The world is a strange place for someone who doesn’t believe in soulmates, true love with a capital “L,” or The One. Our culture loves to beat these concepts into our brains so much, most people believe in them all without a second thought. It’s a lot like believing in magic and it seems like everyone in the world has a vested interest in getting me on board. The problem is, I never will be and it makes things super awkward.
Everyone thinks I’m cynical. Why is it cynical to not believe in some magical nonsense like True Love? Believing in unicorns makes you crazy but believing in some sort of magical thread that ties two people’s lives together is normal—and if you believe in anything else, you’re a cynic. But that isn’t true; I love a lot of people and very deeply. I’m not cynical about love at all. I know first-hand how very real it is. I just don’t believe the people I love were “destined” to be a part of my life.
Literally everyone around me is constantly trying to prove me wrong. “But you married the love of your life, right?” I mean, no? But everyone wants there to be more to your story, like every single pair has to be the product of some sort of cosmic force at work. It’s really weird.
Partly it’s because I don’t really believe in anything. Blind faith in anything, from luck to religion, has never really been a Kool-Aid that I’ve been willing to drink. But there are so many people out there who believe in gods or ghosts, most of them just assume I believe in something too. Not so.
I didn’t marry my husband believing he was the only one in the world for me. I love my husband more than any human being I’ve ever met but that doesn’t mean that of the eight billion people on the planet that we’re the most compatible that two people can possibly be. We weren’t “made for each other,” we’re just really awesome together and we’ve both really happy together. Do I think he’s the only person in the world I could ever have been happy with? No way!
Some love stories seem a lot creepier. Have you ever watched a kids’ or RomCom movie where the two main leads fall in love in what seems like two minutes and then end up married? If you truly don’t believe that soulmates and love at first sight are real things, all of these relationships seem really rushed and stupid—sometimes even a little creepy. Like, you’ve met him for all of 10 minutes, girl. Just because he broke the spell on you or killed a dragon doesn’t mean he’s husband material. Try going on a date sometime and meet his mom first.
Telling people feels really similar to coming out of the closet. Most of us have internalized all this soulmate stuff to the point that we don’t think about it anymore. So to have someone say they don’t think true love is a thing must be jarring. I tend not to bring it up anymore, even to my close friends. People who have been super accepting of my coming out as bisexual have been much less accepting of my “coming out” as a non-believer.
It’s actually made my relationship stronger. When you don’t believe in magically perfect somebodies, it makes you realize that relationships aren’t all about the fluttering, first year, perfect stuff. No, relationships are about hard work, compromise, and working to make sure the other person is still as in it as you are. Since my husband and I both think the One True Love myth is, well, a myth, we know that we need to work a little bit to keep everything running smooth. And not only were we both ready for it, but we also enjoy it too.
It’s not sad, I promise. If I had a dollar for every time someone said “You don’t believe in that? How sad,” I would never have to work again. Like ever. I promise you, it is the exact opposite of sad. I like knowing that I’m spending the rest of my life with my hubby because I choose to, not because so cosmic force or some god picked it that way.
It makes it easier to let go. Dating, friendships, and other relationships I have in my life are much easier to get over. I never once thought of any of my exes as “The One,” nor have I ever thought that my friends or family members to be fated to be part of my life. It makes letting abusive relationships or people that aren’t making me happy anymore go. It doesn’t feel like I’m losing something belongs to me. It doesn’t mean I don’t miss those who are gone, it just means I’m a little more of a realist when it comes to why things haven’t worked out.
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