Dear Thomas,
I'm 45 years old, and I'm losing hope of ever finding my soul partner. I have seen all six of my brothers and sisters go through marriages and divorces. I used to think that I was lucky to have seen what it was like and was glad I wasn't married. But lately I can't stop thinking about living alone for the rest of my life, and that scares me. My brothers and sisters have children that they now share their lives with. I don't regret a minute of my life, I have enjoyed my freedom to the fullest, but now I am full of self-doubt. I want to settle down. Have I waited too long? Thanks.
-Free Spirit

Dear Free Spirit,
Relax! 45 isn't old. You're happy with the life you've lived so far, but now you're "losing hope," "scared, " and "full of self-doubt." I wouldn't indulge in these feelings but rather take them as indications to change. It's never a good idea anyway to make big decisions when you're anxious.

You may need to deepen your perspective. You seem happy to have avoided the turmoil you see in your siblings' lives, and yet you want something of what they have had. Maybe freedom isn't all it's cracked up to be. You could talk to your brothers and sisters about their experience. They may tell you that marriage was a disaster for them, or maybe they'll teach you that life is often complicated, the bad mixed in with the good. Just because a marriage ends in divorce doesn't mean that it was a mistake.

I don't believe that a soul partner is one in a million.

You can have a soulful connection with someone if you can break through all the protections and inhibitions that most of us carry with us. You have enjoyed personal freedom. Maybe now is the time to discover the joys of mutual dependency and a shared life.

Since you're anxiously focused on the future, maybe it would help to be more engaged in the life you have now. You might become more involved in your work, your home, and the people around you. If you're grounded in the life you know, you may be able to make turns and shifts gracefully and naturally. You can also prepare yourself to be a good partner and in that way make yourself interesting to a potential soul mate. Yes, there is magic in the discovery of the right partner, but there is also work in becoming a person who can love and be loved.

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