We can just count our blessings

19 Jan

So, I’m out on a date… with a friend, a girlfriend (yes, I have some of those too). As I was gushing about MG (yeah, I do that out in the real world too), she looks at me and tells me,

“Monica… oh boy, do you realize that you found your soul mate?”

Soul mate? Uh…?

I really never believe in soul mates, (there my big secret is OUT!) the belief that there is one person out there for everyone in every way?

Nope.

To tell you the truth, I think soul mates are for Disney movies. Now, the realistic person in me believes that if there is such a thing as a soul mate, I think it could just as well be a very “good” friend. However, “soul mate” is a broad term that through commercialization makes people thinks there is one person for everyone in the world. In reality, there is not. (at this point of my argument, my friend was looking at me like I have just told her that purses were really not a girls best-friend)

However, I do believe that you can truly love someone more than once in a lifetime. Here is my abbreviated theory:

As we age, we do not stay the same person. I am not the same person now that I was a year ago, five years ago, ten years ago. I have grown and changed – sort of like evolution. The traits I value now are not the traits I valued in my teens, twenties or even in my thirties – “early” thirties *cough*. Since these traits are ultimately what are important to a relationship, I cannot say that there is only one love in a lifetime. There will inevitably be a situation where you entered into a commitment and then you change to such an extreme degree that you can no longer have the commitment with that person. It happens, and it has happen to me, I had 4 solid long-term relationships in my life, and they all started and ended because I had changed and could not longer see myself committed fully to my partner at that point in my life. I notice that my level of commitment has also change, the older I have gotten the less open I am to give my full commitment to anyone. I’m more guarded in my choices, in my partners and in my relationship as a whole. But, I also know that I have more maturity to value, respect and give more than 100% to the one that stands besides me.

What I think should be considered as love has four parts: Respect, Friendship, Commitment, and Passion.

What is not love is very obvious.

What is not love? That feeling (Whatever you think it is. Love is a verb, note from 1st grade: Verb = action. That means it is something you do, not something you feel.)

1) Connectedness with another, this is friendship in my book

2) Sex, this will never be love (yep, think about it, how many times you has sex with someone you truly feel nothing towards? Be honest!)

4) Attraction, this is just plain lust, which equal sex which leads back to point number 2

5) Comfort, again this is friendship.

6) The need to be with someone. This is loneliness or codependency, not love.

7) The fear of being without someone. See point 6.

What is love?

Respect + Friendship + Commitment & Communication + Passion = Love

Respect: You need to respect the person next to you. When you have respect for a person, you are considerate toward them. You will never be mean spirited towards them, you will never hurt them. You will want to learn from them, you will listen and value their opinions and their feelings. I think this is the most important element to the equation. When you fail to have this in a relationship, you will never have the other 3, friendship, commitment and passion. The basis of a functioning relationship is respect.

Friendship: Someone you love must be your friend. They must be loyal, trustworthy, and caring. They must want to help you, be with you, share with you, live with you, and grow with you, because they want to. They do this without an ulterior motive.

Commitment: the person you love must be dedicated to you and the relationship. Stuff will happen in a relationship that you don’t like. Unlike what people think, relationships are not always rosy, there are times when you will hate the person you are with and times you will love them more than any other person in the world. You need to be willing to see and live the good, bad and ugly with this person. You can’t just run away because there are bad times. In fact, most everything should be tempered with patience and flexibility. Commitment also means knowing when to let go. Sometimes you know that you have come to the end of the road with someone. Sometimes you want to be alone. Knowing how and when to give that space to another is vital.

Ultimately, how you preserver is through communication. You talk it out. You tell each other how upset you are, explain what happened, what is going on, and so on and so forth. Without communication you cannot make it through life changes with one person. Without communication when you change as a person, the relationship will not last.

Passion: Of course there has to be some sort of underlying attraction to the other person. You have to feel wanted, we are human and our mature is to gravitate toward the opposite of us. I give about a 70% of the relationship pie to Passion. Duh!

So, based on that, no, you are not screwed if you mess up with one person. In fact, when you mess up with that one person it might help you learn and grow from the situation and the next person will benefit from this learning process, and if there is NO other person, YOU will benefit from it, by learning about yourself.

Maybe we meet different soul mate thru our lives, and MG is my soul mate in this period of my life. Now if we are so lucky to end up gray and old together, then we could not have asked for anything better and we can count our blessings.

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