(image by Nadine Rupprecht, from Unsplash.com)
First off, what is a soulmate? Being a hardcore romantic, this is a topic that has perpetually piqued my interest, as well as inspired and fascinated me. Thus far, within my lifetime of rampant reading, coupled with personal experiences, as well as watching and listening to loved ones and acquaintances alike, I believe a soulmate is classified by a handful of aspects.
A soulmate is someone with whom you can be yourself.
Around whom you feel comfortable. Relaxed. A sense of home. A feeling of coziness and comfort alongside. Knowing this person has either already seen (or, knowing that even when they do see) both your light along with your dark, that they will love you the same and think just as highly of you.
A soulmate is someone with whom you share a poignant emotional connection.
The nature of this, not typically easy or even possible to put into words. You just feel it. There is a voice inside of you that doesn’t use words, it just knows.
A soulmate is someone with whom you feel a resonating click. Someone you are equally comfortable around in silence, though with whom you can talk to about anything.
This is not to say that you will always see eye to eye. On the contrary. Soulmates are those who hold the most authentic of mirrors up for our personal self-reflection. A soulmate is the one who challenges you in the most crucial ways. Illuminating to you where those deepest struggles, personal roadblocks, and challenges lie so that you can potentially break through and surmount such.
A soulmate is one who inspires you to great lengths.
Who stirs something inside of you towards becoming your best self. This is the person who infuses you with desire and motivation toward jumping far, and hard. They are the person who will inspire and move you deeply.
Quick side note: contrary to popular perception and assumption, soulmates do not always have to be romantic. You can have a soulmate-like platonic connection. Thus, a soul mate can be romantic, though just as often, they are not. It’s more about the nature of feeling and connection between the two people. Sex/romantic interest does not make a soul mate. The connection/understanding/closeness/sense of openness and honesty that lives between the two of you does.
Are all emotionally close relationships soul mate connections?
Absolutely not. You can have a great romantic relationship, one that makes you quite happy, and this does not necessarily mean it’s of soul mate nature. In fact, the majority of romantic relationships are not of the soul mate category. This doesn?t make them any less relevant or special. It just?is.
I believe there to be a difference between a soul mate versus a life partner. I think what a majority of people pair off with and have as their long term relationship tends towards a life partner type connection. This is different from a soul mate.
A life partner is a companion, often a friendship, a stable individual on whom you can rely, enjoy being with, love, and can build a life with. This classifies a significant majority of romantic relationships.
A soul mate, however, is something more powerful, at times is more challenging, and definitely more poignant. A soul mate is someone aligned with your soul, as well as sent to challenge, awaken, and stir different parts of you to a higher level.
Lastly, in terms of what makes a soul mate, this type of relationship is a combination of both chemistries felt between two people right off the bat, a resonating click and reaction of sorts, as well as a depth of connection that grows and deepens over time between these two people.
And why might it be, that most romantic relationships are not of the soulmate ferocity and depth?
Because a majority of people remain in or choose life partner type relationships as their primary romantic connection(s). There is nothing wrong with this. It?s perfectly pleasant. It’s easy, comfy, and usually pretty good.
However, why most do not end up with their soul mates may be the result of several factors. Some of those reasons may include the following.
Lots of people have a subconscious fear of being alone, so we stay with whom we are in a relationship because we care for them, have a history together, and it?s good most of the time.
However often times we prolong relationships that are meant to have already ended, out of reasoning such as fear?comfort?shared history?laziness?whatever it may be, all circling around to the general line of thinking that ?it?s easier to stay.?
Each one of these reasons ultimately stems from fear. Fear that holds us back when it might be time to go, moving on to something that provokes a higher level of learning, is a more resonating, better match, and will bring us far greater satisfaction over the long term. Though because searching for that requires risk, letting go, and venturing into the unknown, most people stay in relationships that may no longer be to their greatest fit or potential.
It?s important that, if wanting to find and create that soul mate like romantic connection, to ask yourself these (often uncomfortable) questions, which are:
-Is this the person I am still truly meant to share my life with and grow alongside? (Because the answer to this can change).
-Do we actually complement and challenge each other in numerous healthy, as well as special, noteworthy ways?
-Or did I settle/attach/jump in too quickly to a relationship with someone who is likely, not right for me in more than one relevant area?
-Am I making excuses for staying, out of fear, sadness or laziness? Even though my heart knows it?s no longer right and/or that the end has come?
-Might this person be someone who in fact hinders or could be stunting my growth, or taking away from my life?s full potential and big-picture joy over the long-term? As opposed to being a truly awesome, fulfilling, worthwhile addition?
This takes some real, unbiased, brave, honest analysis and inner commentary. As all of us know several people who claim their partner to be ideal for them, likely lamenting loving this person, remarking that their partner is a great match, all while as their loved one and an outsider looking in, we know and can see this to be a far cry from the reality.
(image by Crystal Shaw, from Unsplash.com)
Additionally, there are many people out there who either are not interested in or are not emotionally capable of such inner stretching and challenging of themselves which a soul mate connection entails and requires. Those who do not have the interest or capability towards such inner growth or exploration. This isn?t a criticism or put-down. It’s an observation and truth.
(Worthwhile side note: this is an excellent TED talk, 15 minutes long, more than worth your time. She gives some eye-opening, insightful, phenomenal insight into picking the right partner).
