“A soulmate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks. When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we are; we can be loved for who we are and not for who we’re pretending to be. Each unveils the best part of the other. No matter what else goes wrong around us, with that one person we’re safe in our own paradise. Our soulmate is someone who shares our deepest longings, our sense of direction. When we’re two balloons, and together our direction is up, chances are we’ve found the right person. Our soulmate is the one who makes life come to life.” – Richard Bach

I was twenty-five when I met my soulmate – I didn’t realize at the time that this person was, indeed, what I would later come to view as such. We never dated, never kissed, and it’s hard to say if we even had a romantic connection. While I know that I loved him, I doubt I was in love with him. We spent countless hours together, nearly every day until I moved away and left him behind – my other half.

After spending time with him, my mom once commented that she had never met anyone so much like me … but the funny part is, we were so different. We shared a common love of certain music, writing, and excessive introspect. Long e-mails, otherwise known as “missives” were our preferred method of communicating during those hours that we were apart. We overanalyzed everything about our friendship, our “relationship” and what it all meant – how a move in any direction could change it all, for better or for worse.

There are few people in the world that you can completely be yourself around – most of your closest friends don’t even fit the bill. He knew everything about me and learned things that I didn’t even tell him during the short time we spent together. I was always honest with him, because there were no repercussions to fear. Sometimes our honesty hurt each other. When we first met, we were both in love (more or less) with someone that we each ended a relationship with. That fragility led to a certain unspoken trust, as well as a confusion that took us months to iron out.

I always say that I strive to be the best version of myself. He saw the best in me, even when it wasn’t the part that the rest of the world saw. He always knew it was there, and reminded me when I easily forgot. We brought out the best in each other – and carried each other through the hardest of transitory times. As the quote said, while my world was crumbling around me, he made my world safe. He held me close in our paradise – a world that few outside understood.
I forget sometimes what it was like having him in my life. It often seems that although other friendships and relationships can have a “soulmate-like” feeling, I wonder if I will ever find again, what we shared. Everything changed quickly when I moved away. Our daily phone calls dwindled away; he got married and started a new life.

There are moments that remind me what having a soulmate was like – knowing that when I see a book and forget if I read it, he will know. When either of us hears “23” by Jimmy Eat World, or “Clark Gable” by The Postal Service, we’re both remembering the same thing. It’s sweet memories of watching television on the couch at the beach house, playing Scrabble on the front lawn, learning to throw a football, and most cliche, the laughter and the tears.

“Friendship marks a life even more deeply than love. Love risks degenerating into obsession, friendship is never anything but sharing.” – Elie Wiesel