Tagged: love

LOVE. Is there such a thing as a soulmate?

It’s almost Valentine’s Day.  Which is my favorite holiday of the year.  Just kidding.  It’s maybe my next to least favorite.  Right above Arbor Day.  It reminds me (and many others) that singleness is not looked on kindly by the world.  Or the faith community.  I put the “I” in single.

With our obsession over The Bachelor, celebrity romances, marriage, etc. I thought it might be appropriate to revisit whether we have a soulmate or not?  Is there someone out there that “completes” you?  Are we all on a quest to find this person?

“The Bachelor is the show that answers the question how much wine do you have to drink before the man making out with 20 different women seems like he’d make a good husband?” –Jimmy Kimmel

According to a 2011 Marist poll, 73% of Americans believe that they are destined to find their one, true soulmate. The percentage is higher for men (74%) than women (71%). The belief is also higher among younger individuals, with 80% of those under 30 believing in soulmates (as opposed to 65% of those over 60).  I am defining a soulmate as that one person that you are destined for, meant for, supposed to marry and spend the rest of your life with.

This is the truth:  We do not have one person on this earth who is designed to be our soulmate.

This might be bad news at first but I think it is actually good news.  We are not on a wild goose chase.  We don’t have that pressure to find the one.  We can choose our spouse and use the right criteria to do so, not just hope for that unbelievable, unlikely connection.

7 Reasons why we don’t have a soulmate

  1. People are fallible. People make mistakes.  If soulmates existed, that would mean if you didn’t discern who it was correctly, and married the “non-soulmate”, this would be disastrous.  You would have a 2nd best marriage, and therefore 2nd best children.  Really a second best life.  This can’t be the case.  I think there are many other factors like timing, maturity, stage of life, circumstances, effort, past, etc. that influence who and when we marry and if they are the “right” person.
  2. We always marry the wrong person. (from Tim Keller’s The Meaning of Marriage)
    1. Everyone, because they are imperfect and sinful, are the wrong person to marry.
    2. Sorry, you are not meant for one specific person. The good news: Neither is anybody else. We are all not capable of “completing” someone.  “You complete me” is a fallacy.
    3. Some people are really, really the wrong person to marry. Everyone else is still incompatible.
  3. If true soulmates existed, this would mean the majority of people in the world have not married their soulmate. For every arranged marriage (which is a huge part of the world for a big part of history) it is unlikely that someone’s parents, in their insightful wisdom about their child’s love interest, picked the soulmate.  Just an FYI—most arranged marriages boast better “ratings” than freedom of choice marriages. With the prevalence of divorce in the world, that would mean that most people did not marry their soulmate.
  4. When we marry someone, it changes us, and them. So we end up with someone that is different than the person we dated.
    1. “We never know whom we marry; we just think we do. Or even if we first marry the right person, just give it a while and he or she will change.”  — Stanley Hauerwas
  5. If we were all searching for a soulmate, this would suggest we are not a complete person on our own.   The message of needing someone to “complete” us is:  You are not sufficient.  You are not enough in yourself.  This is a fallacy.  Truth:  You are a complete person.  The one who allows your soul to come alive is actually your Creator.
  6. Scientific improbability (Article:  Science says finding your soulmate is almost impossible)

a.  If soulmates exist, the chances of actually finding that person are slim to none. “In other words, you better damn well hope fate brings you together, because probability suggests you’re not going to meet this person on your own.”

b. “Let’s suppose you lock eyes with an average of a few dozen new strangers each day. (…definitely a generous estimate.) If 10 percent of them are close to your age, that’s around 50,000 people in a lifetime. Given that you have 500,000,000 potential soul mates (people around your age living in the world), it means you’ll only find true love in one lifetime out of 10,000.”  I sure hope there’s not only that one person, somewhere in the world.  Happy searching if there is!

7. Relationships are not about getting; they’re about giving.

“The “soulmate” idea suggests that marriage is all about me, that I need to find someone who understands me perfectly, who makes me happy.  Instead, marriage should be about finding someone you can make happy.”  –Eric Metaxas

In the Bible, husbands are told to lay down their lives for their wives, to actually die for them. This is a far cry from searching for that one person who “completes” us.