So, with that introduction out of the way, both with regards to what makes a soulmate, and why many people do not end up having relationships to a poignant soul mate potential, now onto some specifics. Such as, what are the aspects present in a soul mate relationship? How can you create this type of connection or bond with the person whom you already feel poignant chemistry with? Because of course, crackling chemistry alone does not a soulmate make.
To name a few particular approaches/mindsets that will majorly help towards creating a soulmate connection with your love:
1. Your own personal beliefs. There is a direct relationship between your beliefs and your actual experience. As well as, flexibility in your beliefs, which is equally important when it comes to keeping your relationship vivid and alive.
2. Learning to love your body. Our perfection-obsessed culture encourages the picking apart of our bodies as various parts, as well as continually identifying the ?flaws? and rejecting the ?imperfection? in those parts. By the time we are young adults, the habit of scanning our bodies for what doesn?t measure up is deeply ingrained. The truth is though, our bodies are nothing short of miraculous and incredibly beautiful. Think of the things your body is capable of, the things you can feel via your body.
Learning to love your body as a whole, instead of picking it apart and remaining ever convinced it?s never good enough, is a recipe for keeping you from the deepest possible connection and emotional experience you might have with someone otherwise. Those who are deeply insecure and preoccupied with their bodies and appearances have little emotional room left with which to focus deeply and work on a poignant emotional connection with another.
(Note: this is not to say one should throw up their hands and choose to be complacent in being unhealthy, putting in zero effort to maintain a healthy diet/weight/lifestyle. What this does mean is caring about your health, taking care of yourself, all while accepting and loving your body at the same time).
3. Seeking a higher possibility. When faced with challenging circumstances, people with a high degree of soul mate potential will strive to stay open to other ideas, options and approaches. They?ve learned that there is another possibility in any situation, even if it’s not obvious at first.
Our society loves black and white. We also love labeling things. That’s because it?s easier. Less scary. Less stressful. Less emotionally challenging. We don’t like to take things outside of the box. Fearing judgment and difficulty in doing so. People with a high potential for becoming soul mates though are willing to do exactly that. They are willing to be brave, to chuck the labeling, to toss aside the black and white thinking, to explore the edges and corners sometimes where most people fear and avoid venturing.
4. Treating your partner as a guest. Often enough, though especially in long term relationships, we slowly but surely end up taking our partners for granted. Assuming that they are ?just there.? That we ?have them? now.
We forget that in fact, this can change at any minute. In treating your partner as a guest, this can maintain a sense of gratitude and poignancy to your relationship. Meaning, treating them like the kind of guest you love to be with- someone who enhances your life rather than weighs it down.
When you have a guest like this, you feel honored they would appear in your life and hang out for a while. You know your time with them is limited, so you make the most of it, looking for every opportunity to experience and share all the joys of life with them.
5. Creating a context in your relationship. We often go into a relationship without fully knowing why. Yes, we’ve met someone we are attracted to, we love spending time together, and we are feeling great about ourselves. But then what?
When asked, many people say they want a relationship for intimacy or companionship. For others, it might be about having a family. But all too often, being in a relationship is really about attempting to find fulfillment via our partner. That, by virtue of being in a relationship, we expect they will fill many of our outstanding needs.
If you really want a soulmate type of connection, it?s essential to examine why you are in a relationship or looking for one. And, rather than focusing on what you want from a relationship, the recipe for soulmates is instead to turn your attention on what you can offer and have to give.
6. In the absence of expectation, everything can be a gift. The more beliefs you have about who your partner ?should be? and is, and about what they should do, the less you will see them for who they truly are and the more you will limit their ability to surprise you.
Very often, we come to have certain expectations about how our partners should behave and who they will be and are.
In soul mate like relationships with another though, there will be a sense of continual exploration and prompting of growth within one another. So when you pigeonhole your partner via a boatload of assumptions, you are majorly missing out on the chance for them to surprise you. In the absence of expectation, each encounter can be a sweet surprise as well as a gift.
These six mindsets and criteria for soulmate relationships listed above were inspired by and can be found in ?The Soulmate Experience? by Joe Dunn and Mali Apple. I was shocked to find this one of the best relationship books I have ever read. However, aside from the six mindsets towards building soulmate-like relationships, the rest of this article is originally and totally my own.
Additionally, there are further equally important aspects of soulmate relationships, including:
-Handling jealousy.-Learning to channel jealousy into desire.-Growing into being totally open with one another and able to express anything. Learning not to fear honesty, even when it?s difficult.-Playing leapfrog with each other (sounds fun doesn?t it? Wondering what this is? Check out the book).-And, exploring the ?edges? of your relationship together- which involves much bravery, trust, and daring.
I am not claiming the adapting and exploring of these mindsets and ideas to be easy. They aren’t. In fact, it?s likely to be one of the greatest challenges of your life. Taking on these mindsets/ideas/emotional challenges. I am continually working on and towards them within my own self. Some aspects of the soulmate-like connection, I feel skilled in. Others, I still very much struggle with, as they are difficult and scary.
However, if you want a soul mate relationship, these are the challenges and mindsets that they entail. The richness, fulfillment, and awe-inspiring experience that comes along with growing this type of poignant connection with another human being though? More than worth it. Dare I say, it is likely to be one of the greatest adventures of your life.