Looking for a soulmate? Good news! ... You're already with that person!
Where do soulmates come from? Better yet, is the person you're with NOW you're soulmate?
My observation is that the best way to find your soulmate is to notice what upsets you—and him/her—and talk about where that upset comes from.
Sound simple? It's not, but it is a path to creating a soulmate relationship with the partner you're already with.
You see, 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 being with that person is uncomfortable.
Sometimes, if we had a hard time with a parent or sibling when we were young, we grow up and fall for someone like that person. That new partner serves as a surrogate to "get it right this time." We assume, as a grown adult who can make our own destiny, that we can repair the hurt that happened when we were young—and we often choose someone in our present to make that possible.
Why would we choose someone like a person who hurt us? Because we aren't aware we're doing it.
Example: Diane lost her father before she was a year old and always longed to fill the void. When she looked at a list of her relationships, she realized every man she chose was somehow unavailable.
She said, "Wow. If I could make someone unavailable love me it'd 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.
The good news is that others also try finding someone they can heal their past with.
Couples become "growth machines," in the sense that there is no one who triggers emotional hurt like our intimate partners. What they do with those hurt places is where the healing happens.
If we let a partner know we are hurt, it's easier to get the comfort we need. Rather than talking about the hurt in a blaming way by saying, "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 comfort and support where there was once hurt, it feels so good; it feels like we have a "soulmate."
If you want to have a soulmate it's easier to act in the way you want a soulmate to behave toward you. Find out about the things that hurt him or her as a young person. Find ways to empathize and comfort those hurt places.
Another example: Dan's father didn't let him have money of his own and or 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 fully understood his sensitivity toward being told what to buy, she could support him in making decisions, encouraging him to recognize his feelings, and come to careful decisions. She could grow in empathy for Dan and he could grow in making wise decisions. They would feel like soulmates.
Of course, if you want to a soulmate, it's important to be one as well. Look for subjects that are sensitive to your mate and find out what disturbed him or her in the past to create those hurt places.
You will know it's sensitive if he or she is angry or silent in response to a put-down, denial, being late, or whatever. Ask if he or she ever felt the same way as a young person. Make it a point to comfort and provide support, rather than reacting in the same way that made them uneasy in the past.
You could say, "Soulmates are made." They do not appear magically across a crowded room. Look for ways to make your mate a soulmate, 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.