The next time you argue with your one true love, consider this sobering but freeing thought: Results from a recent study in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology suggest that couples who see themselves as “soul mates” end up being less satisfied with their relationships than those who don’t. “When problems inevitably arise, ‘soul mates’ start to feel they aren’t a great fit after all,” says Spike Lee, PhD, the study’s coauthor and an assistant professor at the University of Toronto. What’s more, couples who think of love as a journey of ups and downs are ultimately happier even if they continue to argue. Says Lee, “They seem better able to extract deep meaning from negative experiences and learn from them.”
When two people are the same one ins’t necessary. Try to see relationships as a beautiful journey of expansion. This is not a beautiful journey without challenge. That would not be expansion. At the end of a relationship you are you, just like you were when you met that person. But what you do and where you are in your life is expanded. It cannot contract.
The idea of a soul mate can become a metaphor for pleasure-fulness. We say “I feel so happy, they must be my soul mate” but this is counter-reality. If they are your soul mate, and you will never really know, then they will support and challenge you equally. Support and challenge is the true nature of unconditional love, it is a law of nature, a universal necessity. Support and challenge grows things, expands things, whether it is an atom or an entire galaxy of stars, support and challenge is always in perfect symmetry, proportion and order. This is love.
Romance is appreciation.
It is wise to appreciate your partner as they are. If you think you can help or support your partner without creating challenges that can destabilise your relationship then you are thinking lust and not love. Romance is not changing, it is appreciating someone as they are. You might feel that you serve your partner by compromising, but that compromise is trying to help them, to fix them, to make them a better partner. That is changing. Romance is not changing, so romance is not helping, fixing, compromising. If your partner says “there is something wrong with me” then the most romantic answer might be “but I love that part of you.”
How this small insight helps bring more love and romance into your life.