Photo by Charlotte Turner
For the Soulmates issue of Kindergarten, I interviewed my twin sister and best friend Gemma about our relationship, and if we’re each other’s soulmates. I wanted to interview her because being twins is a big reason why we’re so close, and because this gives a unique perspective on the concept of soulmates.
Charlotte: I feel at this point in my life, you’re my soulmate because we’re twins, we’re best friends, and we have this really strong relationship. I feel like you’re the person I’m the closest to.
Gemma: I definitely agree. I think we have a very close relationship and I think we’re the most important person in each other’s lives. I think we have that platonic but powerful connection that you associate with having a soulmate where it’s the be-all end-all.
So, what does the word soulmate mean to you? Both in what people consider it to mean and then your own interpretation.
Well, I think it’s generally got a romantic connotation where it’s like oh so-and-so is my soulmate because we’re dating. I think really what it means at least in my understanding it’s just like someone who you’re so close to it’s like they’re the person for you and you’re the person for them even if it’s just platonic or a familial relationship, or it’s romantic, really any sort of relationship. But just like the strongest and most important one in your life is your relationship with that person.
I would say that’s how I consider it to mean too. Something I was thinking about the other day is that generally when you say soulmate it’s like you meet this person and you start dating and you’re perfect for each other and you get married immediately and everything’s fine when obviously romantic relationships require a lot of work. So I feel like in the sense of the word soulmate I feel like we fit the soulmate bill better because we’re twins. It’s actually like a soul thing, like we’ve always been together.
I don’t think soulmate necessarily means a romantic happily ever after everything’s perfect, it’s like the most important relationship. You and the other person are connected on a very deep level.
It sort of reminds me of in Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell where the main character and her twin sister are “built-in best friends”. You have this person in your life from birth, and I really vibe with that.
Even though we haven’t always been best friends, like we never hated each other or anything, as we’ve grown up we’ve always been there for each other and our relationship just gets better and better.
I think over the past couple of years, we’ve definitely become closer than we used to be. Like I said, it’s not like our relationship has always been so close or so perfect, but we occupy this space in each other’s lives. No matter how close we are at the moment or how much time we spend together, we just have that existing relationship.
I like that. And also, we argue a lot, sure, but like so far we’ve never argued so much where it’s like this is a dealbreaker I don’t want to be friends with you any more.
We argue but I don’t think we really have arguments.
Or it’s just like I’m mad at you because you haven’t cleaned the bathroom yet. Do you think we’re soulmates?
I don’t really know if I believe in the concept…
Yeah, like it’s a little reductive, and ignorant of the work you have to put into any relationship, whether it’s romantic or platonic.
I think as a concept, it’s something that does describe our relationship, and something that we can relate to. I don’t know if I believe in the idea of being like ‘oh we’re soulmates’, but definitely it fits.
If you took the definition of soulmate, even if you don’t necessarily consider soulmate to be a thing, I’d say we fit it.
I think like obviously you can have someone who’s not a soulmate but you have a really strong relationship and put that work in because you value the other person. To me, soulmate is just sort of the space you occupy in someone’s life or the space they occupy in your life.
That’s a really nice thing to say.
You’re welcome. I would like you to talk about our relationship, and what do you like about our relationship?
I like that we know each other so well, and like how when we play Taboo and games like that we’re so good at it…
That’s your favourite thing about our relationship, that we’re good at card games.
Yeah. It’s just a good demonstration of how close we are, that we have this intrinsic knowledge of the other person, and very clearly understand each other. I like that we can just spend a lot of time together, and not get bored of each other. I like that we can always have things to talk about. We’re always there for each other, and we’ll always be there to support each other.
I like that. I feel like because we’re twins, our relationship from the beginning has been deeper, which is sort of a bad thing to say, but deeper than just being best friends. We live together, even if we’re not hanging out we spend all day together, in the same space. I feel like it’s operating on a different level than just a friendship.
That’s a good way to describe it. Like, we’re best friends but we’re also family, so it’s like that extra element is involved.
Yeah, and also it’s nice because we don’t have to schedule hanging out. I can just go into your room and be like “hey, wassup”. In that way it sort of reminds me, in a romanticizing way, in the good old days when you just left your house and went to your friend’s house and just hung out all day. It feels like that. And nowadays, you have to schedule things with your friends.
Yeah, I never felt like I’ve had a friendship where it’s like ‘let’s just spontaneously hang out’. What I like about our relationship is that I always have access to you, like if I want to hang out with you, like you said, I can come into your room and be like ‘hey, wassup’. It’s not like oh let’s go meet up at this place at this time.
I also like that even if we don’t really have the same taste in a lot of things, like for example I like fantasy books…
And you hate them, but even so we don’t have to have the exact same interests in order to connect with them and be interested in the things they’re interested in. Not necessarily because you’re interested in them but because the other person does.
Okay, thank you. It was a nice conversation. I like to talk about how we’re friends, it makes me feel happy.