After my last long-term relationship ended, I told myself I wouldn’t settled again for anything less than my soulmate. I wanted a beautiful love story; an instant connection; butterflies and rainbows all day long. I wanted “THE ONE.” If Google and Facebook say it’s possible, it must be — right?
Like any smart person would do, I created profiles on a few popular dating sites and apps. I came up with a catchy headline, posted several action pictures, listed my hobbies, and wrote an intelligent yet witty description of myself. I spent my evenings scrolling through profiles, swiping right or left, and reviewing my inbox messages. At the beginning, I was very selective of who I would respond to. They had to have recent photos, a decent job, no kids, live in town, and most importantly their status must indicate “looking for a relationship.”
A piece of advice — don’t trust what you read on the internet. If I were to sum up the majority of my online dating experiences in one word, it would be “misrepresentation.” It’s still shocking to me how many people lie or exaggerate in their profiles. After several years on-and-off these sites, I became somewhat of an expert in reading through the bullshit. There’s only so many unsolicited “dic pics” a girl can take before she’s scrutinizing each profile with a fine tuned eye.
It was six years of singlehood before I met my current guy. I’m happy to say we just celebrated our first year anniversary. If you’re wondering, the answer is “yes” — I met him online. By the end of my time online, I had a system going. If I thought someone had even the slightest of potential, I’d arrange an immediate meeting. The only way to know if there is relationship potential is to meet “IN PERSON.” At least that was my experience.
The majority of my “meet ups” were very disappointing. Not to say that I didn’t meet some nice people — I did. However, I wasn’t meeting “The One.” My soulmate was no where to be found, and honestly, I don’t know that I actually believe in soulmates anymore. I could be wrong, but I’m OK with that. I have met someone, and I’m happy. He wasn’t perfect, and there wasn’t an instant attraction. He was fun and interesting, and most importantly, he was willing to make it work. Both of us were.
I had to let go of expectations, and I needed to learn to trust. Not just in him, but in myself. I was so worried about picking the wrong guy; I didn’t want to get hurt again. However, that’s the chance I had to make in order to find a partner in life. There are no guarantees in life. I had to trust that I would be OK if things didn’t work out. Our first year had many challenges, but we are working it out. Learning each other, compromising when it’s needed, accepting our differences, and challenging each other to be better. We are building our relationship.
That brings me back to my first question: what is a soulmate anyway? I’ve concluded that for myself there is no such thing. “The one” is the person I commit to; the one who’s willing to work through the tough times and willing to let me be me.