SUNDAY, 3 OCTOBER 2004
There is a hierarchy of relationships: At the top you have the soul mate. Then you get the life partner, then the companion. And then, even if someone is not your soul mate, even if you don’t even have enough in common to be companions, and then definitely not enough to be life partners, you can still have a functioning relationship simply as lovers.
Of course it is also true that your soul mate can also be your life partner, your companion and your lover. Also that your companion might be your lover, but not necessarily your life partner or your soul mate. And then it is also possible that your soul mate isn’t someone with whom you will ever have an intimate relationship. Your soul mate might be a friend. It may also be that a man finds his soul mate in a woman who is married to another man, who loves her husband, and is committed to her marriage.
By the way, what is a soul mate? And what is the role of a life partner … and a companion … and a lover?
There is this idea that you necessarily have to be sexually attracted to your soul mate. Why? The expected process runs as follows: a man and a woman meet (to name one example on the sexual spectrum); they are sexually attracted to each other; they find their soul mates in each other; they become life partners; they seal their relationship in a marriage, and they live happily to the end of their respected earthly existences.
But what if you have already found your soul mate in someone of the same gender as you, but neither you nor the other person is homosexual? Or what about if you find your soul mate in someone of the opposite sex, but you are simply not sexually attracted to that person? Do you keep looking until you find a soul mate in someone of the right gender to whom you are sexually attracted? That’s ridiculous! Are you going to live a lonely, sexless existence until you’ve found this person? It’s completely unnecessary! And it serves no purpose!
It is absurd to set such high requirements of someone you want to date, and it is ridiculous to expect that your soul mate should necessarily be an attractive, single man or woman with whom you’d like to go out on a date.
Last question: Can you love someone if he or she is just your lover, and not necessarily your soul mate? Answer: Of course.