Why I Don’t Believe in Soulmates

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Lots of people in my world are getting married at the minute, and amidst the excitable chatter about dresses, cake, flowers and reception venues I have heard the world ‘soulmate’ thrown around a number of times.

Admittedly, I am hardly Little Miss Romantic, despite immersing myself in many a romantic comedy over the years. Most of these films seem to follow the same conventions – the characters meet, they fall in love, we see a montage that demonstrates some happy times together, something or someone interferes, they break up and eventually the film will end with a huge gesture and a proclamation of feelings and the couple will kiss while an orchestra plays intense, passionate music in the background.

However, what happens when Vivienne rescues Edward ‘right back?’ Did Harry continue to love the little wrinkle in the middle of Sally’s forehead? Did Hal love Rosemary regardless of her size or did he revert back to his shallow ways?

What we actually see in these films is not love, it’s a demonstration of mutual attraction and the fun, exciting initial stages of the honeymoon period in a relationship. It’s pure lust. These characters don’t appear to deal with every day situations – the stresses of work, being tired and grumpy at each other, having a nasty cold, having the car break down on the way to work, the death of a family member, friend or pet. Why? Because real life is far more boring.

The Bloke and I have been together for about four and a half years. (We’ve actually lived together for six, but that is a much longer story that I will save for later). He’s my bloke, my partner in crime, my other half. He’s the person I am pleased to wake up to every morning.

But he isn’t my soulmate.

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Why? Because I don’t believe that soulmates exist, or at least not in the context that it is used in the present day. The concept is nice, but unrealistic. In a world where seven billion people exist I refuse to believe that there is just one person for each of us, and I’m positive that if we had never met and were living in different places we would be equally happy with somebody else.

It may sound harsh, but my problem with the idea of a soulmate is that there is a sense of perfection behind the term. While I am by no means an expert in relationships, and I am certainly not claiming to be, I know enough to realise that perfection, in all forms, simply doesn’t exist. As human beings, we are all intrinsically flawed, and unless we are willing to accept both our own flaws and the flaws of our partners we will be forever left feeling disappointed.

Soulmates are not born and meant for each other, they are created through an ongoing process of trust, honesty and respect with people who deserve to be in a relationship with each other. When things have been going really well, The Bloke has been there with me to celebrate, and I’ve done the same with him. When I’ve been hurt or upset, The Bloke listened, comforted me and told me it would all be ok, and I’ve done the same for him. When I was ill and in hospital, he was there every night and sat with me for hours. When we had to move house shortly after, he pretty much did the whole thing by himself as I hadn’t fully recovered. We talk, we laugh, we go out together. He makes my lunch, runs me baths, picks me up from work and rubs my feet. He’s not just my bloke, he’s my friend, my confidante, my rock. I love him, and he loves me. He makes me happy. However, he’s not perfect, and neither am I.

While it’s certainly a far less romantic thought, I think its far more important to stop idealising the concept of ‘The One,’ and start working on the creation of forever in our relationships. It might just save a lot of time and heartache in the long term…

What do you think? Have you found your soulmate? Do you believe in them? Are you still waiting to meet yours?

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog

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42 Responses to Why I Don’t Believe in Soulmates

  1. Aidan Reid says:

    Nice post Suzie. I don’t believe in soul mates either. Most of my friends who are married managed to find their ‘soul mate’ in the same small town where they’ve lived all their lives. Or the school that they went to. Out of 7 billion people, that’s quite the coincidence.

    I think it’s just a silly expression bandied about by hopeless romantics who are looking for Mr(s) Perfect. Somewhere out there. Reality check needed I reckon.

  2. ScorpionGlow says:

    Interesting perspective.

  3. The first thought I have about “soul mates” is, in the words of Jake Barnes in “The Sun Also Rises,” “Isn’t it pretty to think so.” It would be lovely, but do we have to keep searching until we find him or her? Does that soul mate suddenly appear because it “was meant to be?” I really don’t know, but what I do know is that I agree with you that one has to work at a relationship on a daily basis for it to be successful. I have a dear friend, recently widowed after a very happy marriage, who said to me,” I have no purpose now. Every day I would wake up thinking how I could make him happy.” It will be interesting to see how others feel about soul mates.

  4. Jennifer says:

    I will say the lust part is pretty good ……….. snort.

  5. Steve says:

    He’s your lobster lol

  6. Yeah, not sure about soulmate, but when it comes to a long-term life-partner, I haven’t found him yet. I have had false starts but nothing “real” yet.

  7. oneofhere says:

    “Soulmates are not born and meant for each other, they are created through an ongoing process of trust, honesty and respect with people who deserve to be in a relationship with each other.” This is the sentence of your report that says it all. When I met my Lovely One first and we came together, of course “sky was full of violins.” That she may become my “soulmate” I would not really have expected – too many false starts or just romances – quite balanced out I have been left or I left. Some disfavourite circumstances brought it about that we had to rely on each other and soon we have seen that we really could. We gave us the time and patience to really get to know each other, also on the rainy days. Now, after six years, we have moved together this January and mutually, our lives are enriched by the other ones presence.

