When we think of soulmates, we think of two people who are perfect for one another in every way. We think about this ideal relationship, one in movies where everything somehow falls into place. But love isn’t like that. It’s not perfect, not flawless, not shiny and wrapped with a little bow.
Sometimes love is messy. And sometimes we lose our ‘soulmate’—or who we believe is the ‘right one’—along the way.
Here are four reasons why soulmates can’t (and usually don’t) stay:
1. Because we meet them at the wrong time.
Because we meet these seemingly-perfect people when our lives are in disarray. Sometimes we’re so caught up in what we’re going through, we fail to recognize their power in our lives. We’re selfishly looking at our own problems, rather than noticing the love that’s right in front of us.
And before we know it, that person’s been snatched up by someone else.
2. Because we’re often too young to recognize the power of the relationship.
Soulmates can’t (and usually don’t) stay because we meet them when we’re too young. We cross paths when we’re far too naïve to recognize the power of the connection or to see the potential from where we are.
We might love, we might fall, we might commit for a period of time. But inevitably things fall apart. We’re too young, and foolish, and unprepared for that kind of love when it first finds us.
3. Because one or both of us isn’t ready.
We want love, but sometimes we’re not ready for it. Sometimes we think we can jump in without fear or prior baggage, but it’s harder than we anticipated. Honestly, soulmates can’t (and usually don’t) stay because we aren’t ready for that kind of deep, soul-seeing love.
4. Because maybe there’s no such thing as a ‘perfect soulmate.’
Maybe ‘soulmates’ is just a term we’ve created in hopes that we’d find this perfect love. But maybe it’s not necessarily real in the fairytale way we’ve been conditioned to believe. Maybe instead, we’re meant to find a person who’s better than a soulmate—someone who isn’t perfect but sees us. Someone who isn’t going to make us feel like we’ve found our ‘other half’ but help us recognize that we were always complete.
Maybe it’s not about finding a soulmate at all, but about finding love that challenges us, finding a person who balances the parts of ourselves, who holds us accountable, who fights with and for us to grow together.
Maybe soulmates can’t (and usually don’t) stay because they’re not real.
Because you have to choose to love someone when they stop being the ‘ideal’ and ‘perfect’ person you’ve made them out to be. And they won’t see you as perfect either but love you regardless.
And maybe that’s what real love is—not glorifying a person as an answer, as what makes us ‘whole,’ as this thing we’ve been searching for—but seeing an imperfect, messy, frustrating, beautiful person by our side. And saying, “Yes, I choose you.”