Say goodbye to soulmates
Advice from an amateur date-goer that may reshape your views on relationships.
When I was in elementary school, I used to think that I would meet the love of my life by crashing into him in a school hallway and dropping my textbooks. I know, cringe. But after hours of watching cliché love scenes in my favourite Family Channel and Disney shows, my understanding of romance was that of a typical princess-loving young girl. I thought that soulmates were found in a “love at first sight,” Dirty Dancing dramatic high-lift type of way. Well, I was wrong.
Romance is not really my forte. I learned this in university. After multiple failed dates and gross conversations with horny men online, I nearly gave up in my search for a significant other. I was on dating apps, then off them, then back on. Truthfully, I had no idea what I was doing and why, but it seemed to be the norm—meeting “your person” online. So, I kept trying until I found someone that I genuinely wanted to know.
There is a common misconception that soulmates are people that you find. For years, I had this three-page list in my Notes app full of qualities that would make up my “perfect partner.” If my expectations were not met by date one or two, I would send a polite text message that said something like, “I think we are meant to see other people.” My wishful thinking led me on a tired trajectory of hopeless café visits and mundane conversations.
In season four of the Netflix series The Good Place (2016), directed by Michael Schur, there is a scene where one of the main characters, Michael (Ted Danson), describes what soulmates truly are. He says, “If soulmates do exist, they’re not found. They’re made. People meet, they get a good feeling, and then they get to work building a relationship.” This quote has stuck with me for a while now. In a sense, it reshaped the way I think about dating. It reminded me of the value of getting to know people for them, not for what you expect of them.
Essentially, relationships are escalated friendships. So, why does it feel like such a rollercoaster to get into one? I feel that terms like “soulmate” are the cause. They make something that is supposed to feel natural feel unnatural—because of this false belief that things must feel perfect. It’s not like when you make friends you have a list of qualities that you need to enjoy someone’s company. Like friendships, relationships just sort of happen.
My boyfriend and I have been dating for over three years now. We started off as two unresponsive photographs, barely chatting online, but have turned into two goofs who are trying to navigate through our 20s together. When we met, I didn’t see him as a soulmate, or a companion, or an admirer. I just saw him as a friend—as someone that I wanted to know.
So, while I am in no way a relationship expert, I will say this: if you are in search for love, stop. Search for friendships and love will appear—often when you least expect it.
Arts & Entertainment Editor (Volume 49) | firstname.lastname@example.org — Julia graduated in 2022 with a major in English, and a Professional Writing and Communications and Drama double minor. She previously worked with The Medium as Theatre Erindale Correspondent for Volume 48. As the A&E Editor this year, Julia cannot wait to explore the wondrous world of arts and spark creative conversations amongst student writers. If she’s not writing, working, or spending too much money on overpriced iced coffees, you can find Julia singing tunes with her guitar, bingeing Netflix shows, or going on nature walks with her doggo Benji. You can connect with Julia on LinkedIn or Instagram.