WARNING– MAJOR HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER SPOILERS AHEAD!!!!
It is that time of the year again. The day of love and the color red and gifts and chocolates and hearts is close. Love, a fleeting term, is used so flippantly that you can’t put a marker on what it is. You love your friends, family, partner, that show, that colour, and the list is endless. The beauty in living after all is to love. There are more than 7 billion humans on this planet, and so obviously there are different kinds of love, different ways to express it, and different ideas that people have about it.
Evolutionary behavioral biology says that every organism’s behavior is determined most primarily by its need to produce multiple copies of its genes and to procreate to achieve that effect. So something, that is so intrinsic to every organism would of course lead to every organism looking for that compatible partner for reaching that goal. Perhaps this is why, despite there being so many kinds of love, one, that of a soulmate seems to be the one most talked about and most sought after. So this Valentine’s, let’s talk Soulmates.
We all know how the popular Greek lore goes. Humans originally had 4 legs and 4 hands and Zeus(being the man child that he was) split them into two halves condemning them to spend the rest of their lives in search of that other half because he was scared of the power such humans held. This myth asserts that when one comes across their soulmate, they’ll just know. There will be a silent understanding that they were meant to be found by one another and that there would be a reunion long-awaited and joy never experienced before.
“Soulmate” according to Merriam Webster’s is “a person who is perfectly suited to another in temperament.” A perfect match for your soul. It’s a beautiful concept to think that there exists a person who is perfect for you and it’s just a matter of finding them. But if you know that there exists such a thing as a soulmate, the next important step is to know how to find one. Here is where, there stems a difference of opinions.
Is a Soulmate found or are they made? Do you know that there is just one person in this whole wide world who is perfect for you in every imaginable sense or there is a possibility that you can choose a person as your “the one” and work on life with them and turn them into your soulmate? The idea that you can have one soulmate who you will have to find sure brings a fantastical element of destiny into the mix. That those two people are meant to be and the universe conspires to bring them together. But at the same time, isn’t it a little sad? To think that you are incomplete till you meet them and the possibility that you might just never find them or if you, unfortunately, lose that person after finding them, you will never have another soulmate are thoughts that are scary and leave us in a state of helplessness.
Those who believe in the concept of building soulmates are, in my opinion, happier in life. To think that to be happy in life is your own personal choice is empowering. A soulmate should be the person that brings growth in your life. The idea that you work hard at your relationship and build a happy place surrounding all the growth and development you go through sounds like a happier lifestyle.
The popular sitcom “How I Met Your Mother” does a good job of depicting this dichotomy. On one side of the line, we have Ted. He is the classic “waiting for the one” kinda guy. He is of course miserable throughout the show till he meets “the mother”. Lily and Marshall on the other side represent the “making each other their soulmate” kind of couple. In the first episode of the show, Ted in his classic “fate determines all” fashion decided that robin is his soulmate because she fulfils the olive theory. About how in pair of soulmates, there is a definite feature where one partner likes olives and the other doesn’t and so they can share olives and pure compatibility is reached. Of course, this is the manifestation of the idea that soulmates are bound to balance each other. Lily seems to love olives and Marshall gives them to her every time they happen to have olives in their food. Later in the episode, however, Marshall tells Lily that he does in fact like olives and has been pretending not to because it just happened to be that way. Lily to that just says, “We’ll make it work”.
Ted has for all his life looked for that one person. He struggles to let Robin go despite not being able to be with her because of fundamental ideological differences in what they want from life. He loves her and believes that she is his soulmate and so he just can’t wrap his head around the fact they aren’t together even though according to him, they are meant to be. He desperately wants what Marshall and Lily have yet he seems to not notice the basic difference between their situation.
Marshall, when he first started dating Lily wasn’t sure if he was willing to continue dating her. Soulmates according to Ted don’t act that way. They should be sure that they are meant to be. The couple goes through a lot together ranging from co-dependency issues, identity crisis, job issues to marriage, having kids, buying a new apartment and so many other ups and downs. Yet through all of it, they stay together because they chose to do so.
Life has a lot to offer. Your goals, passions in life are as much a part of your life as your social counterparts. But again, isn’t your goal a fruition of something you love? Be it cooking, dancing, erudition, and so much more, but I digress. The point of this all is that having more than 7 billion people on this earth has to mean that there cannot be just one end all be all kind of love that makes your heart flutter and your stomach a zoo. You are not bound to end up alone because you couldn’t find a spark to chase or you found that spark yet it didn’t materialise into your reality. You will however be miserable if your existence is incomplete without that one person. So this valentine’s, let’s just learn to love ourselves a little, others a little different and give our relationships a chance to grow into something worth singing songs about.
This article has been written by Ishita, IVth year.