Soulmate vs Lifemate

Soulmates or Lifemates? These two want to know more…

When it comes to choosing a partner to experience  life with, does anyone think of ever after anymore? 

What is a soulmate?

I was curious so I scanned the internet looking for what made sense to me. I wasn’t aware that there are different types: 

Soul Partners They come in and out of your life to serve a purpose. They may be an intimate partner or something else playing an important role in your growth or certain path. The main purpose is to help to accomplish or complete a goal or milestone (kids, career, goal and so on).

Soul Tie– Unexpected addition that isn’t planned. A connection is made that seems random but ends up being something more. I have met many people in my life who seemed to have a message for me to pay attention to. If I don’t get the message the first time, I notice they come back to try again as themselves or someone similar in manner, behavior or speech. 

Past Life Soulmate– Ever have someone come into your life and you feel an instant attraction or connection to? There is a familiarity with the person that has no known origin. It can be an attraction or just a vibe or energy exchange. It’s tangible though when it happens.

Karma Mates– Sometimes a person comes into your life and changes everything or just enough to get you thinking about a different existence. Universe disruptors I call them. They are put in my path to wake me up and remind me that I need to do something differently or change a behavior or action.

Kindred Spirits-Whether you have a history with someone or have just met them, sometimes, if you are lucky, you have people in your life that just get you. They think like you, they act like you and they are willing to keep you in their lives and vice versa. I have friends like this. We have been friends since childhood for a very long time.

I haven’t exhausted the list of types of relationships one can have. There are many more. I picked out the ones that I was curious to explore further for me and thought you might enjoy the comparison.

At the end of the month will mark 38 years that my husband and I have been married. I think of all the things that have changed in this world over that time. I am not sure I would recognize my 20 years old self that said “I do” and meant for life “I do”.

I have read theories on soulmates. There has been a shift in how they are perceived. Many think you can have multiple soulmates throughout your life. They come to share a part of your story then drift out when the story concludes. They aren’t meant to last forever. If you think about it in the vein of being temporary would you treasure the time spent with them more?

Lifemates I think of differently. If you look at animals, those that mate for life only make up 3% of the population according to Google. Out of that 3%, they quickly find another mate if the first one dies. Another interesting tidbit is the fact that the lifermates don’t live together. They only come together during mating season and the rest of the time they remain apart.

Relationships are such an individual thing. Trying to mirror someone else’s experience is virtually impossible and impractical. Through the years, I have found that you need to decide for you and your partner what will work and what won’t.

In the honeymoon phase it’s easy to see yourself with this perfect soulmate as long as you both shall live. The first twenty years or so are spent building your connected existence. Kids, home, career, lifestyle are all distractions that make time disappear. History is built with this partner that, in my opinion, becomes more valuable than a greater emphasis on lust. Don’t get me wrong, intimacy is important and necessary to sustain a connection. 

I have had many opportunities to watch as couples get married, divorced, pass away, live apart, live together but apart and many combinations that are interesting to contemplate.

I hear single friends and family complain about the state of dating these days. It sounds depressing that humanity puts so much emphasis on how we look on the outside. Since when did it matter if I had hair on my body in places where most people never see?

I am not sure what the future holds for me or my continued journey with my soulmate? Lifemate?

I know one thing for sure, we are meant to have others in our lives. They make life that much richer and full. I am grateful for those who have put up with me over the years and look forward to discovering others yet to be part of my story.

Evergreen – Sharon’s Take On It

 retaining freshness or interest : perennial. b : universally and continually relevant : not limited in applicability to a particular event or date.

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/evergreen

I read Vanessa’s post today about finding meaning in the song “Evergreen” and it got me thinking about my interpretation.

My first reaction was “Ha! Right – love everlasting.” If you’ve read my posts over the past year, you know that hasn’t happened for me. Each time, I thought it was FINALLY the “evergreen” relationship – one that would stand the test of time, weather storms, and maintain its individuality – while being part of a forest ecosystem – for its natural life.

In my experience, it’s not been love everlasting with one person. Each time, it was fresh and interesting – absolutely. Each time, I thought it was forever. Love is a basic human need; one that is universally and continually relevant. While many people put everything into making their wedding day special, love is not applicable to that particular event or date. It’s in the day-to-day living, the little things, that keep it fresh and interesting.

The Universe timed Vanessa’s post perfectly. It came a few days after Martin and I talked about what love means to us, and a day before our two year anniversary.

Martin and I are past the point where we believe love is eternal. Like the evergreen tree, it can be perennial if nourished and continues to grow, but there’s no certainty. A fire can take out a forest of evergreens. A landslide can rip them out by the roots. A drought can stunt their growth and, over time, starve them. The best we can do is see ‘evergreen love’ as a possibility and strive to make it happen.

We make it happen by having shared interests and experiences. We explore new things and places together. We have a shared understanding of what love means and similar expectations as to where it will go.

