From the time I was a little girl, I would daydream about my soulmate. What did he look like? What was he doing? Had I met him yet? Was he thinking about me? Maybe it was because I watched one too many Disney princess movies or maybe I’m just a hopeless romantic. I always pictured myself meeting him for the first time, locking eyes across the room, the whole world seems to stop, and BOOM! Love at first sight.
That, however, was not the case when I met my husband. In fact, we didn’t even really like each other that much at first. Obviously, something eventually changed. We ended up becoming friends, and then falling in love. Because it wasn’t the instantaneous love story I had always imagined, I sometimes wondered if it was really meant to be.
When it came time to decide if we wanted to get married, I really struggled. I prayed and prayed for confirmation that he was THE one for me. I didn’t really seem to be getting any answers one way or the other. I was so frustrated and angry. I loved him, but how was I supposed to know if he was my soulmate?
DO SOULMATES EXIST?
Everyone has different opinions about soulmates. If you had asked me 10 years ago, I would have said that they absolutely exist and that everyone should be searching for their soulmate. Now, however, I think they exist, but not in the sense that the disney-movie-watching child in me once thought.
I don’t think that there is just ONE person out there for everyone.
We know that Heavenly Father places great value on our agency. The scriptures teach us that “it is not meet that [God] should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward.” (Doctrine and Covenants 58:26) God wants us to learn to make our own choices.
If He were to tell us exactly what we should do in every situation, we would never learn to make choices and we would never truly learn the value of our agency. Because of that, I don’t think that there is only ONE person who can bring you true, eternal happiness. Otherwise, it would take away the choice.
President Uchtdorf feels the same way:
“I know this may be a disappointment for some of you, but I don’t believe there is only one right person for you. I think I fell in love with my wife, Harriet, from the first moment I saw her. Nevertheless, had she decided to marry someone else, I believe I would have met and fallen in love with someone else. I am eternally grateful that this didn’t happen, but I don’t believe she was my one chance at happiness in this life, nor was I hers.”Dieter F. Uchtdorf, The Reflection In The Water, 2009
ASKING DIFFERENT QUESTIONS
When it came time to decide if I wanted to get married or not, I met with my bishop. I told him that I was extremely confused and frustrated because I was doing everything right. I had met someone that I loved. I was remaining worthy. I was praying and pondering and searching for answers. Why wasn’t I getting any?
He pointed out to me that the reason I wasn’t getting any answers could be because I was asking the wrong questions.
He told me that, first, Heavenly Father might not be answering because He wanted me to make my own decisions. If He were to say “Yep, this is it! This is the one for you!” Then my choice wouldn’t be between marrying this man or not, it would be between following the direction of the Lord or not, and that’s not the choice that Heavenly Father wanted me to make.
Second, he said that, in his opinion, there were probably LOTS of people out there that I could meet, fall in love with, marry, and be incredibly happy, so asking Heavenly Father if this man was “the one” for me wasn’t really the right question. Instead, he encouraged me to ask Heavenly Father, if I were to marry this man, if I would find happiness and if the blessings in my patriarchal blessing would come to pass. He also told me that, if I were to receive a “yes” as an answer, that it would still then be my choice. It would be a choice that I would have to continue to make every day.
I figured I had nothing to lose at this point, so I tried as he suggested. The prayer and answer that followed was one of the most spiritual, sacred experiences I have ever had. I will cherish it in my heart forever.
LOOKING FOR YOUR ETERNAL COMPANION
Now, don’t get me wrong. I absolutely think that there are instances and circumstances when God will give you a firm “no” or tell you “this is not the person for you.” There are also people who have received a firm “yes, you need to marry this person.” But I think that those instances are less common than we may think.
“There are those who do not marry because they feel a lack of “magic” in the relationship. By “magic” I assume they mean sparks of attraction. Falling in love is a wonderful feeling, and I would never counsel you to marry someone you do not love. Nevertheless — and here is another thing that is sometimes hard to accept — that magic sparkle needs continuous polishing. When the magic endures in a relationship, it’s because the couple made it happen, not because it mystically appeared due to some cosmic force.
Frankly, it takes work. For any relationship to survive, both parties bring their own magic with them and use that to sustain their love. Although I have said that I do not believe in a one-and-only soul mate for anyone, I do know this: once you commit to being married, your spouse becomes your soul mate, and it is your duty and responsibility to work every day to keep it that way. Once you have committed, the search for a soul mate is over. Our thoughts and actions turn from looking to creating.”– Dieter F. Uchtdorf, The Reflection In The Water, 2009
So don’t give up on finding your eternal companion. Put in the work, go on the date, give the relationship a chance, stay hopeful, but maybe don’t expect God to do all the choosing for you. 😉