Editorial Note: Originally published on 2012/04/06.
Imagine if we were swans? We’d croak when our partner died. No fun.
Two days ago, I was discussing soul mates with my friend. Whether we believed there is only one person out there for us, or if we actually had multiples. I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening considering this while in pottery class painting lopsided bowls, and I believe my initial instincts were right: that there is always more than one, and it’s always hinged on timing.
Also, that we don’t have an endless supply of soul mates. Like, we don’t run around smashing into them here, and there, and everywhere. Maybe we have three if we’re lucky. I like the number three, and have always said if I have kids three would be ideal because if one dies, then you have two left and the chances of those two also kicking it aren’t very high. Welcome to the basement of my mind, Reader.
That said, I’m not entirely sure what a “soul mate” is, and the name alone is so heavy with expectation that it’s making me uncomfortable. I mean, when you’re sitting across from someone, do you think: Is this my soul mate? because I don’t. I usually think: I would really like to touch your hair, and sit in your lap. Upside down.
JUST KIDDING, MOMMA! CALL ME!
Maybe better to call it Extreme Chemistry Which May Become Soul Matey If You Both Share The Same Level Of Interest In One Another And The Timing Is Right And You Become A Team Who Communicates Well And Laughs At The Same Things And Shares Secrets And Then With Time You Know You Are Indeed Soul Matey, Marty for short. As in: Is this your Marty?
A while back, I wrote this while trying to understand sexual chemistry, and I returned to it this morning to see if I still believed it, which I do. (I mean…who needs to evolve when the word coincé is so elegant?)
“Soul mate” is like “I love you.” They are sacred, to be respected, and never used lightly because the more you spread them around, the less worth they possess. Take me as example, I have only ever said “I love you” to one man. This means that the weight and worth of these three little words, in that order, are on par with the Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond.
It really is that simple, and I really did just compare myself to the world’s most expensive diamond. You should too. This is the standard to which you should hold yourself, and absolutely nothing less.
It is also the standard to which you should hold your wo/man / undecided. Quite honestly, I would bust a clown out of my life if he talked about the twenty other “soul mates” to whom he expressed his undying love before he met me. I am not interested in being an egg shoved into a carton alongside a trillion others.
Sidebar: If I was creeping a potential man on Facebook and saw that every single woman he dated he brought home to his family, and entrenched in the lives of his friends, I would find this a complete turn-off. For me, it means that when he intros me to his family, and his friends, I am just another egg in the carton. There is nothing special about me or the relationship which makes the introductions a little more weighty. Also, I am pretty sure that my mum is yelling from her home: THIS IS WHY YOU’RE STILL SINGLE!!
You remember my first Marty, about whom I wrote here. Marty is all across the board intensity, compatibility, and vulnerability which is natural, easy, and fun (people often forget that ‘fun’ is among the most important and relevant of glues that hold together a healthy and long-term relationship). It is neither calculated nor measured, but rather it is what it is. Often inexplicable because it is what I consider the “ex” factor, where God’s hand is at rest on your heart in the presence of another.
I came close once after my first Marty, but no cigar, and I am curious: How do you know you found one of your Marties?
Maha, your 2 cents on life always amaze me!
Awww, Ali! Thank you for reading — I had no idea you read what I wrote 🙂
I always do! U have amazing writing skills and u say funny yet deep stuffs :p
3anjad ya Ali, you just made my night. Thank you so so much for your kind and generous words. Inshallah you will always keep enjoying my little written contributions…
Maha I dont know you but amazing article! 🙂
Nice post Maha. I try to not think of love as soulmate/ non-soulmate but there is something that connects us deeply to that “special one”. It usually is a mixture of sharing similar interests, mutual respect and admiration, etc.
I think there is more than one that could potentially vie to be that “special one”, but only one gets that position when our heart chooses them to get it. Have you read the little prince? Theres a line about that somewhere in that great book.
Keep up the great work and keep up the search for finding your “special one”!
I knew she was my Marty when all I wanted to do was share everything with her, and when she wasn’t around, everything was more dull. She actually lit my world up, Maha. I did the same for her. We couldn’t wait to share everything with the other person. It was amazing.
I think three is an excellent number, as well. I look forward to “meeting” albeit virtual the man who is yours.
Marty is just different. You put in more time – don’t get bad vibes – keep staying with it and over time – or at least for me some time – a year to see how all 4 seasons affect a person. But as to ‘soulmate’ – no way and dittos to what Sam said above. Eventually there is this person, who, after enough years, you have set up a partnership with. We treat each other well, (bless you when you sneeze) and have too much to lose (family stuff not money stuff) and/or no strong reason to go separate ways. Keeping the commitment. Of course, most (not all) will agree passion dims, but you put in a little work and keep moving forward. Sure, the dance with someone new and a first kiss would be totally exciting, but it would be a trade off of many things that would be lost. Not worth it. There is no real perfect man (I said real because a certain fictional man is quite perfect) and after all these years I’ll see a flaw or irritation I did not really notice before. That is why love is truly blind. So, if you meet Marty, you don’t need to think he is perfect, but you won’t notice all the flaws right away. If he beats you, cheats, is a LLWL run the other way, those flaws are different. I’m afraid you’ve set the bar too high. I’m not saying settle for a loser, there is a difference. A regular guy who holds down a job, has mutual interests and treats you well is all you really need. And to be honest, even the mutual interests are not a deal breaker. You can live your lives more side by side than together. Keep your friends and interests, he keeps his, compare notes and hang out when you get home. And, if you get a chance to put your ovaries to work, you’ll be too busy to worry about all this stuff for the next 15 years anyway. trust xoxo
Sam — Little Prince is one of my all-time favourite life lessons. Thanks for your sweet words; I will keep writing so long as I am breathing, inshAllah 🙂
Salam — You ARE! My cousin is a catch and 3/4s!!
Thomas — What an amazing thing it is to want to constantly share something with someone, and to always have them want to receive it. And, I am excited to one day finally unveil the lucky son-of-a-bitch on here, too xxx
cvc — HARDLY a book. Love your entire comment. Love it when you share your world. Thank you for the wonderful and thoughtful addition to the comments. You are correct, the “shiny and new” does not make up for a life-love which does not have any fundamental and core problems. The fundamental problems are what should cause the break, not anything that sparkles with newness.
“Put my ovaries to work.” LOVE! 🙂
This right here made my insides squishy and warm: “…where God’s hand is at rest on your heart in the presence of another.”…
Also. I don’t think you ever know-know… I have this little inkling that as a result of that feeling which you described so beautifully and perfectly up there – you know JUST enough to trust. Just enough to give you the comfort and ease to let go a little…. enough to have a lil faith (hi – eiman!) and comfort in knowing that its okay to leave the blind fold on, turn the mental workings off, and let the internal compass do the rest of the driving.