As a concept, “love” is ageless and unchanging. The reality of it is anything but that. Love changes over time. At the beginning, partners can’t get enough of each other and want to spend every waking minute talking or being together. I remember when Martin told me he loved me. He HAD to talk to me everyday while he was at work. When on night shift, he’d wake 30 minutes early to have time to call me. You need to know he is someone who despises talking on the phone and is chronically tired when working 12 hour nights. He’s a true introvert and very comfortable with solitude. Such is the power of love in the initial phase.

Over time, we become familiar with each other. As the saying goes, “Familiarity breeds contempt”, OR, it can breed deeper love. Now, we agree to talk twice a week when he’s at work. We text twice a day. If we were stuck in the first phase, this would be upsetting for both of us. It’s not. Our love has grown. It acknowledges both his needs and mine. We reach compromises that work for both of us.

Unlike the evergreen tree who is at the mercy of Mother Nature, we choose to continue growing together. If either one of us stops nurturing the relationship, it will die. It’s a joint effort. This isn’t to say the effort is always equal. Sometimes we each need to put in more to keep the relationship working. It’s acknowledging and respecting the efforts of each other that’s important.

Just as an evergreen can’t take necessary amounts of rain, soil or sunshine for granted, neither can humans assume love will simply occur. It’s not a result of a particular day or time. It’s the result of care, attention and opportunities for growth that keep love truly “evergreen”.

It’s the Little Things

Martin and I are in Kelowna visiting his dad. We are coming up on two years together and, as we sat in the hotel’s sauna watching sweat drip from our faces, I reflected on how far we’ve come.

We joke about “You know this isn’t a new relationship when…” or, “You know the bloom is off the rose when…” Off the top of my head:

  • You sit in a sauna and see who can get ten drips of sweat off their face the fastest.
  • Your boyfriend says, “You’ve got a chin hair” and reaches over to pluck it.
  • On a particularly tight turn past Rogers Pass, you tell your boyfriend, “Could we try to take it on four wheels this time?” (because you’re no longer convinced clenching your butt cheeks together will keep you on the road).
  • You pee with the bathroom door open so the conversation doesn’t have to stop.
  • Your boyfriend offers to give you a pedicure and, upon seeing the calluses on your feet tells you, “You don’t need a pedicurist, you need a farrier!”

It’s the shared moments. When we think of these things, we smile or laugh. I like that we’re past having to be on our best behaviour all the time.

I’m very fortunate. In addition to these funny moments, I’ve got a guy who:

  • tells me daily that he loves me (usually, several times a day)
  • loves to cook (and takes all my dietary restrictions into account)
  • gives hugs and kisses in public whenever the mood strikes him
  • helps around the house without having to be asked or expecting thanks
  • makes an effort to understand what I do for a living (to most, it looks like I sit at a computer all day….well, I do…)
  • actually listens when I talk and doesn’t try to “solve” things; instead, he asks questions and shares his perspective
  • helps me take my dad to medical appointments so I don’t have to go into the mens’ room when Dad needs to pee
  • buys plants for my home because he knows I like them
  • puts my feet on his lap when we’re on the couch watching TV
  • falls asleep with his arm around me

We’re sitting together on the couch and he asks, “What are you thinking about Bubaloo?”

“I’m trying to think of a way to end this blog.”

“Try: The End”.

Sometimes, he does have an answer to my problems.

Are You Retirement Compatible?

When it comes to retiring are you and your significant other on the same page?

In life and relationships we talk about a lot of things in regards to goals, religious beliefs, values, children and who is going to clean the toilet…lol. Most often, we gloss over at what age we are going to retire as it seems so far away when we are young.

These days though, many partners are talking about taking a break from their jobs for a year or two fully expecting they will find another job eventually. Some are trying to catch up with retirement funds, paying off debt that was unexpected and dealing with the cost of relationship breakdowns. Life can get complicated and a large amount of people put time away from working on the back burner. We live in a world now where you could be working into your seventies.

So, have you had the talk with your partner? Are you retirement compatible? What if you aren’t aligned on timing, expectations and lifestyle?

I remember thinking in my twenties that I would retire at 65. I would work, most likely, at one maybe two jobs. I would have a pension and some savings and life would be awesome when I turned 65. Well, we all know what happens to life while we are living. So many things are unexpected and not planned for. You wake and realize that those you love and expected to grow old with or around have either passed away or in bad health. You feel older. You slow down when you are hiking. You are weaker and feel pain in your joints. When did I start to get older? I thought all those things happened in your seventies not your fifties. I watch those around me and I realize my window of opportunity to live with abandonment is shortening. I can’t rely on being in good health when I am 65. I know my abilities today and I feel that if I can continue to build strength and endurance now that as I get older the longevity should hold. At least that’s my theory and I am sticking to it.

