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As a teenager and most part into my adulthood, I have been one young woman who believes easily. I remember a guy I dated once told me to my face that I was gullible. I still didn’t perceive that he had told me many lies and got irritated that I kept being me and believing everything he said. Why would I doubt him by the way? He was a pastor after all. (LOL)

That relationship was my first exposure to the games involved in the emotional world. I was and am still bad at those games.
Can’t kill myself biko (Hahahaha)

Anyway, in my twenty something years old life, I’ve been with 5 (five) guys. Is that too much or too little? Well, it depends. I guess that closely reveals how guarded I became afterwards. Although, one of those five was basically out of “spite” for “Christian brothers” after the experience with the pastor.

Don’t ask! Just be informed that I greatly regretted it. I saw further that being with a “flawed believer” is better than being with a “polished unbeliever” (whatever that means). It was so obvious I didn’t know how to play those games.

Fast forward

I’ve grown from being gullible to being “better” (for want of a preferable adjective). My term “better” didn’t mean I learnt their games and mastered the art of seduction or 48 laws of “getting someone to fall for you”. No, I still don’t know all those things per se. I just learnt by experience the art of guarding your heart and the art of testing all spirits.

Don’t worry sugar, I’m not about to get all churchy in here. (Hahaha)
Just stay with me.

I updated my audition form to include three ingredients that can’t be faked- Integrity, consistency and reliability (ICR). As simple as these three words sound, they are deep values that control the rest of a man’s or woman’s life. People think it can be faked but it really can’t be faked because it has a candid way of slipping through people’s guarded and unguarded moments. You can only get deceived if you chose to go blind by emotions. The beautiful thing about these values is the truth that time reveals them. You don’t have to manipulate people in the name of setting tests for them. You only need to sit back and pay close attention to their everyday decisions involving you or not involving you.

Since this is not a how to prevent a heart break “when Mr. Niceman/woman disappears” post, I’m going to save that lesson for another day that’s if you want me to share the gig with you (chuckles).

I’ve met guys that “felt” like it not until they busted their bubbles at ICR.   Ever met a guy or girl that felt like it? They seemed to understand you, agree with most things you had to say, appeared to like everything you like and claimed to hold the same values as you? Isn’t that what some people call being with a “soul mate”? 

That’s the problem; the popular soul mate theory is based on feelings rather than logic 99 % of the time.

I once heard a girl say, “we are so alike, I will marry him once he proposes!” That got me wondering if marriage was about “similarities. I got talking with her and found out that she had concluded that the marriage will be heaven on earth because their similarities will give room for no friction. That leads us to the first soul mate myth.

1.   Marrying my soul mate means a problem free marriage.
This looks true but if you ask married couples, you will be shocked to know that problem free marriages are never made in heaven. They are a product of intentional efforts geared towards peace keeping. EVERY couple will have moments of misunderstanding, differing opinions no matter how alike they seemed at first. Don’t ever think that magic happens in a marriage or relationship.

Read: Single at 25? What you should know

2.   My soulmate is the person with whom I feel the most chemistry.
What exactly is chemistry by the way? The goose bumps, the butterfly-ed belly, the we-think-alike mirage and what have you. See honey, chemistry is good. Afterall, we all like the “high feeling” being in love causes. But you must know that a strong chemistry doesn’t guarantee a successful relationship or marriage. If you make choices based on chemistry, you are most likely going to end up frustrated when testosterone and oxytocin hibernates.

