Preen.ph tackles motherhood sans the rose-tinted glasses. Our columnists L. Juliano, Marla Darwin, Rossana Unson, Ronna Capili-Bonifacio, and Chrina Cuna-Henson tell their personal experiences like it is—at times frustrating, oftentimes confusing, but always enlightening.
Back in my high school days, I read a book written by Richard Bach, a New York Times bestselling author entitled, The Bridge Across Forever, in which he told the story of how he had found the love of his life, his “soulmate,” Leslie.
I respected Richard Bach greatly because he wrote well, he made sense and boy did my teenage romantic heart swell at the words between the pages of his book.
I was sold on the idea that there was ONE man (I’m heterosexual and have always known so yeah, “man”) specifically created for me by God. I knew in my heart of hearts, he existed. I just needed to find him and when I did! Oh hearts and flowers, romantic walks on the beach, we’d do everything together and we’d be madly, crazily in love…forever.
So I carried this thought around with me while in the course of my life I met different boys and eventually men, giving them each this glance that meant, “Could you be THE ONE?”
My first boyfriend came along when I was in college. He was not The One I expected. (The One, in my mind’s eye, was spectacularly handsome, had strawberry blonde hair and was over six feet tall). One out of three wasn’t too bad, I thought to myself. He was at least the right height and maybe eventually, I’d discover that he was my soulmate. Long story short, he wasn’t.
So there I was, with my baby girl (yes, from Soulmate Candidate #1), still searching hopefully for my soulmate. I was a bit turned off, but I still fervently believed I’d find him. Somehow, somewhere (cue romantic music here). Richard Bach found his Leslie. HE FOUND HER. Why on earth should I not find the one made for me? I could not possibly be this unfortunate.
The seeds of doubt began to creep in when it had been several years of searching, and several boyfriends later and still, no soulmate. I did have a committed relationship by that time, but just by talking to him, I could bet this month’s salary, he wasn’t my soulmate.
My other friends and acquaintances had already gotten married and were raising a family and still, there was this huge hole in my life that I was hoping Mr. Soulmate was going to fill. One of my friends, who was recently engaged, seemed like the best person to ask and so I did ask her, “Is there really The One? Was her fiancé The One?”
Her reply? “He is most definitely The One! And if you don’t think you are with The One, then leave. Leave him and go find the one who is right for you!”
When she said those words to me, I felt like someone had slapped my face. She certainly wasn’t Richard Bach. She was just like me. And she found her soulmate. Damn!
Well, friends, let me tell you. Richard Bach and Leslie are now divorced. My friend and her soulmate are now divorced, too. I haven’t found my soulmate either because surprise, surprise, there is no such thing as a soulmate but the good news is there is The One.
The One you choose to be with for as long as you possibly can.
Kids, don’t think I’m a bitter and jaded tita of Manila. I’m not. Bitter and jaded, that is. In fact, I’ve felt a hell of a lot happier coming to grips that there is no such thing as “the one specifically made for me by God.” Relationships are work, as I’m sure you all have heard many times before. They require tremendous amounts of patience and work. They’re not always pleasant and they are certainly not all walks on the beach and steaming hot bedroom time from Monday to Sunday.
Does my heart still skip a beat when I see The One I choose to be with for as long as I possibly can? It does sometimes, yes. Do I sometimes feel like slapping him across the head with a magazine? Most definitely, yes. But we’ve been through so much together. Really really bad times and really really good times, too and once in a while, we even find the same things funny.
So don’t raise the bar too high, ladies and gents. Just find the one you’d like to be with for as long as you possibly can and work on it every single day.
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author in her private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of Preen.ph, or any other entity of the Inquirer Group of Companies.
Art by Tricia Guevara
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