Everyone is looking for “the one” who will be a partner for life. Some even feel that they are looking for a lost soul counterpart, their other half somewhere here on the earth like a needle in a haystack. Many believe that human beings are meant to mate for life. However, I am not so sure about that. I think perhaps that idea could be erroneous, and maybe it is in fact a rare contract that only happens to a few. I don’t believe the long-term “mates for life” applies to all of us. I’m sure we all get our chance to experience that in our reincarnational cycle, but is it meant to be in every lifetime that we find “the one” and stay together for life? If so, then most of us have missed the mark!

If it is all One Self living many lives, then EVERYONE is your soul mate! Rare contracts to mate for life for some, yes, but soul mates, no. I believe that human beings were meant to stay together for only however long it serves them to be mates, rather than trying to force ourselves into the rare contract of mating with one person for life. The disappointment that comes if we should fail is unnecessary and self defeating, and we should be open to the idea of serial monogamy as a possibility for being the norm, rather than finding “the one.”

Serial Monogamy
Serial monogamy is having one mate at a time in a series, which becomes several mates over a lifetime. A person is monogamous during the time that he or she is with a mate, and then when that relationship comes to a close, there is an opening to start a new relationship. I’m not talking about simple dating, for that is something else; I call it “shopping.” I’m talking about relationships that turn out to be years long, but not lifelong. If you think back on it, the relationships that you have had in the past have taught you a lot, caused you to grow, and have in the long run been a blessing in your life. Some relationships showed you what you don’t want in a relationship, and that is how they served you. Other relationships showed you riches within yourself, and yet others showed you what you like in relationships.

If we don’t cling to a relationship, and we are willing to let it go when it has run its course, then the ending of a relationship does not have to be an ordeal that causes suffering or ugliness between the two people. While there is importance in remaining committed to working out differences in a relationship, there is also importance in knowing when the relationship is truly ending. Ending relationships can be recognized as a passage of a chapter in life, and the good memories can be what prevails rather than bitterness or anger because that person did not turn out to be “the one.” It does not have to be seen as a failure, but rather as an accomplishment, a beautiful experience that becomes a permanent part of one’s makeup. Lasting friendships can result from relationships that have transitioned into a different phase. In fact, all your relationships can transition into deep friendships if you let them.

What About The Children?
Some people would ask what to do about situations when there are children, however. This does indeed prove to be a problem in today’s societal setup. It used to be that people lived in communities and villages together. Children were raised by the community rather than a nuclear family consisting of only the mother and father. It is harder now than it used to be to raise children because only two adults are responsible for all the work, whereas in days past the workload was much less because it was shared by an entire community. Therefore, the mother and father could change mates without it being a terrible experience for the child, especially since the children would still have daily contact with both parents within the community.

Even today, when the parents want to part ways it is possible to do so without shattering the children if it is done with wisdom, compassion, and a long lasting friendship continues between the parents. Rather than the dramas and harmfulness that are directed at each other during hostile breakups, lovers can simply release each other to their next serial monogamous relationship without tearing at each other. This is what causes the children the damage and harm. I believe a lot of the hostility that happens in these ugly breakups is because each are both angry that the other did not turn out to be “the one” and there is a sense of failure in the self and a sense of disappointment in the other because each are trying to fit into a societal standard that is unrealistic and unreasonable. The idea of marriage for life is misleading, and yet it is the standard everyone must achieve.

The Origins Of Marriage
Perhaps society should relax its ideas about relationships. After all, the origins of marriage are a bit antiquated even though it is a beautiful idea. Originally, it was created so that a man could own a woman, and a woman would be taken care of by a man. A woman could not own land or a business, nor could she generate her own money. A woman had to be married or she was destined to be penniless, a prostitute, or nun. A man without a wife was destined to have no heirs, no love, and eat poorly! It was a symbiotic relationship under the guise of marriage. In fact, love within a marriage was rare in history and was marriage was an arrangement of convenience and survival. This is not to say that love did not occur within marriages of the past, but more often than not there was a race to get married to someone who is at least acceptable, even though not loved, so as not to be left uncared for on both the woman and the man’s part.

Now there is freedom to choose, and there is also freedom to come and go. A woman can take care of herself financially nowadays, and men have learned how to cook! So now there is no necessity to marriage or survival issues connected to it anymore. More than ever, love is a prerequisite and requirement for marriages to last. In a way, that is a good thing and shows that there is evolution in humankind. I believe it is quite natural for humans to move from one relationship to another, though, and the suffering created by the idea of marriage-for-life not working out is an unnecessary ordeal we put ourselves through because we are attempting to achieve an unnatural goal that humankind was never meant for.

Freedom To Choose
See relationships as passing chapters in life, and let them go without struggle if they are naturally ending. There is wisdom in knowing the ebb and flow of relationships and the fine line between being committed to making a relationship work versus knowing when to walk away in peace. There is no failure if a relationship does not last for a lifetime. Instead, it is the natural flow of the human species, and the sooner society can stop expecting humans to fit into a constrictive idea about relationships, the sooner the suffering and stress around relationships will end.

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