Searching for a soulmate? Try cultivating a relationship with yourself, first.
At this moment there is someone out there looking for their soulmate. They're annoyed it's taking so long and confused about where that person might be. "Where is my soulmate?!" has become a kind of cultural war cry. People all over the world are searching far and wide for that special person to perfectly complement their precious soul. We feel like a pirate on the edge of his ship looking out to sea for riches and treasure — our special someone must be out there also. "Ahoy mateys! Arrr. Me in search of the special lass! Full steam ahead, weigh ye anchors, let ye find thee soulmate. We comin' to get ye lass! Sail ho!"
People search for their soulmate like it's a game of hide-and-seek. Is our soulmate in the pantry? Make sure to check behind the couch. Oh, wait, what about that big closet in the second bedroom? Make sure to look there too. They have to be somewhere! Frustrated, we buy a telescope, look into the beautiful night to say, "These constellations are beautiful. I think that's the Big Dipper, and over there, is that Orion? My soulmate has to be up here somewhere too." (Note to stargazing soulmater-searchers: you will probably not find your perfect match in the milky way).
A soulmate signifies one person — singular. In contrast, my friend Nate is dating online and meeting a new lady every week. His profile says "I'm looking for my soulmate," but his actions seem to prove otherwise. How can he look for a soulmate when he's plowing through dates like there's a quota to meet? At this rate, Nate would have found not one soulmate, but 52 of them; one very special gal each week. Why have one soulmate when many are available, I guess?
Another friend of mine, David, has been craving companionship. If he could just find his soulmate, he would be happy, he says. I'm confused about this, because most of his nights are spent drinking booze at the local pub. Do you expect to find this soulmate you speak of at the bottom of a whiskey glass? I don't think your soulmate is going to arrive through the doors of the saloon at closing time. Maybe you've convinced yourself that your soulmate's name is Jack Daniels. The good news is if you and Jack aren't getting along, you also have close relations with your other buddies, Sam Adams and Jim Bean. (Who needs an actual, real, tangible soulmate with Jameson ready and willing to hang all night)?
On certain occasions David will take the bartender home, and between the forgivable hours of 2am and 10am they are "drunkmates." At that point she'll wake up, confused about where she is again, leaves, and works to forgive her own soul again. David gets up, badly hungover and checks his online dating emails. He returns a few emails to potential "soulmates," but he doesn't know their names or what even made them smile today. Later that night, David finds himself back at the same bar, sitting on the same stool, talking to the same bartender, drinking the same whiskey. David and the bartender are both "looking" for their soulmate, but so far, they've only attracted what each other has to offer.
Why is this? Consider this: we put so much effort and energy into finding our soulmate, but far too little time into understanding our own soul. If one leads a life of drunken debauchery coupled with a lack of discipline and direction, is that person really ready and willing to accept a soulmate? We should all try to cultivate a healthy soul from within. Once we've developed an amazing relationship with our own soul, then we're ready to embrace another.
Nights at bars and afternoons perusing dating sites can be fun, but if you're serious about getting serious, consider the lifestyle you're leading and how you really feel about yourself, first.
If this resonated with you please check out my book "Pray Your Kids Are Ugly" - Thoughts on Online Dating and the Future of Human Interactions.
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