The idea of soul mates and what it connotes has always been one to divide opinions.
To some, it is an indication that there is one singular person in the world for them. Either that person, or no one else. People who think this way believe that missing out of dating that person means they can never experience the real level of relationship/marital happiness and completeness they’ve been destined to have in life.
On the other hand, there are those who believe that a soul mate is someone you have a strong connection with, who gives you a sense of peace and rightness and yet challenges you to grow and be the best version of yourself. The difference being that it could be anyone. You could create this beautiful life with more than one person.
Apart from these generic definitions of the concept, what exactly does it entail? What does it really mean to have a soul mate and what do they look like? How does it feel to have met them, and what does a relationship with one feel like?
Samantha Rodman, a psychologist in Maryland says she believes in the concept of soul mates. However, having that level of completeness with a person still does not take away the need for effort in the relationship.
“I believe in soulmates to an extent. When you meet someone that you just click with on many levels and things feel easy with them and you feel very happy and fulfilled, this can be a soulmate type of feeling. I don’t think there is only one; there can be many people in the world that you would click with if you met them… but it doesn’t mean the relationship comes without effort.”
For professional matchmaker, Erika Kaplan, soul mates aren’t perfect for each other in every way, but they’re on the same page where it counts.
She says the word soulmate feels a little “contrived” and while it is a “beautiful thought”, it feels too idealistic to be useful in real life where there so many twists and turns and people and relationship dynamics change all the time.
“The fact is, the person for you will be imperfectly perfect. I believe that everybody can have lots of soul mates. And so often, for better or for worse, it comes down to timing, where two people are in their lives and being truly on the same page,” she says.
On whether strong bonds are instantly created with soul mates as some pop culture definitions often portray it , Tina Tessina, a psychotherapist says that people sometimes mistake the rush of excitement they experience when love is new with the feeling of connecting with a soulmate.
In her words, “many of us equate good chemistry with true love, and bad chemistry with lack of love, yet we have trouble knowing which is which.
“Chemistry is powerful, but if you focus too heavily on whether or not you are excited about someone, you may discount the very real possibilities of the kind of love that grows slowly, such as a friendship that eventually becomes a lover relationship.”
This opinion especially rings true with this writer, who has already written an opinion piece on the subject here.