I’m not a romantic at heart – I don’t believe in soulmates.

I also don’t think you need a partner to be a complete and fulfilled person.

What I do believe, though, is that some people are better suited for each other than others. And that a partner can open up the world in ways you might not have done all on your own.

I needed someone who shared some common ground. Some common interests. Someone who laughed at my jokes. And someone who, first and foremost, respected me as a fellow human being.

Those common interests are what brought the husband and I together. A shared industry; a shared nerdiness; he’s only 8 months my senior, so a shared childhood experience, even if we met after we were very much grown adults.

And so that is what initially joined us – but no two people are exactly alike. (And seriously, how boring would the world be if we all were. Nobody would read my blog, as they would have already written the exact. same. thing. themselves.)

But then, after you have joined: there are the things that are different. The things that have the potential to pull you apart. The things that strain and stretch – the things that are uncomfortable and foreign.

I’ve found that having a counterbalance helps me experience the world in a more, well, balanced way. Turns out, I really do need someone to urge me to spend when all I want to do is save. Someone to pull me back and show me the big picture when I get stuck on one very tiny – and often inconsequential – detail. Someone to help me put down roots when I’m always dreaming about the next place. Someone to remind me to eat when I’m caught up in a project. Someone to push me to make a decision when I want to gather just one more idea, just one more bit of information. Someone to remind me to breathe, and to shower, and to just do the next thing when I’m drowning in anxiety.

It is really nice having someone to split the chores with. Someone to go on adventures with. Someone to share your popcorn and peanut m&ms with (put the m&ms in the popcorn! Salty and sweet, it is divine! You’re welcome … oh, from the husband. I never knew do to that before I met him, now that I think about it …)

But it is even better to have someone to grow with. Someone to pull you to the middle when you’re falling off the edge. Someone to point out another part of the picture when all you can see is one side. Someone to show you that maybe – just maybe – your way isn’t the only way.

Don’t find a soulmate.

Find a counterbalance.

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