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A Match Made In Heaven?

Writer Jane Ganahl asks: Where is the search for our “soul mate” taking us?

Young couple embracing on street

Photo Credit: Peter Bernkik

The tall man with silver hair sits next to me at the dinner party and smiles. We have yet to speak a word, but I feel like I know him already. At least, a few salient details.“He’s a gem,” the hostess whispered conspiratorially in the kitchen just now, while I watched him greet friends near the front door with appealing bearhugs. “His divorce is finally done, his gallery is thriving, and he’s done really well in AA.”And with those last words, my enthusiasm dims by about half. My soul mate—the perfectly designed man for me, whose image I’ve carried around for decades—would not have a drinking problem. Then I catch myself before my mind slams shut, as it has done far too often in the past. Take it easy, I lecture myself. You’re not a teenager anymore—you can’t afford to keep believing in soul mates or tooth fairies.But it’s a difficult paradigm to reject. It’s everywhere: in every romantic comedy ever made, and in every romance novel. And it doesn’t help that I know some blissful couples who genuinely seem put on the planet just for each other: my brother and his wife, my parents, my daughter and her husb …

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