Soulmates To Cellmates

What Happened To Love?

Do you remember the beginning? When you found someone that gave you some attention, that you haven’t given yourself, and you quivered and all sorts of things happened to your head and your body? You were convinced it was love. Everything is grand until you come home one day and discover that your partner has some habits you find disgusting, or character traits you failed to see – perhaps subconsciously, on purpose – and you are shocked. The person you thought was so perfect for you has a big pimple on his bum. You didn’t notice that before because you were projecting all of your desires onto that person. You didn’t see the pimple, the snoring, the clothes strewn on the floor. Then you start to notice other things that you don’t like. The more time you spend with someone, the more their truth starts to replace your projections.

What happened to the love? Well, this is what happened, and will always happen – happiness always walks in the door with disappointment, for that’s its twin. First it’s great and then it’s not. Right? Happiness seems to constantly come and go, but disappointment also clocks in and out. This is the balance and pendulum that you have to accept to start a relationship and discover what having a soul mate really means. It’s experiencing the ups and downs, as both an individual, and a couple.

What is Love?

Loving unconditionally is one of life’s greatest joys and you can experience it, no matter how defeated or doubtful you are about your prospects. You have to embody authenticity, trust, respect and compassion in order to have a loving relationship. You must know who you are and feel whole. You need to strive for balance and remember that the relationships you have to EVERYTHING in your life are connected.

You have to embrace your own identity and heart, and let go of all else, in order to experience the joy of partnership.

To love someone does not mean you are necessarily going to stay together. Love doesn’t say that the changes you experience as an individual will keep you on the same page as your partner. Love is not enough when it comes to shared lives. Love does not have to include romance, which might have waned. Love wants you to live your life to its fullest. Splitting up can be an expression of love. You are opening your life to have more happiness by not staying in a relationship you are no longer meant to be in. In time, you might be able to experience a new connection to your ex as a friend, though this isn’t always possible or necessary.

Conscious Uncoupling

While the term ‘conscious uncoupling’ was made popular a few years ago, the idea behind this approach is mindfulness. When one or both of you have come to a decision to split up, your world feels upended, even when the split was something you wanted. There will be many things to take care of, both physically (living arrangements, money issues, children’s visitation, etc.) and emotionally. Try to achieve a balance between doing what you need to do and not becoming overwhelmed. You have been part of a couple but you are still who you are, even in your new context. Society tends to label people and categorize them. We hear the phrase “marital bliss” (an overblown idea – no marriage is always blissful!) and think that is the goal that is expected of us. You must work against the idea that you are less than, or have failed at something. Ultimately your divorce/separation might very well be one of the most positive transitions that you can go through.

If you have children, you are still going to be a family. There is a whole set of feelings and arrangements that are going to have to be dealt with, but the best approach overall, is to remember to put your children first and know that co-parenting is going to have to be worked on, always. If your kids are old enough, talk honestly to them about the transition. Remind them that love for them, and for the family, is unwavering and the most important thing for all of you. Don’t talk negatively about your ex with your children. When people embark on that, it can be extremely destructive. You may be hurting terribly from the split, but you must be as adult, steady and supportive to your children as humanly possible.

Finding Love Again

Finding the love of your life is a journey. It may feel like a difficult one, but with awareness and an open heart, it has great rewards. You need to enjoy and celebrate the journey, not just the destination. If you learn to see it that way, you are welcoming love into your life and you will definitely find it.

Look at your quest for a great relationship as a journey into the unison of your own soul. Your soul is complete within itself.

When you are busy fulfilling this completeness, the focus is on being a warm, inviting and happy person. The pressure that you or society has placed on you to “win over” a mate no longer distracts you. It’s not a game show competition or a beauty contest! This is your life and you want to live it in a way that honors and celebrates who you are. You want to become someone who can offer the world kindness and compassion. Your inner beauty shines beyond any superficial outward appearance. And when someone comes along who truly appreciates you for who you are, you can offer him or her the abundant gift of love, which you have come to possess.


Derek O’Neill

Owner, Creacon Wellness Retreat

For more on soulmates, relationships and love explore:

Get A Grip Books

Soulmate or Cellmate?


Would You Want to Date You?