Should You Believe In Soulmates?

couple holding hands

We break down both arguments.

Why is it that we click instantly with some people and not at all with others? Why is it that some people turn us on and keep us feeling good for years to a lifetime, while others make us want to run for the hills just to avoid seeing them again? And then, there is the all-time favorite, resigned and accepted "wisdom" of settling for "most" but not "all" we need and want, since conventional wisdom dictates "no one is perfect" and "no one person can satisfy all our needs."

How then do we go about finding the one we were meant to be with and is that even real?

There is a lovely and brilliant fable aiming to explain this illusive (to find and sustain if you do find it) instant and deep connection with another we all crave, and it goes like this:

All souls live in a beehive like structure, two soul mates to an assigned cozy crib, in close proximity to many others, sharing a fulfilling social and intimate life, while waiting to choose a human body to inhabit on earth. The process can take many years but, since time has no meaning there, no one cares.

Eventually, each soul gets a human and separates from mate for the first time in aeon, certain a reunion is close at hand. Considering how inefficient and screw-up prone we all are, finding each other turns out to be a herculean quest not for the faint of heart and stamina. But we soldier on. No compromise, no surrender. We keep our eyes on the prize, which will make life so very sweet and worth living.

Of course this could all be wishful thinking or simply a fear of the unknown-based fantasy. So let's look at both sides of the soul mate or not soul mate divide and explore 10 reasons for each, in no particular order:

A. Reasons for soul mate as the only option

  • You are instantly "home." It's the love at first sight cynics dismiss. (They probably also don't believe in abandon, throwing caution to the wind and rolling around on the grass in a rain storm.)
  • Chemistry is instant and palatable. He/she smells/tastes/looks and feels delicious, amazing and right. Passion comes easy and fast — as does the cuddling after–before comfy, touchy sleep, or not.
  • You both view/live in the same world. Same funny, frustrating, depressing, bizarre, amazing, rewarding, elating and satisfying reality.
  • She/he has your back no matter what and without conditions. Always a soft place to fall and the affirming validation we all crave.
  • You are number one, top of the heap, the big cheese. First place is yours by right and fate and no one, not family, parental units, lover, child, nor the second dude or chick from the left, can change that.
  • You are happy because you are with her/him. You are healthier, stronger, higher functioning and performing and better able to deal with anything life throws your way. It's you and her/him against the world, and that is a beautiful thing.
  • Your love nourishes you and is your natural state of being. An oasis from stress and frustrations.
  • She makes you feel like a man/woman. Being a couple is easy and requires little, if any, work.
  • The concept of growing old together is comforting and stimulating. Never lonely, even when alone, and just being together is as good as it gets, right up there with the nights and days of passion and abandon (occasional gas — funny — does not prevent heading down south, after the air clears).
  • This is what was meant to be. She/he gets you and wants you just the way you are.

B. Reasons for not soul mate as valid alternative

  • You're on your own, self sufficient and self-satisfying. You don't have to put up with anybody else's crap or share the island with.
  • Soul mates are for sissies. Grown up real men (and women) hook up, get needs met and make it work for as long as they want to.

    "Can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with," (Stephen Stills, 1970). You can choose serial monogamy or polyamory, whatever floats your boat.

  • Forever inhabiting the easy shallow warm waters, never venturing to the deep cool ones requiring hard work. Keep it simple and casual.
  • Coming home to find it exactly as you left it in the morning = Heaven.
  • When those "cute" idiosyncrasies become annoying, fare well and move on.
  • Always the first time, always freshly showered and sweet tasting. (The little blue pill really is for blood flow issues, not to make up for lack of desire and want.)
  • No need to assert control or manipulate. You eat what you kill or go hungry, your choice.
  • Everything is negotiable and you can always start again with a new partner (endless learning curve cycle is a bummer though).
  • You learn to build a good life on your own.  Great skill to have, making change and loss easier to bear.

Finding and living your truth, your authentic comfort zone, is the key to happiness. Most of us will end up somewhere along the continuum between soul mate or not soul mate and will attain satisfying meaningful relationships, avoiding the "life of quiet desperation" we fear will be our fate if we don't find our "soul mate." Listen to your inner voice and it will guide you to your promised land, with or without your soul mate.

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Originally written by Tsach Gilboa of The Good Men Project