Are soul mates… legit?

So I have been thinking a lot about this after I watched 500 Days of Summer for the second or third time through. And one particular quote caught my attention that Summer told Tom at the breaking point of Tom’s (frankly pathetic) few months of depression in regards to meeting her husband:

“So, what if I’d gone to the movies? What if I had gone somewhere else for lunch? What if I’d gotten there 10 minutes later? It was – it was meant to be. And… I just kept thinking… Tom was right.”

It got me to thinking about the last girlfriend that I had and how we met. I distinctly remember turning down three different parties of people who invited me to see Transformers 3 that night. I was kind of on the fence with the first invite but I declined because… A 3rd one? Are you serious? The second invite was a bit more tempting because a few cute girls were going but I declined because… People actually like Shia Labeouf? Does he hold the Guinness Book of World Records for the most vowels ever in a last name? Has his name ever shown up on the National Spelling Bee? ‘Cause that shit’s ridiculous. And finally the third invite I declined simply because of principle.

After all of that another friend invited me to go play some billiards with him at his apartment. I quickly accepted… mostly due to the allure of him saying “billiards” instead of “pool.” And there I met this girl and blah blahblah blahblah.

If I got married to that girl, that would be a pretty crazy story, no? If I ever got to talk to Zooey De…sch…anel…? (Okay, seriously, these celebrity names are getting way out of control.) She would likely “aww” at the story and say that it was meant to be. We were soul mates.

So, down to the meat of it all, is that not just… life? I could conjure up a ridiculous, coincidental story like that with me meeting absolutely anyone. So, because that girl and I hypothetically got married, that particular story which would match up with thousands of others in my life in incredulity suddenly becomes meaningful?

I take public transportation from time to time and I am often plagued by the notion that if I talked to everyone I saw on this train, I very well likely could meet my future wife, or my future best friend, or my future someone who can walk my dog when I am on vacation. So… why don’t I? Oh yeah, because that’s just weird, man… But, but… dude! The most incredible woman you will ever meet in your life could be sitting right across from you in that cute Rutgers sweater and sunglasses that make her look like some sort of insect! And you are going to pass on that opportunity just because you are afraid she will think you are some sort of 20 year old serial killer who happens to only prey on girls that are exactly like her in every single way by asking what she majored in at Rutgers?

So, how about it, interwebs? Do you believe there is a soul mate for all of us? And to give it my best shot at trying to avoid any religious debacles here, anyone is welcome to substitute “soul mate” for “the one individual on this planet who is the exact carbon copy of whatever you desire and/or need in another human being” but frankly, that is just a pain in the ass, but the option is still available.

But more importantly, if there is this person, how much effort should we all put forth into finding this individual? Both extremes are bad… I could obsess over finding the “perfect” person, never being satisfied. But I have also heard the argument many times that “you should never purposefully look for the relationship, the relationship will come to you.” But would it really kill ya so much as to just start up friendly banter with that cute man you happen to see in the park throwing a frisbee to his black lab? Or that lady who has the audacity to walk into a Starbucks in pajama pants? Or that Rutgers girl? Oh, but you say the chance is one in the million? Well, to this I reply with the question that may very well doom humanity (and my Saturday nights spent alone pondering in the dark munching on my Wheat Thins)… What if?

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10 thoughts on “Are soul mates… legit?

  1. Joanna says:

    [I think soulmates are are true in a way. I don’t think you have a soulmate forever. Everybody constantly grows (maybe not physically but metaphorically) and changes and who is your soulmate at one point in time may not be forever. If you grow up, marry your soulmate and 10 years down the road you end up divorced, you grew apart and there’s no forcing it back together. You have to start another “journey” with another person. And it doesn’t mean you’re a bad person or that you get serious too quickly, it just means something changed and now that person isn’t right for you.

  2. DavidIsGreat says:

    [I’d like for a second to talk about what you said regarding strangers on a bus. Why couldn’t they end up a best friend, or someone who eventually you can trust to walk your dog? So many people are afraid to talk to strangers, but there are awesome people sitting two seats down from you that you might never know if you don’t.

    What I mean is, that girl in line at the bank might not be the love of your life, but you might find someone worth meeting that way. You’re only creepy if the other person is bothered, and hopefully you have the social skills to recognize that and leave them alone.

  3. Matt Sanchelli says:

    [This is something me and the (now Ex) girlfriend would debate, and sometimes argue, about.

    I used to have the ‘Tom’ perspective towards relationships and that fantastical opinion regarding there being that one person who are are destined to be with.

    Then, as I got older the logical part of my brain kicked in. The numbers simply aren’t there. How many billions of people are there in the world? And to say that you have one soul mate…in the entire world? If that is something to undoubtedly believe then I recommend that you should play the lottery because those odds are going to be gangbusters over the soul mate odds.

    My belief is that each person probably has a number of soul mates. Plural. Is one better than another? No.

    As Joanna said above, we are changing all the time. I’m in my 30’s now and I’m still not the same guy I was when I was 29. I learn every day. I evolve every day. I grow and adapt. It’s called living life and experiencing it for what it is. Yes, there are some things that will probably remain constant within, but there are definitely other things that have room for growth and change.

    Even though I am largely a hopeless romantic, I don’t want to spend my entire life looking for one soul mate. I’d go crazy doing that, dissecting every woman I ever meet to see if she fits what could be considered extremely standards of being the ONE. This isn’t the 5th Element and looking for the “perfect being”.

