By Rebecca Cumming
If you’re a 20-something female, you were probably brought up with the classics: fairy tales of happily-ever-afters and good-looking men promising to save the princess.
I spent many days as a 10-year-old, pretending I lost my shoe at the bottom of the stairs, just like Cinderella. If you asked me, I would say “Don’t worry, Prince Charming will find it sooner or later.”
Why? Because he’s “the one.”
Nowadays, if I lose my shoe at midnight, it’s probably because I’m too drunk to worry about shoes. There’s no prince, but there’s an Advil and a water bottle snuggled beside me when I lay down for the night.
Do any of us really dub ourselves a princess anyway? I certainly don’t see myself as a girl destined for a ball gown, spending my days inside a castle singing with the birds. I have a horrible singing voice and, honestly, birds freak me the hell out.
And yet, since the moment we laid our eyes on that first magical moment between Ariel and Eric when you just knew they were always “meant to be,” we have waited for this to also happen to us.
We are gearing ourselves up for meeting this magical person that fits in our lives perfectly, as if the love gods match everyone up at birth.
When you really think about it, this is preposterous and there really isn’t some magical love guru out there defining our fate.
So, why do we keep searching for “the one” like he’s got a halo around his head and a sign around his neck saying, “Hello, Julia, I have just been waiting for YOU!” I mean, isn’t that the exact answer to our creepy nightmares and not our beautiful daydreams?
The real clincher here is that we are ever-changing beings.
No one knows who you might be when you’re born when you’ve hit age 15, or when you start exploring yourself at 22. This again then changes when you’re 35, when you celebrate your 50th birthday, and when you manage to get to 80.
Our “soul” and who we are as humans is not predetermined, and we have the power to change everything about ourselves: our attitudes, how we live, where we live, who we surround ourselves with, what activities we like to do and how we view the world.
These elements will change, and they will morph with our experiences.
Every other person in the world is doing this as we speak. Your “soul mate” is changing.
Your “soul mate” at 15 who understood your love for Sum 41 and dill pickle chips, the one that helped you through all those times your Mom grounded you for breaking curfew and “talking back,” is going to be very different from your “soul mate” at age 24; this new guy is the one who understands your need to receive foot rubs on Saturday mornings after a long work week and shares your passion for travel, trying new foods and finding a great band to go see in concert. He understands that you may rant about your Mom’s antics, but he gets that you love her deeply and appreciate family more than anything, just as he does.
If this perfect guy, this “soul mate,” that is out there for us is continuously held to new standards, when will we ever be finding him?
It makes it nearly impossible. Like soles in my shoes, I want to stomp on these ideas and these fantasies of the one perfect guy and create my own perfect scenario.
In my mind, there are multiple mates out there for me.
I was in love with my “soul mate” once before, and I will be with another “soul mate” again. Maybe even 2 or 3 more as my feelings, needs, and wants all change.
There will be multiple men out in this big world that I could find happiness with. And I choose to believe this because why the hell not?
If I believe there is one sole person out there for me, I am feeding into a crazy notion, wasting my daydreams on the perfect guy that I will likely never find.
Why not view the pool of eligible men as a pile of incredible shoes? You can never have too many and there will always be a new style you find most comfortable, trendy, and just so “you.”
You will find that sole that fits just right, and you can enjoy that mate while it lasts, strutting around with that perfect fit to all your favorite galas, your backpacking trips around the world, your family holidays, and any journey you go on.
You will grow with him, learn with him, and show that perfectly suited shoe to all your friends for admiration.
We must not get discouraged if, right at this moment, the world just doesn’t seem to have our size, or we outgrow our old favorite… Because the idea of there being only one soul mate is almost as sad as only ever owning a sole pair of shoes.
Rebecca Cumming is a writer whose work has been featured on Unwritten and YourTango. For more of her content, visit her author profile on Unwritten.
This article was originally published at Unwritten. Reprinted with permission from the author.