    And yet I do not say that she is my soulmate.

    Maybe this could also lie in the fact that our German language does not have this or a comparable equivalent word, not even as an English loan word (and there are many, way too many in modern German – but that’s a different story.). Interestingly, an earlier school mate of mine who has been living in L.A. for more than twenty years writes the same in her profile about herself, that she is married to her soulmate. An American friend of us says the same of her late husband.

    Is it possible that this idea of a “mate of the same soul” is very popular in the Anglo-American cultures only? It would be interesting what other Bloggers here from different countries in the world could contribute.

  8. viewpacific says:

    Ha! Great post – heart-felt, funny, and makes us think.
    I believe there are millions of people in this world that we could get along with and love very well.
    The idea of one perfect soulmate is straight out of Hollywood. It sells movies and books and is a giant disservice to the world.
    Focusing on perfection in other people – or in myself! (As if!) is unkind, unrealistic, and misses the point. It keeps us disappointed and unhappy.
    Being with someone that’s human is much more fulfilling than being with some image which doesn’t exist.
    Plus, it’s an abundant world which has so many loving (and imperfect) humans in it.

  9. georgetteann says:

    Twenty years ago I would’ve thought a person whi didn’t believe in soulmates just hadn’t found the right person. Now, however, I can completely relate to your reasoning. I would say there are certain soulmates for the different seasons of our lives. We change and grow, and so do our needs and desires. Sometimes there are new soulmates for the new people we become, I think.

  10. sheenmeem says:

    There is no such thing as soul mate. It doesn’t exist. Romantic movies and books doesn’t show reality. At age 45, most men (except for a few) turn a new leaf. They get attracted to younger, lovelier versions of women. They find faults with their wives of 10-20 years who by this time have lost their figures through child bearings. With little encouragement they are prepared to leave their wives and kids for new pastures.

  11. Green Embers says:

    Yup, you said it perfectly. I read a book called the 7 Languages of Love, which covered this. The initial attraction, the ooey gooey feeling, lasts for about 2 years and then wears off. In that 2 years if couples don’t learn how to communicate as you mentioned then they have hard times ahead. I’ve said this before, but in my opinion, love is skill, the more you practice it the better you get at it.

  12. lrconsiderer says:

    I see your points, and I think they’re well made. I think the traditional concept of ‘soulmate’ as The One, The Love of Your Life, The Only, is probably a marketable commodity proliferated by Disney (first and foremost) and then the rest of the commercial world.

    However.

    I believe that Husby and I, in spite of our many imperfections, the ways we argue, the ways we have little rituals that are *just us*, the way we think so differently sometimes, and so similarly at others, the way we support each other and the way we tear each other down…are still perfect FOR one another. So there’s that. Because we challenge and grow each other, and neither of us would be the person we are today, without the other one there. That said, it needn’t have been the case that he was the only person in the world with whom this could have happened.

    BUT

    I do have a soulmate. She’s my best friend – my Person. My constant, my other half of my brain which is so similar to mine (and so different also) that it’s scary. We often say the same thing at the same time. We are absolutely comfortable in each other’s company, and there’s always a touch of ‘On Purpose’ to the way we absolutely belong to each other, in this capacity. We’ve known each other for almost half our lives, and have absolutely been THERE for one another, though we don’t see each other so often now, and we’ve never lived, or even holidayed together. We belong. And for her there could be no replacement.

  13. sourgirlohio says:

    I agree with you entirely. But it seems to be an idea we all enjoy believing:) nice post.

  14. jaklumen says:

    Suzie:

    I believe in soulmates– but not the starry-eyed way society presents it. Here is how I explain my experience:

    One night, I had a dream. I woke up, and went to find someone I could explain this dream to. I could not find anyone for a while that could understand this strange dream, until I met someone who told me she had experienced this dream, too. She began to tell me her dream, and slowly we realized we were sharing two halves of the same dream, but we had each experienced the half that the other had forgot. To our great astonishment, we realized the dream had been real, somehow, and we had lived it together before.

    This does not mean that Cimmorene and I have not fought bitterly– my father has said we’d surely be divorced if we didn’t have what we have. I also understand that not everyone has what we do. We don’t judge anyone for it; we would give what we have freely, if that were possible.

    I know this is a cryptic, long, and esoteric response, but, this is my truth.

