Are Soul Mates Real or Fabricated?

What is a Jew to do on Christmas? Well if you skip the movies and Chinese food you just might find yourself sitting around the house with other Jewish friends.

And as you watch 16 boys and 7 girls of assorted sizes and ages run in circles you might find yourself contemplating the great mysteries of life such as:

Will they ever get tired?
Could they scream any louder?
Boy I am glad that my son isn’t behaving like that. Don’t they teach him anything.
I wonder if they have any ice cream. I really like peppermint.

Or instead of being lost in your own world you might fall into the group conversation about whether there is such a thing as soulmates or besheret. I have tackled the topic in a few different places and from different angles.

Given the things that I have seen and experienced during the past number of years it is a topic that I wrestle with. Apparently more than one of my friends are as well. I can’t say that I am completely surprised by this. Some of it makes perfect sense to me. Most of us are somewhere in our late thirties or early forties. We’re no longer newly graduated from college or for that matter grad school. And with very few exceptions we are all parents.

So it makes sense to me that we have reached a place where we look around and take stock. Much of your younger years is involved in trying to reach various milestones. There is always something just ahead that you need to work for. And then you reach this place where you are sort of, kind of settled.

It is not that there aren’t challenges to be overcome or things to do, there are. But things are different. We have been through so many of the battles and survived so many wars that you can’t help but realize that you are not the person you once were. Unless you have no self awareness you have figured out who you are. You know yourself more intimately and better than you did when you were younger.

When my friends ask if I believe in soul mates it makes me wonder about their relationships. Are they still happy with their partner? Are they feeling unfulfilled? Are they growing together or are they growing apart?

Call me a skeptic, but I don’t believe that all of these couples are going to survive. If statistics are to be believed than some of them are going to most assuredly collapse.

But none of this delves into the question of whether soul mates are real or a fabrication of the movie industry/society/etc.

I can’t give you my answer right now. Ok, I could but then I’d risk the wrath of the soon to be seven-year-old boy who is waiting for me to help him finish building the Lego Jet.

Back a bit later.

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10 Comments

  1. Jack's Shack December 27, 2007 at 6:20 am

    peppermint ice cream is my favorite

    You have good taste.

    Sheyna,

    Why can’t a person have more than one soul mate.

    KRG,

    Option 3 sounds pretty reasonable, but I am not convinced that there aren’t soul mates.

    Maybe it is because of my grandparents who have been married for almost 74 years or other similar couples.

    Or maybe it is just my own dreamland.

    Debbie,

    That is great. Hope you had a fantastic Xmas.

    We don’t have to constantly work at the relationship; it comes relatively easy to us.

    I think that is important. I think that every relationship requires maintenance, but there is a difference when you don’t feel like it is work to keep at it.

    Orie,

    Bashert is bashert.

    Val,

    The Jet looks great.

    CM,

    Second chances are important.

    BWH,

    We just finished Chanukah. Can’t afford to send out another set of gifts.

  2. bigwhitehat December 27, 2007 at 3:33 am

    Amigo, you should give each other presents anyway. It is fun.

  3. cruisin-mom December 26, 2007 at 6:11 pm

    I agree with Sheyna, what of the person who is widowed…ooops sorry for you…that’s it. I don’t think so. I don’t like the term soul mate because it implies there is only one person right for you…I don’t think that’s true. I believe in second chances.

  4. Val December 26, 2007 at 5:07 pm

    I believe in that ‘good fit’ definition of soul mate that another commenter wrote about.

    How’d the jet come out?!

  5. orieyenta December 26, 2007 at 3:42 pm

    You could have came with us…our Shul went to feed the homeless. Quite an experience that was indeed.

    As for the soulmate thing…come on….bashert is bashert 🙂

  6. Stephen December 26, 2007 at 12:11 pm

    My wife and I refer to each other as soulmates. But I’m sure the word means different things to different people, so you’d have to begin by defining the term.

    MaryP and I have been together for almost 10 years now. The ecstatic high of that first period of mutual discovery has passed. But the stage we’re at now is no less valuable to us. Sometimes we take the relationship for granted, but then we’ll remember, and a wave of gratitude will sweep over us.

    To me, “soulmate” means “a good fit”. MaryP and I are comfortable together. We don’t have to constantly work at the relationship; it comes relatively easy to us. Occasionally one of us offends the other, and we both have good conflict resolution skills. But most of the time, we get on almost effortlessly together.

    If some tragedy happens and one of us loses the other, I don’t think we’ll ever find such a good fit a second time. It’s not impossible, but it would be like winning the lottery twice.

    So yes, I believe in soulmates. But I wouldn’t advise anyone to wait around for a soulmate, because I think it happens only very rarely. Most people just find someone whose a relatively good fit and make a life together.

    And that’s OK, too. Doesn’t mean you can’t be happy together.

  7. Debbie December 26, 2007 at 4:40 am

    I believe in soul mates. I married mine and we’ve been together for LOTS of years. (my secret) We were meant to be, … destiny.

    Debbie Hamilton
    Right Truth

  8. Kol Ra'ash Gadol December 26, 2007 at 4:11 am

    My .02: there aren’t: Three theories: the “deal” theory: every couple has a deal. It’s not always (in fact usually is not) explicit or spoken, but it’s there nonetheless. Marriages that survive are those who are able to shift their deals when the situation changes enough, or who never have to deal with a completed or sifting deal.
    Second theory: marriages that survive are those with similar argument styles (this has a good deal of evidence to support it, actually) it doesn’t matter if they’re both screamers, or both ignorers of problems, as long as they BOTH deal the same way. When you have a screamer and a logic pursuer, or whatever, then you’ve got trouble.
    Third theory: Every marriage goes through cycles of desire and love, and non-desire and non-love. YOu have to be a. dedicated enough to the overall project to get through the dry periods, and willing to work hard and put up with discomfort – sometimes for a few years- to work back to a more “juicy” period.

    I’m pretty inclined towards three, myself.

  9. Sheyna December 26, 2007 at 3:10 am

    I don’t think we’ve ever done Chinese food (despite the video on my blog). And there were no good appropriate films out today, so it was a quiet day at home.

    Husby and Oldest Son (also almost 7) spent the day building their own 3-D wooden puzzles/models. Husby’s was a helicopter; Oldest Son’s was an angel fish. Took ’em all day and Youngest Son (4-1/2) helped. (Gave me the day to write!)

    I think it’s so interesting that we’re in just about the same place in our lives. I’d like to believe in soul mates, but then I’d also have to believe that there are more than one (what does one say to the widowed? Sorry, s/he wasn’t “the one”?)

    What I do know is that I am very blessed to have the husband and children I have, and we are very fortunate that we continue to grow together.

  10. FlutePrayer December 26, 2007 at 1:24 am

    Mmmmmm…peppermint ice cream is my favorite. Thinking of you and your family today.

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