I don’t believe in soul mates. At least, not in the traditional sense.
But while I think there are many different people that you could make things work with, I also believe that there is a person, one special person, who exists as a trigger for each of us.
This one person is not quite like a soul mate. Instead, they are that person that completely overwhelms you and your defences.
You’ll know that person when you meet them but you’re more likely to have seen your friends when they meet their own special person.
If your friend shows up at your house at 4 am, crying, and he saying he spent the last three hours outside a girl’s door, banging and begging. A girl who may or may not have dated him, but he has become convinced that having her would make everything in his life better.
He left her place and came to yours only because the police showed up, and only after he considering getting arrested as a viable option. He is crying again, telling you about his plans to get her back, and only half-listening to your advice to move on. And this is not the first time it has happened this week.
That girl is his trigger.
But before this girl, and after her (if he can get past it), your friend is a completely normal person.
I don’t think it has anything to do with love. It is just a thing, a purely biological manic switch that gets flipped when you meet your trigger.
If you can go through your entire life without meeting your trigger, you might actually have a chance to have a normal relationship, build a promising career, have a loving family.
But you hear the stories all the time.
A young woman tries to commit suicide for a jerk that beats her up, while a string of suitors wait and wonder why she doesn’t want them.
A 46 year old teacher convinced that one of her students is her soul mate, abandons her husband and children. She has two children with her student, one before she gets arrested and the second one after she gets out of prison and reunites with him.
Or the stockbroker who gives up his job and goes on a crime spree to buy diamonds for a bank teller that only smiled at him as part of her job.
Those are the unlucky ones.
Here is the thing, and I don’t want you to get upset.
It is alright, preferable even, that you’re not the trigger for the person that you’re with. It is really the only way you could have a regular stable relationship with a focus on the types of things that would build the two of you up.
And on the days when you catch your husband at dinner staring into space with a crazed, longing look in his eyes, try to ignore it.
He probably wanted to be an astronaut too and that didn’t work out either.
See, I met my trigger years ago.
And I still wake up on some nights, my clothes soaked with sweat, her image burned into my mind, her name on my lips, and I am grateful that I survived it.