The Soulmate Myth
Now that you know the danger of choosing a partner based upon body chemistry or feelings of need or familiarity, let’s examine the concept of a Soulmate.
Humans Want and Need Connection
Thousands of years ago, it was next to impossible to stay alive unless you belonged to a group. You needed someone to help you hunt, gather food, and watch your back.
Back in the “olden” days, and in many cultures today, parents arranged marriages for the children. These arrangements were not based upon love. They were based upon survival, upon what was best for the family, tribe, or even nation.
In the Western world especially, marriages are based upon love. From this sprang the concept of Soulmate.
In this lesson, you’ll explore what a Soulmate is, whether the belief in a Soulmate makes for better partnerships, and whether Soulmates are destined or made.
What Is a Soulmate?
The ancient Greeks believed that, at one time, there was no gender. Then the time came when these genderless beings divided into two separate beings, one male and one female. This resulted in each partner feeling like they were missing their other half. This other half was their Soulmate.
In one survey in the United States, 79% of people under the age of 45 believed there are Soulmates.
Within these people there are two groups:
- One group believes there is only one person in the world for them.
- The other believes Soulmates are made, not preordained.
What you believe about Soulmates, according to research, establishes patterns of behaviour in your relationships.
One-and-only believers have the subconscious fear that they’ll miss “that one” who is destined for them. They often leave relationships when challenges arise.
They have a tendency to believe that the relationship with the Soulmate is the perfect relationship, that both partners are compatible in every way. When relationship issues come up, and they will in any relationship, the thought is, “Well, this isn’t my Soulmate. I need to keep looking.”
On the other hand, those who believe Soulmates are made, not destined, see challenges as obstacles to overcome, not a sign they are with the wrong person.
They ask questions such as:
- Are we compatible?
- How can we work this out?
- Is there something I need to do differently?
The Relationship “Mindfield”
Most relationship issues begin in the mind.
Beliefs acquired from childhood show up during relationship stress. Even when you say, “I’ll never be like my parents,” you find yourself doing exactly that:
- You withdraw into yourself and don’t share how hurt you are.
- You use the same biting words you heard in your childhood family.
- You find someone else who understands you better.
- You drink or use drugs to chase away the painful feelings.
Healthy relationships require that you face the issues and work things out. Running away from challenges simply means you’ll be miserable with the next person you find. These problems have a tendency to follow you wherever you go.
This doesn’t mean you stay in an abusive relationship.
This does mean you find out why you were attracted to this person.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Was it only the chemicals in my brain that attracted me to this person?
- Does this person have qualities familiar to me from childhood?
- Do I feel “comfortable” with this person because I grew up with abuse in my own family?
Is This My Soulmate?
The answer may be “yes.”
Remember that the intense chemicals of infatuation will decrease, even disappear. When that happens, really look at who you’re with. Do you share goals and values? Do you like them?
Once the chemicals aren’t controlling your attraction, take steps to make your relationship deeper so you’ll always be connected. This takes time, commitment and humility. If relationships were easy the tabloid papers would be empty.
It’s still important to work on the relationship for it to grow and flourish.
Use these strategies to deepen your relationship:
- Communicate. Share both information and feelings.
- Appreciate. Be grateful for your partner and their efforts.
- Respect. Have respect for the ideas, space and needs of your partner.
- Prioritise. Keep your relationship your primary focus.
- Be kind and loving. Do something each day for your partner.
As your relationship deepens, you experience joy that you didn’t know was possible.
If you don’t want to work on the relationship, ask yourself why. Are you running away from the struggle required to make a relationship work? Is your partner not worth the struggle to you?
Whether or not you believe in Soulmates, all relationships take work. Challenges develop in any relationship. If you and your partner (it takes two) want the relationship to continue in a healthy manner, it’s better to address the issues sooner rather than later.
In the next lesson, you’ll learn how past relationships have an impact upon current relationships.
Here’s What You Need to Do Today
Before you go to the next lesson, take a few minutes to reflect on the following questions about your personal feelings and beliefs about Soulmates.
- Do you believe in Soulmates? Why or why not?
- Who do you know that has a healthy relationship? What makes it healthy?
- Who do you know that has the type of relationship you don’t want? Why not?