Read: Climbing In Hind Shoes

3.   My soul mate is the person God reveals
(Khum Khum) clearing my throat.
Some people believe that God tells them whom to marry. Others think they just loved someone and made a choice. Whatever school of thought you belong to, I need you to know that whether or not you knew about your spouse from a vision or a “knowing”, they don’t automatically become your soul mate. Soul mate-ship is built by two people who make a decision and commitment to continually enrich each other with the gift of their being so long as they both live.
I, princess strongly believe that a relationship or marriage won’t automatically work out just because a “God-said” preceded your coming together. This myth is responsible for the anger most people carry about against God when a “God-said “relationship fails. They quote scriptures like the plans of God don’t fail; the will of God must come to pass and all the others.
Wake up honey, God has a plan but man has a will with which he makes choices. If our choices doesn’t enhance the harmony in a relationship?  it will definitely fail no matter how many communion cups you drank at your wedding or how many bags of salt you threw in the wedding wine. Marriage or any other relationship is work! We don’t have to be married to know. Simply look around you. So wake up if this myth has a hold on your sanity.

4.   My soul mate is the only one for me
Hmmmm how sweet! I really would like to hear my husband say that to me. Who doesn’t like hearing sweet nothings? But as good as that sounds, it is a myth. If you think there’s that one special person who you must either get married to or burn, why then do widows or widowers finally meet another person they can build a sane relationship with?

I once heard a lady say, she knows by revelation that a guy was her husband to be and the only one she could ever get married to.  Men and brethren, did you know that this man got married to someone else and has four kids and doesn’t look like he is leaving his wife anytime soon? Yet sister, is still holding on to “expired revelation”, saying the brother might be joined to his wife on earth but they are not joined in the sight of God.
(Hands on my head, Mouth wide open)
Chinekeeeeee!!!! (Igbo word for God), I exclaimed.  
“What scripture can you quote as a backup for your belief?” I asked her.
Sister couldn’t answer. She rather got angry and insisted that she knew what she was saying.
Okay, even if “God” told you someone is to marry you and the person decided to marry someone else, you will still be waiting in the name of the word of God must come to pass right?
Okay, maybe it will come to pass right after your mammary glands are as flat as keke napep (tricycle) roof and your skin as wrinkled as irredeemable toilet tissue.
For God’s sake! There are over 6 billion people on this earth. How can one person be the only one you can possibly have a happy home with???
I refuse to allow such a myth to “catch my brain”.

5.   My soul mate will always make me happy
So you’re with this girl or guy and you have one or two rifts and so you prematurely abort the relationship based on that.
Come on now???
Who told you it is the job of a significant other or spouse to make you happy? Does a relationship or marriage look like a performance club to you?
In as much as you should have some measurable level of joy in a relationship, it is dumb for you to give a human being the herculean task of constantly entertaining you unto happiness. In fact, if a guy tells me that’s his reason for wanting to be with me? I will know that he is yet to understand the fundamental structure of a human soul. Happiness is your responsibility not that of an event, circumstance or a significant other.
Even as believers, we sometimes feel sad or depressed. If you are sincere with yourself, you will notice that sadness or depression comes when we take our eyes away from Christ and focus on events/situations. JESUS is the ONLY ONE with the ability to bring ceaseless joy/happiness into our lives. Wake up! This isn’t Hollywood. 

Read: How to turn a bad day around

The soul mate theory is a little over flogged. Therefore my candid advice to anyone looking for/waiting for love (as I am) is this
·        Be informed that soul mates are not sent from heaven. They are made when two people decide and commit to making a relationship work despite the odds against them. Therefore quit depending on chemistry to make a choice.
·        Soul mates are two people who are fully aware of their flaws, ugly and bad and have made an INFORMED decision to grow together into better people. Therefore, don’t commit to someone because they appear perfect at first. PROBE, PROBE, PROBE!
·        You are not perfect therefore your soul mate won’t be perfect. Be prepared to get pissed and be kind enough to tolerate. 

Read: 7 Choices you will regret in 7 years time

Holding my imaginary glass of wine in my hands, raising it in the air…
 I herby toast to the entrance of men/women of integrity, Consistency and Reliability (ICR) into our lives.
Together we toast to the people who will not take our “sincerity of hearts” for granted and will be sane enough as us to play their part in building a “soulmate-like“ relationship with us in all honesty and trust worthiness of character.
I’m drinking my wine now…
Drink yours

Committed to your wholeness
Anne Atulaegwu

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