It’s a question I get asked often. How do I know? Is this is my soulmate? There are probably as many answers to that question as there are askers. However, for me, part of what helped me define loa relationship coachmy personal definition of a soulmate was the experience of the moment when I realized I was married to a man who wasn’t mine.
I will never forget it. It was February in Florida and the weather was perfect. We were sitting in the car at a beach, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The scene in and of itself was nearly perfect. However, the energy between us was anything but perfect. It was strained, angry, and unsatisfied. I didn’t know exactly why, but I was already afraid. Then it happened. The man I was married to handed me a list he’d written on the back of a page he’d torn out of a text book. On that list were eleven things he wanted me change, about myself. They ranged from wanting my hair color to be different to wanting me to be a better housekeeper.
More from YourTango: The Case For Being Boy Crazy
Sure, I had room for improvement in the housekeeping department. I still do. However, fundamentally, most of the items on that list were intrinsically me. I couldn’t change them and stay myself. I was young when that happened. I was only 23 and even at 23 I knew I would never be successful at being someone he wanted me to be and in that moment, I knew that marriage would not make it. He was my practice husband.
In a lot of ways it was easier, because he wanted me to be so completely different than who I was I knew it would never work. Sometimes it’s more subtle. It seems more doable.
I want you to be more punctual.
I want you to be more organized.
I want you to be more spiritual.
I want you to drink a little less.
I want you to have more vision for your future.
All of those things might seem like things worth striving for, and yet, wanting someone to be different demonstrates a lack of acceptance. When you are on the receiving end of someone wanting you to be different, it’s horrible. However, as horrible as it is, you’d be amazed how often someone will try to hammer themselves into a box they were never meant to fit into because someone else wants them to be someone they aren’t.
You’d think after my practice marriage ended, I’d have learned that lesson. It took me a little more practice. I spent years in and out of relationships trying to become the someone that other person would love enough not to leave.
Becoming something you aren’t to make someone else happy isn’t growth, it’s mutation.
More from YourTango: What 'True Love' Really Means
We all know mutation isn’t usually very pretty.
On the other hand, there’s evolution.