Love Magic: Synchronicity & Romantic Fate. ~ Gary S. Bobroff

Via elephant journal
on Feb 11, 2013
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Source. Dawn Welch via Pinterest.
Source. Dawn Welch via Pinterest.

Romance: Fate or faux?

For those of us of the romantic disposition, imagining new love objects to be Ms. or Mr. Right is a chronic condition.

Such idealization is made even more irresistible when there are ‘fated‘ events, when we run into him or her coincidentally or when other synchronicities to do with them occur. When we meet them and, for example, after a lengthy chat, we reveal that we’ve been holding in our hand a black heart-shaped rock all this time and she opens her hand and shows us a white one just the same.

When a real out-of-the-ordinary meaningful coincidence happens, we fall immediately and blissfully into the presumption that ‘it’s fate’that this person is ‘the One.’

Photo: wikimedia commons
Photo: wikimedia commons

However, while synchronistic events are known to occur at the beginning of life-long happy partnerships, they also occur as a part of less successful, or even tragic, relationships. Coming to understand the truth of this latter possibility involves a loss of naïveté, but if we are lucky often something else is gained too.

Jung observed that synchronicities arrive in relation to the emotional activation of an individual “we observe them relatively frequently at moments of heightened emotional tension, which need not however be conscious.”[i] In noticing such a pattern in our world however, Jung was not discovering something entirely new, such an understanding is found throughout the ancient world.

In the East, it was the basis of the Tao and I Ching and in the West we find one example of it in the writings of a teacher of St. Thomas Aquinas:

“A certain power to alter things indwells in the human soul and subordinates the other things to her, particularly when she is swept into great excesses of love or hate or the like. For a long time I did not believe it…[but] I found that the emotionality of the human soul is the chief cause of all these things.”

~ Albertus Magnus, 1200-1280

It is a profound revelation and deeply meaningful, that we live in an era in which we are becoming aware of the way in which feeling extends beyond the body in these special moments but conscious apprehension of the meaning of these events also requires discrimination on our part.

Synchronistic incidents are drawn into form by the presence of emotional conditions in us and they point toward something active and alive, but unconscious in ourselves; toward something that we can come to learn about ourselves.

Here, a special meaning is evident—the ancient person might say that it shows the presence of the Gods—but we cannot say whether it is a blessing or a curse. Seeing past romantic illusions allows us to begin to draw insight from such experiences and to start to uncovering the meaning behind the larger patterns of who we are attracting.

Justine & Mark | A Rustic EngagementIn general, attributing to fate the role of bringing us our ‘right‘ or best romantic partners, gives away much of our power. “Faith is a disability insofar as it constrains you from self-interest,[ii] says Solomon and having too much faith in the universe demonstrates an abandonment of the power to choose; a natural authority given up; an unwillingness to exercise conscious, mature choice.

And it is just this royal authority in us, the ability to consciously say no to some and yes to others, that is a necessity for entering into mature partnership, for choosing to say ‘I do.’

Part of the shadow of the romantic type is pointed to here. Archetypally, the inability to choose consciously reflects the absence of the inner King or Queen, the quality in us that blesses and places value appropriately. The King or Queen archetype represents the natural flow of libido and feeling toward those qualities that serve our interests.

The psyche of the romantic type is often dominated by the opposite archetype, that of the child—that in us that resists parenting ourselves and prefers play and following the dictates of feeling. Going with the flow has its place, but it also reflects a refusal to stand up when it is needed, and often this is an on-going and regressive life-pattern.

However, within all of us there is also a larger instinct toward wholeness, toward the integration of all the parts of who we can be, toward the discovery and conscious development of our inner King or Queen.

Sometimes we must struggle to recover this part of our natural inheritance.

Synchronicity in our romantic lives is often a signpost pointing us that direction. While it may not indicate the blessing of a relationship, it almost always directs us toward pieces of ourselves that we need to reclaim to become more whole. These pieces might be recovered through loving, but they may are also sometimes recovered through leaving the relationship.

Sometimes we gain what we need in ourselves by learning to say ‘no.’

In synchronicity, the world reveals its nearness to us. It is active and responding to our inner life producing meaning to help us grow, but can we drop our ego’s need to make that meaning fit into a pretty little heart-shaped box for us?

It is terribly difficult not to get swept up into assuming that a new relationship is fated and blessed when synchronicities abound. Tragically, however, not every synchronicity is a blessing from Aphrodite. And, in an era infused with New Age thinking and naïve romanticism that sees all synchronicity as a simple romantic blessing, it is especially important that we learn that there is more than one God alive in us and seeking redemption.

Can we drop our ego’s agenda and still feel the wonder of being alive in a world filled with such mysterious, mischievous and occasionally un-pretty, meaning-making magic?


[i] Letters, vol. 2.

[ii] Far From The Tree, p. 33.



gary.bobroffGary S. Bobroff, M.A. has a Master’s degree in in Jungian-oriented Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute of Santa Barbara, CA and is the author of Jung, Crop Circles & the Re-Emergence of the Archetypal Feminine (available on North Atlantic Books in Spring 2014).  His website is He also hosts the Best Synchronicity Ever! page on Facebook.


