Finding your soul mate.
Soul mate, the one, perfect match - if these terms make you want to projectile vomit, feel free to replace with something less romantic. As a younger person, I never believed that there would be anyone out there well suited to me. I rejected the notion of a soul mate, or finding true love. Most people do not impress me even slightly - and for the first 25 years of my existence I accepted the idea that I'd be single forever or settle for someone mediocre. Naturally, I grew comfortable with the idea of being single forever. Mediocrity does not appeal to me. But, as it turns out, I didn't have to settle. So how on earth did I end up with a freaken soul mate?
Firstly, don't believe in soul mates. Sounds like a contradiction. But if you go into every date or expect every new person you meet to be your potential soul mate - you are going to be sorely disappointed. There will rarely be an instance where two people meet and instantly know that they're destined for great things. Putting that kind of pressure on any new relationship is ridiculous and unhelpful. Besides, you can have a great experience/relationship with someone who doesn't feel like the one. You'll grow and learn and journey further down your path. So if you're one of those people who goes into every Tinder date with high hopes on finding your true love - stop it. Stahp.
Secondly, be open. If you're a bitter and twisted ball of resentment and defence mechanisms - you're not the only one. I was once quite guarded, because let's face it, no one wants to get hurt. But to meet people that you can really connect with - you need to take a few bricks out of the wall and let them peek inside. No one is going to fall in love with a fake version of yourself, being authentic and genuinely you is the most endearing quality you possess. Even if you're a grumpy, sarcastic, pessimist - there will be people out there who complement your personality. So there's no use pretending to be something else.
Thirdly, don't think of it like a job interview - where the person needs to have certain prior experiences and skills to get the gig. Must be tall, older than me, earn a certain amount, live out of home, be well travelled, likes the same music as me - ugh. None of this actually matters. So forget it. It's less like hiring a new employee and more like choosing your team mate for the Amazing Race. Will they help me through stressful situations? Yes. Will they make me laugh even if we lose? Yes. Will they be able to complete a challenge where they have to eat moths so that I don't have to? Yes. You're essentially choosing your team mate or partner for one hell of a race. You want to bring out the best in each other in every situation. Especially the tough ones. Lastly, your soul mate is not here to complete you. You are a whole person without anyone else. Sure, your partner can offer support, love and everything else wonderful. But they should not define you or the meaning in your life. And if you rely on them to provide you with this - I have no doubt that you will both end up unhappy. It's a lot of pressure to put on another person, and ultimately it's every individual persons responsibility for their own fulfilment and happiness. So don't go out there looking for your missing puzzle piece in a potential mate - find someone who will cheer you on while you complete your own puzzle.