In a world saturated with romantic comedies, Disney movies, and happily ever after’s, it’s easy to fantasize about finding our one true soul-mate. But do soul-mates really exist? My answer: No. And yes.

The belief that everyone has one, predetermined soul-mate that they are meant to be with is not realistic. In a world with close to 7 billion people, the likely-hood of even meeting that person is slim to none. Living in a fantasy world where you’re waiting for your prince, or princess, charming to come along and sweep you off your feet and live happily ever after is unrealistic and creates an excuse to not actively engage in your life.

No one is perfect, and no relationship is perfect, nor can we expect it to be. If we continue to hold our partners and our relationships to this happily ever after expectation, we are only setting ourselves up for disappointment. Just because your partner makes you upset, or does not have every quality your “soul-mate” should have, does not mean to throw out the relationship because they are clearly not your “soul-mate”. Relationships take work, and to have a loving, lasting, and enduring relationship with someone, you have to be willing to work through challenges. If people continue to engage in this type of fantasy world, they will end up alone…eating donuts and watching reality tv with their cat, because no one will fill the position of their perfect “soul-mate”.

However, there is some good news. Although there isn’t a predetermined soul-mate that we get to sit around and wait for, we do have the opportunity to choose who we would like to be our soul-mate. Begin choosing your soul-mate by acknowledging that no one is perfect, so look for a partner who meets a good number of the qualifying items on your “list”, and don’t expect someone to fit all of them. Really learn to accept a person’s flaws because we all have some. Learn to love your partner for who they are, not who they aren’t. Choose someone who lets you flourish and lets you be your best self. Choose someone who you can feel open and vulnerable around.  By opening yourself up to these various things, you can really connect with your partner on a deep, perpetual level. In turn, you are choosing this person as your soul-mate.

All good things take a little bit of work. Think about projects around your house, let’s say you want to plant grass in your yard. You can continue to ignore your yard, and the issue will remain…a muddy mess. Or, you can spend a weekend working on your yard, tending to its needs, planting grass, and fertilizing. After you tend to your yard, the end result will be a beautiful lawn that you, and all your family and friends can enjoy. My point is…If you are able to face challenges in your relationship head on with your partner and work through them, you will come out stronger on the other side. Work can be viewed as a good, positive, and productive thing, instead of, well…work.

There is no one person in the world that is perfect or meant for us, but we do have the opportunity to create a strong relationship with someone  in which we can decide if we want to make the commitment to them and choose them as our soul-mate.