    I’d rather keep my options open and become surprised when I meet someone who not only catches my eye, steals my heart and makes me go a-flutter; but someone who then surprises me with things I never would have thought I’d want in a partner or myself.

    I don’t want someone who is perfect for me when I find them. I want someone who is will to experience life with me, grow and adapt to every single day with me, and challenge me in ways that I would maybe never even considered.

  4. Happy Pants says:

    [I have a couple of opinions on this. First, I don’t think there’s one person, but multiple ones, like Parker said. It’s just statistics: if there are seven billion people on the planet, even if there are only a few million you can possibly date or have the chance of encountering, chances are there will be more than one person you’ll connect with in that way, or at least that you have the potential of connecting with in that way.

    Second, I think that if you buy into the concept of a soul mate, or people who are destined to be with each other, you can’t go out looking for it to happen. Just by definition, if it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen, and nothing you do can speed that along or stop it. Free will doesn’t factor in, because, in this world where fate determines everything, even free will is pre-ordained by destiny.

    I always go into new situations wondering if this is where I’m going to meet my future husband, or if this is where I’ll meet my next best friend, or whatever, but I try not to think about it too much and just live my life how I want to live it. I find that if I think about it too much, it ends up having too much of an influence on my life.

  5. Solstice says:

    [There is no one perfect person for you. There are likely a number of people who you could get along well with, be attracted to, and possibly spend the rest of your life with. The problem is just finding them. If you live in the Northeast your whole life and find someone to marry there, you might’ve found someone else to marry (or someone even better) if you lived in the Pacific Northwest your whole life. But I don’t think there is such a thing as one soul mate.

  6. MargieCharles says:

    [I don’t believe in soul mates.

    I think one thing that makes the whole “first meeting” story so special is because of what you’ve experienced since then. There’s this amazing person in your life, and part of the thing that makes them so amazing is that you’ve gotten so close to them. You think about how there are thousands of different scenarios that could have happened to prevent you from meeting them, and you imagine how amazing it is that everything aligned so perfectly to make this person a big component of your life (I’m having a Watchmen flashback here).

    But what if that didn’t happen? They would be another nameless face in the world, and a similar experience would have probably occurred with someone else. And then you’d be thinking about how the stars aligned to make that first meeting possible.

    So I guess I think we have the potential for something awesome with many different people, but obviously circumstances and decisions dictate who we ultimately choose as our partner.

  7. theattack says:

    [I didn’t believe in soulmates until I realized that I’d found something very similar to it. I doubt that there is one person for everyone, but I think there are people whose souls are made up of the same stuff as ours, and it’s impossible to have connections with other people as strong as the ones with those people. But I really don’t think most people find their soulmates. Marrying someone doesn’t make them your soulmate, and neither does loving them with all of your heart. It’s more about the cosmic makeup of who the two people are, and that’s not something you can search for. It’s something that you happen to find if you’re lucky.

    Here’s my fiance’s constellation theory of destiny, which I decided to adopt since it made sense to me: We all start out with a few different options for our lives, and we pick which paths to take. Each path could be considered something we’re destined for because it fits us perfectly, but we have free will to choose one of those paths, or to do something completely different. Taking a path leads us further from the other paths, and eventually we become so far removed from the others that they are no longer good fits for us. Each path is full of dots, like stars, and the decisions we make in life lead us from one dot to another. Most of these dots are career choices, or geography, or deciding to take a cooking class, but some of these dots are people. There are a few people in your whole map that could be a good fit for you, but the paths you take determine who you find, and even make that person a better fit for you.

  8. AKchic says:

    [I do believe in soul mates. Plural. And not all soul mates are meant to be romantic. My faux-bro is a soul mate. Him and I are so much alike, and when we first met, it was like we already knew each other. It was just a perfect “fit”.
    I’m pagan and I do believe in reincarnation. I believe that some souls do reincarnate and meet up with each other in various timelines in various roles within each others’ lives. Whether it’s a friendship role, a teacher/student role, a parent/child role, a student/mentor role, or a lover role, well, that is a roll of the dice, so to speak.

    The romantic love “Soul Mates” thing, well… sometimes a person can seem like your “soul mate” at the moment. And that’s what they are, for the moment. Once you (and the other person) have learned whatever it is you were destined to learn from the experience of being together, then you no longer need each other. You grow apart, you learn from the experience, so you are closer to being ready for your next soul mate. Not all soul mates are meant to be “forever” in this storybook kind of way.
    In my way of thinking, your heart will recognize your match, and if it’s the right time, then it’s the right time. There is a very old song that is very apt in this.
    “I have loved you before,
    I love you today
    And I will love you again,
    The time returns.”

    In essense: I have loved you in my past life, I love you in this life, and I will love you in my next life. “The time returns” is a promise. A promise kept and a promise of the future.

  9. DavidIsGreat says:

    [Its not something you find, its something you develop. Anybody who has seen that elderly couple married sixty years and still in love has seen soul mates. They didn’t start out that way, but they became that way.

  10. Love and Ink says:

    [There are many soul mates we encounter in our lives, and some stay longer than others, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t “fit” or they weren’t “meant to be.”

    I think we should be careful throwing these kinds of words around though.. The notion of soul mate seems so random and cosmic that it’s out of our control. I think we should remember we do have control, even of the people we end up with (romantic or not). Someone could feel like someone else is their soul mate, yet the person is toxic for them..

    We should cherish people who do just ‘click’ for us and we may very well consider them soul mates, but let’s not forget that we choose people and we should choose wisely. How will you know when you’ve made the right choice? is my next question ..

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