Do you believe in soulmates? You’re not alone if you answered “yes” to that question. According to the Marist poll, even 73% of Americans believe in soulmates. That’s a lot of people who believe in true love, yet the divorce rates are fairly high in developed countries around the world.
Doesn’t make much sense now, does it?
You’d think that people who believe in soulmates would be more into having long-lasting, successful marriages. However, in reality, the divorce numbers and the number of people who believe in the concept of soulmates and love at first sight, have a lot in common.
History of Soulmates
The concept of a soulmate has been around the block for a very long time. People have believed in soulmates for thousands of years now.
The very first mention of soulmates was in Ancient Greece. The Greek philosopher Plato wrote that humans were once mighty and powerful, and each had four arms, four legs, and a head with two faces.
Greek Gods were intimidated by the might of humans, and they didn’t want them to overrule them. So, Zeus split the humans in two, cursing them to be miserable and in search of their “other half” for the rest of eternity.
Then came the Romanticism era, which focused on the importance of feelings and emotions rather than cognitive thinking. Poets, sculptors, painters, and writers all worked tirelessly to create thousands of works that all painted romantic love and soulmates in the most beautiful shades of pink.
One of the most famous pieces of literature, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, is a prime example of romanticizing the concept of soulmates to the point where it’s worth dying for them if you can’t have them. Even if you only met them yesterday…
Fast forward to the current time, and we have Hollywood and pop culture that has been influencing current generations and their view of love more than it might seem at first sight. Every rom-com and romance novel is based on two people struggling until they finally meet and match as if it was meant to be.
Why Do We Have the Need To Believe in Soulmates?
Believing that there is someone out there that’s made to fit you perfectly is very comforting. It’s something to look forward to in life, something to hope for even if things don’t go the way you want them to sometimes.
It also makes us feel less alone because even if our last relationship didn’t work out, there is still our soulmate out there waiting for us to find them.
It’s natural for us to hope that we’re not alone in life. Humans are social creatures, after all. And the fear of separation or being alone and rejected by someone or a group of people is one of the five major fears humans have. It threatens our livelihood because a long time ago, we wouldn’t be able to survive without a group or a partner.
But, while it’s understandable that we have the desire to believe in soulmates and why so many people believe in the concept, there are quite a few downsides to it.
The Dark Side of Soulmate Myth
So, while the concept of soulmates is not new, and it’s prominent among different cultures around the world, it doesn’t mean it’s a good thing to believe in if you want a healthy and happy relationship that lasts a long time.
People who believe in soulmates tend to leave the relationship when the first obstacle arises. In their book The Passion Paradox, authors Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness explain, “researchers have found that those who subscribe to a destiny belief system of love are more likely to end relationships when the first hint of conflict occurs; in essence, they decide This person must not be the one and move on in search of someone who is the one.”
When this happens, people might find themselves in the never-ending cycle of changing relationships because conflicts are an inevitable part of every relationship. Learning to solve them is the key, rather than trying to find a relationship that doesn’t involve arguments.
Believing in soulmates also raises people’s expectations in relationships to unrealistic standards. People might start expecting things like their partner reading their mind and knowing why they’re upset without them telling their partner. While the idea of mind-reading is lovely, it’s impossible for your partner to know what’s wrong unless you let them know.
Basically, believing in soulmates can make your life and your relationship much harder than they have to be. And the belief also hinders the development of crucial skills like communication and conflict resolution.
Make Your Current Partner Your Soulmate
Not everything is bad news, though. While it’s better to refrain from believing in soulmates and destiny love, you can definitely work with your partner to make them your soulmate.
How does that work? Well, there are simple things you can do together with your partner to strengthen your bond and improve the longevity and quality of your relationship.
If you’re angry, tell your partner. If you’re sad, also let your partner know. Explain to them why you feel the way you do, and if you can, ask them what would make you feel better. No mind-reading magic expectations here!
The same goes for your wants and desires in the bedroom. Be honest with your partner and communicate everything that comes up. This is how you learn about each other and find the best ways to make each other feel great.
Embrace the Change
The truth is humans don’t stay the same throughout life. Due to different events and experiences we go through, we change, and so do our preferences and likes. And that’s alright.
Accept the fact that you and your partners are ever-changing beings who might not be the same in five or ten years. Your likes and sexual desires might look different now and then. The key here is to know that it’s normal and that you both can find a way to work through it if you want to.
Rethink the Meaning of Compatibility
People most often misunderstand what being compatible with your partner means. Most expect to hit it off right off the bat with someone new, to like the same things, to be the same person, and have amazing, mind-blowing sex the first time.
In reality, being compatible with your partner is work. It’s something that grows and evolves as the relationship progresses, and you both adjust to each other and find common ground. And that goes for most things in the relationship, sex included.
Invest your time in working on things in your relationship, finding common ground where both you and your partner can enjoy a fulfilling relationship. And you’ll have yourself a soulmate.