If you haven’t spent much time on my Instagram, you may have missed it, so here it is again: I’m “shout it from the rooftops” in love with my husband, who I’ve known since I was 15 years old. But he’s not my soulmate.
I know this reads like clickbait, but hear me out. When I was a little girl, I thought about how one day, I’d meet my Prince Charming and live happily ever after. That thought process was still around when I was dating — I’d endlessly wonder whether Vagner was “the one” or if I was supposed to keep looking.
I felt so much liberation the day it dawned on me that he wasn’t my soulmate because I didn’t have one.
Again, I’ve gotta make it clear that I love Vagner (and I like him, which is sometimes even more important). We bicker like great-grandparents, laugh at each other’s obscure jokes, and he’s been there for every step of my adult life. He is dashingly handsome, ridiculously kind, and genuinely the best man I’ve ever met.
But I was afraid to marry him because I’d convinced myself that I had *one* man to find — out of the billions that were alive — and he could live across the world. When I was in high school, I’d wonder what I’d do if my dream man lived in France or Senegal or Nebraska (let’s be real — it may as well be a foreign country to this Florida gal) and we never, ever met.
This caused me to doubt Vagner, but it also caused something much more sinister. Even when I trusted him, I absolved myself of any responsibility in our relationship. When you find your soulmate, I reasoned, you’re meant to be together, so things will always work out. Here’s the deal: Vagner outdoes and outperforms all of the things I expected of my “dream guy.” But he doesn’t love me well because he’s hopelessly in awe of me thanks to some mythical force that brought us together. He chooses to treat me well.
Love is a choice, and you have to make the decision to keep your heart tender toward your spouse.
And I think that once I realized that Vagner and I could’ve married other people and been just fine, my resolve to make our relationship as healthy as possible was strengthened in ways it hadn’t been before. Because I’m not the most beautiful, or funniest, or most talented woman in the world. But he chose me. And I choose him.
When my perspective shifted, I was able to feel sure of our relationship in ways I never had before. We weren’t bound to each other by fate — we were bound by love. And we get to spend the rest of our days nurturing the connection we’ve developed and making it even stronger. I say it all the time, but Vagner is even better than I thought he was.
So if you’re struggling with finding “the one,” I urge you to take courage. I briefly mentioned that all of my letters to my future husband in high school were about how much Vagner sucked (LOL). I had noooo idea. Love at first sight was definitely not a thing for us, and I actually blocked his number more than once in those fun teen years.
Your life partner may not show up on your doorstep wearing a tuxedo with a huge bouquet in hand, but they’ll bring something even better if you choose well: The comfort that only comes from loving someone and knowing they love you back. What are your thoughts on soulmates? I’d love to chat more in the comments. Xx
Ayana Lage is a fashion and lifestyle blogger based in Tampa, Florida with a background in digital media and content marketing. She’s worked for Bustle, the Tampa Bay Times, the Miami Herald, and numerous freelance clients. As a blogger, she’s worked with 50+ lifestyle, fashion, travel and food brands. When she’s not blogging, she’s focused on her day job in digital marketing, watching Queer Eye, or laughing aloud at tweets from @dril.