I Could Have Been Happy Without Him

I am generally a very happy person. I rarely have bad days (just bad moments) and on any given day, if you asked me “how are you?” I’d say “good” and mean it. A big part of that is my relationship with N. And Archie of course, but this post is mostly about N.

N and I are about 3.5 years in. We met at work when he came to my desk to do a “sit with” and learn about my job. So yeah, my life partner showed up at my desk one day and that was that. He is the person I fell in love with. That part just happened. He is the person I have chosen to spend my life with. He is not my soulmate.

Soulmates Don't Exist #love

I’m a romantic comedy lover, a mushy book reader, and a love song listener. I believe in love that can last a lifetime. But I also believe that I could have found that love with lots of different people. It seems ludicrous that N would be the only person for me in a world of 7.2 billion people (and counting).

Aside from being a little cheesy, the word soulmate really feels unrealistic to me. It feels like proclaiming us to be soulmates would be naive and honestly, a little boastful.

Had I stayed in California, I’m certain I would have eventually met a man and fallen in love. I know that N would have found someone else if he had never found me. I feel like there are many people that any one person could be compatible with. I could have been happy without him. I could have been happy with someone else. But that’s just not what happened in the story that is my life.

It would be easy to wonder about fate. How did a Californian and a New Yorker wind up in the same company, in a city neither of them ever expected to live in? Our colleges were 3,500 miles apart. Our hometowns are equally far. And yet we wound up at the same company at the same time in the same department. We were the same age and were both single. And after all that, we just clicked. Hundreds of tiny (and huge) decisions put is in the same place at the same time. But it wasn’t fate. It was chance. It was love. It was choice.

Nay and Nav

We didn’t walk into each other’s lives because of destiny. Our relationship isn’t perfect and he isn’t my soulmate. He’s the man I love dearly. I could have been happy without him, but I choose not to. Each day I make the choice to continue to be N’s partner, as he chooses to continue to be mine. To put effort in, to continue to love, and to be better partners every day. I can’t imagine my life or my future without him. So screw soulmates. They don’t exist. We chose each other. Isn’t that the most romantic thing of all?

  • Completely agree. I’ve always felt like the term “soulmates” sounds romantic, but in reality it belittles the real hard work and effort that relationships (ALL relationships) take. It boils everything down to “chance” and “luck” and makes others feel like they have less of a shot just because of some cosmic freak accident. Which is a little ridiculous.

    I know I could’ve fallen in love with a lot of people, but I fell in love with my guy, and I chose that love to be “the one.”

    Basically – I really really love this.

  • Crazy, I’m a California Girl who fell in met and fell in love with a New Yorker! I completely agree with you.

  • JC

    I totally agree. Having been together for nearly 7 years now I truly can’t imagine my life without my partner but I also know that I would be fine had we never met. I like love likes convenience. I will admit that sometimes when you meet someone all bets are off and you’ll go to the earth for them, which isn’t really convenient but some people are dramatic by nature.

  • Thank you for writing this post, Nadine! I really enjoyed reading it (because I absolutely agree), and I’m sure it was relatively difficult to write. I know the reactions I get from my closest friends when I say i don’t believe in soul mates, and that in a world this HUGE there’s got to be at least a few different people I’d love and want to spend my life with. Soul mates, at least to me, just always felt on par with “love at first site” – something invented for Disney movies and children’s stories, and not something that REALLY exists.

  • I was happy before I met Mac, but I wouldn’t want to be happy without him now. And I’m pretty sure Archie might be your soulmate.

  • Definitely a thought provoker! I often wonder what would have happened if I made a number of different choices in my life. Would I have met my boyfriend? Would we have fallen in love? I definitely believe that I could have found someone else, but boy my life would be so much different now. For me, I’m just glad that we did fall in love, and I spend every day working hard at it.

    xo Julie

  • YES. I totally agree. And working to continue to choose each other instead of just blaming fate makes it mean so much more!

