Love: Predetermined Destiny, or Freedom of Choice?

“I have noticed even people who claim everything is predestined, and that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road.” — Stephen Hawking

There are two kinds of people in this world. Type A people, we’ll call them, believe in choices.

They think we are all individually in control of our lives and the directions they take. Different choices lead down different paths, but we are ultimately behind the wheel.

Type B people, on the other hand, are a little more romantic. They choose to believe that our fates are all predetermined, written somewhere in the stars.

Whether this faith is born of religion, spirituality, or plain old superstition, the bottom line is that it’s technically the less logical choice of thought.

The ironic thing is that even some of the most logical people in the world are sometimes the most devout followers of their chosen faith. The truth is, people need something to believe in.

We need an explanation for it all. We need to feel that there’s a purpose for our existence.

Without that, what drive would we have to keep going?

I’ve identified with Type B my whole life. I’ve always been the typical superstitious, and at times, overly spiritual person who could credit every good or bad thing that happened to simply being ‘meant to be’.

My favorite motto was the cliche “Everything happens for a reason,” phrase. It was my way of making peace with things.

Type A people may seem like realists, and sometimes even slightly pessimistic, but I’ve recently decided that I actually agree with their views.

What changed my mind, you ask? It’s a pretty big jump moving from Type B all the way to Type A in one fell swoop, I know.

I recently finished an almost 5 month-long journey that started in New Zealand and ended in Malaysia. Not surprisingly, I came across lots of new and interesting individuals who left impressions on my mindset.

But what changed my opinion on destiny and choice wasn’t a mere conversation or two.

It was my own personal experiences throughout the journey.

The main influence?

Love. I had more experiences with it than I ever expected on this trip. These situations, although each unique, all taught me one thing: Love is a choice.

I always kind of believed there was one special soulmate out there. I’d been in search of a fairy tale love. I knew I’d recognize it when I found it because it’d be perfect, easy, and amazing.

And yes, that is what it feels like. The thing is, that happened more than once. I realized that these intense sparks we experience for people does not only happen once.

Therefore, deciding who to be with should not rest on the amount of chemical attraction we feel to a person alone. The feelings I thought I’d have when I recognized my soul mate were pretty much based on infatuation.

You know that feeling of losing control, not knowing how or when you fell, and maybe even fear and anxiety resting around what might happen next?

Yep, you can have that feeling for the person who doesn’t actually make sense to be with. They could be an outright unhealthy person for you to date (which may explain the intuitive and often foreshadow-y anxiety).

And when you do find that one you love who loves you the way you know you deserve, the one who is more of a healthy choice, and who you can actually build a life with, the connections with others don’t just come to a halt.

You will continue to come across these deep ‘connections’ with many others throughout your life. That’s where commitment comes into play.

That’s when your power of choice comes up to bat. What I learned in the last few months is that it’s actually the star player in the game.

Am I still spiritual? Yes. Do I still believe there is something out there much greater than us? Absolutely.

I think there are many different ways our lives can go. I think we’re thrown the same options over and over, and we have a chance (or many, depending on your spiritual beliefs) to choose how to react to those options.

Who or what throws those options out there is a whole different topic.

I’ve come to believe there are better versions of our lives based on wiser choices we could be making, and I think that at the end of the day, we’re all trying to make the best decisions we can.

Whether type A or type B, we generally aspire to live out the best possible versions, be the best people we can be — living our best lives, in the realest sense.

And no matter what any of us believe in, I think that’s all that really matters.

Written by

Born writer + passionate traveler + yoga instructor = content on travel & adventure, mental health & mindfulness, goals & motivation, love & magic ✨

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store