“A soulmate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks. When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we are.”
This seems to be the central driving force behind the search and experiences for most of us through different relationships over the course of our lives. We yearn to find our “soul mate.”
A term that has been long revered throughout history in literature, film, poetry, song, and of course, in actual human relationships themselves. But what is a soul mate exactly? And what sets them apart from other loves?
People often lump the feeling of being in love with someone as being one and the same thing as soul mates. These are not the same. Just because you are in love with and feel close to someone does not mean you are soul mates. This is one reason people fail to find their soulmates. They mistake simply being in love with having found this type of connection with another, when in fact most of the time, it isn’t.
Many people end up settling. A large number of us remain in life-partner relationships because we “settle,” for any number of reasons. First, many have a real subconscious fear of being alone, so they stick in a relationship that’s “good enough.” They may know this person isn’t the greatest fit, but they stay anyway, because they are somewhat satisfied but mostly, afraid of being alone and/or “starting over.” This is another main reason people fail to find the soul mate like relationship. Fear and/or, impatience. They aren’t willing to let go when the time has come, or be patient and continue searching.
Very often, we prolong what are meant to be temporary relationships and mistakenly settle into them for good. There are relationships which are meant to last for a certain period of time to close out a particular chapter or period of growth in our life, relationships in which we’re meant to have children with our partner but not necessarily remain with them, and relationships which are just plain confusing because a vortex of emotions clouds us from seeing our predestined path.
So what actually is a soul mate?
1. You just know
When you have a soul mate relationship with someone, it’s difficult to put the feelings into words, but you just feel it in your heart and deep in your bones. You know there is something different in your connection with this one. And this is not to be confused with simply feeling infatuated and in love, which is a stage and will ultimately simmer down.
In soul mate relationships, the feelings and connection between the two of you remains profound, resonating, and poignant.
2. You “get” each other
With a soul mate, you understand one another’s natures and character. You get, in a deep sense, what makes one another tick, what moves each other; you can generally read the emotions and thoughts on their face. You sometimes even finish one another’s sentences. There is a sense of being pointedly tuned in to each other.
3. Its intense
Soul mate relationships are emotionally jarring, both in positive ways and in negative. When you are this close to another person emotionally, passions are easily stirred. However, soul mate relationships are intense in the best ways as well, meaning, an incredibly close friendship will exist between the two of you, being able to read one another easily, etc.
4. You have a mental connection of sorts, even when apart
You might both move to pick up the phone and call one another at the exact same moment. It turns out that many times, you were thinking about each other simultaneously. If separated by this person for a long time, even still, there will be numerous moments of synchronicity between the two of you, some of which you will be aware of and many of which, you won’t.
5. You cannot imagine your life without him or her
With a soul mate, you feel so deeply understood, so comfortable, so close to this person that you cannot (and do not want to) imagine your life without them in it.
6. You look each other in the eye
Soul mates tend to hold eye contact more often than others. They hold one another’s gazes more frequently, both during conversation and other moments spent together.
7. You consider them one of the people to whom you are emotionally closest
You can tell your soul mate anything, reveal your whole self to them, and feel free to be completely you when in their company.
8. Your soul mate makes you feel entirely whole, healed and intact, like no piece is missing from the puzzle
On the other hand, a life partner can be a great supporter and long-time companion, but is limited in his or her capacity to enrich your spirit. That is a key difference between a soul mate and a usual romantic relationship.
9. A soul mate, while accepting and loving you totally, is also a mirror
They show you where your greatest weaknesses and challenges lie. A soul mate inspires a significant and meaningful amount of growth within you.
They reveal to you your own demons and help show you the way to battling said demons.
This doesn’t mean that any romantic partner who is open with you about your faults is your soul mate. Many relationships have this aspect to them, as healthy relationships should. What this means is that a soul mate in particular opens up a desire within you to grow in ways that you never felt before. Somehow both silently and aloud, they light the way.
You might also be wondering, does a soul mate always have to be romantic? No, definitely not.
Friends can be soul mates too, as well as familial relationships. However, again, it’s important to remember that just because you are close to someone and love that person does not a soul mate make. This is a different, rarer, poignant type of connection between two people. It’s one that is set apart from usual close relationships, which are equally as special but aren’t of this resonating, truly deep type of connection.
Many people long to stamp the label of soul mate on their relationship because it’s romantic and because somehow, it makes them feel better about their relationship choice(s). This somehow affirms that the relationship they have chosen is both good, worthy of being admired by outsiders, and ultimately, the right one. “Soul mates” is the elusive, gold trophy that everyone longs to acquire.
A soul mate is a distinct, rare, special type of connection with another person though. Many people never find this (in large part, because they settle too quickly in relationships- both romantic and not, that aren’t as ideal and well fitting as they could be if they were willing to be braver, more patient, pickier and search more carefully), and those who do find soul mates? Keep in mind that the number of soul mates you will have within your life time is likely to be counted on less than one hand. Even just having had one is rare, lucky, and noteworthy. So, the way to find your soul mate? Do not settle so quickly. Be patient, and be choosy. Be willing to wait.
That is why soul mates are so romanticized, revered and idealized. They are elusive because they are so scarce and thus, special.