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let’s discuss: on finding love…

Let's Discuss: On Finding Love

Let's Discuss: On Finding Love

This may feel sort of random, but every so often, there are things I think about in life that I wonder what other people would think about this topic, too. So I thought…I have this blog that people sometimes read…and maybe I'll just discuss these life questions with you guys here! Here goes…

I met my husband when I was 17, and it was not love at first sight. He was not what I thought my type was. But quickly, I fell in love at a young age and despite dating on and off in a long distance relationship for 10 years, here we are 21 years later (married almost 11) with two kids and happily working every day at our marriage. So, one thing he and I always talk about that I find so fascinating is…

Do you think there is one person out there that you are meant to find and fall in love with or end up with? Or do you think that it's a matter of circumstance and who you happen to meet at a certain place and time in your life? I write this as I am watching the Bachelorette where people who would have never met are put together on a TV show and they (sometimes) end up falling in love and living happily ever after.

Also, this article written by a widow about Patton Oswalt's recent engagement after his wife passed away last year really made me think about this topic more. I loved how she said that if someone gets remarried after losing a spouse, the spouse isn't being replaced. But the (broken) heart expands to include a new love.

What do you guys think? The younger version of me would have believed that everyone has one soulmate in the world that you'll eventually find someway and somehow. But the current version of me would hope that we don't have only once chance to love should a relationship or marriage not work out or get cut short. I think there are maybe a bunch of possibilities out there in the world and it's a matter of who we meet when.

{Photo of Bob and I by Morgan Pansing}


  1. I feel like when I was young I believed in THE ONE also and as I got older I think it’s that but also more timing/circumstance… Particularly because I am my husband’s 2nd wife and his 1st wife passed away, so I do have to believe there is not just one THE ONE in one life time!

  2. love is such a mystery, isn’t it? I believe in having a soulmate that God provides in His ways, but not necessarily just one–I do believe people come into your life in timely ways & for a reason beyond what we can even begin to comprehend, but I don’t believe that limits it to just ONE person. Such a complex thing to think about!

  3. I used to think there was only one person but that has changed as I’ve gotten older. I believe timing is everything! I met my husband after a really rough few years and it was as I was coming back to happy point in life when he walked into it.
    I watched my grandfather meet his life partner about 3 years after my grandmother passed away. They aren’t married and have no intention of it. They live in separately but often visit and travel together. He’s almost 80 and he found someone he can share the rest of his life with. It’s encouraging to see!

  4. Now that I’m a little older, I can see how lovely / comforting it is to think of each of us having a soulmate out there. But I think the concept takes away from the work that goes into relationships. A successful relationship is not inevitable or destined to be — it takes deliberate effort to cultivate. That leads me to think we each have more than one soulmate.
    Also, soulmates doesn’t have to be a significant other. It can be several best friends. That’s why I like the broader definition more.

  5. My younger self believed in a much more fairy tale type of love and belief in THE ONE. I struggled with this ideal because I was “older” when I met and married my husband (I was 28 when we married and I don’t consider this old, but many people do). I wondered often why I hadn’t found the one yet. And if I had “missed my chance” with others I dated earlier in life.
    Love is not an action that you can’t control, it’s a choice. You choose everyday to love your spouse. I fall in and out of love with my husband on a regular basis depending on the day. 😉 haha But I choose to love him everyday, sometimes when I may not even want to. And that’s where I think people say marriage/love is hard. Life is hard. And sometimes choosing love in the midst of hardships is what is difficult, but always oh, so worth it!

  6. You’ve always been supportive of the journey, Joy! I still havent met the one. Both you and Bob once told me it was a matter of timing — feedback that I appreciated then and now. I would add to your post the idea that maybe it’s not really about finding love–it’s about embracing who you are and where you are at. There are many, many single people out there who choose to remain single for a variety of good reasons.

  7. Great topic to think about. I found and married my soulmate the 2nd time around. Others in the same situation I know say we were more open to others and knew what we didn’t want more than what we wanted. It’s nice to think that a pair can become soulmates…it does take a continual appreciation of each other to keep things right. – Laurel

  8. I started dating my now husband at 15, we’ve been together for 10 years. I think that when you fall in love and start dating someone at a young age, you just grow together in a way that feels like soulmates because you know each other so well. But, when life gets really hard and distracting, I still have to choose to love my husband and look for/be the good in our relationship. I don’t believe in soulmates, but I do believe that some combinations of personality types and backgrounds can decrease friction and make it easier to enjoy the little things together.

