There is not a more ethereal, romantic notion than the belief that everyone has a mystical soulmate whom the gods or the universe have predestined for eternity. That missing part of you, that second half who will complete you and make you into the whole human being you long to be and complete your purpose for living, is the one you’re longing to find in your quest for true love.
The idea of a soulmate goes as far back to 2000 BC to ancient Egypt and the mythology that governed their religious beliefs. In the ancient creation myth, the Egyptians believed that the gods Shu and Tefnut emerged from the god Atum and his one divine soul. The gods Shu and Tefnut supposedly had “one” soul that was split or shared between them.
Enter the Greeks…
Plato was the first to coin the modern idea of the soulmate, the perfect person that will complete us. After all, they are walking the earth with half of our soul. They literally will make us whole. Plato was not so original in his creative spark when he came up with the idea of the soulmate after studying abroad in Egypt and learning of the Heliopolis creation myth which describes the soul separation of Shu and Tefnut. He did put a pretty creative spin on it, however.
Plato posited that when humans were originally created, they had four arms, four legs, two heads, but ONE soul. Apparently, just like in the Egyptian creation myth, they angered the gods, probably Zeus, and he punished the petulant creatures by splitting them down the middle. Of course, if this weren’t punishment enough, these pitiful “souls” were condemned to wander the earth in search of their “split” soul mate. Their one mission was to find their separated soul and reunite for eternal bliss and happiness.
What Does the Bible Say About Soulmates?
Christianity and the Hebrew Bible do not really present the idea of a soulmate. Nowhere in the Bible can you find mention of a soulmate. What the Bible does say is that God created Eve for Adam so that Adam would have a suitable companion. It instructs believers to be wise and avoid making foolish decisions based on desires of lust or impetuousness and then to face consequences afterward. So in a nutshell, no, the Bible does not mention the idea of a soulmate.
Most People Believe in the Idea of a Soulmate
Although we’ve come a long way since Plato’s Symposium, the idea of a soulmate has persisted over time to include romantic and erotic love. In fact, a Marist poll found that the majority of Americans, almost ⅔ , believe in the concept of a soulmate. Interestingly, more men (74%) than women (71%) believe in the predestined other who will complete their romantic notions of the soulmate. And it gets even better: the most romantic among us are Millennials. Eighty percent of them believe they have a soulmate. Not surprisingly, those number drop as people get older with only 65% of those 60 and older believing in the concept.
The belief that there is a twin flame connected to us before birth is, of course, a very romantic notion. So it’s no wonder that the idea of the “soulmate” continues to persist throughout the ages since it’s based on romantic ideals of love and attraction. It’s a mystical way of looking at love, and since it can neither be proven nor disproven, the soulmate idea continues to linger in most of our psyches. Think about it: we are born incomplete, and the only way we will find true love and happiness is by finding that one special human being who in our pre-mortal existence was joined with us spiritually, emotionally, and physically. It’s no wonder we could not find complete fanciful happiness without this other mortal being.
“It’s no wonder that the idea of the “soulmate” continues to persist throughout the ages since it’s based on romantic ideals of love and attraction. It’s a mystical way of looking at love, and since it can neither be proven nor disproven, the soulmate idea continues to linger in most of our psyches.”
The Math Doesn’t Support the Concept of Soulmates
Statistically speaking, the math doesn’t add up. Let’s say for a moment that all of us before mortal conception were paired up with our chimerical soulmate. Where would he or she be now? What would be the odds of finding each other? According to mathematical calculations, we can have close to half a million potential soulmates! If only 10% of them are about our age, then we would have only 1 in 10,000 chances in this lifetime to find our soulmate. Pretty discouraging, huh?
Soulmate Belief Can Hurt Your Relationship
Although the idea of a soulmate is a beautiful concept in theory, in reality, this belief has really messed with our heads and set our romantic notions regarding true love on a path to certain disappointment. This idea of romantic destiny that leads people to think that they must find their perfect match, the one and only they’ve been searching for, can sabotage a relationship before it even gets off the ground.
Belief in a Soulmate Can Lead to Unrealistic Expectations
The problem with believing that you can find your “perfect” match can lead to unreasonable expectations and misconceptions about what an ideal, satisfying, and suitable relationship must be. According to a study conducted by Spike W. S. Lee from the University of Toronto, people who believed in romantic destiny, aka soulmates, were more likely to experience disappointment and dissatisfaction with their partner or spouse once difficulties arose. Lee states that people who believed they had found their soulmate had a more difficult time coping and resolving conflicts and issues because they believed that they “should have perfect harmony, no conflicts whatsoever.” Lee goes on to state that “when reality proves otherwise, as it almost inevitably does, it hurts all the more.” People who believed they’d found their soulmate tended to be less happy in their relationship. No surprise there! When expectations are set so high, there’s only one place for them to go, and that is down! Believing that your soulmate is your perfect match would lead you to believe that this person who’s causing you heartache and annoyance is not the right one for you so you must let him or her go and go on a new quest to find THE one.
“The problem with believing that you can find your “perfect” match can lead to unreasonable expectations and misconceptions about what an ideal, satisfying, and suitable relationship must be. People who believed in romantic destiny, aka soulmates, were more likely to experience disappointment and dissatisfaction with their partner or spouse once difficulties arose.”
Lee’s study went beyond analyzing the problems of couples or people who viewed love as ruled by destiny and mysticism. When examining responses of couples who viewed love as a journey, a path to be taken together with expectations of having ups and downs along the way, these couples were found to experience a higher degree of happiness and fulfillment than the soulmate believers. Couples who thought of love as a journey or had a “growth” mindset were not prone to toss the relationship away just because of the problems they encountered. Rather, they had the attitude of working through issues as part of the journey to a deeper connection with each other. Again, couples who reported a higher level of satisfaction with their partner espoused the idea that love is a journey that must be taken together and were cognizant that when their relationship did go through rough waters, they would work together to keep it afloat.
You Can Become Each Other’s Soulmate
Finding true love is not a difficult thing, it’s not mystical, and it’s not as ephemeral as fairy tales, romantic books, or movies would lead us to believe. It’s also not a once in a lifetime deal. It’s finding the right person who is “right” for you. It’s finding the person who makes you laugh, cry, and at the end of the day, it’s the person you want to spend your life with because they “get” you and you “get” them. It’s the one who recognizes that love is not made up of romantic illusions, of starry-eyed lovers, and mystical destinies. True love comes out of mutual respect and commitment to each other. And of course, the sweaty palms, rapid heartbeat, and butterflies in the stomach come as an added bonus!