So to sum it up:  We don’t have that one soulmate yin to our yang.  But before you curse me and shake your head at my unromantic-ness, I do believe we can become that one person.  Check out these other posts How to become a soulmate Part 1 and Part 2.



Check out the new book ADULTING 101 for an extended discussion about love, sex, dating and relationships.  If you haven’t ordered it yet, PLEASE DON’T!  WOULD YOU CONSIDER WAITING AND ORDERING IT ON THE RELEASE DAY APRIL 3RD?  We will remind you several times before then. Thanks so much.








Can you fall in love with the wrong person?

Bachelor olivia gif crazy mouth open

Can you fall in love with the wrong person?  With someone you’re not meant to be with?

“In reality, there is more to forever than simply finding someone who you feel extremely connected to. We have to stop allowing this surge of feeling to act like a compass towards healthy relationships…when life throws us some less than perfect situations we need more than more than an emotional upwelling of exhilaration.”   –Bianca Sparacino

OK I may have watched the majority of the Bachelorette premiere on Monday.  Don’t judge me.  I’m a big fan of Jo Jo.  Did the producers force her to give a rose to a couple of those jackwagons?  They had to.  Also, did she know she gave a rose to a Erectile Dysfunction therapist?  I loved the part where Jo Jo had never heard of the viral vine “Damn…Daniel.”  And that guy tried to explain it to her.  He sounded crazy when he asked exasperatedly (like that word?) “Have you been on the internet in the last 2 months?”  But really how has Jo Jo never heard of it?!  Isn’t she up on pop culture?!  She’s the freakin’ Bachelorette!

Can you fall in love with the wrong person?  I think we all want to answer “no” but we know better.  Yes.  A resounding YES.  Most of us have “been in love” with someone who was the wrong person.  Sometimes we know at the beginning they were just plain wrong for us but the chemistry or attraction is so strong we stay.  We say we will just “see where it goes” and before you know it, you love someone who is terrible for you.  I often disorder my loves and loves things in the wrong order.  In the same way I can misorder the criteria by which I am making my decision.  One of my mentors Jim Cunningham sent me some thoughts on this a while back.  I mustache you to read them.  Don’t shave them for later.  (Bachelorette and Cunningham jokes)

Jim cunningham in dress

This is one of my wise mentors Jim. In his favorite outfit

“Our culture tells us that falling in love is the acid test of relationships.  And if you love someone a LOT you should obviously marry them.  Love is NOT the most important factor.  You can love pizza, college basketball, and your aunt Hilda (the one with the mole who always tries to kiss you on the lips).  And just because you love someone a LOT, that does not mean that they make you a better person, or that they will partner with you in your life’s calling, that they will be faithful to you, or that they don’t have tendencies or traits that will cause the relationship to be a disaster.  No, there are a lot of reasons to marry someone, and although I’d recommend that you love the person you are going to marry, it is simply NOT the #1 factor.  And here’s the thing… once you decide that you love someone, you’re going to have a very tough time being talked out of marrying them.  You won’t listen to your friends, your family or folks who speak into your life.  You’ll feel that either they, “Just don’t understand,” or “Our love can conquer all.”  When you think the relationship is going the direction of marriage, you simply MUST have folks in your life who can speak their mind about it, regardless of how tough that conversation may be—parents, mentors and very close friends MUST be allowed to weigh in.  They are not in love with your “perfect mate” and they will see clearly enough to tell you that this is a disaster waiting to happen.  They won’t have the massive blind spot that falling in love creates in your life.  Marriages fail for many reasons but some of them are at a huge disadvantage from the start because they were based on a syrupy view that “all you need is love.”  That could not be further from the truth. There are a dozen reasons to marry or not marry someone that count far more heavily than infatuation.  I have decided that I simply will not officiate a wedding if the best answer the couple can give me to the question “why do you want to get married” is “because we love each other.”

One quick story in response to Jim’s insightful thoughts.  I had a close friend who got engaged to a girl that his parents, siblings, 2 best friends and I didn’t think was the right person.  But he was smitten.  Somehow I was voted as the person to talk to him about this.  The danger:  he marries her anyway and remembers for the rest of his life that you tried to talk him out of it—that you “didn’t like her.”  This friend came to his senses and didn’t go through with it.  He is now happily married to someone who is the “right” person.

I will be taking June off from posting due to my work schedule.  Have a great month!



