Do You Believe in Soulmates?

Carolyn Kaster

Today is the day. The day America’s couples celebrate love and happiness. The day when forgetful men scramble to procure flowers, a greeting card, and perhaps even a gift for their ever-expectant wives, fiances, girlfriends and, for the naughty ones, mistresses.

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Among those celebrating Valentine’s Day, it is not uncommon to hear people refer to their significant other as their “soulmate.” It is a concept that has been bandied about in the Western world for millennia. The idea that there is one person for everyone has been popular since the days of the ancient Greeks, who also invented the concept.

But do soulmates exist? Is it true that there is someone for everyone?

It’s a question I’ve been chewing on since my relationship with my future bride began last year. So, being the nerd that I am, I decided to dig into the matter and see what others believe.

Before I get into my analysis of this question, let’s answer another vital question: What the heck is a “soulmate?”

There is no definitive definition of the term. People seem to view the term differently.

Merriam-Webster defines the term as:

[A] person who is perfectly suited to another in temperament

[A] person who strongly resembles another in attitudes or beliefs

Others suggest that a soulmate is someone who complements you almost perfectly. It is someone with whom you share an extra special bond. Many believe the soulmate is the one person with whom God meant you to be connected. Some posit that one could have multiple potential soulmates.

Family and marital psychologist Dr. Michael Tobin told Brides.com, a website I never expected to visit, that a soulmate is “the realization that this person who shares your life is a part of yourself.” He continued:

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“A soulmate is an individual that has a lasting impact on your life. Your soulmate is your fellow traveler on the journey of life—you need one another to grow beyond the limitations of your individual selves.”

According to Brides.com, there are several signs that one has met their soulmate. “Intense feelings,” “[t]ranscendence of time and place,” and “immediate connection” are all signifiers that one may have found “the one.”

The soulmate concept originated with the ancient Greeks, who believed that when humans were first created, they were shaped differently than they are today. Somehow, they were both male and female, had four arms, four legs, and one head made of two faces.

In Plato’s philosophical text, “The Symposium,” he has a character named Aristophanes, who is a Greek theater and comedic writer, tell the story of the creation of soulmates. He explains that humans became too big for their britches and were talking of overthrowing the Gods. In response, Zeus split them into two separate beings, which created the condition in which humans spent their lives seeking their other halves to complete them.

Despite the fact that the concept was developed as a comedic device and involved mythical deities, it has become a common belief among Christians. How many times have you heard pastors, preachers, or other Christian spiritual leaders suggest that we should be praying that God sends us “the right one?” The idea that God created us to be with one specific person has become ubiquitous in the world of Christianity despite having no biblical basis.

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Nevertheless, it is still a compelling concept, isn’t it?

The idea that there is one person out there who will make us whole sounds attractive and romantic to many. Meeting someone with whom you strike an immediate connection can be intoxicating. It can make you feel higher than Hunter Biden’s favorite narcotic. You have finally met the person that just “gets you.” This person must be “the one” because you just connect on such a deep level, right? This had to have been a match made in Heaven.

But is it true?

For my part, it is difficult for me to believe in this definition of “soulmate.” The notion that there is just one person out there that God created just for us seems numerically impossible given the makeup of the world’s population. Moreover, the fact there is no biblical basis for this concept makes me even more hesitant to accept it.

In his book, “Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage,” pastor Mark Gungor explains that entering into a successful marital relationship isn’t about finding the one person that was created for you. He writes:

The truth is, a successful marriage is not the result of marrying the “right” person, feeling the “right” emotions, thinking the “right” thoughts, or even praying the “right” prayers. It’s about doing the “right” things—period. Why doesn’t God have a special person just for you? Because He knows that His principles of love, acceptance, patience, and forgiveness work, and they work all the time, every time—no matter to whom you are married. That is why the apostle Paul never told us to find that “special someone,” but rather to make sure we find someone who truly believes and lives by the principles of love, acceptance, patience, and forgiveness. He referred to such a person as a “believer.”

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Gungor also notes that “[m]arriage is more about work than about divine luck, more about finding someone to love than about finding someone to meet your own laundry list of personal needs.”

This mirrors what I believe about the concept. Sure, I believe God can and does bring people together. In my relationship, I believe He gave a “nudging.” But the bottom line is that I chose her, and she chose me. We could have easily decided to choose someone else, but we didn’t. The decision was ours.

Soulmates are a nice thought, but the concept can result in faulty thinking. For some, if their current marriage hits a rough patch, people might be tempted to assume it is because they are not with their true mate that God created specifically for them. Who knows how many marriages ended, at least in part, because of this belief?

My girlfriend and I actually do feel the deep connection that others describe. We understand each other on a spiritual level. We have all of that nice, romantic, mushy-gushy stuff that those obnoxious lovey-dovey couples say they feel. But even more than that, we choose to love each other, and we know if we put into practice the biblical guidelines that Gungor gives, our bond will not be severed, and when we tie the knot, our marriage will endure the test of time.

Perhaps instead of focusing on finding that “one person,” we would be wise to work on developing the attributes and habits prescribed in the Bible so that when we do meet someone with whom we might be compatible, we can not only make sure we choose the right person, we can also ensure we are being the right person. It’s a lesson she and I have both had to learn separately, and we are now enjoying the process of learning together. In the end, the truth is that she and I are each other’s soulmates, not because we were created to be, but because we deliberately chose to be.

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