In some circles, it’s not fashionable to believe in soulmates.
Who would believe there’s just one person out there for you—in this day and age?
There’s no such thing as soulmates, the cynics say. Just the right person for right now.
But people have believed in soulmates for a long, long time.
We wouldn’t have so many love stories if there wasn’t something universal about the magical “click” you experience with the right person.
Here’s how believing in soulmates can help you find and keep true love…
As well as the pitfalls to watch out for.
It’s possible to fall in love with just about anyone if you spend lots of time together, share your deepest thoughts and feelings, and get vulnerable with each other.
But a soulmate is much more than someone you’ve fallen for.
A soulmate is so much like you, it’s uncanny.
English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge coined the term soulmate in a letter written in 1822. He told a friend:
“To be happy in Married Life … two Persons must be ‘soul mates’—that is, have a pre-established Harmony between their souls.”
I think that’s a beautiful definition of soulmates:
Two people with harmonious souls.
We know that couples who are similar in values, background, and certain personality traits tend to stay together longer and feel more satisfied than couples who see themselves as quite different people.
Opposites may appeal, but they’re hard to live with over the years.
Believing in a soulmate may help you hold out for a partner who’s like you in the ways that matter most, a man whose very soul harmonizes with your own.
How might you treat a man differently if you saw him as your soulmate rather than just a boyfriend?
If you believe that fate or destiny had a hand in bringing you together, then it’s likely that you’ll commit 100% to the relationship much sooner than if you’d simply liked the guy.
Seeing him as your soulmate, rather than just your boyfriend, increases your investment in the relationship. You’re already thinking about the long term, because you believe that you’re meant to be.
This belief may help you weather the inevitable difficulties that arise in relationships.
On the other hand, if you believe that people choose each other of their own free will and there’s no particular person you’re “meant to be” with, it can take you longer to decide whether to commit.
You feel less of a sense of certainty. You hold back.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s always good to take the time to get know someone well before making a decision about your future together.
But sometimes that ambivalence about the relationship can keep it from getting off the ground.
One of the most powerful ways that believing in soulmates can help you stay together is through your “couple origin story.”
This is the story you tell about how you got together.
Couples who enjoy telling and retelling their origin story tend to be stronger than couples who don’t have a meaningful story about how they met.
That’s because those stories create a shared identity.
These are not two people who randomly got together. They believe that a force larger than themselves orchestrated their meeting and brought them together.
Believing that their love story is part of a divine or cosmic plan can give them comfort and strength when times get tough.
Watch Out For These Soulmate Traps
But believing in soulmates can trip you up, too.
You can be too quick to judge a man based on first impressions.
Your first impression might be inaccurate, because he’s nervous or trying to impress you. It takes time and patience to get to know someone.
You may find it hard to decide whether a man is or isn’t your soulmate. You may expect a level of certainty you just don’t feel.
Conflict can make you doubt your soulmate connection. You might interpret normal relationship difficulties as a sign that you’re not meant to be after all.
Lastly, you may be more passive in your relationships if you believe that it’s all down to fate.
You can mitigate these traps by seeing yourself as an active partner with destiny.
As the saying goes, “Fate brings people together, but then it is up to them.”
So keep believing in soulmates, but don’t wait for fate to do all the work.