Can you love 2 people at once? Bachelorette Style.

Bachelor lauren and jojo

It’s baaaaaa-aaaaack!  The Bachelorette premiers this Monday night and with it the hopes and dreams of many people to find that special someone.  And I’m sure some weird occupations will rear their ugly head but will they beat Dog Lover, Donated tissue Specialist (carrying a cooler), Chicken Enthusiast, or Pantsapreneur?  Check out some funny lists over the years:  HERE, HERE, AND HERE.  There might not be a Bachelorette that has the vast and widespread support that JoJo does.  I think she found a special spot in America’s heart after being so horribly duped.  (How is Ben still America’s sweetheart?  He did a dastardly deed telling 2 women he loved them).

You know how the old proverb goes:

Hell hath no fury like a woman told on live TV in front of millions of people “I love someone more than you.” 

Bachelor Ben hugging lauren and jojo

Is this possible?  Can you love 2 people at once?  I wondered this when the trainwreck happened last season.  It was actually before the last episode.  The seeds of travesty were planted when Ben told 2 women he loved them.  Even if this were possible, it is the worst idea ever.  Worse ideas than the Blackberry, New Coke, Subprime mortgages and Blu-blockers put together!  So can you be in love with 2 people at once?

We need to define our terms.  What does the term people mean?  Just kidding, what does the term “love” really mean?

Is love a feeling, an action, a commitment, an ethereal romantic notion, or a farce?

Love is a choice.  It is not without feelings but it is bigger, deeper, and more profound.  It is a commitment.  And when we are talking about loving our spouse, it is reserved for one person.  Can you be “in love” with 2 people at once?  Yeah sure.  You can have strong feelings of attraction, chemistry, and desire with 2 people at the same time.  This is difficult to accomplish in real life because it is difficult to build up to these feelings with 2 people at the same time.  The Bachelor doesn’t just give it space, it encourages it.  The “out of sight, out of mind” mentality that each contestant needs to employ to make the reality show work allows the heart to focus on whoever is in front of it at that moment.  But this does not mean you can “love” (the verb) 2 people at once.

99% of arranged marriages do not end in divorce.  Over 50% of “free-will” marriages end in divorce.  How is this?  I would think it would be the opposite.  Of course a big factor is the culture that the marriage happens in, but even where divorce is permitted and the spouses feel like they have an alternative, the stay-together rate of arranged marriages smashes free-will by a long shot.  Proposal:  Let’s have arranged marriages in the U.S.  But who would get to arrange it?  Parents?  Most parents don’t like their kids’ spouse anyways.  No, in our hyper-individualistic society, this would never work.  I’m only mostly kidding.  One thing this shows is that you can choose to love someone.

Bachelor olivia come at me bro

So to recap:

Can you be “in love” with 2 people at once?  Yes.  Difficult but yes.

Can you “love” 2 people at once?  No.

Here’s why:

You can have feelings of love towards more than one person romantically.  If you’re talking about real love, then no.  Because love is an action.  You can say anything you want but love will be determined by your actions.  And you can’t love 2 people like that.  Because it is putting them first.  Before yourself.  Before anyone else (BAE).  That’s the very definition of love—having someone who is your highest priority.  How can you have 2 romantic interests both being your highest priority?  One will always be the one that you “love” as a verb.  If you try and love 2 people like that, it doesn’t work.  Reality has rules against it.  It implodes.  Your heart is torn in two.  (see last season of The Bachelor)  There is confusion, pain, brokenness, and devastation.

NEXT WEEK:   Can you fall in love with the wrong person?


The True After the Rose Confession by Susan Kehoe

Bachelor gif olivia winning

Happy Easter Monday!  This is a banner day.  Not just because death was put to death but also because this is the first guest post ever!  Meet my dear friend and one of my favorite people in the world Susan Kehoe.  Here’s her reply when I asked how people can connect with her:

Insta: @suzznews or Twitter: @susankehoe or my blog: myblogisbetterthanPete.com

Gold.  Pure gold.  Now you understand one of the many reasons that so many people love Suz so much.  She’s hilarious.  Onward.  Here’s her post:


I confess: I used to hate the Bachelor. Now, I don’t miss a week and have been a faithful Fantasy League player for the last 5 seasons. I’m not sure which confession is worse.

