When it comes to finding love and marrying your soul mate, is it all written in the stars? My love story offers a window to the “chance or choice“ debate.
It was a very humid summer day, perfect for a dip at the beach. But instead of sitting by the beach, I was sitting in an Economics class.
Most people were spending their summer going to beaches, rivers and lagoons. Our island — Palawan — was the last frontier of the Philippine archipelago, blessed with countless stunning tourist spots that were mostly unexplored.
But my classmates and I had to spend our entire summer in the corridors, libraries and four-cornered walls of what seemed like a ghosted university campus. Begrudgingly, we buried our faces in books and notes — from seven in the morning ´till six in the evening, every single day, for that entire summer (as well as the succeeding summers). If we chose not to, or if we failed to maintain the required GPA for those summer classes, we would lose our scholarship.
I couldn´t afford to lose my scholarship. It was my only ticket to my dreams.
Immerging back from my rumination, our professor caught my attention. Her question seemed irrelevant to the topic being discussed yet thought-provoking.
“Do you believe in chance or choice?“
“Choice“, I answered.
“Then you don´t believe in God!“ She declared.
“Well, I do believe in God“, I continued, “but if I´ll just depend my grades on God instead of choosing to work harder so that I will get the required G.P.A. this summer, I doubt if I will get to keep my scholarship. I don´t think God would just hand me the grades I want and need without me working for it. God prepares the way only when there´s a will.“
I don´t remember exactly what the teacher said after I defended and expanded my answer, but I do remember that she took back what she said that I don´t believe in God if I believe in “choice“.
There´s no one-size-fits-all answer to that question, but if you asked me the same question today, I would still give you the same answer.
Now applying that question to finding love — and finding our soul mate — is it a matter of chance or choice?
An email subscriber sent me this question:
Is the myth “written in the stars“ true? ~ Miss Mara
I would say, it´s true to some degree, but it´s written relative to the part you played or not played.
Let me use my experience as an example.
I always wanted to get married (to the love of my life), have my own family, have kids, and have a happy marriage. For some reasons, despite me staying single until I was twenty-five years old, I always believed that I would meet my husband before I´d turn thirty.
My belief that I was destined to find love was engraved so deeply in my heart that when I was twenty-two years old, a new migrant in Thailand, I decided to pray for my future husband that entire year. I still remember my prayer:
God, I know that You have prepared a man for me. I don´t know who he is or where he lives, but wherever he is please take care of him and bless him in all his endeavors. I would like to meet him when I turn twenty-five. And I would like to marry him when I turn twenty-seven. Thank you.
I prayed that same prayer every single night for that entire year.
Notice that in my prayer, I was clear with what I wanted and when I wanted it. I was specific in my prayer.
- I wanted to meet my future husband when I`m 25.
- I wanted to marry him when I`m 27.
I didn´t worry about whether or not God would answer positively to my prayer. I just believed that I would get married to the man I love.
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Now let me go back to my twenty-year-old self in the Philippines. I had just graduated from university and had my first job when I met an American man, many, many years my senior, who chose to reside in our country. He was interested in me. And he attempted to attract me by showing off his wealth to me.
He lived in a mansion atop a mountain, overwieving the sea. He owns a small island in the Philippines. And he´s got speed boats and several vehicles.
But wrong move. I wasn´t interested in wealth. It´s true love that I was looking for. So I didn´t accept his offer.
Remember that although I got a new job, being the bread winner for my entire big family meant I was still below poverty line. It was easy to get attracted to what money could offer, the immediate solutions to my money problems, and lose focus of what I truly wanted in the future.
I never saw myself marrying a guy twice my age, regardless of how wealthy he was.
Thankfully, I didn´t get blinded by money. Because if I did, the stars would have written a different story.
Two years later, after I moved to Bangkok where I took a teaching job, another older American guy was attracted to me. He was nice and he wanted me to adopt his two highbred cats which he took with him from the states. He promised to pay for the monthly rental of my flat once I got the cats, and to provide stipends for his cats.
Of course I politely declined. I love cats but I knew that he would just use his cats so he could come in and out of my flat. No, thank you.
After that, there was a British guy that I became very attracted to. And he was attracted to me too! We were colleagues. He invited me a few times to travel with him to the border. I declined all invites. Why? Because I knew that once I travelled with him, or even go out with him, I would end up having sex with him.
He´s that type of guy who got laid a lot, all the time. I was very attracted to him physically, so I didn´t trust myself. Cheap sex was not something I was looking for either.[interact id=”5c989cca2431ec00140c0176″ type=”quiz” mobile=”false”]
Then out of the blue, he had to resign from his job because his ex-girlfriend, a Thai, reported him to the police for illegally taking a teaching job without a teaching permit. He had to leave Bangkok, and stay out of the city for some time, in order to avoid jail time.
