Monday, March 30, 2009


"Don't laugh at me, but... maybe we could be each others' soulmates? And then we can let men be these great, nice guys to have fun with?"
~ Charlotte to the girls, SATC Season 4, "The Agony and the 'Ex'-tacy"

In my Playscript Analysis class, we are reading Arcadia by Tom Stoppard. In the show, a lot of mathematical mumbo jumbo is talked about that often goes way over my head. I'm not stupid, but mathematics is just well... boring to me. I think its incredibly impressive and I have respect for any person who can tackle the beast that is mathematics, but on a completely personal basis... I would just rather write about my feelings. Go fig. 

Anyway, we had presentations on different things mentioned within the show. We talked about Mandelbrot sets, Julia sets, chaos theory, and quantum physics. When we were on the topic of quantum physics, my friend and future roommate, Emily, mentioned a thing called string theory.

In string theory, it states that an atom can be split into two different parts, into two different electrons and then sent to either parts of the universe. Even though these electrons are stranded on either side of the great abyss that is the universe, they will be irrevocably drawn to each other, constantly searching to find each other, to bond, and to complete the atom.

Are we electrons? Scattered across the universe from the other half of ourselves, scouring all of the stars, planets, and meteors to find the tiny atomic particle that can complete us? 

When Emily told me about string theory, I instinctively replied with a fantasy filled sigh, romanticizing about how somewhere out there is a little electron that is drawn to me, ready to complete me. 

...but really... is there?

People spend their entire lives searching for their 'soulmates.' The person that they were designed for. But, are we truly designed to complete another person? Or is the idea of a 'soulmate' something someone once upon a time came up with to play pretend and convince him/herself that he/she isn't completely alone?

I think these scientists and mathematicians or whoever deals with these theories is on to something. My friend, Dani, and I were talking about this electron theory. Dani, a pre-med/biology/philosophy major, of course knew exactly what I was talking about and elaborated on this new theory.

She told me, that although the soulmate electrons are destined to be constantly pulled towards each other, on the journey to find 'The One,' the electrons are able to bond with other electrons, they bond with these electrons until they are done, take what they need, and move on continuing their search for their other half. 

So maybe we are electrons. In the big scheme of things, that's what dating is all about. You date, you find a person that your particles can match up with, you bond, and when the time has come to move on you do until you find the person you are meant to be with, the electron that allows you to complete yourself. Your soulmate.

I brought up the electron string theory to my friend, Andrew. Andrew thought the theory was interesting and then said something that really struck me, "You never really know who you 'missing electron' is, but you'll find out when you meet them." Now, I'm sure this wasn't the implied intention, but my overcomplicated, over-thinking began stirring like crazy. Do you know instantly when you meet your electron that they are the one? What if you don't realize that person is your electron until much later in time? What if it's too late?

I have an enormous fear. Probably the thing that worries me most about the dating scene. In my six years of electron adventure, I have already said 'I love you' to two separate boyfriends. Now, I'm an 'I love you' prude. I do not let those three words out unless I truly believe I am in love with a boy. So, already in my life, I have had two loves... how many more am I allowed? How many electrons are you allowed to bond with before all magnetic attraction is gone? Is it possible, as fear-inducing and hopeless as this may be, that eventually you run out chances to bond? You reach your 'I love you/bonding' quota??

Maybe someday I will run across my previous loves and realize that they are the electron that completes me... but for now I'm scared that I only have a few more good bonds in me before I'm toast. This is borderline ridiculous, seeing as how I'm only twenty... but...

It's come to a point in my life where people in my class, people who I went to high school with, my close friends are slowly entering serious relationships, becoming engaged, getting married, having children... the extreme pressure to keep up with these relationship overachievers is daunting. Suddenly, I find myself in a state of panic: Why am I not long term bonding? Should I be engaged? Is there something wrong with me? Have I missed my chance? Did I meet my electron and just miss the feeling, or did I feel it and give up on it?

And what makes this even harder, as a gay man, is the overbearing feeling from the community (or at least my generation), that monogamy is blasphemy, and hook-ups and one night stands are Law. There's fear of commitment. Gay men my age seem to not be interested allowing themselves to bond completely with another, but instead, find quick satisfaction and run, bouncing from one electron orbit to the next searching for the next fast fix. Of course, this is a generalization, there are guys out there who want commitment, but those electrons are far and few between and a little harder to find in this expansive universe. 

And then I remind myself... You're 20. You have plenty of time. Stop stressing. 
How can I when the fear of forever scouring the universe for 'The One' is constantly thrown in my face from every angle? When marriage is the IN thing, growing up is what expected of you, and finding your other half is a necessity... It's exhausting!

And what if...
Just... what if...

'The One' isn't a man at all. And the whole world has got it wrong. What if it's not a lover? Who says your missing electron can't be your best friend. In one of my favorite Sex and the City episode, Charlotte brings up the idea that the girls can be each others' soulmates and men are there to have fun with. My friend K.T. joked around her cat could be her soulmate.

In my book, a soulmate is someone who completes you, someone who will accompany you on this journey for the rest of your life. Maybe... we don't need boyfriends to complete us. Maybe we just need love. 

And after a day of stressing out over past boyfriends and this newly founded string theory, I decided to propose to Diane. I knelt down, extended my hand, and asked Diane to be my soulmate. She said yes. Thank goodness. 

So I will keep surfing through the atomic particles of the world and bonding. And maybe one of the electrons I find with turn out to be the right one for me, and we'll bond for a long, long time. Or maybe, I'll rediscover an electron that I've already bonded with and realize that we belong together. And no matter how much I freak over a quota on love, I know that I decide how many times I can say 'I love you,' I can bond with whomever I want and as many people as I want until I am good and ready. The possibilities are endless, and love is limitless. And should all these bonds fail, I know in the end, it doesn't matter. Because I have something better. Friends who love me, soulmates, like Diane, who will be with me through magnetic storms, and atomic fissures, or whatever the heck atoms have to go through.

Maybe, I'll find my electron, maybe I won't, maybe I already have, maybe he doesn't exist
And maybe it's the people that I hold closest to my heart.
Whatever the situation may be...
The possibilities are endless, and love is limitless. 

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