I received a really good article the other day from Bliss Tree (another blog) called “The Great Soulmate Debate”. I haven’t posted any writings on relationships yet, so when this article came to me I thought why not start with one of the more controversial theories of love.
The idea of a soul mate is one that is much debated. The “Hollywood” definition seems to be that there is only one person on this earth that will match you perfectly, where love and relationships are glorified into stories of great passion, infatuation, and excitement. But is that real? According to the Encarta Dictionary, the definition of a soul mate is “somebody with whom somebody else naturally shares deep feelings and attitudes.” Not exactly the same thing. In perusing the thesaurus I found something even more interesting in that the synonyms for soul mate included such words as friend, pal, companion, partner, chum. Those aren’t exactly the most passionate words out there, but are they more realistic?
You can read the whole Bliss Tree article here, but the main point this author shares is that soul mates do not exist. In fact, the author goes as far as saying “I’m pretty sure this long-held belief makes me unromantic, but I’m also pretty sure it’s the reason I have a solid marriage.”
Does the theory of soul mates diminish our ability to have meaningful relationships?
As this article (click here) from About.com says, whether we believe in soul mates or not, in order for a relationship to be successful, both individuals need to want the relationship to be great. It takes discipline, study, communication, negotiation, and compromise. Marriage to your soul mate will not mean a life free from hard times and conflict, no matter what the movies tell us. Being in a relationship is a choice. Loving someone and wanting to spend your life with them is a choice. Putting in the effort to make the relationship work is a choice. No matter if you were destined for that person or not, each side needs to be willing to take responsibility, and refuse to quit when times get hard. Whether you call your partner your soul mate or not, this will always be true of a long-term relationship. Love is hard work.
As we evolve, our definition of a soul mate will evolve. It is not one static definition. It is what we choose to make it and believe. Whether you use the word soul mate or not, love is a choice. The first step is getting to know yourself better so that when the right person comes along you will know what you need from them and also what you can give back.
I will leave you with a couple quotes from Richard Bach, who is the author of ‘One’ and ‘A Bridge Across Forever’. Substitute ’soul mate’ for whatever phrase you’d like, but for me this captures the true essence of a wonderful relationship.
“Our soulmate is someone who shares our deepest longings, our sense of direction. When we’re two balloons, and together our direction is up, chances are we’ve found the right person.” ~ Richard Bach
“A soulmate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks. When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we are; we can be loved for who we are and not for who we’re pretending to be. Each unveils the best part of the other.” ~ Richard Bach
So, what do you think? Do soul mates really exist?