  • I have the same view when it comes to soul mates, fate and destiny. I don’t believe in any of them. The world is just too big and chaotic for me to believe there is only one person out there who is perfect for me. It’s a silly idea! There are lots of people who you can be compatible with…it’s all about being in the right place at the right time, timing (in life/desires) and of course the commitment and hard work relationships take. Great post girl!

  • I love this post so much! I also don’t believe in soulmates. I’ve been in love before ever meeting Kevin (obviously that relationship didn’t work out and I’m happy that it didn’t). Many people love more than one person throughout their lifetime, so how is it possible that only ONE person is your soulmate?

    I think you hit the target when you said you choose to stay with N, and that you choose to continue putting in effort. And you’re right — choosing to be with someone and work hard towards a relationship is way more romantic than having a soulmate.

  • I love this! And I also agree – that choice is the most romantic.

  • I whole heartily agree with this whole post. I also think that having this mentality makes for such strong relationships!
    I’m glad you are happy with him though, having someone makes life very sweet!

  • I strongly disagree with this. I believe we all do make the choice to love but I also believe there are people we are drawn too. I had a conversation with a co-worker that has been married for over 40 years. She is married to a good man and they are happy. She said if she had to do it all over again, she would never married him. She chose to love him though. They weren’t soul mates at all.

    Then I’ve met other couples that seem to just have this connection. Yes, they choose to love each other but there is something deeper there. I agree that it’s naive to say that a 20-something has found their soul mate, but people in there 40s, 50s, or 60s can say this.

  • I agree with the post generally, but I do believe in soul mates. Not as the person you’re meant to be with romantically, but as people your soul was meant to meet. It’s a very Eat Pray Love way to think about it, but I see soulmates as people who come into your life and change everything in it. I think of it as you have soul mates for different areas of your life to shake things up and make changes that make you a better person. (For the record the quote from Eat Pray Love that inspired that particular view point is here: https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/17194-people-think-a-soul-mate-is-your-perfect-fit-and).

  • Great post 🙂 I think I agree with you.

  • Agree with Jeanie up there. I believe that we have lots of soul mates. People that, when we die and in the event our souls are floating around, we’d find each other again so we could hang out for-ever. And I do believe my hubby is my soul mate. I do believe in fate. And chance, but could they be interchangeable? As with you & N, my husband and I are from different continents, we weren’t supposed to end up in the same uni, in the same dorms, a few stairs apart. But we did. And now, we choose to be with each other. And it can be hard work. But after all that’s said and done, and even if we weren’t to be together forever, I hope that our souls will hang out in the after life after all.


  • I agree with this completely! Would it be hard taking the world on after someone you wanted to spend the rest of your life with didn’t work out, yes, but you’d be able to do it. I always tell people I don’t think there are soulmates and they are almost disgusted at the thought. But I’m more disgusted at the thought you think you can only survive this world, happily, by finding someone else; like it all relies on that other person. But hey, people think what they think I suppose!

  • I am that hopeless romantic that does believe in soul mates. I didn’t believe it until I met my husband. I don’t know that I believe in all the mystical stuff but I do believe in the concept. I guess I could make it work with someone else but I don’t want to just make it work and I don’t know that I’d be as happy with someone else. Our relationship is so easy I feel like we have to be meant for each other!! One of my good friends believes soul mates extends beyond romantic love and has friends in her life that she sees as soul mates but doesn’t feel that way about her husband.

  • absolutely love this perspective. i like to think that michael’s my soulmate, but in reality, you are 100% right. there are lots of people out there that could make us happy but part of a relationship is choosing to be with just one.

  • I am glad I found this post. I will admit, probably only till last year, I was a hopeless romantic and believed in soulmates. After heartbreak and a reality bitch slap, I learned I was letting myself sink far too deep into this massive sink hole of which I call fantasy. I am glad I got a reality check, although a beautiful and lovely idea, in modern times now, it’s just not possible.
    Thank you for sharing!

