I’m sure you have heard the words before; you may have even used them yourself. Someone, talking about their relationship with another says, “He/she is the love of my life.” Or perhaps it’s, “He/she is my soul mate.” Those are very deep and meaningful words, but I think they are bandied around much too easily.
First of all, while understandable when coming from someone young, it is clear they know not of what they speak. And by young, I am talking about not only those still in school, but probably anyone under the age of 45 or 50. There are other words they can accurately use to describe their feeling for another. It might be infatuation, adoration, lust or even love. What it cannot be is the “love of their life”. How can you say that when you haven’t even lived the greater part of your life?
Too often those torrid, passionate love affairs have more to do with raging hormones that true, deep, emotional feelings. Even if there is love and respect, it is impossible to make a judgment about that relationship when it is new or just a matter of a few years old. Life has a funny way of changing things, turning things around. What is love today may well be hate or indifference at some future date. What sparked the relationship and kept it going for a while may fade or the newness and novelty of it may wane. There are so many reasons why the one many call the “love of their life” ceases to be so in time.
As for soul mates, that takes the idea of a relationship to an even much higher level. To many the concept of a soul mate is the idea that the one and only other half of one’s soul is in the other. That idea is profound and mystic, and not one to be attached to someone you are dating or even married to for a short time. The fallacy of such thinking can be found every day in shattered dreams, broken relationships and marriages that end in divorce.
To understand what precisely you are saying when you label someone the “love of your life’ or “your soul mate” required decades of loving someone. It should never to be said lightly. It is only after having loved long, having lived together long, and being able to compare what you now have with your past experiences can you come to understand that someone is the ‘love of your life’. When a ‘love of your life’ comes into your life, you remain together as long as you both are alive. That is what is meant by the life part of that phrase.
As for soul mates, I am not sure even I can define it. It truly is mystical joining of minds and bodies, a oneness that gives a sereneness to both. It is unquestioned and undoubted love. It is weathering the storms and sharing the joys with like-minded emotions. And in the end, because their souls are one, there never is another to take that person’s place should that person die. When I hear of one spouse dying and the other shortly thereafter, it is then I believe there are soul mates.
So enjoy your relationship, thrive on your love, but tread cautiously when you start to speak of the ‘love of your life’ or your soul mate. That person may come into your life – maybe early, maybe later. But there is no need to rush to say he or she is either; life and time will do it for you.