Is it just me, or are we getting a little lavish with the numbered lists of “how-to-make-your-life-better” posts? I mean, you can’t scroll through Facebook or any other social media without seeing “7 Ways to Know It’s True Love,” or “9 Questions Every Soulmate Should Answer,” or “18 Steps to Scrutinizing Your Self and Your Relationship in the Guise of Uplifting Rhetoric,” etc.
I mean, COME ON.
Forget the lists. Forget the step-by-step instructions. Forget listening to anyone else when it comes to YOUR self and YOUR relationships.
I’m not saying you are in the perfect relationship, or that you know all there is know about being in one. And yes, there may be a time or two when you come across someone’s well-meaning advice or insight that makes sense and relates to you personally, may help you even. That’s great. But I strongly urge you not to etch those words in stone and expect them to apply to you every day for the rest of your life. As in the words of Percy Bysshe Shelley, “Nought may endure but Mutability.”
You will change throughout your life. Your relationships will change throughout your life. Neither of these facts of life are meant to be discouraging. Change is the only way we grow – and therefore, the only way we can grow in our relationships.
Furthermore, no two people are the same, so how on EARTH can we expect two relationships between different people to be the same, even in formulaic terms? I am not you, you are not me, my circumstances are not yours, my past is not yours, the relationship I currently have to another person with their own set of circumstances and history is NOT YOURS. My version of a soulmate might entail someone who can stand my obsessive need to keep the living space clean and organized, who likes to do things with me while also reserving time for his own distinct interests and hobbies, who holds my hand and makes me laugh and (most importantly) holds me when I cry. He may not make me breakfast in the morning, or send shivers down my spine with every touch, or gallantly rip off his shirt to lay across the perennial puddle of mud that bars my path wherever I may walk…
My point is, there are not seven, or nine, or eighteen, or ANY fixed number of things that can point you to your most desirable mate. The only thing that can do that is your own heart. The tricky part about that is, how well do you know it?