  • I have nothing to add. You’ve said everything absolutely perfectly and I agree 100%!

  • I 100% agree with you. The idea that there’s just one person out there for me? It just seems impossibly daunting to think of trying to find him. And what if something happened in his life and he became unavailable. Would that mean that I was just out of luck? I don’t buy that.

  • When I was younger, I 100% believed in soul mates, but now I completely agree with just about everything you said. I’ve told my husband that I have no doubt that, throughout our lives, we’ll both meet people we feel attracted to or feel a connection with. But marrying him means I’ve already chosen not to pursue those attractions; I’ve chosen to stay devoted and committed to him — and he’s made the same choices with me.

  • I totally agree with all of this. Relationships are work, and while compatibility/chemistry/suitability is real and important to get a relationship off the ground, it’s the sacrifices and compromises we make that are what sustain it. My boyfriend is amazing, but he is not my soulmate. He’s a person with thoughts and wants and needs entirely separate from my own.

  • Brava. I’ve had this same conversation with other people before. I love B with all my heart, and I knew that had we not found each other, we would probably be equally as happy with other people. Soulmates are the stuff Hollywood and Hallmark are made of.

    How do you always nail my thoughts beautifully on your blog? 😛

  • So true! Sometimes it’s easy to forget that relationships are based in choice, you choose to stay with that person. And alternately, you can choose to not be with them and in the end you’ll find someone that you DO want to stay with. The beauty of choice. I love this, thanks for calling out the soulmate craze!

  • Totally! I asked my partner of 7 years if he believed in soulmates on a long road trip this past weekend. He agrees. You can fall in love with any number of people, and work hard enough to make it last with a few of them. But we chose this, we chose each other! I think the idea of soulmates makes it seem easy and effortless, and relationships aren’t supposed to be that way. So we agree with you!

  • I believe you can have a soulmate, but that doesn’t mean you are destined to be together I feel your soulmate is someone you have been with for many years and there becomes a point when you cannot imagine your life without them and you often think the same things and are on the same wavelink. What I am saying your soulmate usually grows into your soulmate, I feel Tim is my soulmate we have been together for 30 years and I cannot imagine my life without him

  • C and I feel the exact same way about our relationship. It wasn’t fate or destiny that brought us together; we met online because we were both single and looking to meet someone. While we compliment each other nicely, we both know that we would be happy on our own, and like you said, probably even happy in other relationships. We just happened to meet each other at the right time, want the same things in life, and compliment the other’s personality well. Does that make it less romantic? I don’t think so. It means we just really love and appreciate each other.

  • Kelley

    I don’t know about using the term “soulmate”, but I do believe there is a specific person out there made for specifically for you. I’m judging this solely based on my personal relationship with my husband because of how we met, why we met, etc is just crazy to me and things would be totally different if even one aspect of our story was changed. Also, we technically met online but went to the same college. We met “blindly” but were inseparable from that very first date. I truly believe he was made for me and I for him because we compliment each other so well.

  • I love this post. Absolutely beautiful reading about the concept of soulmates from a different perspective. I can’t comment on the topic exactly as I feel I’m still young to know things about soulmates but I agree with your opinions!

  • Totally related to a lot of what you said here. 🙂 I actually wrote a post a while back on how my husband is not “the one.” I don’t believe we are anything like “soulmates” and that in order for our relationship to work we have to commit ourselves to each other every morning, and not just “play it by ear” and see if we stay in love or eventually fall out of love. Thanks so much for being vulnerable and sharing your heart. 🙂

  • Nadine, I really love this post. Regardless of my feelings towards “fate” & “soulmates”, you made some very great points in here that made me really ponder the matter….. And yes, I agree that you and N CHOOSING each other is the most romantic thing of all 🙂 Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  • Tina

    Beautiful. I couldn’t agree more. I choose my partner everyday, and he chooses me back.

