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November 11, 2015

When We Find a Soulmate—& then Lose Them.

lovers partners romance together

As someone who has stated that I don’t believe in “The One”, it’s surprising to many when I reveal that I do believe in the concept of a soulmate, and I actually met mine years ago.

But it didn’t last. It wasn’t even one of my longer-lasting relationships. Looking back, I can honestly say it is for the best that we are no longer together. However, there was never any question in my mind that we were soulmates; and, along with bringing out the best in each other, we also brought out the worse.

The interesting thing about my experience is the fact that it isn’t all that atypical.

Even amongst my relatively small circle of friends, I have heard similar tales. The celebrity world is also full of examples of soulmates who didn’t end up together. Some of the most famous include Ava Garner & Frank Sinatra and Elizabeth Taylor & Richard Burton.

So the question is: What’s the point of meeting one’s soulmate only to lose them?

While I can’t speak for everyone, my own experience taught me a lot about myself, including those parts of me I would prefer to ignore.

I consider myself to be a fairly honest person, but I, like everyone I have ever encountered, have an idealized version of myself that I want everyone to believe—especially myself.

My soulmate was like looking in one of those magnifying mirrors forcing me to see the good, the bad and the ugly. I used to say that one of the reasons we couldn’t possibly spend the rest of our lives together was that we were too much alike. The things I loathed most in him—specifically, his stubbornness and rush to judgement—were the same things I had in me but pretended weren’t there.

On the positive side, he also taught me the importance of loving what is real and actually there as opposed to what we wish might be there.

While this may sound like the makings of a turbulent, rollercoaster relationship, the majority of it wasn’t. There were periods of drama, but even the end wasn’t so much a bang but rather a gentle acceptance that things had run their course.

Even now, years after we have parted ways, moved to various parts of the country and had children with other partners, I some times still wonder, “What if?”

However, I also feel that it is possible to go through life and have more than one soulmate. Based on what I’ve heard about his spouse, it sounds like he found another one. So did I and, for all I know, I may find another in the future.

Still, nothing will ever replace him, nor will I ever forget the lessons from our brief relationship.

Perhaps the biggest lesson of all is that soulmates may not necessarily be forever, but the mark they leave on us is.

~

Relephant:

Soul Mates & Choices: When the End is not the End.

~

Author: Kimberly Lo

Editor: Caroline Beaton

Image: Flickr/Geoffrey Etwein

 

 

 

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