"You complete me." Ah, the Soul Mate mantra.
Do you have any idea how many people there are out there looking for their Soul Mate?
A recent survey of over 500 men and women reported that 75% of us believe that there is one person out there for each of us—the Soul Mate that we are meant to be with and who will make our hopes for love come true.
In this week’s Love Bytes blog, we are going to talk about the top 4 reasons why such a belief is flawed (if not downright destructive).
[#1] Do you know how many people there are on the face of the earth? This fall we will hit 7 billion for the first time in history. What is the probability that any one individual is going to find their Soul Mate in this mass of 7 billion people? Your chance of winning the Power Ball is greater than your probability of bumping into your Soul Mate (not to mention the likelihood that each of you will recognize the other as “the one”). [BTW: the probability of winning the Power Ball is almost the same regardless of whether you buy a ticket or you don’t.] How many people have passed up really healthy, life-giving partners with whom they sincerely get along simply because they weren’t quite sure that this person was the one? I know way too many people who have regrets for the partners they have lost because they wanted to make sure they had found their Soul Mate before making a commitment.
[#2] On the other hand, I have known way too people who were sure that they had found their Soul Mate—the one they were meant to be with—and in the process they have been blind to obviously unhealthy traits in their partner. Take, for example, Alyssa and James. They clicked with each other immediately—they enjoyed a lot of the same activities and foods, they had a clear comfort level with each other, and they had sexual chemistry. As Alyssa told me: “I knew right away that I had found the one for me—the one I was meant to be with.” As a result, Alyssa was unable to see that James was a player—it turns out that he had a lot in common and a comfort level and sexual chemistry with lots of women.
[#3] Imagine that you meet your Soul Mate and the two of you marry. What happens when your marriage goes through the seasons that marriages almost always do? As many of us know, the springtime and the summertime of married love aren’t the tough seasons to endure. But what about the wintertime—you know, that time (for example, here in Minnesota) when signs of warmth and life are hard to find? If you have married “the one” and now you find a growing chill between the two of you, what other logical choice do you have than to conclude that this must not be “the one” after all? I have worked with way too many marriages where this has been the conclusion reached by the Soul Mate proponent in a struggling marriage. Counseling doesn’t do much good when one spouse is convinced that they have married the wrong person.
[#4] It is obvious that we marry for love. Furthermore, it is obvious that for many people in this country a key component of marrying for love is to find your Soul Mate—a study from 2001 reported that 94% of young adults agreed that “when you marry, you want your spouse to be your Soul Mate, first and foremost.” Did you know that arranged marriages are doing a much better job of producing love marriages than we are? Our divorce rate continues to hover in the 50% range, and of those marriages that remain intact, fewer than 50% of them report continued levels of satisfying love. But with arranged marriages—where the criteria for partner choice is not based on love, but on the more practical concerns of the health, fitness, and wholeness of the partners—over 50% of these non-Soul Mate unions end up with the couple deeply in love with each other.
Soul Mates are made, not found.
Choose wisely, and then work to make the person you have chosen the ongoing love of your life.