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Stop Looking for a ‘Soulmate’ and Start Looking for a ‘Life Partner’


Still looking for your perfect mate? You may have already found them.

Soulmates can be defined in many different ways. Most of us search high and low for many years, braving the ups and downs of relationships and love, wondering if we are with our soulmate or if such a person even exists.

I have found there are some concrete things to consider if you don’t think you are with your soulmate or are still in search of that perfect someone who will change your life.

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First, let’s look at the simple things. There are values, morals, common likes and dislikes, education, spirituality, family traditions and more. Most of us know to look for these things when selecting a mate for life. I stress “a mate for life” because a “mate for tonight” is something completely different.

If your goal is to have a lifetime partner, whether you will have or adopt children is not the case; a lifetime mate will constitute your new family. Family is with you through the flu, bankruptcy, a terrible haircut, the winter you lost your job and put on 15 pounds, and will also keep politely quiet when your arrogant brother visits with his 19-year-old Barbie girlfriend to drink up your good wine, leaving after requesting you spot him a quick $100.

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Therefore, in order to form a lasting bond with someone who will constitute family, we set our sights on finding our “soulmate.” But should we?

Traditionally, soulmates are regarded as such because there is something beyond the conventional attraction, chemistry, or common interests that sparks something inside of you. You and this person somehow met in another dimension, another time, another life, and it’s as though you see in their eyes an immediate connection.

Some people call this love at first sight, but is it love? My experience suggests that it is not love, but another worldly connection. It can be so overwhelming to the point that if we don’t stop to listen to our brain, our impulse will be to dive right in. More interesting is that a love affair or lifetime partnership with this person may not be why we have come across him or her.

I have had this experience several times. My first experience was in high school. I met a wonderful girl in my sophomore year one lovely spring day in California. I was enchanted by her in an odd way, but because I am a heterosexual there was no physical attraction, just recognition of a kindred spirit. She approached me, we began to talk, and we developed a friendship that has lasted 36 years, through three divorces, seven kids, moves, job losses, and infidelities. But we still see eye to eye.

On another occasion I found a man on a business trip shortly after a divorce. The odd recognition was there again, but I was dating someone at the time and knew this new man wanted more than a friendship, so I chose to avoid further contact. So what is it that makes us feel this strange urge or attraction to connect with these “soulmates”?

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It may not be possible to define such things. These things move in the realm of the quantum, or are part of the spiritual world. I have friends who have pursued these crazy, swept-off-your feet-left-me-in-a-daze-can’t-recover romances, and still can’t explain what happened or why they felt the way they did. But boy, was there a lesson. And that’s it — soulmates are people put on your path to bring you a message. These messages come in the form of lessons, whether it’s from examples, stories, a brief encounter on a bus, a wild love affair, or a lasting friendship.

If you are searching for your soulmate, then stop. A life partner is more than a soulmate. Soulmates pop in and out of your life as Spirit requires. A mate for life will put gas in your car, make you soup (or order it in) for you when you are sick, watch you deliver a baby, hold your hand when you are having a colonoscopy, rub your back, or console you all night when your mom passes away. Let the universe use your soulmates to bring sacred truths to you when the time is right, and enjoy the lovely garden of love mates available for us all right now.

This guest article originally appeared on Why You Should Stop Looking for Your Soulmate Right NOW.

Stop Looking for a ‘Soulmate’ and Start Looking for a ‘Life Partner’

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APA Reference
Guest Author, P. (2018). Stop Looking for a ‘Soulmate’ and Start Looking for a ‘Life Partner’. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 30, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Jul 2018 (Originally: 27 Oct 2014)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Jul 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.