I remember an episode of Dharma and Greg in which an ex-girlfriend of Greg, who he has remained close friends with returns to town. Dharma feels threatened by this beautiful, successful, single woman who seems to be much better-suited for Greg than Dharma is. Dharma and Greg take the ex out on the town to find her a man, but Dharma spends most of the night talking to a guy at the bar. Like Dharma, his parents were also hippies, he has an unusual name, he enjoys yoga and New Age-y things that Greg generally scoffs at. At the end of the evening, Greg asks Dharma if she found a soul mate, referring, of course to someone suitable for his ex. Dharma replies to him, "Yes! But I'm going home with the man I love."
I think about this episode a lot. It really got me thinking when I originally saw it years ago, too. A Romantic and true idealist, I always believed in soul mates. Dharma made me consider, for the first time, that even though I may have a soul mate out there, he might not be the right person for me. Yes, I know I am basing this theory on a sitcom, but the philosophy is worth exploring. Recent events in my life have brought this to mind, and I can't stop thinking about it. Maybe, maybe Nate was my soul mate. Nate wasn't the first man I was convinced was "the one." He was the third. But he was the first of the trio I had a long-term, happy, healthy, cutesy, committed relationship with, so that made my conviction seem all the more reasonable, even likely.
Maybe Nate was my soul mate. On our first date he recited lines from a documentary written by a man my brother was named after. The first time he walked into my apartment he noticed right away that I arrange my bookshelves according to genre. We both have a tendency to put on ridiculous music and break into an even more ridiculous spontaneous dance and we shared an obsession with the Brooklyn Bridge. From the very moment I met him, I felt comfortable and happy and was able to be myself without holding anything back. The first time we kissed I felt electricity course through my body and thought, "I'm never going to kiss another man" -- a thought that terrified me, but one I couldn't push away.
Maybe he was my soul mate. Maybe not, but it's possible that he was. And maybe we were soul mates, but there's actually someone out there I'll be happier with. Right now that doesn't seem like an option, and it's not something I'm going to explore for a long time, but I have to accept that it just might be true.