There are many words and phrases I have come to despise or at least dislike to some degree. Some phrases though have a rather pleasant exterior but not always the best of consequences.
The phrase lately to have annoyed me is “Soul Mates.” This is rather a nicely romantic term and on the surface not much more than that. A term used by a lot of people, though it does tickle my metaphysical funny bone when atheists talk of soul mates. This is also a term used within Catholic circles and I am certainly not condemning those who use it.
What annoys me about the term is the thinking behind it. When taken as sort of a romantic idea it certainly has it’s appeal. It is just amazing that so many people find their soul mates within distance of where they work, go out, etc. Luckily for us our soul mates seems to be rarely on the other side of the world from us. It also seems to me to have a bit of Calvinistic tinge to it in predetermination of people who are to be soul mates. God outside of time who sees time as the eternal now sees who our spouses are to be, but we still have total free will as to that.
But what if you are married and are having difficulties and buy the idea of soul mates. Do you then go in searching for your soul mate since things haven’t worked out? Or go through a string of marriages in pursuit of that soul mate? We already have a culture of when things get difficult, try and try again – but with somebody else of course. Or what if your soul mate dies? Can you have multiple soul mates?
Maybe what annoys me most is that love is an act of the will not some predestined bonding. There are certainly issues concerning compatibility and other points, But even romantic love is an act of the will, an act of the will that must be repeated. Nobody really falls out of love, they have fallen in their will to love. For those with a vocation to marriage who they marry will be determined by multiple factors including accidental ones along with things like personality, etc.
On the other hand at least soul mate includes an understanding beyond just materialism that we indeed do have a soul. The term also signals the exclusivity of the natural law understanding of marriage. The term as a romantic idea and not metaphysical one is probably harmless – but thinking the idea through just annoys me. Maybe also the idea of soul mates annoys me since after my grandfather died my grandmother later remarried to another good man. Her second husband was one of her high school boyfriends and she often joked about getting to marry both of her high school sweethearts. Wow two soul mates in one high school class. Again though, I am probably overacting and people just use the term in the romantic sense – but as a blogger I am duty-bound to write out my annoyances. Just part of the contract.