  • Jo

    Unless you meant to refer to the rapper/actor, I think you meant *ludicrous*. Def not trying to be a grammar cop, though! 🙂

  • This sure is a thought provoker!! I think that God sets some people aside for each other in the pre existence before we come to earth. My husband and I are one of those lucky ones. And some can find lots of people to be happy with. But me and my love, we are soulmates and are destined to be together. Nobody could ever make me as happy as he makes me. I could never love anyone as much as I love him

  • Hmm. I agree, but at the same time I don’t. Whether or not I’d call him by the word “soulmate”, I met my boyfriend-turned-baby-daddy-soon-to-be-husband at exactly the right place and time, after praying for him, which I find pretty magical. I’ve dated plenty of other men that I wasn’t happy with, was in longer relationships with people that were abusive, etc… so I can’t say I would be happy with anyone else. However, I would still be happy if I was single, because I love myself just as much as I love him.

  • YES! Choosing each other is the ULTIMATE in romance. I love this post so much I am going to start following your blog. (BTW, I discovered it through Karen’s weekly round-up.)

  • I still believe in soulmates. I think it’s sweet how you guys met and came from opposite sides of the country and the timing was right. I think you guys are lucky, because that doesn’t happen often, it’s rare. I am still trying to find the one and I think I found him, but time will tell.

  • I must be honest, I don’t necessarily agree that there are no such things as soulmates but I do think that you can be very happy and in love with someone and they aren’t your soulmate, it doesn’t diminish your relationship or discredit it it’s just you living with what you’ve got.

  • The more I’ve thought about this topic over the years, the more I say I have to agree. In novels and tv and movies soulmates are great – but I think in real life it’s about who we choose, and I don’t think I’d had it any other way.

  • excellent post! i agree 100%. 🙂

  • I feel the same way about Jeremy. I think the term soulmate is too fairytale-like. It is a naive notion that there is only one person in the world meant for you and hopefully you will find them. That just doesn’t make sense!

    So many decisions went into Jeremy and I meeting each other. And I agree, that was luck. It wasn’t fate. I don’t even really remember when I fell in love with him, but it happened and he is now my husband – so weird to say that! But even still – he’s not my soulmate.

  • I’ve been thinking about this so much lately. Because, church-y circles make a big deal of soul mates. And I just don’t know if I believe in them. I believe that Jason and I are really compatible, that we love each other deeply and truly, that the other men I dated were not going to work for my life, but I don’t believe that relationships just happen. That we’re together because our souls were destined to be so, because, that’s wrong. And it’s why I think people get divorced, because they believe they’re soulmates and so marriage should just happen for them. Am I even sort of making sense here?

    Mostly I’m say YES. THIS.

  • I’ve thought about this same thing before!!

    My husband is from Los Angeles, and I’m from a rinky dinky town in Kentucky (population 8000, county has 75000)—thank God I don’t live there anymore. After living in LA, he moved to DC, and then moved to Lexington to go to the University of Kentucky. I had already graduated and moved here for a better life. We met through my ex’s friend and the rest is history haha.

    People always assume we were at from the same place and met at work or college or my hometown. The truth is that we grew up on opposite sides of the US.

  • I love this post. So, so agree. My husband and I choose to stick with each other each day through the good and the bad.

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  • I love this post! It is so well written and so true!

    Ps I date a Persian man too and would love to share stories some time! Do you speak any Farsi?

  • I tend to agree. I live in a small country, I was with a man for 4 years and completely in love and upset we broke up but were we soul mates? While people said (and still say) that to both of us, I think in this large world, especially as I travel so much … its unrealistic to say that. You choose your life partner.

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  • Katie Petty

    I absolutely love this post. I think more women should be able to fall in love without investing all of their happiness into their significant other. Just as I think finding love is important, I also think learning how to be independent and be your own source of happiness is equally as important.

    Katie Petty

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