This passage has been excerpted from Wellth: How I Learned to Build a Life, Not a Resume by our founder and CEO Jason Wachob, a prescriptive memoir that redefines successful living and offers readers instead a new life currency. You can buy it here.
Soul mates. They’re complicated. And I think we’re thinking about them all wrong.
I believe that there are three different types of soul mates; two that are romantic and one that’s non-romantic.
The first kind of soul mate is the romantic kind that you aren’t meant to be with forever but that delivers powerful lessons. These soul mates tend to be the most in influential teachers in our lives. They’re the ones that provide the heartache, the ones that don’t work out and aren’t meant to work out. They are the ones who help get you from point A to B and make sure you learn the lessons that you need to learn.
In my first serious relationship, I learned that a great six months, or a great year, or a great few years—and all the love and affection in the world—don’t always make for a lasting relationship. Love isn’t always enough. You can love someone, and they can love you, but it doesn’t mean you’re meant to be together. Your partner should make you better, and your partner should make you whole. In fact, I think they should make you more than whole and especially not less. One plus one should not equal one point or two; it should equal three.
The second type is the one that allows you to be your true self and who stays with you forever. When you’re with the person you’re meant to be with, they don’t bring out your insecurities. They actually make them go away. They bring out the best in you, not the worst. You and your partner are both happy with your true selves, and together you make each other even happier. In this ideal scenario when you’re together, one plus one doesn’t equal two, it equals three.
He or she is the one that makes you better, the one that allows you to be your true self and to feel comfortable in a way you probably felt only when you were a small child. This soul mate lets you be you and helps you be your most authentic self. You meet each other precisely when you’re both ready, not a moment before or a moment after. The expression “timing is everything” is especially true with this kind of soul mate.
I’ve found this to be true over and over in life, especially with regard to relationships. Just when you’re about ready to give up—when you’ve had enough of dating, enough of the games, enough of the heartbreak, not a moment too early and not a moment too late—at that very time, when you’re truly ready and open to anything, the right person comes into your life.
The third type is a platonic friend with whom you are always connected to and feel you can share your innermost thoughts and emotions. But there’s no romance and definitely no sex! We all have these good friends; in fact, most of us have experienced many of them in our lifetime. They’re the people who you haven’t seen or spoken to in weeks, months, or years—but whenever you do see or speak to each other, you pick up wherever you left off, as if neither of you had missed a beat. They’re also the ones who you connect with very deeply and frequently for a period in your life. Sometimes the two of you grow apart, or someone moves away or has a life event that distances you. Other times you’ll remain lifelong close friends, even if you see each other only once or twice a year.
Reprinted from WELLTH: How I Learned to Build a Life, Not a Resume. Copyright © 2016 by Jason Wachob. Published by Harmony Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
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