I have been talking to many friends and family about their plans. Some wanted to take time off to travel now and then maybe go back to work when they get tired of doing that. Others plan to work until they can’t work anymore well into their seventies or beyond. Others plan to work and play and juggle the two. What has been a common theme though is that most find themselves in a bit of a pickle when it comes to agreement from their partner as to both being on the same page.Life throws us curve balls. I am a firm believer that the universe shakes things up when we get too complacent. 

My universe is telling me to squeeze the lemons now. Get as much juice as you can out of this existence. My husband is planning on working another 9 years or so.I am hoping he will decide that there is more to life than stock piles of money and things. You can’t rush someone else’s discoveries. You shouldn’t wait though to “do you”. It’s scary to venture out on your own. It’s even scarier to sit and wait for someone else to get on board.

Life’s obstacles are constant and ever coming at you. I had journeyed with an eagle in the past and it had shown me to put the chaos in my palm and squeeze out order and decisions from it. It’s an exercise I can do physically to help me focus on which direction to follow. Mistakes will be made, that’s how we move forward. It takes more courage to act than to stand still and watch.

Next week I am taking a break from van renos to hang out in Banff with my sister in law. We have decided to go tandem skydiving and caving. The waivers are signed and the deposits are given. I am making lemonade with the sweetest ingredients I can find. I am not saying that finding common ground with your partner isn’t important. It totally is. Respect for each other and practical goals are key. Time away from work doesn’t have to be expensive. I find a balance of things I do that are free and things that are epic adventures that may cost me a bit. It’s the doing that counts. The sharing of the experience. We all relied heavily on our memories during COVID of things we had done in the past to get us through the rough patch. I thank my lucky stars that I was blessed with so many adventures in my life so far.

It’s funny how the biggest regret in life is usually the ones that involve not doing something rather than taking the leap and trusting you will land safely. The journey is worth it!

Hopefully your partner agrees that taking breaks sooner rather than later is the way to go. If they don’t then it’s up to you to decide whether you stay put and wait for them or…

Get into that harness, secure the lines and find someone who is compatible with the here and now of your awareness.

I Do…For Now

Here I sit, a week before Valentine’s Day, thinking about the “connection” theme Vanessa and I chose for this month. One of the most significant connections we make is with a life partner…or in my case…partners.

You see, I never did find my “one and only” life connection. Unlike my parents who were married for 53 years, I have a history of “I do…for now” marriages.

My first marriage happened two months before my 21st birthday. We met at university, dated for two years, and got married the same week I wrote the last five finals of my Bachelor’s degree. At the time, I made vows to love and cherish for the rest of my life – and meant it. What do we know when we’re in our early twenties? That marriage lasted 5 years, though it was over shortly after the first two years. My husband decided to devote himself to piano studies at the detriment of our marriage. I now tell friends, “When your husband buys you a dog to keep you company, go directly to your lawyer.” A dog can’t fill the void created by an inattentive spouse. However, it did spawn a life-long passion with dog training and competition, and for that I am grateful.

I met Husband #2 online. We chatted for a while, started to call, and eventually met in person. We clicked. Within a year, we had bought a house and moved in together. A year after that, we were married. Again, I said “I do” in front of a (much smaller) group of friends and family – and meant it.

There was a twelve year age difference between us. It wasn’t an issue when I was in my early 30’s and he in his mid-40’s. It became an issue when we adopted our son a few years later. While we had many similarities that grew and developed our relationship early on, our ideas about how we wanted to raise our son were different. I wanted to be outdoors, active, and experience new things. He was content to sit at home, watch TV, and read. I wanted us to provide a life of experiences for our son. He was happy to have me do it on my own.

That marriage lasted 12 years. Once more, I hadn’t found my life-long connection.

After the second marriage, I didn’t want a relationship. I started to online date again and developed “friends with benefits” connections. This worked for me. I was happy on my own. I had my home, my son, and companionship when I wanted it. Over time, one of the FWBs turned into a dating relationship, which turned into co-habitation. This time, I didn’t want to get married. I was happy living together. However, he’d had a common-law relationship and wanted a marriage. In the end, I acquiesced.

The cracks started to form after a couple of years. I was determined to make this marriage work. After all, it was my THIRD marriage – I HAD to get this one right! We’ve discovered we were together more for my son than for us. He wanted to be a dad, and I was (subconsciously) looking for a dad for my son, as his had moved away and wasn’t a daily part of his life. Despite my best efforts, we weren’t able to function as a married couple. At some point, we will divorce, sell the house, and go our separate ways. For now, we are fortunate to have the space to have distinct living quarters so we can continue to enjoy our home, yard, and neighbourhood.

Which brings me to my current relationship. Have I finally found my life-long connection? Who knows? What does “forever” mean after three failed marriages? The series of “I do….for now” is done. There will be no marriage for us. We love each other too much to ever want to feel beholden or trapped. Our relationship is based on what we feel for each other in the present. As much as we’d like to think what we have will continue to grow and sustain, we can’t be certain. All we have is “…for now”, and for now, that’s enough.

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