Yin to My Yang

How do you define the term “soulmate,” and do you believe in the existence of such a person — for you?

I’ve discussed the idea of soulmates with someone recently, relating back to the post about Fate and Destiny. This prompt piqued my interest but (I must confess) I didn’t necessarily read it properly. In fact , I only read the last part so started doing some research.

It turns out there is actually scientific research on this topic and what is termed as “romantic destiny”. Here are some figures from a poll in 2011 run by Marist: 73% of Americans believe that they are destined to find their one, true, soul mate. The percentage is a bit higher for men (74%) than women (71%). The notion is also higher among younger individuals, with 79% of those under 45 believing in soul mates (as opposed to 69% of those over 45). Presumably the last statistic covers those who have lost hope.

Now I don’t know how to cite in WordPress, but here’s the reference to the next thing – Knee, C. R. (1998). Implicit theories of relationships: Assessment and prediction of romantic relationship initiation, coping, and longevity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74, 360–370. The crux of the article is that those who believe in romantic destiny are more likely to look for immediate connections and are not prepared to work for a relationship when things go wrong because if there’s things wrong in a relationship is must be because you are not with your soulmate. It then follows that the Believer in Soulmates is not as committed to relationships as the Relationship Grower who can work through issues to evolve and strengthen a relationship over time. It is then possible to conclude that those who believe in soulmates may spend so long looking that they never end up with anyone.

Here’s where my first question came in. Well, actually, two questions. There must be an initial attraction for someone to decide a relationship is going to happen anyway. Fine, they might not be going down the full on romantic soulmates route, but there is a short term picture, surely? The second point is that the conclusion doesn’t seem to answer how much work is too much work when it comes to saving a doomed relationship? If a Believer in Soulmates might leave a relationship all too easily, at the other end of the scale is the person who believes that any relationship can and should work whatever the circumstance.

And so on to my own opinion. I actually think that the Relationship Grower is the one who has found their soulmate, and not the person who thinks that everything will come easily. It’s roundabout, but if the term “soulmate” is used retrospectively then it makes sense. Everyone has gut feelings, and that can be the trigger point for a relationship to start. After that relationship ends, and one or other or both of its parties can say that they worked through everything they had to deal with and it made them feel that they were with the right person that they were meant to be with, I’d say that they were probably right.

So do I believe there’s someone out there for me? Apparently if you believe that there is a pre-ordained soulmate out there for you who is born around a similar time (I’m not sure quite why that is necessary), and you make eye contact with around 25 people a day, the odds of finding your soulmate are close to 10,000 to 1. Apparently a guy at NASA worked it out. Now, I speak from a position of relative naivety but whatever those odds, I do kind of believe that at some point I will find a friend that I want to spend my life with through the good times and the bad, and that that person will feel the same about me.

The sea’s evaporating, though it comes as no surprise.
These clouds we’re seeing, they’re explosions in the sky.
It seems its written, but we can’t read between the lines.

Hush, its okay, dry your eyes, dry your eyes.
Soulmate dry your eyes, dry your eyes.
Soulmate dry your eyes, ’cause soulmates never die.

Soulmates by Placebo

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