  15. mykulmitch says:

    I really enjoy this post. I found your blog on the community pool and I will be clicking that follow button right after this comment.
    I agree though, I don’t believe I have a soul mate out there. I think there are more there is more than one person that is beautiful enough inside and out for me to be compatible with.
    Thanks for sharing,

    -Mykul

  16. Diana says:

    I think we have many soul-mates, not just one. I agree that the idea of just one person in so many is a bit insane…But I’m not sure that negates the idea of soul-mates. :)

  17. This article spread thickly = many fewer divorces.

  18. I agree. I’m a cynic, but incurable romantic, but I wouldn’t burden any one person with the responsibility for fulfilment and happiness. That’d be too big a job even for the best of them. The badge ‘best friend’ has me scratching my head. My best friend would be highly insulted if I were to strip her of her title. And she won’t marry me since we’re both married to different men ourselves.

  19. I totally agree! I think that relationships are built on commitment, and that only living based off of feelings and romantic notions will just leave you disappointed… I like your style!

  20. thecountingthought says:

    I completely agree with your stance, Suzie. I love my man, but he’s not my “soulmate;” he’s my MAN. He’s my best friend. To me, love isn’t this perfect rose-garden where you can take afternoon strolls and the sun is never too bright. It’s storm clouds and glass lakes and rainbows, but also lots of allowing your partner to sew up the cuts they’ve made in your heart, because that WILL happen, and you can’t be surprised when it does. There is no perfection in life. Just connections. No soulmates, just an understanding that we are each other’s. Not in a belonging sense, but in a I-have-your-back sense.

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  22. Lesley Buse says:

    I always feel like everyone else found there’s and because my relationship is so imperfect, I didn’t find mine. This was a great perspective.

  23. bublick123 says:

    In totally agree with you.

    I have believed that “Soulmates” and “made-for- each-others” partners are a cop out in a relationship, as they allow the couple to avaoid the fact that any relationship mis hard work, and needes contsant attention. I am 20 yrs down the line as regards marriage, and so far o rows to speak of, but there have been the inevitable difficulties over the years. You accept them thopugfh, and with yoyur best friend/ partner by your side, you work them through together until the difficulty has been resolved. Believing in soulmates, holding hands, roses, and all the rest of that moonshine, is a a very enjoyable luxury, if you have the time and resources to enjoy doing so, but they don’t put food on the table, they don’t cement a relationship, and they certainly don’t pay the bills

    Myself and my wife have been lucky. We got together by luck and good fortune, and via the impatient and slightly irritable shove a mutual friend, but it cerainly wasn’t heaven sent, and i know that many people are noy tucky enough to find such joy

  24. Hi Suzie, I half agree with you. I think you’re a refreshing dose of reality in amongst such bullshit that’s fed to us by Hollywood. A soulmate in a hollywood sense does not exist, it’s an ecstatic construct that expresses a moment in time not a life time. However I do believe that a soulmate does exist, it’s a person who you live with peacefully and happily for your whole life, who still challenges and riles you, who grows with you, who forces you to grow, who understands you and who is like a warm, worn-out blanket. Although – it’s not possible until the very last, until the end to know if this person is the ‘soulmate’ only after a lifetime will we ever know. It’s in the long long innings that we realise it!! That’s my 2p anyway :)

  25. Twindaddy says:

    Well said and I agree wholeheartedly.

  26. Louise says:

    Agreed! I’ve always thought this way – and that it puts far too much pressure on relationships to be perfect when we’re all just human.

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  28. martha0stout says:

    I believe that a soulmate is someone that you choose to love and they choose to love you. There is a choice in if they will be the mate of your soul.

  29. lorimedington says:

    I don’t believe in a soul mate the way Hollywood portrays them. I believe I have found my better half. I do mean better too. He treats me the way I should have known I should be treated. I put up with being blamed for things I had no control over, yelled at for not making enough money and dealing with a general alcoholic for 10 years before I found this man who understands me. I believe that a higher power of some sort allowed us to find each other, and he is the love of my life. I believe that I will not find another person who is made for me like he is.

  30. mspsych18 says:

    Awesome post :) and I feel like the search for a “soulmate” could lead you to find a person perfect for you. However, if someone searches too long for their “soulmate” they might miss someone they would have been perfectly happy with. It’s like the idea of a soulmate is a sort of double edged sword. I know it can’t be possible but when I find that person I want to be with for the rest of my life, they’ll be my “soulmate”, even if it is silly optimism. And soulmates do make great cheesy movies and novels :)

  31. Kaela Moore says:

    I don’t think I could possibly agree with you more. I think the idea of a “soulmate” causes us to sabotage our relationships when they begin showing signs of difficulty. We automatically think, “This is hard. This person must not be the one for me.” when the reality is that we need to work through our differences and learn to REALLY love one another, warts and all.

    Love isn’t an event or a feeling. It’s a muscle that we exercise as we learn how to best serve and show love to our partners. We forgive, we encourage, we sympathize, and as we do, we become closer as partners. Thanks for sharing this great post, lovely!

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