I find, ever since I was a kid I loved certain ideas. Some fantastic, some more mundane. (I thought it would be the coolest thing to find a dragon egg, to raise it and to ride it one day) All unrealistic. But they served a very direct purposes. They kept me busy and helped me develop my imagination. They helped me grow. And then at a certain bitter sweet point, I had to understand that those things would never happen. No matter how much I wanted them they wouldn't exist. I found myself almost bitter about those things and then mad because of how foolish my desires were. Why should I be bitter because I'll never ride on the back of a dragon? And yet I was. It was a recognition of a betrayal. In tactics it's called a bait and switch- and I don't like being bait and switched.
Now I find myself with a new fantasy to outgrow. That of the soulmate. Let's do this.
To me, the idea of a soulmate is endlessly attractive. One person to understand you, to love you through and through and to be at your side for anything. A person who you'll have to fight for and who will fight for you. It might be hell to get that person. It might be hell to keep that person. But it's your happiness in another person and it's beautiful. A thought I heard long ago was that we end up with 8 or so soulmates throughout all the billions of people and we're lucky to find one of them. I found one who I thought fit the bill. Another was really close.
Yet, it didn't work like they say it's supposed to. I needed her so deeply in the roughest point of my life and she abandoned me. Sure I was a terror to deal with but it was all a desperate cry for attention. She never responded the way I needed her to and finally left. I was alone, afraid and in financial ruin with the pieces of my heart. I pressed on. I kept going and I don't need her anymore. Soul mate indeed.
Then my mind immediately jumped to "well maybe she wasn't really my soul mate". And so I continued. However in tandem with me seeing what happens with soul mates I found ideas about monogamy and how false it is. A big lie, we never evolved to be monogamous. That we try to stuff ourselves into these boxes of behavior against our nature is astounding and mostly due to religious pressures. Always being the one to question traditions, these ideas ignite something in me. And they are at direct odds with the soulmate idea I cling so desperately to.
How, how on earth could I ever have gotten bored with someone who was supposed to be my end all be all person? The person I thought I wanted to spend the rest of my life with... I got bored with her. That's not supposed to happen. It's supposed to be happily ever after. It's not supposed to be happy til you're bored. I didn't like it. How was I supposed to react? How could I love this woman and be so bored sexually? That's not what it's supposed to be like.
So I went to "maybe she's not my soulmate". And she wasn't far behind in thinking the same about me. When she abandoned me I found myself needing her so deeply but with her gone what was there? So I coped.
And for a long while I didn't think about it. I just couldn't, I just lost my soulmate. For good probably so what else was there? Meaningless sex with random women? Dates, even relationships with women I don't really enjoy? This was a far cry from what I wanted so I stopped thinking about it. Then an idea occurred, what about polyamory? What happens if I find multiple soulmates? Should I excommunicate one in favor of the other or could I have them both? Why shouldn't I? How is it fair to exclude one for the other? What about love? Monogamy has so many ideas that are predicated on love being a valuable and rare resource. But that's not what I've seen. I've seen love be limitless. At least when I do it, it is. So why couldn't I love more than one? So poly amory become the goal.
As I researched and learned, polyamory seemed to loose it's luster also. I still have yet to experience polyamory but all of this leads me to cognitive dissonance over the ideas on soulmates at all.
Once that realization hit, logic stepped in to finish the job. On it's last leg, as it writhed in pain from an arrow in it's heart-the poison seeping through it's body betrayed by the very thing that normally kept it alive-the heart, the idea of a soul mate called forth a new girl. With it's dying yelp she answered. And saved me in a lot of ways.
Lowest point in my life and she came forth out of nowhere to keep me there. To keep me going. She was beautiful but had such a personality that I often overlooked her. Once I noticed though, oh my god, such beauty! And more than that, she was damn near perfect. Better than the first "soul mate". Better than anyone. But taken and I was thrown back so far. Cognitive dissonance abounded and I couldn't manage to keep her attracted. I never kissed her, I instead kept to my guns-spouting some vitriole about needing to explore polyamory. So she moved on. As I kept interacting with her, I fell in love. But she was done.
She was so perfect but on my desire for polyamory she switched off like a light switch. Really soul mate? Really? Just like a light switch? No, that's not how it's supposed to work. That's your last refuge soul mate? That's what you bring forth in your last dying yelp? Oh she was good, she was very good but not enough to save you. Logic has pierced your heart. The poison has taken a hold. Soul mate, sorry, but I'm outgrowing you. And I'm relishing your death. She was almost your salvation, she almost was your antidote and medic. But really soul mate? A light switch? I'm done with the betrayal from our culture. And I'm ready for you to die. Good bye soul mate. You, just like dragons will never exist.
So Logic, my brilliant weapon that has killed you soul mate. What truth do you have for me?
