When I was a teenager, I dreamed of finding my soul mate. My other half. How amazing would that be? Someone who’s meant for me, who thinks I’m beautiful inside and out, who gets me, who loves me passionately, who’d do anything for me. And who’d take me to prom, and the movies, and I’d never have to be home alone on a Saturday night.
But is this destiny? Is there only one person out there who fits that bill?
The ancient Greeks tell us that humans originally had four arms, four legs, and a single head made of two faces. Zeus, threatened by their strength, struck them with lightning bolts, splitting the beings in half. From then on, each human would forever long for their other half. And if the two found each other, they would feel finally unified and complete.
It’s super romantic, right? Well, except for the whole splitting in half thing. That’s actually pretty gross. But the idea that there’s one person out there who you’re destined to be with is really dreamy and awesome. Also…realistic.
Oh wait. Back up. No, it’s not.
Because, really. You’re going to find that one person in a world with 7.6 billion people in it? What are the chances that they’ll be at your high school, or town, state, country, continent even? The odds are one in 7.6 billion. (Or something close to that. I nearly failed Statistics in business school.)
So, no. I don’t buy the soul mate theory of the ancient Greeks.
But I do believe in soul mates. I believe in chemistry, and connection, and love. And timing, luck, and sure, maybe a touch of fate. I believe that soul mates can be lovers, platonic friends, family. I believe you can have more than one soul mate, and at different times in your life. As people, we continue to grow and change. Evolve.
Relationships evolve, too, because they are between people, who, as I’ve mentioned, tend to change over time. This is one of the many reasons why I loved exploring the idea of soul mates in my new YA book Soulstruck, watching how my characters discover what happens when they rely on destiny, and tie themselves to the idea of finding the one person who is meant to be.