In the post-college “I’ll do anything to make friends” phase of my life, I pretended to like the Bachelor to meet girls my age and have something to talk about. I hid my eye rolls and annoyance at the fake romance, but began to be secretly invested in these “journeys” and soon it became must watch TV.

I watch for the drama, train wrecks and cool filming locations, all fully understanding it’s just a game. I get that it’s totally absurd to date dozens of people at the same time and expect helicopter rides and private concerts on every date. All of that is part of the deal when you turn on the TV on Monday nights. It’s “After the Rose” that bothers me most.

Bachelor you tonight vs you tomorrow

We know the odds are stacked against the new happy couple; it’s hanging in the air in the live studio audience that only 16% of final couples “make it.” We want to believe the best for them, but we fear that all the yacht rides, dinnerless dinners on the beach and snorkeling trips won’t replace the need for real connection. So what do they need? Same is true for every couple:

  • Time together. A seasoned family counselor said it’s a must to date someone at least a year before engagement, through all four seasons. Our lives and jobs have busy and slower times and even our brains go through changes throughout the year. Plus, you need to spend a Christmas and birthday with them!
  • Intimacy. True intimacy only comes from repair, and repair comes from tough times together, or so said our pre-marital counselor, and we couldn’t agree more. When we’ve been through hard times, we trust our partner and when we encounter more bumps in the road, we look back to previous hard times with a sense of fondness because we made it through!
  • Death. Okay, hear me out. Jesus says in John 12 that a seed must first die to produce more seeds, that “anyone who loves their life will lose it.” Tim Keller draws upon these words in his book, “The Meaning of Marriage.” He says we fight so hard to keep that new love, the butterfly feeling, but the truth is, the best comes after that love fades away and we develop a deeper, richer, committed love comes after the “thrills” have died away.

I want the very best for Lauren B, Ben and heck even Jojo, Caila and every other girl that wanted that final rose. I just don’t think they have “won” or “lost” yet. If the goal is a long term, committed relationship, let’s not pretend they have arrived. Private islands don’t deliver that, years together do.



7 More Reasons You Watch The Bachelor

Bachelor gif Jojo what

Wow.  Last week was painful.  I can’t believe Ben is the champion of all Bachelors.  He told 2 women he loved them.  He didn’t need to.  He chose to.  Instead of one person being crushed after they got out of the helicopter (business as usual), it became utterly devastating.  Ben gave Jojo the most amount of false hope one can give—telling her he loves her.  This was unnecessary.  It was something he “felt” like doing.  It was wrong.  But somehow he was celebrated for it.  “I came into this not knowing if I would find love…but with you it WAS real…always.  I found love with you.  But I found it with somebody else more.”  Does anyone else have problems with this?  Maybe it’s in the definition of love.  Can you “find love” with 2 people at the same time?  That’s for a future post.  But for this week, onward.

7 more reasons you watch The Bachelor:

  1. You like to cringe. It is CRA-ZEE.  We want to see people do unbelievable things to win attention or win someone’s heart.  But secretly we wonder if we would do the same things.  (especially after copious amounts of wine and having an open bar 24-7).
  2. You are a hopeless romantic. We want to see this work.  It makes love seem so simple.  We love to see crazy dates that almost no one else will ever get to go on.  We want to see 2 people fall in love amid crazy circumstances and weird challenges.
  3. You are a voyeur. (and so am I)  We love to peek into people’s dates, intimate moments, conflict, make-out sessions, brokenness, and love life.
  4. You like to escape. It’s easier to talk about other people’s love lives than our own.
  5. You like to watch with other people. It is one of the few shows that people still watch live to be in the loop.  It is community-building and just plain fun.  It is as addictive as Chewy Spree, but much better for your teeth.  (one friend said she started out watching it reluctantly to make friends but got hooked).  It is the best water cooler talk and fodder for exciting conversation.
  6. It has a continuous storyline, even between seasons. It is so smart and savvy to use use people from the season before, because viewers are already invested in their “journey.”
  7. You get to judge and feel just a little bit morally superior with no repercussions. If we are honest, the show makes us feel a little better about ourselves.

Next week:  THE FIRST GUEST POST!!  Who will it be?  Drake?  Beyonce?  The Rock? Someone even better.  Stay tuned.