What is a soul mate exactly and is it true that we all have one that we are destined to meet?
When most of us picture a soul mate couple, we tend to think of Romeo and Juliet, Tristan and Isolde, or Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy, and the intense, impassioned, and whirlwind romance that defined their relationships (and left us with painful throbbing hearts).
But while these exhilarating and often tragic love stories gave us a glimmer of hope that our own love stories could be just as enchanting, in reality, we struggle with romances that are lackluster at best and completely incompatible at worst.
While some of us have gone through as many relationships as tissues in a box, others of us have had sparse but long-term relationships that wound up ending, and finally, some of us have never had a relationship. So, what’s the deal with this whole soul mate thing? And why do so few of us end up with the “ideal” partner or soul connection?
What is a Soul Mate (REALLY)?
There are so many misconceptions about soul mates out there due to wishful thinking and idealism. For example, let’s play a game. Here it is: in the next few seconds, I want you to pause and try to define what a “soul mate” is … one, two, three … pause … reflect.
What is a soul mate to you?
To most people (and most likely to you, too), soul mates are generally thought of as people who stick by your side forever – we’re talking about your entire lifespan. They’re also idealized as people who complete you and make your life infinitely better than it once was. While this may be true in some respects, in others it isn’t.
So, what is a soul mate? In my experience, this is what really defines a soul mate:
- Soul mates are your best friends. They’re also your romantic and sexual partners. (You can also have very deep connections with friends, family members, and animals – I refer to these as soul friends – but other people also refer to them as soul mates).
- Soul mates are your mirrors. They reflect back to you your own flaws, insecurities, dreams, and strengths to help you grow to the fullest. You can rely on them to be honest with you, completely honest, even to the point of not sparing your feelings because they care about you that much.
- Soul mates are your spiritual catalysts. They don’t complete you, but they do help you to become the best version of yourself possible. Why don’t they complete you? Because you are already complete at your core, and throughout the course of your life you are in the process of rediscovering that.
- Soul mates are your confidants and teachers. Sometimes the lessons they teach are intentional, but often the lessons they teach are unintentional and are a by-product of your spiritual relationship with them. Because they understand you so deeply, soul mates also make powerful confidants, helping you through tough times and inspiring you to do and be your very best.
- Soul mates feel very “familiar.” This is possibly because you have spent many past lives with them. Something between the two of you just clicks, as though you have been friends and lovers forever.
- Soul mates often know you better than you know yourself. Therefore, they can empathize with you at a core level.
- Soul mates vibrate at the same frequency as you. This is just a fancy way of saying that soul mates share not only your likes, tastes, and goals but also your deeper life values, beliefs, and dreams. You both “get” each other on a DNA level.
- Soul mates love you unconditionally. You also love them unconditionally. Although it may not be possible for soul mates always to stay together, it is impossible for soul mates to harbor feelings of hatred for each other for long periods of time. Despite what they do, you still love them, and they still love you.
- Soul mates aren’t perfect. They have their annoying flaws, gross habits, and strange quirks, but they are still amazing people deep down.
- Soul mates aren’t always immediately recognizable. Love at first sight isn’t a myth, but it also isn’t the only way you can discover who your soul mate is. Often, soul mates appear in various “disguises” in our lives.
- Soul mates don’t always stay with you for a lifetime. This is an extremely harmful myth that I’d love to squash once and for all! Soul mates don’t always stay until the end, but this is not a bad thing. We like to think that our lovers will be there forever because it is a comforting and sentimental thought. But sometimes, life has different plans for us. Unfortunately, the destruction of this ideal has wrought untold amounts of misery in people’s lives, which I have witnessed firsthand. Sometimes, soul mates are there for only a season, and sometimes they are there for a lifetime. But whatever the case, enjoy the ride.
- There is the possibility of finding multiple soul mates – although most people only tend to find one person with whom they are deeply compatible. I personally have never had more than one soul mate, so I can’t speak from experience. But I have known other people who have claimed to have had multiple profound relationships.
Do We ALL Have Soul Mates?
This is a difficult question to answer because it depends on your level of soulful maturity. Can a reactive, materialistic, and self-hating person stuck in old patterns of dogmatic belief and fear-driven world perceptions find a soul mate? It isn’t likely. Why? Because in order to authentically give love, you must first have some amount of self-love. And in order to welcome the unsettling changes and ego-dissolution that soul mates bring, you need to be in an open-minded, receptive, and trusting place.
I believe that everyone has at least one soul friend in life, and we all have many soul teachers (discover what soul friends and teachers are here), but soul mates …? Attracting a person into your life who is genuinely compatible with you requires inner work. How can you discover who your soul mate is without first knowing who you really are and what you really want out of life deep down? You’ll always be scrambling around in the dark.
This is the precise reason why so many people struggle to find “The One” in their lives: because of their abject lack of self-knowledge, understanding, and love. So many of us carry this belief that someone or something else outside of ourselves will “complete us” when all along the answers lie within us. Soul mates just help us to realize this by opening our hearts through the power of love.
So my answer is this: we all have the opportunity to find soul mates, but we don’t always have the capacity. How can I understand what a soul mate is if I don’t yet have any understanding of the soul? How can I experience the unconditional love of a soul mate union when I continue to hate myself and other people?
Of course, I’m not saying that you have to be perfect or enlightened to find your soul mate, but you do need to be actively undergoing the process of spiritual evolution. Our mindsets and our values determine our reality. If I have the mindset of being poor and destitute, my emotional life will reflect that. If I value fame, status, and money, my reality will reflect that whether it be through my big million-dollar mansion or my impoverished relationships – or both.
You may or may not have the capacity to find a soul mate at the moment, I don’t know. But if you’re pretty confident that you do have the capacity – keep holding on to that confidence. Sometimes, life makes us wait for reasons beyond our comprehension, but the reasons are always wise and for our own good. On the other hand, if you don’t feel as though you have the capacity to find a soul mate at the moment, don’t fret. As I said above, you can soulfully mature through the process of cultivating self-love, understanding, and acceptance. This will open the door to many exciting possibilities in your life.
Finally, don’t overlook the possibility that you may have already found your soul mate! I have known quite a few people who for many years were completely oblivious to the fact that they had already found “The One.” Unfortunately, they were continuing to chase useless, unrealistic ideals that blinded them to the beauty of what they had. So remember to investigate whether your soul mate is already in your life right now, right underneath your nose!
Why don’t you share with me below your own experience of finding – or not finding – your soul mate? Do you have any tips or recommendations of your own?
If you would like to continue reading about soul mates, feel free to explore below: