I don’t remember the exact quote, but I always hear something about the number of times we fall in love in our lives. Personally I never really believed that as a kid because I was a sucker for the idea of a “soulmate”. But then I met my soulmate. She’s the greatest friend, supporter, critic, mentor, and lover I’ve ever known and probably will ever know. This woman is everything I want to be and everything I could ever want to be with, but we have absolutely no romantic energy with each other. I love the woman I’m lucky enough to call my best friend more than I think I’ve ever loved anything or anyone. She is funny, kind, unbelievably brilliant, and of course beautiful. Her fire and passion for everything in her world is almost blinding it shines so bright. To alter a line from one of my favorite shows, when you love her, it’s like loving the stars themselves, you don’t expect a sunset to admire you back. But she does, and it makes the whole universe colorful.
It’s a strange thing sometimes, having a platonic soulmate. I’ve had other friends ask me to describe my perfect woman, and it almost always tends to sound a lot like her. But then, as a trans woman, when I describe the kind of woman I want to be, it also sounds a lot like her. There are a thousand love songs that if I close my eyes and feel the words, I’ll likely think of her. But then, whenever a potential lover says their jealous or insecure because of our friendship, I can’t help but burst with laughter. Because that’s not in any way what I feel for her. I would never call my love for her something as small or ordinary as romantic love. I honestly think romantic love is the third strongest form of true love. Not to offend, but I just don’t think it can compare to true friendship love.
In all honesty, I think those different forms of love are why I embraced polyamory. It’s simply an undeniable fact that one person can’t satisfy everything, even in their role in your life. My best friend has a best friend that isn’t me, but that doesn’t make our friendship any less. I have people in my life I would absolutely do anything for and love very much, and that has no effect on other relationships I have. Love takes so many different forms and can be shown in a million different ways. It’s not finite, and no matter what the movies and songs say, you feel it for more than one person. Family, good friends, things your passionate about, all of that energy is forms of love. To be jealous of love shared between two people is probably the most foolish thing in this world. I learned that, like I learned a lot of things, from her.
I also learned that even the most unconditional love, does have conditions in some way or another. For example, we see it every day online, people saying you could call them at 4am and they’d rush over, and be there for you. That’s insane and, in many cases, complete bullshit. If you call your friend at 4 am and they’re a heavy sleeper, they’re not going to wake up. Does that mean they don’t love you? No. Hell, my boyfriend tells me flat out not to talk to him about anything serious after a certain hour because he’s too tired not to be sarcastic or make jokes about it. Does that mean he doesn’t care? Not at all, in fact it means the opposite, because he’s telling me that he wants to have these conversations when he’s actually in a place where he can truly participate. Even my soulmate, she hates phone calls unless it’s super important and from certain people, so we text mostly. That doesn’t make what we say to each other any less valuable. In that same way, if you have a friend who plays a specific role in your life, even your best friend, that doesn’t make them any less of a friend when they can’t do things outside of their established role. Don’t ask your late night clubbing friends to suddenly become your 9am coffee and deep conversation friends, unless they already were that, or have expressed interest in being that. As a trans woman who used to have a fair number of close male friends, I learned that as my lifestyle changed, the dynamic in some of my friendships also changed. The men in my life are still there for me in some ways, but I’m no longer the same person they hung out with, so our roles are different. In fact, in many cases, you have to remind yourself that you aren’t the only person growing and changing. Sometimes, the people we become just can’t be friends like the people we were. I have friends who, a few years back, we were inseparable. Now I see them two or three time a year, and even though that’s not the best feeling, it doesn’t make our friendship and more or any less, that’s just how it lives in our current world.
My soulmate lives hundreds of miles away and is only available to talk within certain hours, and is a workaholic who may miss messages for a day or two, but also has a load of messages from people she may never reply back to, and I count myself as blessed that I’m one of the ones she does reply to. I love creating art with her, I love sending her gifts whenever I can, and I live for the days when I can see her in person. She’s the greatest love I’ve ever known and probably ever will know. She understands me and my mess of weirdness, including my bog basket of mental illness, and I do my best to understand her as well (though I forgot about one of her food allergies a few weeks ago) One other thing I learned from her, that many people should learn, is your friend is not a copy of you. Having things in common is beautiful, but you should never hold it against some for liking something you don’t, or not agreeing with you all the time. My best friend hates my favorite drink in the world, and while I love Teen Wolf, she loves Supernatural. We both love Buffy, but that’s not the point. The point, is the feeling. All friendship is, is mutually exploring something that feels good in your heart and soul, finding a way to capitalize on something good that works well for everyone involved. It’s choosing someone in this big universe, to share our finite time with, in the hopes that our lives will be better. So love as honestly as you can.