My husband and I met as pen pals about 19 years ago. Both of us have always felt that our meeting was fated. It wasn’t just that we managed to locate each other from opposite ends of the United States through the slender connection of a mutual pen friend. It was also the fact that we were and have always been perfect for one another in every way.
This type of situation, two souls destined to meet and be together, is one of the most common among those who believe in fate. Among those who don’t believe in it, there is cynicism and skepticism that meeting the perfect mate is related to luck or a feeling that those parties have simply made the best choices among their limited options.
To be honest, I’ve never been entirely comfortable with the idea of predestination. It makes existence seem rather pointless so I can understand where those who scoff at the notion of fate are coming from. The idea of predestination makes us feel even smaller and more powerless than we already are.
A lot of people stand on one side or the other of free will and fate issues, particularly in regard to the bigger moments or decisions in life such as having children, finding a partner, pursuing their art, etc. Part of the reason for this is that many believe in the view of fate as being equivalent to predestination or, if you’re religious, an indication that God’s will is at work and you’re an actor in his great play.
Despite the fact that we feel fate played a role in our union, my husband and I also believe that free will played a part. The truth is that, at the time that my husband first communicated with me, I wasn’t really interested in finding more correspondents and was actually relatively disinterested in his first few attempts to engage me in conversations. In fact, I had decided after his second correspondence that I wasn’t going to answer him and would allow the friendship to wither on the vine. He didn’t let it go at that though. He pressed me gently and appropriately for further communication and the next correspondence I received from him sent me a lightning bolt of recognition that this was the person for me.