What do you think about when you consider Valentine’s Day? Frilly Valentine cards? Flowers? Dark chocolates in a heart-shaped box? Finding your soulmate and living happily ever after?
Especially if you’re single, you may feel discouraged on this most romantic of holidays. Valentine’s Day is truly a day for two. Two place settings for a romantic dinner. Two people sharing moonlight and roses. Two lovers sailing off into the sunset. Often, those in a relationship, married or not, seem to have found something you’re missing. Looking at two starry-eyed lovers, we can easily imagine that they’ve found their soulmates.
The Urban Dictionary defines “soulmate” as follows:
A person with whom you have an immediate connection the moment you meet—a connection so strong that you are drawn to them in a way you have never experienced before. As this connection develops over time, you experience a love so deep, strong and complex, that you begin to doubt that you have ever truly loved anyone prior. Your soulmate understands and connects with you in every way and on every level, which brings a sense of peace, calmness and happiness when you are around them….
Pete and I have been married over 35 years. If I could go back to my 24-year-old self, I’d tell me that marrying Pete was one of the best decisions of my life. But even so—was it love at first sight? Was he the first person I ever loved? Does he understand and connect with me in every way and on every level? Is he my source of peace and happiness?
No, no, no, and no. No way.
We didn’t fall in love until we’d been friends for a while. Friends, then good friends, then really good friends until, of my goodness, we should get married! He’s still my closest friend. But it didn’t happen immediately.
I’d dated other guys. Some I was head-over-heels in love with. Of course, after 35 years, I love Pete much more thoroughly than someone I only dated for a year or two. But yes, I loved someone before I met Pete.
Does he understand me? Sometimes. And sometimes he’s a guy and it’s just not something he gets. Sometimes I’m a complete mystery to him, and visa versa. Here’s an example. He’s an optimist and I’m a realist (he has another name for it). I think he’s delusional and unwilling to plan for contingencies, and he thinks I’m unnecessarily negative and depressed about something that will likely turn out great. That’s all right—I have a friend who understands that part of me, who can help me be more hopeful while still she validates my feelings.
Does Pete connect with me in every way and on every level? Let’s just say that I studied biology while he has a degree in Electrical Engineering. No, he doesn’t connect with my love of living things. He doesn’t (usually) go birding with me, or to the botanic garden to photograph flowers. And I don’t sit in a room full of computers discussing microprocessors or back-up technology. Thank goodness!
In fact, he just returned from the International Conference on Computing and Missions in The Netherlands. Good for him—I’m glad he got to go. I prayed for God-directed connections and for effective communication as he gave his talks. I’m also glad I got to stay home and take photos of birds.
Finally, expecting Pete to be my source of peace and happiness is pretty daunting. How could he ever live up to such expectations? He’s great, but he’s not God. I’m responsible for my own happiness. And God is the only one who can offer me lasting peace.
No, even though we have an awesome marriage, Pete is not my soulmate.
Think about it. Only God offered me a connection so unique and compelling. His love for me transcends all others. He understands and connects with me in every way and on every level, for me designed me in the first place. He is my source of peace.
Now go to the Huffington Post’s “9 Signs You’ve Found Your Soulmate” and read down the list, inserting God into each point. It makes sense, doesn’t it? (I admit that #3 is a bit iffy, but even then, it sort of applies.)
I’m looking forward to spending this Valentine’s Day with my Soulmate. I hope you are too.