If you’re single and want to get married, well, bless you, for you live in one of the most challenging times for a Catholic to find a suitable spouse. But that’s all the more reason to have an answer to the age-old question: “Is there one perfect soulmate out there whom I’m destined to marry?”
Some proponents of the soulmate theory say, “Yes, there is.” Not only that, but they say that your future happiness and fulfillment are tied to finding this one person.
But do you really have a soulmate — someone out there whom God has destined to be your forever person? Is there such a thing as “the One”?
The answer is yes and no. Let’s explore further.
God wills your good and makes all things conspire to your good.
The things that happen in your life are not random, at least not in reference to God. All things fall under His providence. He even factors in the free choices made by us into His providential plan.
God’s providence means that He puts at your disposal the means necessary for you to fulfill your vocation on earth and make it to your heavenly home in the end. If He’s calling you to marriage, He gives you everything you need to embrace that vocation — including someone of the opposite sex with whom you can enter into a lifelong commitment and, God willing, start a family.
In this sense, you do have a soulmate waiting for you because God has placed before you everything you need to fulfill your vocation to marriage.
God also wants you to exercise the free will He gave you.
God is unlikely to give you an unmistakable sign of whom you should marry. Although you won’t have absolute certainty, you shouldn’t become paralyzed by that fact. God will put everything at your disposal. He wants you to use your mind and will to discern a life partner.
Does this mean you’re completely off the hook and can randomly marry whoever strikes your fancy at the moment? Not quite.
As we said, God has arranged all things so that you can embrace and succeed in your vocation. From your vantage point, that means there are (or will be) certain people in your life whom you may recognize as possible choices given to you by God to marry.
But this is where you don’t want to get hung up. You may be left with more than one potentially suitable spouse, even after you’ve prayed for guidance. And, again, God is unlikely to send a glowing dove to hover over the one who’s best for you.
This is where you have to exercise your free choice — fueled by prayer, prudence, practical discernment, and spiritual direction.
Once you do marry, that person is your “One.”
One of the pitfalls of placing too much emphasis on finding “the One” is that, once married, there may be times when you think you’ve made a mistake. You might then become convinced that the person you married is not “the One.” You’ll then be tempted to infidelity when you come across someone who seems more suitable.
Let’s be VERY clear: Once you make your wedding vows, the person you marry is your “One” for as long as you both live. At that point, there’s no use wondering if you married the wrong person. In God’s eyes, you are one flesh. You’re yoked — for better or for worse — on life’s journey to eternity.
God loves your destiny more than you do. He will provide you with everything you need to fulfill that destiny. But you can’t sit around waiting for signs.
Pray, get advice from wise mentors, observe the relationships you form with those around you and then choose your spouse.