The Cold, Hard, Surprising Truth About Soulmates

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finding a soulmate

What is a soulmate? We've been told to believe that a soulmate is someone who meets our every wish and need when it comes to love. This definition reinforces our idealistic and naïve views:

"[Soulmate:] A person with whom you have an immediate connection the moment you meet — a connection so strong that you are drawn to them in a way you have never experienced before. As this connection develops over time, you experience a love so deep, strong and complex, that you begin to doubt that you have ever truly loved anyone prior.

Your soulmate understands and connects with you in every way and on every level, which brings a sense of peace, calmness and happiness when you are around them. And when you are not around them, you are all that much more aware of the harshness of life, and how bonding with another person in this way is the most significant and satisfying thing you will experience in your lifetime. You are also all that much aware of the beauty in life, because you have been given a great gift and will always be thankful."

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But the truth is, if you buy into this glossy, shiny definition of "soulmate," you'll miss out on experiencing the true meaning of finding a soulmate and being one to someone else.

You'll meet many soulmates in your lifetime. As you evolve, each partner meets you where you're at in life. A soulmate is someone with whom you can be yourself, but is not necessarily a perfect fit.

A true soulmate is like a mirror, reflecting back to you the aspects within yourself that are holding you back from being your true self. A soulmate influences you to change yourself in order to be your best so that you can live the life you're meant to live.

When I was single, I considered myself a good catch and said I wanted to get married. But the truth is, I thought being married was like being trapped and controlled. I kept meeting good men who were non-committal, until one day when I met my current husband.

He was the impetus for me to ask myself, "Which am I more committed to: getting married or my fears about marriage?" After much reflection, I realized that I had been more committed to my fears as evidenced by the non-committal men I attracted. It was then that I began to learn and believe that marriage is a place of freedom and support. 

The universe brings you the right person based on where you're at, depending on your level of consciousness and where you need to grow the most. If you're still working through many internal issues, the best person can come along and you won't be able to have your ideal relationship with him.

If you're waiting for someone who meets your every wish and need, prepare yourself to be single for a very long time. If you're open to the kind of soulmate I've described, understand that he may come in a different package.

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While you may feel happy and peaceful around him, you may also feel challenged to stretch yourself by growing in areas that don't come naturally to you.

For instance, if you have a difficult time expressing yourself openly, your soulmate isn't necessarily going to spoon feed you with open communication. Instead, he will be willing to help you communicate more openly because he truly cares about you.

If you can answer "yes" to the following questions, he may be disguised as your soulmate:

  1. Are you both able to be true to yourselves in the relationship?
  2. Do you both accept and embrace each other's quirkiness instead of looking for perfection?
  3. Do you both resolve issues in a collaborative way?
  4. Are you solution focused rather than blame focused?
  5. Are you growing in a positive direction?
  6. Do you and your partner accept and love each other as is while wanting the best for each other?
  7. Are you happy just sitting, doing nothing and enjoying each other's company?
  8. Is there a mutual connection of mind, body and soul?

If you haven't met "the one" or aren't giving someone a chance because you're holding onto the notion of one soulmate in a lifetime, be open-minded about soulmates coming in different packages based on where you're at in life.

RELATED: The 5-Step Plan For Finding Your Soulmate (That Actually Really Works)

If you're frustrated and tired about not being successful in love, get your free Monthly Guide to Love from courtship and relationship mentor Janet Ong Zimmerman. You'll receive insightful articles, inspirational resources and best practices that support your journey to love.