True love is a Western society invention, or so I've been told. For countless centuries people were married to one another based on societal status, social class, through arranged marriages, or just for the survival of the human species. "She has some nice child baring hips. I shall make her my wife." Crap like that. It was never about a feeling. So when did real love, or "true love" come along and does it even really exist? And if it does, what is this nonsense about "The One?" (No, I'm not talking about Neo and The Matrix.)
When it comes to love I believe there's multiple kinds. Love for family is one, love of friends another. You can even love a food, movie or band. But romantic love is a whole other beast. I've had some married friends tell me they didn't initially marry their spouse for love. It was for a number of other reasons. How society was at the time, to be rebellious, due to pregnancy or just cause they wanted to be married. They've also told me they've "learned" to love their partner over time. That seems pretty confusing to me. Love isn't a skill you can learn and acquire. It's a feeling. It comes from the heart. You can learn to be a better partner, a better lover but not actually learn to feel something. You either feel it or you don't. The feelings can grow or wither and die, but can not be learned or unlearned.
Over the years, I've had a number of girlfriends and loved them all in some way, shape or form. Looking back, not all were romantic love. But at the time it was love and I was content with that. How can I tell the difference now? I really just look back at each relationship and ask myself if I could actually see a future with that person and/or if that future included marriage and children. In some of them I could have possibly seen a future. In others that future may have included marriage or children but never both. That is until one girl came along. "The One," as they say. Or true love if you will.
I never believed in true love. I always quoted Owen Wilson's character in Wedding Crashers when people asked me what true love was. He said, "True love is one soul's recognition of it's counter point in another." It's a really good description. Spot on even. But I never felt it or believed in it. Till SHE came along. I always believed real love was just a fairy tale. Something you only saw in movies. I believed in love itself but just not true love. I mean, there are billions of people on this planet, so how can one single person be "the one" or your "soulmate," if you will?
Whatever I believed in totally changed when I this mystery girl came into my life. It was like a jolt of lightning, a drug. We had an instant connection the moment we met and she hugged me. I was pulled in and wanted more of it. It came to the point where I felt like I had known her forever. That I'd met her in a past life. That it was fate. Destiny. Kismet. Meant to be. I saw it all. Us living together, getting married, having rugrats and pets. Going on vacations. Cold nights cuddled up together on the couch. This is was Owen Wilson's character was talking about. Our souls were intertwined. Connected. We were meant to be. She was my soulmate. She was the one.
Or so I thought. But if they're really "the one," shouldn't you be together no matter what life throws at you? Or is there still an emotional limit to what even soulmates can endure? I mean, we are human after all. Long story short, my addiction took its toll on our relationship and she left because it was too hard to watch me fall and try to get back up only to slip and fall again. There really was nothing she could do to help cause it was my own personal battle and she felt helpless standing at the sidelines watching me slowly kill myself. At the time I was really hurt. Mad even. She told me I was her "one" as well. She saw the same future I did. So why was she leaving? I took some time and put myself in her shoes and saw her side. Soulmates or not, you can't watch someone consistently do the same destructive behavior to themselves and expect to have the happy future you envisioned together. It's just not possible and I'd probably have left as well.
After this experience I stated to read up about this concept of soulmates and such. I learned things like, we have three kinds of soulmates in our life. One romantic, that teaches you life lessons but leaves you in pain. One platonic, who's always there for you no matter what, and one who lets you be your true self that you usually end up with. I also learned there's a difference between soulmates and life partners. Again, they say that soulmates are aligned with your soul to challenge, awaken and stir up different parts of you. Once those are learned they tend to leave. Life partners are stable and secure, there's mutual feelings of love and respect, and you're both in sync with each other. In general, it's a rather perplexing subject with differing opinions on it. So what was this girl then? Just another of life's little lessons you learn in this journey? If so then why are my feelings still so strong to this day?
Whatever it was it's opened my eyes and changed my perspective and concept of love in general. I believe you can love anything and anyone and that it can come in many forms. Healthy infatuations, crushes, flirtations. It's all about the feelings. Love really isn't a bad thing and God knows our society could use more of it these days. Just make sure you let those people know how you feel. As for that girl, wanna know what I think she was? I think she was the one that got away...