Today I read an article entitled, “Soul Mates Have Worst Relationships.” The premise of the article is that couples who perceived themselves to be soul mates had a harder time dealing with difficulties in their relationship than the couples who didn’t. Soul mate couples felt that if their match was made in heaven, conflict should not exist in the relationship. On the other hand, couples who did not view themselves as soul mates perceived difficulties as simply part of the journey they committed to when they took their marriage vows.
Now, as a Tarot consultant one of the top questions clients ask me is “When will I meet my soul mate?” or “Is he/she The One?” It is a noble question to ask. When I hear a client ask about soul mates, this tells me that they long for a spiritual connection with their partner. They want to be sure that their partner really “gets them” on a deeper level. They don’t want to settle for less. I applaud the folks who want to be sure they’re getting the real thing. You deserve nothing less.
That said, I see some problems with the concept of “soul mates.” First, it assumes that we are each destined to meet a perfect partner who is absolutely right for us in every way. We expect that we should feel like we’ve known this person forever (some view this as a result of having known the soul mate in a past life). We believe our soul mate should love us unconditionally no matter what we do, and that nothing should be able to tear us apart because, after all, we were meant to be.
First commandment of Tarot readings and divination: Nothing is set in stone. Therefore, believing that we are somehow “fated” to meet “The One” does not fit in with my personal belief system. I actually find it disempowering to believe that certain events and people are meant to come into our lives. Are we to simply sit around and wait for “The One” to show up? I mean, it’s predestined, so sooner or later they’ll show up, right?
I think not. If you want a relationship, wouldn’t it be more productive to put yourself out there and make a concentrated effort to meet compatible singles? This is your life and you are the one steering the ship. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather make my own decisions about my choice of a mate than leave it entirely in the hands of Fate, who may or may not deliver.
And then there’s the unconditional love problem. If you believe your soul mate is going to stand by you no matter what because you are a match made in heaven and nothing can tear you apart, you are in a sense absolving yourself of responsibility toward the relationship. By this I mean that you may be giving yourself a “Get Out of Jail Free” card for your relationship. Believing that you are soul mates does not excuse bad behavior in a relationship. I’ve seen cases time and time again where couples cheated on and betrayed each other repeatedly, eroding what little trust was left in the relationship, but were determined to stick it out because they believed they were soul mates. They were both miserable and the relationship was hanging on by a thread. I don’t believe that we, as humans, are meant to be broken and miserable in the name of love. If someone has broken my trust multiple times, I don’t care if we seem to be a match made in heaven. It’s time to seriously question whether this is a good and safe relationship.
Now, I can hear some of you exclaiming, “But I AM in a soul mate relationship and it’s absolutely wonderful!” And I am happy for you! Sometimes we are lucky enough to really click with someone on that deeper level- and it works. It is a beautiful and precious thing, and I hope you celebrate your love every day and never take it for granted.
But I don’t believe you are soul mates. I believe you are very lucky. Not everyone feels that way about their mate. I believe that solid relationships take a lot of work. So even if you do choose to believe that you are soul mates, I hope you remember that you signed up for the journey of a lifetime together. You will undergo trial by fire. Never let “soul mate” become an easy out. You will have to work at your relationship every day no matter how you view it.
Human relations are a bit of a mystery. I don’t claim to know any more about what makes people click than I do about the afterlife or football. Sometimes I observe my dog when we go for walks and meet other dogs. There are some dog butts he’s eager to sniff at first sight, and some dogs he rejects immediately. Maybe we’re all like that, looking for a kindred butt to sniff.
What do you think? Do you believe in soul mates? Why or why not?