When it comes to connecting with someone and finding your perfect soulmate, it seems like a dream come true. The concept of having that special person who's your counterpart would make this whole dating "thing" a whole lot easier. Yet it can be tough to determine whether the idea of a soulmate is factual or not. Is there a way to really know you've met "the one," and what might happen if you let him or her go? Luckily, we've got a few answers for you.
Do Soulmates Really Exist?
In a way, they do. You've just got to believe in the magical. "A soulmate is someone you connect with in a way that is deeper than you thought possible. You connect with him [or her] in a way that is romantic, but also strongly emotional. And this connection is far deeper than any connection you've had with anyone else," David Bennett, a relationship counselor and owner of Double Trust Dating and Relationships, told POPSUGAR.
How to Know You've Found Yours
"A soulmate treats you with kindness and generosity and brings out the best in you (and you in him or her). A soulmate is more than just a person who shares a certain percentage of things in common with you. In fact, a soulmate may not even have a lot in common with you, but you nonetheless are right for each other," he said.
It's an unspoken, unexplainable bond that holds the two of you together where you're happy and the best versions of yourselves. You know that it just feels right to be together.
What's more, a soulmate's love is unconditional. "A soulmate will treat you with kindness even when you may not deserve it, but [they'll] also assertively tell you what you need to hear if necessary. As I mentioned, soulmates bring out the best in each other, and do so with kindness, empathy, and honesty," he said. Plus, your underlying values mesh well together and there is a level of acceptance, added Kimberly Hershenson, LMSW.
"You've faced hardship together — whether it's the loss of a loved one, a job, or just setbacks — and have come out stronger together, [and] you challenge each other — you make each other think and can push each other while still being supportive," she said. You can also accept each others' quirks, where you feel comfortable with your partner and can be yourself.
Finding your soulmate is deeper than making a checklist of traits you like in someone and seeing if someone meets it. It's hard to define, but you know it when you see and feel it. "I'm not sure if I totally believe in the concept, simply because they are so rare and the term is clouded by 'in love' brain chemistry. But if you find someone you totally feel could be your soulmate, don't blow it by overthinking or pushing them away, because the evidence suggests a long-term relationship with a great person that lasts forever is extremely rare," he said.
Can You Be Wrong?
Sometimes you may think someone is a soulmate, and he or she turns out not to be. "It's also possible to find your soulmate and push him or her away because of your own personal issues. And sometimes your soulmate may let you go, because they may know that walking away could be the best thing for you in the end," said Bennett.
"If you believe you've found your soulmate, then you really should work hard to figure out why the relationship isn't working and then make changes if necessary," he said. It's worth holding onto if you both feel that you're meant to be.
For this to work, you both must feel that the other is his or her soulmate. "I would have a hard time being in a relationship where I believe my partner is my soulmate, but she doesn't believe it back. The concept of 'soulmate' requires a 'mate,' which by definition implies part of a pair. If your partner is hesitant to use the word 'soulmate,' that is one thing, but if you believe [they are] the one for you eternally, and to [them] you're just another person to date, I'd have serious questions," said Bennett. However, keep in mind some people don't like the word soulmate but still may see their partners in that way.
Is It Common?
"Based on the research related to divorce, cheating, and the reality of relationship satisfaction often diminishing over time, finding a soulmate seems pretty rare," he said. What's more, it might come up too early in the relationship to make it valid.
"From a purely scientific standpoint, the 'soulmates' concept is usually brought up early in a relationship, when the infatuated brain is filled with dopamine and other 'feel-good' chemicals that create euphoric feelings for each other (sorry to be a downer). As these chemicals fade, often so does the 'soulmate' label," he explained.