Although broken hearted from his abrupt departure, I knew that it was for my own good that he left. I doubt if I could handle his “hotness“ in the long run. But I knew that I wouldn´t get a meaningful relationship from him.
God probably had to abruptly remove him from my life in order to protect me from possible distraction or diversion from what I truly wanted for my future.
I met a few more men after him — some were attracted to me but I wasn´t attracted to them, or I was attracted to them and they were not attracted to me, or the attraction might be initially mutual but something that I´d do or say would make them lose interest in me.
A pattern in my dating relationships started to become apparaent to me. With deep introspection, I came to realize that I needed to do some inner work in order to attract healthy relationships and to invite “true love“ into my life.
I did exactly that — as I have mentioned many times on this blog — I worked on improving my self-awareness and on my personal development in terms of my self-esteem, body image, communication skills, my flirting skills and my happiness.
The time that I invested for my inner work proved to be crucial in attracting love to my life.
When I turned twenty-five, a German guy fell in love with me and pursued me. His love would have been perfect, almost the kind of love that I was waiting for, only that it wasn´t. It´s something I´d like to describe as “the right love at the wrong time“.
If I fought for that love, I most likely would have won that love, and the stars would have again written a different story for me. But I decided to let him go because I believed that it was the best thing to do.
As it turned out, that German guy came to my life for a very specific reason.
I gave myself time to grieve but didn´t spend too much time grieving. I soon continued my search for my true love.
Only six months were left before my 25th year of life would end. But immediately after I resumed my search, I met my (future) husband.
I was 25.5 years old when I met my husband. And I was 27.4 years old when I married him.
The thing is, the road to meeting my true love was bumpy. Along the way I had met several men, could any of them be my soul mate? Possibly. But if any of them could be my soul mate, why didn´t I end up with that person?
I didn´t end up with any of them either because of choice or chance.
Some of the reasons were … the guy was too old for me, or too focused on his wealth, or too young that he´s still sowing his wild oats, or overly confident to handle my insecurities, or he met me after he committed to someone else.
But I ended up with my husband, my true love, because of both choice and chance.
Chance because …
- He had just changed his social media profile photo into something that attracted my attention amidst the sea of other tiny profile photos. We first met online.
- He´s a Filipino-German who grew up in Germany. I already have a good impression of German people, thanks to my German ex.
- Couldn´t rule out the fact that he´s got Filipino blood!
- I have already done my inner work when I met him. I was the healthiest (physically, mentally and emotionally) person that I could ever be.
- He was already self-actualized, financially secured, emotionally matured, and ready to settle down.
Choice because …
- Despite our language gap (he was fluent only in German at the time we met), he was determined to learn English as quickly as possible, and I decided to give him a chance. See: He´s Not My Type But I`m Attracted to Him
- I was willing to endure. Ours was a long distance relationship. LDR isn´t for the faint of heart.
- I was willing to take risks. Marrying him would mean leaving behind everything that I had built for myself, and starting afresh from scratch in a new country, far, far away from home.
But as time would unfold, he turned out to be the kind of man I needed and wanted in my life. He made my life so much better than it used to be. He´s just the perfect guy for me.
My husband and I like to spend our bonding time reminiscing of the past, including the time before we met each other. I think it was a couple of years after our marriage when we talked deeply about his career, how he got his current job and how he became indispensable in their company.
I told him about that entire year that I spent praying for my future husband.
Make him commit and surrender his heart to you, learn how to be “the woman men adore and never want to leave”.
Wanting to know how his life was affected by my prayer, if any, I asked him what major event happened to his life that year. It was mid 2005 to mid 2006.
As it turned out, it was the same year my husband was hired by his current company. He´s been working for the company for over a decade now.
We were both in awe when we realized what happened in 2005-2006 and how our lives seemed to interconnect even before we came to know of each other´s existence.
I was a young woman in a new country praying for her future husband. My husband, on the other hand, was a young man, living across the globe, and a fresh graduate who quickly found a job but was let go due to the company´s downsizing.
He was jobless for a year while looking for a new job because he didn´t want to switch cities. And then there was an opening in a relatively new company. He applied and he was quickly hired. His company since grew to become one of the biggest engineering company in the city.
It´s the same job of his that currently supports our little family and allows me to chase my dreams to become my own boss and to build my own online empire.
So when it comes to love, is the myth “written in the stars“ true?
It is true if you believe in it. But the love story that the stars will write for you is influenced by the part you play and the work you put into — whether that´s prioritizing finding love, being open to finding love, working on improving yourself, and preparing for a successful marriage even before you get married.
What I want you to take away from this long essay is, while you can´t control chance, you can control the choices you make.
And you can attract the kind of love that you want in your life.
Are the choices you´re making right now leading you to finding true love? What choices can you make that will positively affect the story that the stars will write for you?
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
Trust in God´s plans for you. And do your best to reinforce His wonderful plans in your life.
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