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The Myth of the Soul Mate

Yesterday, this conversation began on Facebook.

You can read the article here.

I started to respond, but then it was getting too long for a Facebook post. And I wanted to bring you all into the conversation. So here are my thoughts:

a. Jessica... (I shake my head)

b. I pretty much agree that our generation expects deep and meaningful relationships to happen spontaneously/up front/without the hard work. Despite dating a super cute rock star, I don't think there is such a thing as a "soul mate" - or that there is only ONE "soul mate," the ONLY person to marry.

My current philosophy on dating/marriage (subject to change without notice) is that the four crucial ingredients are:
  1. a growing relationship with Jesus (applicable for Christians - the non-religious equivalent would be a common worldview, I think)
  2. mutual commitment (you have to both want this and be willing to work at it)
  3. chemistry (this includes a base of friendship & that ineffable quality of attraction that can't be forced or feigned, no matter how hard you try)
  4. clear communication (if you're not able to be honest with each other, I think you're doomed)
Beyond these things, the rest are details. Obviously that's a slight generalization. What I mean is perhaps that this is the foundation from which you work out all the other things.

So. Am I crazy? What's your philosophy on dating/marriage/soul mates?


Ariana said…
That sounds like about what I think. ...Or what I think I think. Or what I want to think?

At any rate, I believe it, whether or not I live it at this point.
Karen said…
My view lines up pretty closely to yours. But I hesitate to call it a myth. I've heard from many couple friends that they fell in love at first sight, with that feeling accompanied by a sense of serendipity. While I think that feeling is attributable to the #3 (chemistry) you mentioned, the memory of that feeling and the idea of soul mates are sometimes necessary to get you through those times when your #2 (mutual commitment) is wavering.

All that to say that I believe a soul mate is the mate you choose every moment, and who chooses you back. The motivations and reasons may vary.
Wendy said…
Hey Beth,

I *just* had this conversation today! I agree.

Miss you.
Nadine said…
Yep, we're twins.

I concur on all counts.
Tim said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
paulman said…
I think they're good thoughts! Although, for #3, I don't know if chemistry is actually a requirement up front. Perhaps it is still good even if it is developed/discovered later on during the relationship process.
Beth said…
paulman - how "up front" do you mean? i would agree that it isn't every situation where an initial meeting has to have sparks flying if it's going to be something more...but i do believe that (for myself) if that chemistry isn't there within a couple of dates...chances are it never will be.
Katie V. said…
Same. Basically. Not on the Jesus count but on the other points. I've been thinking about this quite a bit lately and I don't believe in just one soulmate. That doesn't mean we can't find someone who fits well with who we are and who we fit well with. Slash, I'm trying to listen to a lecture on voice disorders while I type this and I'm a terrible multi-tasker when both tasks involve language capacities.
Beth said…
katie - do you think the common worldview is a rough equivalent of the Jesus factor? or is it less relevant/important?
(also, your comment on multi-tasking made me laugh!)
Loco said…
i so thought u would have a mini-treatise on ur thoughts about it. i don't think that's long for an fb post. i've definitely written longer than that as a response to something. hahaha.

i dunno what to think yet about this whole issue. the romantic in me wants the idea of one soul mate to "complete" me (a la Jerry Maguire).
Katie V. said…
Yes, I can concede world view in lieu of Jesus. There definitely needs to be some common ground. Although I think world view is slightly less important as a nonchristian than relationship-with-Jesus is for a Christian. There is more room for leeway, in my opinion.

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