Do you believe that there is a Mr. Right out there specially for you, and that all you have to do is find him and you will feel complete? Do soul mates really exist?
Personally I have a problem with the term “soul mate”. It could be that on many occasion I have thought I’d found mine, only to be dragged kicking and screaming through an emotional hell towards the realisation that my perceived Mr. Right was just oh-so-terribly-wrong for me!
Have I become cynical? Or it could be that I’d like to think I have the depth of personality to develop my own soul and that a relationship with a man does not complete it for me! Or is that a bit too girl-power? I guess determining whether soul mates exist means exploring what a soul mate actually is, and what finding one actually means to you.
What Is a Soul Mate?
According to Plato, the original humans had two heads, four arms and four legs. A not surprisingly intimidated Zeus cut these humans in half as an act of self-preservation, and since then human beings have been destined to spend their lives searching for their other halves, or “soul mates”. So basically what we are saying here is that there is one guy, one guy out there who you will feel naturally, spiritually drawn to, and he is your one and only soul mate. Oh and without him you will never feel “complete”.
Perhaps this romantic ideal appeals to you, but to most of us the idea of a soul mate, certainly according to this description, only says one thing – that we all only have a one in six billion chance of feeling one hundred per cent content, happy and complete! For some reason though, it is an enticing concept. Does that have more to do with the idealistic way in which love is presented to us in films, television and books?
There are people who have a less stringent understanding of the term “soul mate”; who believe that there is more than one soul mate for each and every person, and that your soul mate may take the form of a romantic partner, a close friend, or even a teacher or animal. This type of soul mate is just a being that you feel a deep connection with. It is someone you feel on the same level as both intellectually and creatively, you share the same thought-processes and it is just natural for you to feel comfortable and at peace in each others company, providing a feeling of safety and support.
Now I quite like that idea, because it suggests that there is more than one soul mate out there for each of us. Personally I think this makes much more sense, because there are those instances where people have tragically lost their soul mate, only to have found another and lived out a very fulfilled and happy life with them.
What Does Needing a Soul Mate Say about You?
Most therapists would have a hay-day if a client announced during their session that they think they have found their soul mate. Why? Because of the subtext of the term. Talking about “soul mates” suggests that you feel you need someone else in order to feel or be complete. It’s like saying that without one you will never be truly happy or feel fulfilled. It’s kind of like shifting responsibility for your happiness.
Why do you feel it is important to know if soul mates exist? Do you think it would be reassuring if they do? Like perhaps there is a reason for all of your failures in relationships? Searching for a soul mate rather than focusing on developing your own soul and analysing yourself and your choices seems to me like a way out of dealing with the difficulties and challenges that real life entails.
Relationships are about growth. They are not meant to be easy. People are different and when two people share a life there has to be compromise and flexibility – it doesn’t just magically come together. Yes it can be a struggle and a learning process, but surely searching your whole life for a “soul mate” would be just as exhausting, yet not nearly as productive as actually working on what is right in front of you.
Of course there are some people who need to hold onto some sort of believe or faith to keep them going, and give them something to hope and live for. I think that as long as you are not passing up opportunities to develop relationships with men that come your way who perhaps aren’t as smoothly compatible with you as a “soul mate” is intended to be, then there’s nothing wrong in romanticising.
Is the Term “Soul Mate” Damaging to Relationships?
I think it’s always a bit risky to live your life entirely according to an ideal, because life isn’t really ideal. In fact most of the time it’s the complete opposite, and isn’t that what makes it interesting?
The world we live in and the people in it are constantly changing. You are constantly evolving! People don’t develop in the same directions for their entire lives, because things happen to them and life intervenes, forcing them to grow. Have you ever been to a school reunion or bumped into a friend from your first ever job and been amazed at how different they are? Perhaps someone who you really clicked with before has completely different interests now, and even a completely new set of beliefs! If you believe that there is one person out there who is going to develop at the same pace and in the same direction as you throughout your entire life, well I’d say you were a bit delusional.
What if soul mates are interchangeable? Like shoes? I know it sounds a bit shallow to reduce it to something so girly, but what I mean is that you grow out of shoes! You couldn’t possibly wear the same pair of shoes your entire life.
To be honest, you wouldn’t want to, because your own fashion tastes change; the material changes too, so what was once a well-fitting pair of shoes may become loose and not fit as well, or even stay on your feet! What if you could go through a number of soul mates in your lifetime, and appreciate each one as the perfect fit for the section of your life they have blessed you with their presence?
Or even better… what if instead of searching for a man who is perfect for you, you focus instead on stretching your own personality, so that when a guy comes along that you really kinda fancy you will be flexible enough to adapt, and possibly discover something new about yourself? (youqueen.com)