DEAR ABBY: What percentage of people find their soul mates? You once advised a young man who had doubts about his relationship to keep searching. How long does one search? I am married to a man who is decent and has similar values to mine, but he is definitely not my soul mate. If I had kept searching for my soul mate, would I have found him? What if he lived in another state? How would I ever find him? Would I have been too old to have children by the time I found him?
I have pondered these questions all my life. In my experience, love is not equal. I once found a man I thought was my soul mate, but he didn't really love me; and some men in whom I had no interest pursued me. This confuses me. Isn't it supposed to be that two people find each other and fall madly in love?
My husband and I have children, and they are the joy of my life. I suppose I love him, but it is more like loving a brother -- there is no passion. I thought he would open up eventually, but he never did.
I have seen people who have happier marriages, but I think it is basically dumb luck that they found the right person and that person loves back with equal fervor.
Abby, I don't expect you to have all the answers, but I needed to ask someone. Thanks for listening. -- EXAMINING LIFE IN OHIO
DEAR EXAMINING: I'm happy to listen, and wish I could answer all your questions. Just as no two people are alike, no two marriages are alike. Some couples are content with "brotherly" companionship, which can include a deep and meaningful love. Others enjoy a fiery passion. Some have both. However, it is important to remember there is a vast difference between real life and fantasy. If the pluses in your marriage outweigh the minuses, you are better off than many.