Growing up, we are all made to believe that we have one soulmate specially manufactured for us, hiding somewhere in this universe and in case our stars align well, we might just be able to meet this person. So, the first time you fall in love, you genuinely believe that this person you are in love with is your soulmate until for no apparent fault of yours, the relationship crumbles like soft cheese. You just can’t stop blaming yourself for the failure of this relationship because you think you couldn’t make it work despite the universe doing its miracle of making you meet with your soulmate. I mean, how many people in the world actually get a chance to be with their soulmate and you, on the other hand, completely ruined your chance.
You’ve hardly managed to get some sort of a closure on this awry relationship, when you meet someone else who you get along reasonably well with. Having been at a certain stage in your previous relationship, you find yourself much more uninhibited this time around. While you took one year and twenty dates to get to a quick peck on the cheek that warranted a 10-page dear diary piece, you find yourself easily indulging in public display of affection on the second date itself. Whats worse is that this experience doesn’t even warrant a 140 character text to your date saying you had a good time until he/ she expectantly reaches out to you to tell you how much it meant to them.
It’s completely okay (and normal) to feel this way when you’ve failed in your very first relationship for no fault of yours. What’s not okay is to not take the other person’s relationship quotient into consideration. What if this was their first time? What if you tattered their spirits with your inability to love back the way you did the first time around? You will just end up creating one more person like you who believes in love just a little bit less than they ever did.
We are little bit like ants. We keep sharing a little something with everyone we meet in our lives as we crawl. Every interaction makes us a little bit of who we are cumulatively today. If you show someone a little bit of love, you make them capable of doing the same with the next ant they meet and this gets positively reinforced then onwards. If you aren’t sure you can commit to loving someone, don’t bother trying because all you’ll end up doing is damaging someone for good because even cynicism spirals negatively like that.
It takes a few empty flings or meaningless relationships for you to realise that the concept of one love is just a popular cliche that’s been over-romanticised and that there’s no such thing as a soulmate. So, you either end up as a desperate romance hunter with the facade of a cynic or hippy polyamorist who has so much love to give that you need to sow seeds of your affection as far and wide as possible draining all magic out of love, making the world a worse place.
But how do you commit even before you are fully sure this is “real” love, you may ask? This ain’t your first time to naively believe this person is your soulmate and even if he/ she were, you should have known right away given that you are smarter with relationships having been burnt once, right? I know it’s a little bit of a Schrodinger relationship problem. You don’t know if this is love until you have opened the door to this relationship (read get them in the sack) and once you’ve open the door, you know it is isn’t love. So as long as you haven’t opened the door, this could be both love and not.
Essentially, there’s no perfect solution to the above question and that’s precisely why our society has evolved a reasonable alternative called marriage. Let me explain. You don’t open the door until you really have to, at which point you are either married or too old or don’t care if the love is dead or alive since you have “settled” for what seems to be a less gut churning, stable, long-term relationship only to be occasionally reminded of your shortcomings as a lover when you see a distant friend’s filtered pictures on Instagram with their high school sweethearts.