I’ve never been a big fan of the notion of soulmates and after reading about a study on married couples who thought they were soulmates, my suspicions have been sadly confirmed.
According to 2011 social research conducted by Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York, “soulmate” couples are at a higher risk for divorce (150 percent versus other couples) and subsequently disenchantment.
Two-thirds of Americans believe in the romantic magic of soulmates. Yet, if these couples are destined to be together in relationships that are meant to be, why did their marriages fail?
Here are 5 reasons to stop searching for your soulmate (and what to do instead):
1. Intense passion is not sustainable.
The social research study shows that couples who consider themselves to be soulmates came together in a whirlwind of excitement and passion. Their happiness stems from intense physical chemistry that is often impossible to sustain because this type of attraction tends to fade with time.
On the other hand, marriages formed between people who are caring and affectionate have a much greater chance of long-term wedded bliss. This kind of connection has endurance and can strengthen with time rather than fizzle.
2. Fairytales are not real life.
Dreaming of a soulmate usually carries some problematic thoughts about what a good partner is. These fantasies usually place the dream partner in a place of perfection. This level of romanticism leads people to hold unrealistic expectations that no one can satisfy. I’m sorry to say that Prince Charming is a fairy tale character and not a real person with human characteristics and flaws.
3. Idealized love breaks hearts.
The idea of romantic destiny leaves many people heartbroken. After being with a soulmate, many of my clients can’t seem to let go or move on. They idealize their love with a perfect person who got away.
However, keep this basic truth in mind: If the relationship was meant to be, soulmate couples would stay together. On the flip side, if you are no longer a couple, you simply were not destined for a life-long partnership.
4. A soulmate only permits one great love.
Some mid-life women who have been in a marriage that ended with divorce, or the passing of a spouse, resign themselves to living without love the rest of their lives. I’ve been told many times by women, “I’ve had the one great love of my life and that’s all I get.”
Having been with a soulmate once, these people feel one great love was all they are entitled to. How sad is that type of thinking?
This way of thinking eliminates the possibility of finding love again. Plenty of people find love a second or third time. However, the idea of soulmates keeps some people from even considering such an opportunity.
5. There’s a new definition of soulmate.
I prefer a wider definition of soulmates to allow for more than one shot at love. While 50 percent of couples stay together until death, the other half do not. “‘Til death do us part” is no longer a given in our society. My radical suggestion is to consider you may, in fact, have more than one soulmate.
From a spiritual perspective, experts say we come together in relationships because that is where the most life lessons occur. In essence, having more than one soulmate can mean you are learning on many levels.
Once you expand your definition of soulmates, the heartbreak of a broken relationship can be put into perspective. Plus — and this is huge — it gives you the freedom to love again and again.
I’m a big believer in love. For some, it lasts a lifetime. For others, they get more than one chance to get it right. If you can let go of the idea of love being perfection, your chances of having love in your life increase exponentially.
Stop searching for your one perfect love and soulmate. Start seeking the right relationship for you with someone who is compatible, supportive, kind, loving, shares similar values, and wants what you want in a relationship. Now that is a recipe for long-term romantic success.
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