On Soul Mates

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Yesterday Bryan and I celebrated a year and a half of marriage (which I know seems like nothing, but we like celebrating the small milestones). And here’s the thing—now, more than ever, I’m convinced that we were not meant to be.  I’m more certain than ever before that there are no such things as soul mates—not the destined to be together kind, anyway.

I don’t believe that Bryan and I were made for each other. I don’t think ending up together was the only option.  I believe that if we had never met, we both would have found someone else that made us just as happy, just as complete.

To me, soul mates are just too easy.

The idea of soul mates rests on the belief that there is one person in the universe created just for you. You search for that person your entire life so that you can finally be complete.  Before you were walking around just a half of whole, but not anymore—now you’ve found the missing piece.  There’s not another option.  That person is the only one for you. And you’ll find your soul mate—you have to—because it’s fate.

It’s a nice enough theory.  It makes for sappy songs and tear-jerker chick flicks. But love, I think, is something different.

The kind of love that the best love stories are made of—the kind of love that always trusts, always hopes, all always protects, always endures—is a choice. It’s the kind of choice that requires hard work and commitment.  It tests your selflessness, your patience, and your faith. It’s a choice that requires you to bring your best self to the table and to forgive when the other person fails to do so, too. It’s a choice that requires you to ask for forgiveness yourself, over and over agin, and to stay put when all you want to do is leave.

I wake up every single morning and choose to love Bryan.  When he doesn’t put his dirty plates in the sink or take out the trash, I choose to love him.  When he brings me mocha frappuccinos and makes me laugh so hard I cry, I choose to love him. When I can’t stand being in the same room as him, I choose to love him. When I can’t imagine my life without him, I choose to love him.

“Meant to be” is a nice idea, but I prefer the alternative.  There is something pretty wonderful about knowing that of all the people in the world, someone chose me. He could have picked someone else. The world would have kept on spinning, and we both would have moved on…but he didn’t.

I choose him and he chooses me. And I think there is something really special about that.

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