  9. I’ve always said that I think there are multiple people we could be in love with, but the one we end up with is the one who we were meant to have because they were there when we needed them which is why you fell in love with them! My grandma remarried after my grandfather passed and my new grandpa had his wife pass from cancer as well, the way they understood eachother and loved eachother but respected each other’s loss is why they meshed so well. I think that it is a different love than the love she had with my grandpa, not one you can conepare <3

  10. Twice today you have brought tears to my eyes and touched my heart. Much love to you, Joy. I’m a widow and I have to believe that the human heart is bigger than that.

  11. I think I used to think it was one person for one person, and I honestly think it’s Disney’s fault, with all their happily ever after and princesses and the woman always wins the fights! Also, soaps are to blame… Anyway, I think you can have more than one soulmate, but just not at the same time. I think selfishly I want to be the only one my husband could ever love, but I recognize that’s probably not the case. And I’m ok with that…or getting there…

  12. I’ve thought about this too. My husband and I got married when I was just shy of 19. We actually celebrated our 10 year anniversary yesterday. He likes to use the word “soul mate” but I’m not a fan of using that to describe our relationship. I feel like I have multiple soul mates….my husband being one of them, but I could say that about my very best friends ( in fact, I feel like that term best describes some of my friends). I tell my husband that we are “goal mates” and “commitment mates”. For me, staying in a loving and committed marriage is a daily choice and can be a lot of work at times. So with all that said, I believe if for some reason we were separated in this life, we could both find someone else to make a life and be happy with….without taking away from the love and memories we share.

  13. My husband and I met when I was a freshman in college, a few months before my 19th birthday. I was into him right away, but was dating someone else at the time. I promptly broke up with my boyfriend (I had been trying to exit that relationship for a while) and began dating my husband a couple of months later. We have 2 kids (ages 4 and 8 months) and have been married for almost 14 years now (together for 18). I think I am like you in that I absolutely would have described him as my soulmate in the past and I believed there was one person out there for everyone. I still believe that he is my best possible match. I cannot imagine being in a relationship as good as this one. I don’t think I could pursue another relationship if something happened to him. But I think I just got lucky finding such an awesome match at such a young age (if I had planned it myself, I would have liked to meet him a few years later for wild oat sewing purposes, but it’s nice having those early college memories together too…and we went to different schools so I still had lots of my own space). Now I like to think there are lots of love potentials out there. I think I’ve become less romantic and more practical as I’ve aged. It’s not that I love my husband less (if anything, it’s more) it’s just that I wouldn’t want others to miss out on good relationships because they are waiting for magic. I just want everyone to find love and the concept of soulmates seems too limiting.

  14. So ironic I find this blog today … I dated a guy when I was 17-18 broke up with him after I went to college because I didn’t think he was the one and I wanted to know more people. He joined the marines and left the state. We kept In touch up until we both got married and then stopped the friendship.. I got married had two children and then divorced. I’ve been divorced 2 years and one morning woke up thinking of him and decided to find him even though I had no idea where he was or if he was married. I missed his friendship and his love. Long story short I found him and we have rekindled the friendship. I told him I thought of wanting more but he has expressed to me that he just wants to be friends.
    I say all this because I would like to believe that if there isn’t one person you’re meant to be with then maybe there are people who move your life in such a way that you always want them near. And we can choose to make it more or just have a friendship. Though I won’t lie, part of me hopes this story has a different ending ?

  15. I think it’s that romantic notion in us that makes us think we will find THE ONE. It’s how we are raised in our society to have one husband/wife that leads us to believe this. But we see it every day that we could get along really well, be totally matched, to more than one person. We think we can only have one life mate because we grow together, compromise, love deeply and share experiences with that one person. We all have the capacity to love more than one person. The mistake we make is thinking that we couldn’t love another as much or in the same way. And humans look for stability so they WANT one person. But every love is different and can be JUST as amazing. When we are young, our perspective is young too so sometimes we get it wrong and think it’s love. And even after long courtships, we don’t really know a person until we live with them. As we grow, because we aren’t robots, we can sometimes change and realise the person isn’t right for us after all. It’s just life. Marriage was not part of norMal life for thousands of years. It is a relatively new construct. But our society groomed ( conditioned) us to think there’s only one person because society needed the STRUCTURE, the order. . 🙂 the world is a big place.

  16. A matter of timing … now that’s something I can get down with! Great share from both you and joy! Thank you ladies ? this blog!

  17. I have thought of this question before and I think we can absolutely have more than one love.
    My husband and I are in love and married 11 years and I cannot imagine any life but ours. But…
    I like to think of it it terms of Jane Austen quotes (even if it is only from the screenplay)…
    “How lucky to have been twice blessed in marriage! It has been my belief that one loves only once. I am happy to be wrong.” –Harriet Smith, Emma

  18. I actually believe that we could create happy lives with more than one person. Not at the same time of course! I think there are wise choices and unwise choices in the partner we choose but ultimately if that persons cares about loving and supporting you just as much as you do them–they become your soul mate. Not because you found them but because you both rose to the occasion.

