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Love Lab

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I have a soulmate and I have a husband. They are not the same person

“A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then leave. A soul mate’s purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, and make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life.”

~Elizabeth Gilbert

 

Contrary to what you may think,“The one who got away” is not only the title of a song written by Katy Perry. It is a fact. I am sure that each of you have experienced a gone-bad relationship and carry the memory of a person you are secretly still obsessed with and are having a hard time moving on from. You used to consider him your soulmate, the love of your life, the one and only. Until he broke your heart, he wrecked your soul, he gave up on you with no apparent reason and you were left alone with the thoughts of what could have been. It’s been six months,one year, one year and a half. After spending days and nights recalling the last moments spent together and the last (not) spoken words, you have finally managed to get a closure; you have decided it was finally time to let go in order to kick start a new chapter of your life. But just when you think you have finally moved on from him,inexplicable things happen that seem to prevent you from erasing that person from your memory. Even though you have not met him in ages, you still see his face on random strangers in the street, on the bus and on your solitary walk to work.In those unknown people you have never paid any attention to, you now recognise the features of your unfortunate lover. The same hairstyle,the same Adidas bag, the same Star Wars T-shirt,the same swagger-walk that you loved and hated at the same time.It feels like an endless curse, a torture, a painful agony and you keep asking yourself whether it will ever end. How many among you have found themselves entangled in such a situation?

Timing means a lot in life.

This is certainly the case of two very dear friends of mine: Craig and Holly. When they met, they were both in their early twenties and they were both pursuing the same degree at university. They shared a passionate loving relationship which eventually ended in a breakup. Craig was really in love with Holly. They deeply connected with each other on every level from the get-go. Apparently, this feeling was not enough for Craig, who could not resist some other girl’s sex appeal and eventually cheated on Holly with Isabel, her best friend. Holly loved him completely but, although she tried on more than one occasion, to come to terms with her boyfriend’s infidelity, she could never really get over it and decided to put that failed one year-relationship behind her in order to seek happiness elsewhere. I have recently met Craig and Holly separately and, believe it or not, what they told me didn’t surprise me at all. Currently, he is happily married and she is in a long term relationship.They are now happy with the other partners but they never really forgot about their relationship.Craig still considers Holly the one who got away and truly regrets that things did not work out between them. On the other side, it made Holly a little sad to realise that,despite the cheating, Craig could have been her life-long companion. Obviously the timing, they agree, was not right.Although they are aware that they could not make sense together, they still miss each other somehow.

But what do they really miss?

At first, losing that special person felt like losing your soulmate. He was everything that you wanted. For once you seemed to have your life playing out like a Nicholas Sparks’ novel and nothing made more sense than you and him together. However, if it is true that there was a reason for us feeling that deep connection with a certain person,there also must be a reason why the relationship eventually failed.While it is extremely easy to remember the former, it gets difficult when it comes to recalling the latter. But hey, here’s my two cents on the matter: you don’t miss him. You only miss the idea of what you think it could have been. Apparently, you have been too busy contemplating your Mr.Right ‘s good sides that you have forgotten to remember all those unbearable flaws you could barely tolerate when you were together.Those traits are slowly coming back to you. His arrogance, the fact that he believed himself to be the centre of the universe, his wicked sense of humour that never failed to annoy you, his frustrating moodiness, his being hot and cold all the time which made it impossible for you to trust him. And the list can go on forever… A failed relationship is a bit like a defective toy. You tried your best to fix it. You even purchased a replacement part in the hope that it could make your toy work properly. Still, you know it never will. At first you get mad, you feel another layer of frustration invading your body but, after a first moment of denial, you slowly learn to accept the fact that the day “your soulmate” left was in fact your beginning.

Did you actually lose something?

A huge difference exists between a soulmate and a lifemate. The person you are going to spend the rest of your life with has often very little to do with the person you address to as your soulmate. Soulmates are figures who are meant to cross our path to give us a lesson, to help us grow up and reveal features of our personality that we were not even aware of. Lifemates are those people we love on a deeper level and with whom we are capable of building a strong relationship which overcomes every obstacle on the way and succeeds in celebrating happiness. While soulmates enter our life and then leave, lifemates are meant to stay. A soulmate understands you and misunderstands you at the same time. He challenges you in so many different ways, pushing your patience way beyond its limit, teasing you with a motivational purpose, doing everything but stroking your ego. It might be that in that particular moment of your life you needed someone to shake you up and your soulmate was the person for that job. The feeling of being alive that a soulmate made you experience is something so genuinely powerful that will never be erased from your memory and a part of you is aware that the love you shared with him will never quite go away. That doesn’t mean you don’t have to let him go. After all, he is the one who got away. So, let him go away. You should embrace this little piece of wisdom and make yourself aware that not every loss is meant to make you lose something. In letting go of the thoughts about him, you might find new thoughts about yourself.

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