This is my first post towards the endeavor. I know things would be going uphill from here. Thank you for the opportunity.
Well we all have interacted with the “The one” sometime or the other in life; in real or in Utopian socialism. So why is that so important and imperative. You see your friend wear her boyfriend’s T-shirt to sleep like it’s her second skin. You see an elderly man hold his wife’s frail hand in his as he helps her down the stairs. You see your roommate call up her first love when she is unhappy (even though she’s with someone else now) and vent to him, because she knows he’s that one person she always turns to. When you see this, you imagine what it would be like to have a person like that, to have a soulmate. That pressure or need comes in many forms, and affects us in many ways and turns into a necessity.
Sometimes, you just want what others have.
That aching emptiness that comes with not being in love is a considerable blow when we are so young that we just want what others have. We want someone’s over-sized t-shirt to wear. We want to be held when we cry. We want to relate to these happy couples, and put an end to the self-pity that overflows when we see others happily in love. We also want the love they’ve found. Sometimes, it has nothing to do with our own needs. We may have no place in our life for love, but seeing everyone in love makes us feel like it is important.
When you’re on, barely managing to make rent and keep a steady job, seeing everyone around you getting married can throw you off balance. Even if you aren’t physically surrounded by people who are getting married or “settling down” with their partners, you will see plenty of people doing so on social media, which we all spend a lot of time on. If we constantly see this every day, it is likely to affect our idea about our own love life, especially if we compare ourselves to others. In fact, it will affect the importance we place on love, against the other aspects of our life. In many cases, this “Fear Of Missing Out” or FOMO, is what causes many people to want to date or find “the one.”
Indian society doesn’t help matters, encouraging young people to get married and make babies as soon as they enter their mid-twenties. So, many people date to look for “the one,” who, according to society, must be found by the age of 29, must be the same caste, must be fair, must be thin, must be all kinds of “adarsh” but must also be a “soulmate.” Sometimes, people just pick a good candidate who fits this bill and ridiculously call it a “love-arranged” coupling. There is a comic undertone to this desperate search for one’s better half, which presumes that love can be forced like this.
Let’s talk about being a good lover for a second, even though that is something which people rarely seem to consider. She regretted she didn’t spend enough time meeting more men when she was younger and, to put it bluntly, “sleeping around.” She even admits that it made her under-confident about being a good partner to her now ex.
Spending time exploring your options, meeting new people, and learning how to love from different people, be it in a physical or emotional way, is important. It helps us grow as a person, and realize what we need in our partner. More importantly, it helps us understand what we definitely don’t want in a partner. When you’re constantly searching for a soulmate, you treat every person you meet with that thought hanging over your head. Maybe they are just all unique human beings who can teach you different things about life and love – not ‘The One’. Embrace that ephemeral but beautiful experience.
Find yourself, first.
Your teens may be a time when you associate yourself with a certain identity, but your twenties are when all that unravels and you begin a journey of self-discovery. First jobs, finishing colleges, moving out of your home, your first break-up, and a lot of major changes happen in your twenties, making your discover new skills, strengths and aspects of yourself.
While having a partner support you through all this is great, sometimes the upheaval and transformation that happens, subsequently, is of such a high magnitude, it causes us to grow out of our friends and partners. There are some experiences we need to have alone in life, and leaning on a soulmate for them, instead of undertaking that difficult journey solo, never works. Not following our dream job because of a relationship, giving up our education for marriage, or putting up with suffocating possessiveness in the name of love and being soulmates, are some of these things. When you don’t spend sorting out these aspects of your life, they come back to haunt you later, causing you to resent your partner.
So much contributes to the feeling that finding ‘The One’ is the most important thing in life, causing us to waste our youth in that pursuit. But how can we do justice to our soulmate if we aren’t sure about who we are, and whether we are capable of that commitment?