How Oprah Helped Me Find My Soulmate
When I became single for the first time in five years at 24, I had no idea how to date. The last time I was single was when I was 18, and back then I was mostly preoccupied with deciding which party to attend on any given weekend (and sometimes Thursday). College dating was nothing like “young professional” dating.
I read self-help dating books. I hung out at coffee shops. I exchanged hopeful glances with the guy in my spin class on Tuesdays. I attended young professional networking events, and regularly met my friends for happy hours at bars that were full of people my age with presumably similar interests or who worked near my office. I begged my best friend to go church socials with me. I set up a profile on Match.com, but didn’t know how to mention in a more intriguing way than the next person that I liked “traveling” and “going out for a night on the town, but also staying in and ordering pizza.” Who didn’t like all of those things? It all seemed disingenuous and repetitive.
I moved downtown and hoped I would meet my future husband by casually running into him at the grocery store. Maybe we would reach for the same apple in the produce aisle and laugh, and he would ask me what I was cooking that night, and I would invite him over for wine. I was constantly trying to write my love story.
Then, one late night, I got bored and Googled “where is my soulmate?” An article titled The Magic of the Soulmate Wish List popped up in the search results. It was on Oprah.com, and if Oprah endorses it, it must be good!
The challenge was this: Write out 100 things you want in your “soulmate.” Include little things like “I want him to not mind when I sing really loudly in the car” or “wears black socks.” Put it in an envelope, and store it somewhere. Lastly, believe that the person you are seeking is out there. Of course, not merely every thought we have comes true, but I reasoned with myself that I had tried everything else, so why not give this a shot? This required introspection, clarity, and faith.
After a while, the constant question of “where my future husband might be hiding out there” became exhausting. I went out to bars and coffee shops less, and starting spending a few nights more a week alone in my apartment binge watching Mad Men or accidentally browsing Pinterest for four hours straight. Every once in a while, I looked back at the list and reminded myself what I was looking for.
And, I felt happy. I was peaceful, knowing that my love story was out there, but it was also in me. I guess you could say that I let go a little bit. I let go of the notion that I had control over the timing that I would meet this man. The Magic List helped me trust the process. I realized how much love was already in my life, too. My friendships and my family were fulfilling, and I had a great job. I lived in the city that I had always dreamed of moving to, and I had my health. I was thankful for the journey, even though it didn’t include marriage or kids.
Then, one day at church, the message focused on a verse I had never heard before: Ephesians 3:20.
Now to Him who is able to do infinitely more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.
The sermon was all about trust and perfect timing, and knowing that you are taken care of beyond your wildest dreams if you could just relax and be patient. I walked back to my car and I prayed. Lord, I trust You. You are able. You are able. You are able.
Then, it happened. Before starting my car, I checked Facebook and suddenly Justin’s picture popped up on my feed. We had mutual friends, and my best friend told me he was single. We went on a first date the following week. We got engaged 7 months later. Now, we’ve been married for 2 years and have a one year old daughter and soon-to-be-born son; my due date is today, actually.
After our first date, I sat in my apartment and looked back at my Magic List. To my surprise, he fit almost every single one of the 100 things I listed. He was tall (6’7!), wore black socks to the gym (I know that’s a weird one), and he loved to ski. But, he was also so much more than I could have asked for or knew I needed.
The Magic List let me clarify what I was looking for, and helped me relax enough to trust God’s timing. Only then was I able to let the my love story come to me. Sometimes in life when you feel like you’ve tried everything, all it takes it is clarifying the dream that has been put on your heart, and trusting the process in the meantime. God is able.