I think almost 6 years of marriage, 2 kids and 2 different countries give me some what of a well-formed opinion on how to choose your soulmate. So let me just share with you a few tips on how to choose that special one.
First. Don’t look for a soulmate.
I know, I know, Disney might tell you something different or those romantic-comedy movies with Drew Barrimore might differ from that statement. But for me, there is no “soulmate”. Don’t look for someone that is exactly like you, behaves just like you, and thinks the same way you do.
Sam and I couldn’t be more different in personality! We do share some taste for movies, series, and other small things, but for example, he can be very quiet and patient, as to me, I am more impulsive and loud. Both attitudes can play in our favour when we work as a team or can be against us if we only think on ourselves. But, that takes me to my second point.
Second. Share the same goal.
When we first met, I still had a year to finish university and he still had to decide if he was going to stay in Spain or go back to Brazil. Big decisions. We both had the same goal though. At some point in our lives we wanted to have a family, an eternal family. So we decided that if we worked together towards the same goal our path would become much easier. After 6 years, we know we chose the right.
Third. Choose someone that laughs at your jokes.
We’ve gone through a lot together! Leaving our families to move to a different country was one of the biggest challenges of our lives. Without laughing at some situations, laughing at ourselves and with each other would have been impossible. I, for example, think I am quite funny, but that’s because is quite easy to make Sam laugh, or maybe is because he loves me. When he stops laughing at my silliness I will start to worry. He, on the other hand, thinks he’s quite boring, but I’ve always thought that he was quite cute trying to be funny. So, see, maybe we’re both a boring couple to the rest of the world, who knows!
Fourth. Choose someone that will know when to follow you on your craziness and when to stop you.
Along with laughing, taking risks, doing something silly or that doesn’t make too much sense is necessary for a healthy relationship, I believe. I remember once, while we were still dating, I was driving and he was sitting next to me. We were on the motorway just having a good laugh, when I dared him to open the window and shout something silly. I know, it doesn’t make sense. There was no reason for that. But because of the way he is, it took him like half-hour to have the guts to do it! Oh man, it was soo funny to see him try to do it! I can be spontaneous every once in a while, he needs to think twice everything he does. I know he had a great time or I hope so…We still remember it and laugh.
On the other hand, he’s stopped me many times to rush through impressions or do something that I would regret. And I’m so grateful for that. Finding the right balance I think it’s what marks the difference.
Fifth. Learn to listen. To truly listen.
Because we come from different countries and speak different languages in the beginning it was hard not to get confused or misunderstand what we said. (we’ve always spoken Spanish with each other by the way, my Portuguese is not as fluent as he wants me to think) But more than a language barrier, sometimes you just need to stop and try to listen what the other person is saying to you. Not what you want to hear him say, not an interpretation of what you think he is saying but what he is really saying to you and his reasons. I think for us that is a lifetime battle but it’s ok. We like challenges. And we’re getting better and better every day.
Sixth. Open wide your eyes when dating and narrow them when married.
That is an old saying that I heard many times in my youth. It is right though. When you’re dating you’re getting to know that person. So you need and can be picky. After a while you reach to a point where you will need to decide what is important and what not. In any relationship there are a few things that you wish the other person would do different, but if those things are not the pillars of your union then don’t pay much attention to them or you will end up fighting for nonsense.
Seventh. Does he hold you’re hair when you’re sick?
If he does, then it’s a good sign. Someone that will truly care for you will be there in illness and health, for real. No matter how disgusting, how smelly, how heavy can seem. He or She will be there. For me, that is true love. When you’re with no make up, looking your worse, feeling terrible and that person is still for you, supporting you, carrying you physically and emotionally.
Eighth. Share the journey with someone that you can trust.
Do you want to know what made me say “YES”? It wasn’t his appearance, even though I love his smile, his eyes, and always found him quite cute. It wasn’t his accent, even though I’ve always had a weakness for accents. It wasn’t the colour of his skin, even though I’ve always been a bit jealous of that perfect permanent tan. It was his confidence when he told me ” I want to make you HAPPY every day of your life.”
I knew that wouldn’t be possible, but he was so sure about it, that made me trust on him. And I can say that he’s never stopped trying. Our relationship, our marriage is not perfect. I know I chose right because we are both trying. When life gets between you and him, stop for a second and remember why you chose him/her. Trust is a gift that you earn day by day. He’s earned mine and I hope he feels the same way.
I cannot predict the future, but I know where do I want to reach with him and with our beautiful small family of four, and as long as we all share the same goal and make the right choices, I know we will be there some day. Together forever. That’s our aim. That’s what we’re working for.