Where do soul mates come from?
What is a soul mate?
I'm not sure what the term means to you, but I will tell you what it means to me. I have seen some in my thirty years as a Marriage and Family Therapist. My observation is this: the best way to find your soul mate is to notice what upsets you—and him/her—and talk about where that upset came from. Sound simple? It's not, but it is a path to a soul mate.
Memories stored in our unconscious play a big part in falling in love. We look for and respond to something that is familiar—even if it was uncomfortable. Sometimes, if we had a hard time with a parent (or sibling) we fall for someone like that person who will serve as a surrogate to "get it right this time." We assume as a grown up adult who can make our own destiny we can repair that hurt that happened when we were young—and we often choose someone to make it possible.
Why would we choose someone like a person in our past who hurt us? Because we aren't aware we are doing it! Example: Diane lost her father before she was a year old and always longed to fill that void. When she looked at a list of her relationships she realized every man she had chosen was somehow unavailable. She said, "Wow! If I could make someone unavailable love me it would be like having my Dad back!" This is a dramatic example, but as a therapist I see people who make the same kinds of choices. Diane picked a very difficult scenario.
Good News: Others find someone they actually can heal the past with.
Couples can be "growth machines" in the sense that there is no one who can trigger the emotional hurts in one another like intimate partners. What they do with those hurt places is where the healing can happen. If we can let a partner know we are hurt it is easier to get the comfort we need. Rather than talking about the hurt in a blaming way—"You hurt my feelings!"—we can say something like, "I never felt pretty as a young girl and when you said I looked fat in that outfit it felt like that old hurt." If we receive the comfort and support where there was hurt before it feels so good! It feels like we have a "soul mate."
If you want to have a soul mate it is easier if you behave in the way you want a soul mate to behave toward you. Find out about the things he or she felt hurt about as a young person. Find ways to empathize and comfort those hurt places.
An example: Dan's father did not let him have money of his own and did not allow him to make decisions even about what clothes to buy. His wife gave him advice about how to spend money and they argued about financial matters. If she can fully understand how he became sensitive to being told what to buy she could support him in making decisions, encouraging him to make his feelings known and come to careful decisions. She could grow in empathy for Dan and he could grow in making wise decisions. They would feel like soul mates.
Of course, if you want to have a soul mate it is important to be one as well. Look for subjects that are sensitive to your mate and find out what disturbed him/her in the past to create those hurt places. You will know it is sensitive if s/he is angry or silent in response to a put-down, or denial, or being late, or whatever. Ask if s/he ever felt the same way as a young person. Make it a point to comfort and provide support rather than react in the same way that made her or him uneasy in the past.
You could say, "Soul mates are made." They do not appear magically across a crowded room. Look for ways to make your mate a soul mate, and become one yourself.
To learn more about your relationship, check out "Fishing by Moonlight, the Art of Enhancing Intimate Relationship."
If you are interested in teaching a course inspired by the book, see www.betterrelationshipcourse.com.
2004 - March 2009
Summer/Fall 2009 - ?
The two met in 2004 and were engaged two years later in November, 2006 before quietly ending their engagement in March 2009 to focus on their careers. While they may not be officially engaged again, there are certainly sparks shooting off of Megan Fox and Brian Austin Green.
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