You see and hear the term thrown around all the time, but what is a “soulmate”?
I guess we all kind of know what a soul mate is, at least in context. A soulmate is someone with a deep love and intimacy with another person. This love and intimacy generally means sexual intimacy, deep compatability and a natural magnetism (or affinity). “Soulmates” are when two people are like two parts of the same picture, which fit together personally. Some people think everyone has a soul mate, while sometimes the term is used to imply the luckiest of the lucky in love: the rarest kind of romantic relationship one can have.
That’s the short answer about what a soulmate is. Short…yeah, right.
Soulmates in Plato’s Writings
Actually, a number of people have different ideas about what a soulmate is. The concept goes back at least 2,400 years. Soulmates were talked about in the writings of Plato. Aristophanes suggests that soulmates existed that had one head (two faces), but four arms and four legs. For some reason, Zeus feared soulmates and split them apart. The two halves of the soul would spend their lives searching for one another.
The story of the soulmates was one way of describing why there were two sexes. The gods decided that mankind who existed whole and (therefore) powerful were too dangerous, so they split them apart and forced them to spend their lives seeking out one another. Divide and conquer. In Aristophanes’ words, Zeus claimed that, if man wasn’t properly humbled, he would split them in two again, so they would hop around on one leg. Imagine trying to find the three other quarters of your soul.
Edgar Cayce and the Soulmate
Edgar Cayce was a kind of modern day American Nostradamus. He lived from the late 1870’s until 1945 in Virginia, claiming to be a psychic and writing about self-induced trances, “ancient” Atlantis, reincarnation, astral projection, seeing auras and prophecy. Though a devout Christian, Edgar Cayce had unorthodox views on Christianity, and many members of the New Age Movement consider the movement to have been founded by Edgar Cayce, who founded a number of institutions which survived him: including the Association for Research and Enlightenment in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Borrowing from the Theosophy Movement, Edgar Cayce believed that God created souls which were both male and female (or androgynous). Because of either separation from God or because of bad karma incurred while on Earth, these souls spent their time in the material plane seeking out each other. These souls would continue to reincarnate from one life to another, always seeking out their soul mate. When the bad karma is gone, the two souls join in fusion and travel to the “ultimate” to be together for eternity.
So according to Cayce and his adherants, if you’re a high school student who has found your soulmate in 5th grade math class, the two of you have probably been scouring the globe through many incarnations, searching for one another over countless generations. And to think it would happen while studying x=2y.
Natasha Bedingfield on the Soulmate
Even British pop star Natasha Bedingfield has her thoughts on the soulmate. Describing the soulmate a “perfect fit” who “knows how to love you without being told”, and she wants to know if there’s a soulmate for everyone. Ms. Bedingfield’s soulmate is apparently named “Mr. Lovable”.
Okay, so I’m being silly bringing a Natasha Bedingfield song into the discussion.
The fact is, everybody at one time or another has been alone or felt alone and wondered when their perfect love would come along. You may be thinking that right now. But is it healthy to try to find a “soulmate”?
Finding a Soulmate
I would argue against that being your goal when you start dating, whether live dating or online dating. One thing we do when we first met someone we’re attracted to is to idealize them. If that person also is attracted to us, that “animal magnetism” produces something like what Plato and Edgar Cayce described as two people coming together as one. I call that personal chemistry, but not a soulmate.
But when you decide you’ve found a soulmate, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment in love. Maybe I’m throwing cold water on a passionate fire, but soulmates are likely to have bad days, too. There aren’t many relationships when two people agree on everything. Usually, that’s one person giving in to the other person’s views, submerging their personality into the relationship.
Do Soulmates Get Jealous?
What’s interesting is that some of the most passionate “soulmates” seem to fight all the time.
Have you ever seen the couple that is joined at the hip, who are completely inseparable, and who seem to thrive on mutual jealousy and constant crisis?
That’s not two souls coming together. That’s not finding a soulmate.
That’s called being codependent.