that more or less seals the deal. It signifies two people wanting to meet each other half way and take the long road. But I really don’t believe that because it comes to this point that means, we were the only ones meant for each other. The truth is, I could have been born in Asheville, NC or Alto Adige, Italy and perhaps would have found someone else to settle down with. The fact that some of us are lucky enough to find someone we are compatible with, is amazing on its own.

All relationships are work and I don’t agree with those who think it isn’t. I also believe that had there been a different time or place I would have met person B, perhaps we would have married or lived together. Or maybe he would have led me to someone else that I would end up with.

There is no one soul mate. The possibilities of connection with others is endless. Connection is a powerful emotion that is determined by the time and place of occurrence. No two connections in the world are alike.

Hold fast to the connection that embraces you and your partner. It is unique because you are the only two players who could fill that role. Do not get lost in the notion that you are each other’s soul mates, get lost in the beauty of your own connection.