Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Relationship Injustice Part 6 - Your #1

So who is your number 1? Your #1 is the person with whom you were close to, shared tender moments, and something underlying proved a spiritual connection that far exceeded the bounds of the relationship itself. Perhaps he/she was just a friend - most likely that person is one with whom you hardly communicate, but that person is the one you'll never stop thinking of, caring about, or missing. Everyone has their own #1, and in rare cases - very rare cases - that #1 ends up the spouse in one's life. Most of the time, however, it is the person we all think of, wonder about, and miss.

As I've said before, this person is the classic definition of a soulmate. One who defines ourselves in a sense, but we'll never spend our lives with. I hated the "soulmate" term so much, I had to define and invent my own, hence the notion of the "#1". The reality of the world is such that we will probably never be with an ideal partner, and perhaps, in the context of a crappy environment such as our daily lives, it isn't meant to be. Most of the time, the ills of modern real life are what estranges us from our true #1's. In Buddhist beliefs, that #1 (our soulmate) can only be joined with us in the afterlife, and without the spoilage of the world in which we exist, that bond will be reformed upon our ultimate passage to the beyond. Who knows, that may be wishful thinking.

For most, that #1 will be someone that never leaves the mind or heart, though doesn't impede upon one's current relationship. That person doesn't destroy marriages or close relationships, because the #1 is just a memory or thought - not an active temptation.
I've done a ton of interviewing to discuss people's #1's - and generally it was not that person's spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend.

An interesting aspect of my interviews - I asked all subjects the following : "If your #1 came back right now, would you leave your current relationship?". 80% of the time the answer was "no". The reasoning was sensible; people change, grow, learn, etc. What everyone's #1 person represents is largely a snapshot of a wonderful era, and that era can certainly not be preserved when people move on and learn. Clearly our memories of the past will always be selective. We tend to remember the good times. As such, the memories of our #1's tend to exclude the ugly times, and consequently that selective memory process, by trimming the fat away, makes the times with that person seem more hallowed and heavenly. Our #1's will always seem better in hindsight - but it's the person we are with now that matters. While you might think of a particular person from the past, never forget that memories of the past are involuntarily heavily self edited, and the present is what matters most.


Flip Speakman said...

Mike 'Smokey' Caldwell was as close to a soul mate as I ever had.

Sure, I'd have left my mate for him...if only he would have mustered the odd trip-12 in tandem with proclaimed reverence to his sensei in somewhat regular yet random intervals.

The Vapid Voice said...

I hate when guys hit on me.

Xoynx said...

Interesting that you chose the term #1, suggesting that the person's importance is above your own.

The Vapid Voice said...

Very good point. I had never even thought about the classic phrase "I'm looking out for #1" and all that - which of course means looking out for one's self. But subliminally maybe that #1 is the one you are so bound to that they should be a part of yourself, i.e. you and that #1 are meant to be as one, all that garbage. Great point.