I define this type of person as a fated romantic relationship with someone to whom you feel a special affinity. You fall in love with and support each other’s souls as well as their bodies.
The relationship is never denigrating, abusive or based on narcissism or control. When you meet, something in you awakens, even rejoices. You can finally breathe. The wait is over—you’re home again.
However, contrary to what you may think, a soul mate isn’t necessarily some ideal person who will make your life perfect or cure your loneliness. Nor do you have to always like each other or agree. He or she will help you evolve. You’ll learn from one another. There is no deadline for a soul mate.
One can arrive when you’re 20 or 80, whenever the time is right. Sexual attraction is part of the bond though this may vary in different phases of life. Some of these relationships are incredibly smooth, whereas most have more challenges. However, with soul mates, two are stronger than one. You make each other better.
What should you look for in a soul mate? How can you know you’ve met yours? To avoid missing out on these relationships, you must let go of unrealistic expectations. Here’s a summary of some fundamental qualities that define what a soul mate is and isn’t. Though the intensity of these may vary in different phases of your lives, they form the basis of your bond.
How to Identify Your Soul Mate from “The Ecstasy of Surrender”
What a soul mate relationship is:
You feel a strong connection, comfort, and sense of familiarity
There’s a physical attraction
You share mutual love, commitment and support
You “get” each other; you’re each other’s biggest fans
You are emotional mirrors and teachers for each other
You’re in synch, even telepathic
You’re willing to work through conflicts, compromise, and surrender unhealthy patterns to improve the relationship
What a soul mate relationship isn’t:
All about you (or all about your partner)
Lukewarm, boring, or noncommittal
Forced or merely a “good idea”
Based on abuse, control, or rigidity
Only physical attraction or the sense of “lightning striking”
The “answer to all your problems” or always conflict-free
Based on “settling,” being together for convenience, or out of a fear of being alone, breaking up, or change
Whether a soul mate lasts forever, these relationships are transformative and provide a goldmine of lessons. They bring you face-to-face with aspects of your masculine and feminine sides that you desire to integrate. Marriage, which is a civil agreement, doesn’t require that you be with a soul mate. So, if it happens that your spouse isn’t one, or if you always stay single, there are still numerous benefits and much love that is possible.
I’m not saying it’s necessarily better or worse to find a soul mate. The level of connection is just different. One thing I am sure of: each of our paths is uniquely perfect. Life presents us with what we need to grow. In this sense, a soul mate may not be appropriate or essential for everyone, as much as the heart may long for one.
Moreover, you can’t force one to arrive or demand that the universe deliver one. I guarantee: that won’t work. This is where surrender is key. It’s a fine balance. You must clarify what qualities you desire in someone then surrender expectations. Paradoxically, the “letting go” part is what most increases the likelihood of results. Being too hungry or fixated on finding a mate can backfire by acting as a death grip that stifles flow.
The above is adapted from The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your Life Harmony Books, 2014 by Judith Orloff MD)
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Travis May
Photo: Pixoto/Carey Carter