The arrow that killed the soulmate
Why so much expectation? Why so much pressure? In any other area of life we don't do this. Businesses are specialized, one place does flowers, the next does plumbing and on and on. We wouldn't commit to only ever using one business for the simple reason that we have more diverse needs than any one business could cater to. We do this with friends too. I have my friends I can work out with, I have my friends I can play video games with, I have going out for a drink friends, and I have friends that I talk to girls with. A friend or two cross some of those lines but for the most part, they stay in their neat little categories based on their interests. My video game friends really aren't into working out and I don't expect them to be. Not a one of them gets jealous because I workout with a different friend or because I don't drink with them. There's no expectation. So why do we persist in trying to shoe horn our natures (our entire behavior in every other facet of life really) into neat little boxes and say "you're the only woman I'll ever need in my life."?
It just isn't realistic for me anymore. I know this route will be a challenge because women and our culture encourage monogamy. The underlying theme seems to be intimacy only comes with monogamy. While I love intimacy, I know the real truth. Intimacy comes without monogamy. Just like my friends, I can have fun, deep conversations, or whatever else I need in any of the groups. And then, if I have further needs I can puzzle them together for my life without forcing someone to do something they really aren't keen to do.
So why don't we pursue this line of thinking with our love lives? I mean sure, that messes up a lot of fairy tales... or does it? What if the most iconic romantic moments had the new couple we're watching, what if that couple both had their own person waiting for them at home? Are we really losing anything? I know I know, jealousy and all that but let's pretend we're over that. What would that look like? I go out with some amazing new girl, and come home to my girlfriend who I excitedly chatter about the date too. And then, her and I settle in for me to cook for her and enjoy some wine. The next night, I go out to meet yet another few girls that may or may not catch my fancy. Apart from jealousy, why can't that happen? What would it be like to get in a long term relationship for like 5 years, hit that bored phase and instead of ending something that might be really really beautiful (and clearly enduring) you two meet someone new to date? Would all those 'new date' excitations come up again? Wouldn't that bleed over to your long term thing and enhance it? Okay maybe it wouldn't but doesn't that make so much more sense than "you're the only woman I'll be with forever and ever and the only thing I need in my life." No you're not. You might be close but someday there is going to be something I want to do that you don't, isn't it just easier to let me do that with someone else? Whether that's some weird sex thing or just something as innocent as snow boarding doesn't really matter at the end of the day... at least not to me.
While logic is the weapon that killed the soulmate, there had to be something to fill that void. As my heart broke and I carried around the shards, desperately hoping she (not-soul-mate #1) would find me again, I developed deep needs. I had nothing left. I was exhausted. Everyday just... hollow and untrue. Then to have my hopes raised up again by not-soul-mate #2 and then dropped yet again... To tape together the glass shards and try to mend the broken mess of sharp edges and jagged emotion... to make some headway and then have that shattered again... it made me feel stupid.
Eventually, something in me knew what I needed-even if I didn't. And once my inhibitions were lowered, it took my hands. It saw its chance in a drunken stupor and in that moment it forced my fingers-just like a storm forces its gift upon the land- to form the text that sealed my fate and replaced the Soul Mate. I texted an ex that I have no business texting. She hates how I never commit to her (just an obviously casual thing from my side) but whatever it was in me needed her. And soon the thing in me saw itself in her, she needed me too. So we found each other. And she came close and we laid there. Almost asleep-over a cute peck on the cheek the damn broke. "I want you in me" and so I obliged. And as I moved I found a freedom. She took me and saw what was there, she saw the shards of my heart. And she said "let me have a look... well here's your first problem..." And just like a mechanic she went about, setting the bones of my heart, bandaging, mending, and healing and loving. And I loved her for it.
And the void left by soulmate's death was filled. We had an island of perfection, apart from the world, apart from the worries, the frets, the broken loves, the devastating losses and the other joys, we had an island. And that island was my bed. And it was perfect, it was a vacation. And we both needed it. My heart is healed enough, and I can let go. I'm okay. I found a reprieve from the hurt, from the loss. She gave that to me and I gave it to her. And I realize, those things in us that know what we need-those things that forced my fingers to text her and that forced her to demand me be in her... that thing was life. And it's like a live wire to hang onto it. It's scary and dangerous and intimidating and terrifying but for being there next to it, it grants you a reprieve and whatever else you need. And I no longer missed her, or the new her. I no longer missed the soulmate. My heart no longer thrusts itself out in some dreamed, wispy direction-toward something that isn't even there. I no longer even relish its death. I have nothing left for soulmate. I have nothing left for her at all and it's now that I know... I'm okay. Really okay. Not just "don't want to talk about" okay. Actually okay. Just like passing an ex on the street and not feeling a damn thing, I'm really over her. I'm over soulmate.
The soulmate is dead and gone. And just like the dragons I so deeply longed for, I'm okay with it. I see what it's done for me. I might create a tribute to soulmate, something small. Just like the little, 5 dollar, teal dragon toy that adorns my bookshelf. And forever there shall it remain-a testament to my growth. And soulmate, with my dragon will both watch me. They will watch me and enjoy the growth they caused. They will watch me take lovers, as many as I can share love with. Because there no longer is one special one for me, there are thousands of special ones for me. And I will love them all because I have to. Because they will need me just as I need them. And we will heal each other together. Because that's what life is and that's what it offers. And so, it's what I offer.
I am Finally Alive... again. Until the next melodramatic crisis of mine... :D