It starts with the wonder of fairytales and later becomes “matured” through chick-flicks. Sprinkle in some romance novels, and main-stream media offers us their impeccable ideas of love, “happily ever after,” and soulmates that is in dire need of debunking.
It’s not that romance and love are in themselves ruthless, because love is a greatest of all things, but there are false ideas of it that breed this “sugary” expectation of what love is. An expectation that leads us questioning our relationships if they’re not perfect.
Everyone (and even myself) frivolously thinks of this “perfected” idea about what “true love” is and it takes control over our mental state very sneakily. So again, romance is not bad. What is bad is the way we “need” romance’s expectations to impact our life. For if we seek romance or another person as the means of our life, or some instant gratification, it leaves no room for personal growth, dependence on God, or even a tenacious will to strive for sacrificial love.
A relationship will never satisfy you
Before we can answer the soulmate question let’s clear the air. Some people think, “When I find the right person, I won’t be empty anymore. That person needs to just come along and take care of all my emotional needs and THEN I’ll be happy in life.” If this is a thought you have God truly hasn’t become the sole and only love of your life. Without total reliance and identity in His love, you slowly cultivate habits of instability and great disappointment because other people WILL let you down.
We should never think a relationship or another person is going to complete us, for no one on this Earth is perfected love. That is God’s job. Sure, your significant other IS supposed to be your better half, but this better half is the person who motivates you, inspires you, uplifts you, and leads you to God—they are not God.
Relationships should be seen as a little ministry comprised of two people serving each other, bringing each other closer to God, and desiring to lead the other to become the man/woman God calls him/her to be. Relationships last in so far as they stay motivated by the ability to offer some outward good for the other person (love).
Taking the person for all their good, bad, weakness, and success and still loving them and longing for their good.
Relationships are a task–and tasks only remain successful when both people involved are continuously striving for the task itself. Hence breakups, one person (or both) decide there is no task being sustained.
How about soulmates? –Is that actually a thing?
Firstly, you’re never going to marry a perfect person (that is, a person free of fault) until you get to the marriage you will have with God (your entrance into heaven). Anyone you have a relationship with is going to be imperfect. But! The beauty is, the person God calls them to be (their interests, desires, and goals) is going to be seen as “perfect” in your eyes and you’ll get to watch that unfold. So the trials you face, challenges you meet, and hard times you face are all motivated by love and meant to teach you love.
The word “compatible” comes from the Latin com-pati, which means “to suffer with.” Successful marriages and relationships are not rooted in “perfect” bliss and a perfect person but the way suffering, hardships, and struggles which deepen your love. It’s choosing to love an imperfect person.
Sometimes, the “perfect” love story comes with suffering—does that make it any less perfect? Does this make the other person any less appealing to you? No. True love motivates you during the suffering.
“Marriage is a perpetual exercise of mortification.” –St. Francis de Sales.
We believe in an active God—one Who created the world and participates in it. Therefore, through divine providence, God introduces us to potential mates. Therefore, if we ask God to answer a desire for relationship and let Him work on that, He shows us a man or woman He see’s us fit with. (How awesome!) The idea that there is only one person you are destined to marry is contrary to free will in many ways. That said, because of free will, you play an active role and participation in God’s plan for you. Simply understood, yes God gifts us this request, takes our desires, brings two people together, and in the end those two people have a decision to keep a commitment.
How, when, and why does God choose to play the role of “cupid?”
Well, only God can answer this. I guess maybe He sees the direction of our lives, the efforts we make in our faith, and the desires of our heart and intervenes. It is said that St. Anne (grandmother of Jesus) was praying for a faithful husband at the same time St. Joachim was praying for a beautiful wife. Also, in the book of Tobit, we clearly see that Tobias and Sarah we’re being led to each other thanks to St. Raphael the Archangel. Likewise, how awesome that God let the betrothed love of Mary and Joseph become so blessed as to entrust the son of God to their relationship. These are practical ways God works via relationships. (Better than any romance novel I’ve read!)
So, like everything God offers us in life, we only let it happen to the extent that we make room for it and open our eyes to it.
Those who contemplate and reflect on God’s providence, and actively place themselves in God’s presence, will discern His will. They will have the eyes to see His hand working and easily discern if a person is “soulmate” material.
Nothing, even the people we meet and become drawn to and cling to, is a coincidence. It’s a “God-incidence.” It is God’s hands working FOR you, and we must actively participate in receiving His gifts. (And thank Him for them!)
In all, let us contemplate and invite God’s hand in the romance part of our lives. This beautiful part of our life can be such a means of sanctification if we ask God to participate in it. Love is the portal to understand God, the Eucharist, the Cross, and The Passion. And our experiences with human love serves as an analogy of God’s love for us, and our relationship with Him. Through this mature outlook, and total trust in our Heavenly Father, we find how much he longs for us to be happy and how much He loves us.
Because our God is not a God that forces us to do anything, let alone forces us to marry or be in relationship. But since it is a beautiful desire and sacrament, one that opens the depths of our hearts in such a pure and wholesome way, He blesses it so abundantly (again, if we ask Him). And since He gave some of us that desire, we should embrace the beauty that comes with a desire to marry and unite with another soul. And never settle in what soul we pick to experience God’s love with.
“God doesn’t promise that you’ll find the person who makes you the happiest, but if you remain open to His will, you’ll discover the person who will make you the holiest—and this will bring you more joy in the end than any plan you could have concocted without Him. Your soul will be sanctified through this mate . . . and in my opinion, that’s God’s idea of blessing you with a soulmate.” –Jason Evert
Praying that you never settle in your relationships and that you open your heart to the plan God ordains through relationships!
Post dedicated to St. Anne ♥