The Search for a Soul Mate…

relationship counseling - overland parkThere is an increasing desire to find that one person…a soul mate. Everyone wants to know the secret of making love last, but they should be asking how to ensure lasting love…
A soul mate is one who:

  • completes us
  • counters our weakness, amplifies our strengths, provides unending support and respect
  • is my ideal love

The National Marriage Project found that 94% of singles agree “when you marry, you want your spouse to be your soul mate, first and foremost.” In our society the soul mate desire has become  a new and higher standard.

In recent history, expectations for relationships have dramatically changed. Financial and parental partnerships to raise children has declined in importance, people choose single parenthood, and both genders are economically independent. The divorce revolution has left our society with scars, disillusionment and wanting more. Plus the media bombards us with limitless romantic possibility and that we can have it all: self actualization, limitless excitement, beauty, great sex a wonderful family…and all magically.

Why are we demanding a union of the souls? Our frantic-paced, mobile society makes it difficult to sustain deep and lasting attachments. So when we search for partners we look for the support and comfort that is missing in other parts of our lives.

  • Finding Mr. or Mrs. Right – The soul mate concept is unattainable and relationships cannot live up to this ideal. Individuals ask “Am I as happy as I could be?” “Is there somebody better?” It creates a constant second guessing which hinders commitment.
  • A soul mate relationship wouldn’t require so much effort. When passion is waning or disagreements occur we wonder if our soul mate is still out there and these doubts translate into thoughts that our current partner should be replaced.
  • We wouldn’t fight if this was the “right” person.The reality is that two people are different which creates ample opportunity for differences. Healthy relationships learn how to deal with those differences.
  • The goal of marriage is to attain my individual goals. This defines the relationship as self fulfillment, ‘me’ versus ‘us’. Strong relationships are a collaborative and we will have to be willing to meet our partner’s needs.

A better way to find a fulfilling relationship is to create an authentic relationship, one that has love, compassion and understanding. An authentic relationship allows you to be yourself, knowing that you will be loved, limitations and all. Relationships do require work, and this work offers long term rewards. So instead of chasing the unrealistic expectations of a soul mate, we should focus our energy on authentic relationships.

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