Soul mates have many definitions, but have been described as a mirror — a perfect reflection of yourself. You understand each other, seeing the world in the same ways. Finding your "other half" sounds ideal, but is marrying your soul mate really as good as it sounds?
Here are five reasons why "I didn't marry my soul mate" is the ideal phrase to caption your wedding posts on social media.
1. Perfect does not mean perfect
Even the happiest marriages aren't perfect. Don't let the 'soul mate mentality' make you think having a perfect spouse means a perfect marriage.
2. 20 is not the same as 60
Your ideal match in your twenties may not be the same person you would choose for yourself in your sixties. People change, and that's the way it should be. Marriage is a commitment to learn and grow together. The process of being married shapes two people into an ideal pair, so don't be concerned about finding your ideal match right from the start. Marry the person who you would want by your side while you learn and grow old together.
3. When you know, you (don't) know
Someone you might think is perfect for you may not be. Because you and your soul mate share many qualities, you may be turning a blind eye to the ones that make them less than ideal. It's difficult to see things in yourself or your soul mate. Use people you trust, like your friends and family, to help you see things you may not want to see.
4. Do you like what you see?
While you might find your similarities adorable, the quirks you see in your soul mate can later turn into a harsh reflection of your own qualities.
Author Elizabeth Gilbert summed up this soul mate idea rather well: "A true soul mate is probably the most important person you'll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then they leave."
5. Devastating Disagreements
You would never disagree with your soul mate, right? You are made for each other, so naturally you both will agree that creamy peanut butter trumps the crunchy variety. The minor disagreements that come in any relationship may be more hurtful if you have the mindset that you and your soul mate won't disagree on fundamental issues such as peanut butter.
Do keep in mind that soul mates have different definitions. Your perfect match may not fit in with this description and may be absolutely perfect for you. But there is something to be said about the role of opposites in a marriage. There may be some truth to the age-old adage of "opposites attract." Where you may have a weakness, your spouse may have a strength. Instead of being a couple that reflects the same qualities, you are a pair that helps complete and strengthen one another and can learn from one another — a balance of both yin and yang.
Emily is putting her English and Humanities degree to use editing and writing all over the world. Trying to see all 7 world wonders (while visiting as many countries as she can in between), Emily loves wandering alleyways, beautifully photographed food, stumbling upon impromptu flea and food markets. She can usually be found camera in hand, munching on a street food and never has her headphones out of reach.