The idea of having a soul mate, one true love, a better half, has never sat right with me. Why is it that we've been made to think that we need a partner in order to be a fully functioning human being? Contrary to popular romance-induced belief, we don't need a partner to be whole, we're already individuals in our own right. Yes, human crave companionship but who's to say that there's only one perfect match for us out there? There are thousands of potential partners for us out there, some more compatible for us than others.
Some people fail to recognise this and break off romances that aren't 'perfect', even though what they had was great. Many become so desperate to find their 'perfect match' that they might ignore what's right there in front of them and scare off of their ideal matches away. It sounds bleak, especially coming from someone who is a great advocate of love (me), but you don’t have to believe in soul mates to believe in love. It just means there are plenty of relationship options out there to be surprised by. That’s a lot more awesome than obsessively seeking a nonexistent perfect fit. Consider yourself liberated from your tireless search, and here’s why…
1) Nobody's Perfect
Nothing and nobody is truly perfect, partly because everyone's idea of a perfect individual is different. That being said, maybe you will be with someone who makes you feel happy and desired and loved and who you make feel those things too. That doesn't mean that the other person won't have an unfortunate taste in ties or weird feet or terrible food preferences. Quirks make up who a person is. We need to stop imagining a perfect individual, like making a list of all the traits that we want our ideal partner to have, for example, and just go out and meet people. Maybe you'll find a person whose character compliments yours, who you are attracted to and who you want to be with.
2) Imagine Others Complexly
It is easy to forget how many people there are in the world and how we fail to think of them as separate to ourselves. Think about all the thoughts that go through your head every day, think about how you see the world, how you feel about things and what opinions you have and why you have them. Now, understand that everyone around you does the same thing. We need to stop seeing people as mirrors, reflecting traits that we like in ourselves and start to understand that we are both similar and exceptionally different. We need to stop seeing only what we want to see in others and see them for who they are. They are flawed just like you, not any more or less. Other people are not blank character pages, they are the lead role in the film of their lives, just like you are for yours.
3) We All Want Somebody To Love
We are a needy species, us humans. It's been hard-wired into our genetic makeup to find a good partner and procreate - granted, something that college students shouldn't really worry about just yet. We crave admiration and love. So if we feed into this notion that there is one perfect person out there for us, it's understandable that we will become desperate lonely pathetic souls who will date anyone who'll have us. Which will most likely be shitheads because our desperation scares off everyone else. Lower your expectations and you would find someone who may not be your 'soul mate' but who you love and who loves you back, which is what we all really want anyway.
4) Wouldn't Your Other Half Be Your Opposite?
Just bear with me on this...Nature craves balance, light has dark, wet has dry etc. So if you are looking for a 'perfect match' someone who 'completes' you, wouldn't that person be the opposite of you? Does that mean that if you want a great boy/girlfriend you would have to be completely shit? Wouldn't you prefer an equal partnership? Where both of you bring out the best in the other? Instead of one of you being awesome and the other one terrible?
5) Want Vs Need
Wanting someone and doing what you can to be with them is lovely and romantic; needing someone is something more...desperate. We don't need a perfect mate to come and rescue us and fill up our world, it's a fantasy. If you need a perfect match so badly that it becomes your whole personality, that's kind of pathetic (sorry). You should want a partner, someone to share your lives - both of your lives, not just yours - not a knight in shining armour, who's just a pretty face with no substance underneath.
6) Learn To Love Yourself First
A lot of people say that you should 'be yourself' when you're heading out to the dating world, which is difficult if you're not super pleased with yourself. But, you can understand how it can be difficult for someone to love someone who hates who they are. You'd constantly have to bring them up and tell them how great they are, it would become a chore. If there's something about you that you dislike (weight, complexion, other physical traits) change it. If you love something that you think everyone else believes is dumb, screw it. If it makes you happy that's all that should matter. I can guarantee the fact that it exists means someone else thinks it's cool too. Be the best yourself that you can be, and someone will love you for it. Confidence is one of the most attractive qualities people look for in a partner. If you are confident in yourself and who you are, someone will notice. It might not be the perfect ideal guy that you've been building up in your mind for your whole life (aka Mr Right), but he could be great in every way possible and make you feel great just by being around him (aka Mr Right Now).
7) You Can't Predict The Future
Falling in love with someone can happen instantaneously, a mix of good timing, where you are, mutual attraction, and curiosity to find out everything about the other. Who knows who you're going to meet and when? You might have met you 'perfect soulmate' when you were two and don't remember. Or they could be living on the opposite side of the world. You could be in an accident tomorrow, or they could be and you'd never be together. Or you might have to move unexpectedly. Does that mean all hope of romantic fulfillment is over? Not in my opinion. There are loads of options out there, as long as you are open to them.
8) You Don't 'Complete' The Other
You shouldn't depend on someone else to give you a reason to exist. If you think that you need someone to make you happy and whole, remember that the other person might want that from you too. It shouldn't be anyone's responsibility to make someone else's happiness their own priority, unless they are their parent. Like I said before, you were complete already, you don't need someone else to make you special, you're already special.
9) You Don't Need To Be Rescued
You are well able to rescue yourself. You don't need someone to 'fix' you, you are not broken, you might be bruised or damaged for a while but you're not broken. Also you don't need to do the rescuing, you don't have to be a hero. These are fairytale roles that make for great films and stories, but life is short and you shouldn't wait for someone to rescue you from what you might perceive is a boring existence. Save yourself, you'll be more attractive because of it. Everyone loves a hero, be your own.