Do soul mates really exist?

So soul mates really exist? And what are they really? Is it that person that makes your soul grow the most? I consider the universe to be random and there are no guarantees in running into one…but I dont know if that rules it out…if your lucky enough to find them. Is anyone here with a soul mate?

Welcome aboard, laurielesley! Well, before this heads to Great Debates or IMHO, I’ll add what I can for the GQ side of this question while it’s here.

The concept of a soul mate goes back to at least Plato, who elaborated on the idea. He discusses the soul in the Republic, but also gets into things in the Symposium (where he really expands on love, sex, and sensuality). If you want more there’s the ancient concept of “epipsychidion” (PB Shelley waxed lyrical with a monstrously long poem of the same name). This is the idea that every individual is really just one half of a whole; somewhere out there is the other half, and at the point you hook up you’ll be complete (Jerry Maguire, eat your heart out). So the ancients might not agree with your cynicism.

On the IMHO level: I don’t buy it. I think finding the right person has far more to do with circumstance, timing, attitude, and old fashioned luck. Fate isn’t involved.

Gee, that’s my definition of “Fate.”

Well … I consider my SO to be a soulmate.

I don’t know if we qualify for Plato’s definition, but after experiencing relationships on many levels over many years I can tell you that this one is different. Now, it might just be my imagination.

But I feel connected . . on a deeper level than “normal”. I feel like he is me; another facet of me; perhaps my “male” half?

Or maybe these are the rantings of a loony old bat.:eek:

I started dating my future wife about a week after we first met, and asked her to marry me two weeks later. That was fourteen years ago, and we are still together. So there’s your anecdotal evidence.

OTOH, she’s talking about kicking me out. So maybe not. :frowning:

I love the idea. I wish I believed in it, but in my mind, and experience, I just can’t. I think there are many people you can have meaningful relationships with, and that the concept that there is “only one person” made “just for you” is a little arrogant and self-defeating.

And depressing as hell. One right person out of three billion? (Six if you’re bi.:slight_smile: ) What if you’re in Ohio and your soul mate is in Sri Lanka? There are good relationships and bad relationships and horrible relationships and wonderful relationships. If you’re in one of the wonderful ones, you’ve found a soul mate.

Some great comments already! love the discussion so far…

I suspect my soul mate died of unlikely chicken pox complications in childhood or something. So I’m prepared to make do with someone who won’t get on my nerves too much. Any takers?

IMHO it’s unlikely in the extreme that there’s only one soulmate for a person. “None” or " more than one" would seem much more possible.

And what about different degrees of compatibility, however one defines it… maybe there’s two or three people with 99.999999% compatablility, a dozen with 99.99% compatibility, a few hundred with 98% compatibility, etc.

This idea of “soulmates” also seems to assume that people are somehow unchangeable: that one cannot learn, grow, and become more compatible with another, as they likewise learn and grow.

However, in my more melancholy moods I fear that the quantity of soulmates in the world, for me at least, is “none”. That idea is at least more comfortable than the thought that there might be One for me… and she’s dying of AIDS in Pretoria or about to commit suicide after years of suffering through a loveless marriage in Harbin.

I suppose I should have elaborated. I don’t think that anyone is destined to meet a soulmate, and certainly no higher power is going to make that happen. By fate, I mean pre-ordination, not chance or coincidence; nothing is meant to be, it just is.

I think we can be a bit more conservative than that. The age factor alone would probably cut it down by a factor of three.

In theory, mine anyway, everyone is everyone elses soul mate…Like the pieces of a puzzle, some fit together better than others.

We aren’t talking about one set of glands calling for another, right?

As for fate, what should I believe? Have I ever been fated?

This reminds me of one of the best songs in the world, “Ana Ng” by They Might Be Giants. In the song, his soulmate lives in Asia, and he never meets her. They nearly meet at the World Fair when they are children, and years later some wires get crossed on a phone line, and he faintly hears her voice.

Personally, I think the idea of a soulmate is very destructive to relationships. If someone believes that there is the one perfect person for him/her, the person with whom everything will fall into place and be easy, it makes it difficult to deal with the problems and disagreements in a real relationship. Too many times I’ve seen my female friends date a really nice guy and then dump him because things aren’t “magical.” Invariably they then start dating a jerk. My male friends are sometimes either paralyzed by shyness because “if she was the right one for me, I’d magically know what to say to her,” or dissatisfied with their current girlfriend because they’re pining for the “soulmate who got away.”

Yes, it depends how you define “soulmate.”

My wife and soulmate is from Shanghai, I am from Holland, we met in Singapore and live now in France… we call it fate.

Given that I don’t believe in souls as metaphysical constructs separate from the physical form, I’m inclined to say no.

Some words of wisdom, there.

I believe in soulmates. But, it seems my definition is different from everyone else’s.

I think that soulmates do not depend on destiny or fate. And that everyone has many potential soulmates. But, only one will ever get a chance to develop.

A soulmate doesn’t have to be just like you. They only have to understand you better then anyone else ever can. Soulmates don’t happen over night or “at first site”. You have to really get to know someone before you can connect on that level.

I have my soulmate. I know because the only fear I have left in life is being with out him. Any other bad thing that might happen I can deal with. I know that I have a safe place where my heart heal over any other loss. I know that someone will think I am special and a good person no matter what mistake I make. I know that I will still be beautiful no matter what happens to my body. That is what having a soulmate is to me.

General Question is for questions with factual answers. IMHO is for opinions and polls. I’ll move this to IMHO for you.

Off to IMHO.

DrMatrix - General Questions Moderator

Yes, they exist.

It still takes an incredible amount of work and communication to have a successful relationship, but no amount of work and communication will make a relationship work that doesn’t have that spark that connects the two people at the deepest level.

My SO and I are very different people. We have divergent tastes in nearly everything; however, we communicate very well and recognize that there is something that attracts us one to the other. I once told her “We love alike,” and I think that’s what does it.

That, and the incredible, mind-blowing, never been better, I think I"ve died and gone to heaven, do that to me one more time, sex.