  19. thanks for sharing kristen! i agree about waiting for that perfect magic. there are lots of possibilities but it needs to be the right fit.

  20. I don’t think there is only THE ONE, but I believe that that’s how you should go into a marriage – thinking the person you chose IS the one and you want to be a team with them always. But if you end up separated, widowed, etc – your heart would be able to find the next “the one” that you need in your life. Haha I hope it makes sense the way I’m explaining it!

  21. I don’t believe there is only one person for us but I do think you can have a soulmate.
    I think it’s mostly about Choice. You find someone with whom you are compatible and you choose to be soulmates- to be lifelong companions. You may meet other people with whom you are compatible but you have to make the daily choice to keep your significant other as your chosen soulmate.

  22. My husband and I have been dating since 17, got married at 21 and have been married now for 6 years. I was a little boy crazy before I met him, and always had crushes on different guys, but as soon as I met him, he was so mature for his age and something told me that he was “the one”. As we’ve grown older we’ve both acknowledged that we probably just got lucky by meeting someone we were so compatible with at a young age, and that we could easily have gotten along with/dated/married other people, but we chose to be together, and that’s what counts. Our relationship works and we’re really happy together. So I guess now I don’t really believe in soul mates but I believe in the beauty of marriage and spending your life with someone that you share memories with. And I know that by choosing him, I made him “the one”, if that makes sense.
    By the way, I asked my grandfather the same question, whether or not he and my grandmother are soul mates. They have been married 50 years, and he had an interesting answer. He said that since they both grew up in the same small town, she’s the only girl he ever loved, and had he grown up somewhere else, and had never met her, he would have loved someone else. So basically he said that she’s not his soul mate but he’s really glad it ended up the way it did.

  23. Thanks Lindsay! I love that! And where you said, And I know that by choosing him, I made him the one””
    SO SO true.

  24. A good question i often asked myself, it’s the same by us. It was not love at first sight he was not my type but he was holding on getting me and that impressed me. I definetly think it is a matter of circumstance and who you happen to meet at a certain place and time. When I had not moved to another town I would have never met him and there would be another man at my side I think. When there is only one person in the whole world for us we would all be singles because we never had the luck to meet exactly this one person. But what I think too is that falling in love at the first sight often means that the relationship ends quickly and that love at the second or third sight lasts till the end, so we had more luck in the end not surching the whole live for mister right and loosing him after a while.
    Many greetings Kathrin

  25. This is such a nice topic, I think about this a lot , although I’m not married (yet) to my current partner, we have two beautiful kids (5 and 2 years old) and feel life without each other couldn’t be thinkable. We meet 10 years ago while working in the same company, it wasn’t love at first sight neither but I have a fun fact that makes me believe maybe we were meant to meet at some point in our lives. We both have a tip of a pencil in our left arms since we were kids (I think my sister “stabbed” me one day while arguing it) and so does he. When we found out we couldn’t believe it, such an odd think to have in the same exact spot in the same arm in the same way! I’m from South America and he is Canadian, life is such a mystery and a beautiful thing!

  26. I am also married over 20 years now. I think that as someone who believes in God, I believe God put us together, for better for worse. He was my good friend first before we started dating. I think relationships take a lot of work, and there will be ups and downs. I think he is the best man for me! I do think that after the death of a spouse that God can give you another partner. What I find interesting is the new dating websites that weren’t around when me and my husband were dating. Would they put us together???

  27. I think about this all the time! I’m still really young (in college) and have been with my boyfriend for two years. Two years might not seem like that long, but I think it’s a huge accomplishment for us! I wonder if this is the person I’m meant to be with, and if it’s okay to be with one person your whole life. Would I ever wonder if I missed out? But lately, I think I would be missing out on him if I decided to be single!

  28. wow Joy thanks for sharing on this personal topic 🙂
    I think the fact that you mentioned the Bachelorette and a widow in the same paragraph definitely shows different stages of maturity and life experiences. I think our pop culture of Rom-Coms and reality shows have definitely fed this soulmate concept but from the widow aspect I’ve definitely seen friends find love again after they have lost their spouse and I think that author is right it’s not replacing the lost spouse, it’s expanding the heart. That’s such an awesome way to express it 🙂

  29. A really great podcast that tackles this topic is “Terrible, thanks for asking”. It is heartbreaking and uplifting. I highly recommend!

  30. I believe we have more than one soulmate, and they could be in the form of friends or lovers. It just depends on which one you meet first in life.


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