Many of us have a deep-seated belief that there is at that one person out there who can meet all of our wishes. Here’s how to overcome these soulmate myths that keep us from finding our true love.
Everyone would like to find a soulmate. In movies and books, this sort of person is portrayed as being someone with whom there is a deep, almost spiritual connection. You feel whole and at peace when in one another’s company. They know your flaws and don’t care, or better, find them charming and tell you that these defects are in fact strengths.
“My defects are really strengths?” you exclaim. “Wow, someone who really sees the true me.” Yes, the real you can finally be known, without reservation. You share all the same values and life goals. It feels as though you were fated to be together, and in doing so you complete one another.
Sound good? I bet it does. It would be wonderful.
I’ve known people who spend a lifetime looking for their soulmate. And I’ve even known some who told me that they had found their soulmate. Most of the time this turned out to be a case of mistaken identity that took a few years, and sometimes a divorce attorney, to clear up. Close but no cigar.
Every one of these folk eventually recovered from their surprise and resumed their search. They were 100% certain that a special soulmate was alive and well, waiting to be found.
Overcoming Soulmate Myths And Finding A Soulmate
To my knowledge, none of these explorers of love ever found what they were seeking.
That is likely because soulmates are a lot like unicorns. Beautiful, mystifying, and elusive. You’ll have a better chance of locating Sasquatch than setting your eyes on a soulmate.
Why? Because most of the time our romantic vision of this type of relationship is divorced from reality. It’s 100 percent fantasy.
That’s not to say you cannot find a wonderful person with whom you can fall in love and build a terrific future. That’s a reasonable idea, and there are many people that have proven it to be possible.
But a soulmate, the perfect person described above, is an imaginary creature, not a flesh and blood human being. If you are to ever have a happy, healthy, long-term relationship, it is important to aim for what is realistic. Sure, aim high, but with your eyes wide open.
If you make it your goal to find a soulmate, the ideal person who makes you constantly feel whole, happy, and complete, then every romance will eventually end in disappointment.
Acknowledge that everyone has flaws (including you) and these imperfections are bound to show up in our closest relationships. No one can wipe away someone else’s insecurities, their selfish impulses, or past hurts.
A good person will try and reign in these dark impulses. A good relationship may diminish them even further. But it will not ‘wipe the slate clean.’ To expect this is to ask too much.
Aiming for a soulmate leads you to expect the stars. When you end up receiving the moon, you’re likely to feel short-changed. Eventually, you’re tempted. “Maybe it would be better to move on” because the real flesh and blood flawed individual who loves you does not make you feel ‘complete.’
He or she just doesn’t have that soulmate shine. Why continue to settle when a ‘real soulmate’ waits for you somewhere else in the world?
This sort of thinking leads to constant disillusionment. It will cause you all kinds of pain. If left uncorrected it will lead you so far astray that you miss out altogether on developing a long-lasting, fulfilling relationship with someone who cares about you deeply. Instead of building that type of real-life relationship, you’ll end up chasing a phantom.
So put the idea of a soulmate on the shelf, right next to other fairytales, and think instead of the half dozen or so qualities that a spouse (or intimate partner) would absolutely have to possess in order to be a good match for you. Write these qualities down on a piece of paper, and also write down how you would know that the person had these qualities.
For example, if it’s important that the person be kind and compassionate how would you expect that to show up? Perhaps the person is thoughtful, volunteers for a charity, and helps family and friends even when it is inconvenient, etc.
The more times you see this person acting kindly, and over a long period of time, the more confident you are that this is a quality he, or she, genuinely possesses.
Then write another list. This one contains those qualities that you absolutely 100% cannot and do not want in a romantic partner. It may be something most people would agree with, like avoiding anyone who cannot be trusted.
There may be other items on this list that you think are ridiculous, but nevertheless are important to you. Perhaps you cannot stand someone who smacks their lips when they eat. OK, seems a little petty, but on the other hand, are you willing to spend 40 or 50 years hearing the smacking of lips at every meal? Exactly, write that down as well.
Related: 4 Marriage Myths That Cause Divorce
Now you have a list of “Must have” and “Must not have” qualities. These are not abstract visions about what will lead you to a soulmate, but practical and important characteristics of the type of person with whom you could envision building a life.
This type of certainty about another person, based on their actions, should be trusted much more than the momentary feeling of being ‘soul connected.’ Being focused on what you want in a person, and judging them by how they behave, will lead to better decisions about relationships. Focusing on finding a soulmate, on the other hand, will lead you on a never-ending chase for unicorns.
Written By Forrest Talley Originally Appeared On Forrest Talley