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Assistant Ed: Sarah Winner
Ed: Bryonie Wise


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53 Responses to “Love Magic: Synchronicity & Romantic Fate. ~ Gary S. Bobroff”

  1. jim fry says:

    Beautiful. Not sure how you nailed my life and alignments, so succinctly … so, voyeuristically!

    I've often questioned if I've generated vapor meaning, where there was a void to fill, versus genuinely perceiving, that which is. As we author our story lines, it is often a curious juxtaposition, of All of the Above.

  2. KA says:

    Great stuff – very smart, very grown up.

  3. jenny says:

    Yep, this definitely hits the nail on the head. I am in a crisis of sorts with this exact scenario… How do you maintain faith in the universe, faith in yourself, and maintain a sense of reality? I don't want to sacrifice the naivety I feel is required for me to seek and accept/give love unconditionally, however, believing that every person you fall in love with is "the one" is a dangerous habit. When it doesn't work out, accepting that "fate" was not what you thought it was, is very difficult, and it can be a very very long and painful process trying to recoup. Of course, the pain of a break up is unavoidable but you can certainly save yourself some devastation by accepting that fate is elusive and it's called fate because we cannot know it. It is beyond our comprehension, if it exists at all.

  4. Cc says:

    Thank you! I’d heard of the “queen” archetype before but it was never explained so well.

  5. Dawn Cartwright says:

    Thank you, Gary, this is the most helpful article I've ever come across – anywhere. You've described me to a T. A dear friend sent me this link just at the moment in my life when the synchronicities had begun to crumble into dust between my fingertips. I am ready.

  6. Robin Malayter says:

    This applies to so many things. The ability to remove ego and see truth leads to authenticity but its not easy. Can't go aroun it, over it, under it, but through it. God has a way of busting us when we need it most.

  7. John Gallagher says:

    Good article. I thought the last one was The One and believed it to be fated. She didn't turn out to be the One but our relationship was very meaningful and I learned many lessons which moved me forward in my life journey and my individuation. Therefore it definitely was meant to be.

  8. Here's a link to the Best Synchronicity Ever! facebook group . . .

  9. Gabriela says:

    Who said spirituality was for the weak-minded? This requires so much strenght, so much reason. To be able to detach yourself from your own desires, from your own fantasies. I have to admit, I've been a captive for so long. We need more like you to wake us up, those of us lost in their own worlds…

  10. Lori Bell says:

    I wasn't sure what to expect when I first started reading this, but was satisfied by the time I got to the end. Gary, I invite you (and other readers here) to take a look at some of my posts recently at Maybe you are familiar with the book "Invisible Partners" by John Sanford?

    I will offer in brief my fairly recent intuition/feeling/theory: Love "feels like" EFFORT, the expression of will to counter "tendencies" both biological (emotional/biochemical), and psychological that arise spontaneously (for better or worse) in our relating with others.

    Just since yesterday, Valentine's Day, I have come to the intuition/feeling/theory: Faith is what is necessary before we are willing to expend the Effort of Love. Faith may be naive or it may be rational, with the latter being the more mature and conscious of the two. Rational Faith takes Evidence into consideration, objective data, which is not always easy to obtain, especially where "projections" (of shadow, anima, and/or animus) are concerned.

    However, once one becomes more "self-aware" by integrating shadow, anima and/or animus, one can also be more Objective in one's observations, and therefore more capable of Rational Faith – which can be an amazingly strong foundation for the Will to Love, the Desire to Expend energy on behalf of oneself, others, and the benefit of the World.

    You may see some of this comment on the blog soon – as I was just thinking about writing about this more today. Thanks for the inspiration! :)

  11. Lori Bell says:

    Oh…and one other thing…for the longest time, I've been in agreement that "Love" was the "opposite" of "Fear". But now, I've decided that Faith is actually the "opposite" of Fear, and as I said above, it is Faith that gives us the courage to exert Love as Effort in our relationships – with ourselves, with each other, with the World, with the Divine, etc,. etc.

    Does that make sense?

    I welcome everyone's feedback.

  12. HI Lori Bell: I love your depth of commentary and will check out your blog. I'm the love editor here at elephant journal, perhaps you would like to write for us on your learnings and ideas about love? the Fear-Faith polarity in particular…

  13. Whitney says:

    Unbelievable. Talk about synchronicity!! Last week the man that turned my world into magic messaged out of the blue with his heart on his sleeve. Communication between us had slowly diminished. There never was an answer only the most beautiful of memories. A week after he reconnected with me and made plans to meet again… I go out with my girlfriends and who is standing in the middle of a glowing orb in the dead center of my pathway? He is. With another woman. It sent me into an emotional tailspin. He spent the rest of the evening pouring his heart out to me. And I’m the middle of me trying to put the pieces together, trying to hear the little voice of my tender heart, I find this article. Beautifully written, stout with truth. Namaste. Thank you.

  14. The correct link for the Best Synchronicity Ever! Facebook group is:

  15. gsbobroff says:

    Come join me for an exploration of the work on Sheldrake & Jung: Synchronicity and the Extended Mind:

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