Soulmates?

Johnny & June - definitely soulmates.

Johnny & June – as depicted in film and in real life – were definitely soulmates.

My good friend E and I had a running discussion that lasted for several years about whether soulmates actually existed. I believe they do, she believes they do not.

When she and I met I was single and she was -and still is – married. We taught together at the same school. During one “ice-breaker” activity on the first inservice day, we had to share what our favorite book was. She and I both answered Catcher in the Rye. From that point on, I knew we were meant to be friends for life.

I don’t remember exactly how the subject of soulmates came up, but I would imagine that I was waxing poetically about how I desired to meet mine: The One, someone I couldn’t live without, someone who was connected to me by our souls. Not missing a beat she said, “There is no such thing as a soulmate.”

I was shocked. My friend ,who felt the same way as me about one of the most resounding and memorable characters in literature (Holden was innocent, kind, confused, cynical and ultimately romantic), actually didn’t believe in soulmates? How is that even possible?

She explained, after I forced my mouth closed, “that there is not one single person out there for everybody.” She continued to say you meet people by chance. If you find qualities you like in that person and find them attractive, then there you go. There was no mystical universe plotting and planning our love lives.

Yes, dear reader, I do agree, in a world with billions of people, there may be more than one person suited for us, one that we connect with on a higher level. And most likely we can have more than one soulmate. It could be a friend or a lover. Here’s one definition of soulmate from Merriam-Webster:

Definition of SOULMATE

1: a person who is perfectly suited to another in temperament

2: a person who strongly resembles another in attitudes or beliefs <ideological soul mates>

Now, a less academic definition from Urban Dictionary:

A soulmate is someone you have a very deep connection. It is not always easy explained. It is a meeting of mind, heart, body and soul on the highest of levels. Communication is at its easiest, as they understand you perfectly, and accept you completely with no judgments.

E’s husband is a lovely man – smart, funny, successful, athletic, has a great taste in music, is complimentary and kind – but he is not E’s soulmate. I would suspect this is why she doesn’t believe in them (nor does he, by the way). They have a normal, imperfect, functioning marriage with three beautiful children. Are they right for each other? They seem to be just fine. I don’t know if there was ever any fire or passion in their relationship, but they both have very “chill” temperaments, so I don’t know if they are those kind of people. Not that they aren’t intelligent and deep, because they are, but they don’t necessarily have that fire in their soul – at least not when it comes to love. I would say they are comfortable.

Soulmate love is not a comfortable kind of love. In fact, it can be quite difficult. Because soulmates are very alike in very many ways. So, if there is something you don’t like about yourself, that quality will probably annoy the hell out of you in the other person. He knows how to push your buttons, and you know how to push his. But of course it is also amazingly beautiful because you feel connected, you feel that someone finally gets you and you can talk and talk for hours. You’re best friends. There is passion. There is someone who believes in you and you believe in him right back. He or she is the missing puzzle piece in your life.

I included the picture from Walk the Line because, well, I love that movie, and because Johnny Cash and June Carter are a great example of soulmates. Both were musical, passionate, talented, stubborn and completely and whole-heartedly in love. Everything was bigger with them. So, there were years of difficulties, but they stayed together and understood one another and were deeply in love. They were best friends. They respected one another and wrote songs together and performed together. They were cut from the same cloth. They were partners in crime.

A passionate-best friend-amazing lover-intellectual equal-cheerleader-inspirer-muse-type relationship isn’t what everyone aspires for. And that’s okay. But I have experienced a soulmate relationship. Sadly, for a million different reasons, it ended. Happily, we’re still friends. Incidentally, I was a teenager when we dated and had no clue about a lot of things. Life is certainly a great teacher and I didn’t realize what I had until….well, you know the rest. So, I know what I want and I know what my soul craves. While I don’t agree with E’s stance on soulmates, I do hope she’s right about there being more than one person out there for everyone.

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23 thoughts on “Soulmates?

  1. Pingback: soulmates? | A Hot Cup of Love

  2. Agreed, I believe there are different types of soul mates for everyone. Throughout your life there will be multiple people that just seem to effortlessly “get” you.

    I just ended a soul mate relationship not too long ago and I’m trying to press on – for timing reasons to end the breaking up/getting back together cycle (takes it’s toll!) I love him dearly and hopefully we will always be in each others’ lives. We used to say that if we’ve lived any other life before this one we’ve always found each other 🙂

    Thank you for sharing this today, I’ve been feeling very lost and rather sad about the split. I know intellectually that things will work themselves out (always) for the best, but this is just the little spiritual smack I needed help my heart get back in line.

    Loving you always,
    Kiera

    • Kiera,

      Any break-up is very hard. It seems like passionate relationships are almost always on and off again. Passionate people just feel things more, and so while the love feels amazing, the pain is that much more crushing. Love takes a lot of courage; letting someone see inside your soul and leaving yourself vulnerable to heartbreak is very brave.

      Just don’t let anyone mistreat you or treat you less than the amazing person you are. If any relationship causes more pain than happiness, it’s time to let go.

      I wish you well. I can totally relate to how you’re feeling. Things WILL work out just as they are supposed to. Hang in there!

      xoxo Jill

      • Thank you, thank you, thank you!

        You are so right! We are both very passionate, uninhibited people so everything is amplified. We are happy with each other as individual people, but US needs some work only time can take care of or we’ll both find others romantic interests.


        Kiera

  3. I’ve been trying to explain this very thing for some time now. I don’t believe in soul-mates but I love your description. Being in-love should be soul-wrenchingly, and wonderfully chaotic, not practical. However, as my friend is from the Eastern side of the world, I wonder if this is only a Western fairytale notion. Regardless, like you, I want it back as well. Thanks for the understanding post.

    • It’s okay not to put a label on it or to not believe in soulmates; you certainly believe in passionate love. I do ponder sometimes if it is a fairytale notion what with all the songs, books and movies being about big, all-consuming love. But, artists are creating it and we’re buying it so we must want it. And if we want it, why not make it happen?

  4. Beautiful post! Wonderfully said! I think the problem with soulmates is the same as with many descriptive terms, such as love, we all have a different interpretation of what it means, thus our belief in it depends upon our interpretation. Sometimes our interpretation of words like soulmates is influenced by the media, movies, books, and is not necessarily what we believe but it is what we think we should believe because we are being told to see things in a certain way. I agree with what KiKi Cutey said about there being different types of soulmates for everyone. Sometimes that soulmate is a great love of our life, sometimes they are a very good friend, sometimes they fill every possible role in our lives… and I think some enemies may also be soulmates. It all comes down to what we think a soulmate is… and we are not limited to just one.

    • Definitely! There are many interpretations. I think you just know it when it’s there. I certainly have friends that are soulmates. That’s interesting to think an enemy could be a soulmate. Soulmates do teach us about ourselves so that is entirely possible. Good to hear your confirmation that we’re not just limited to one! 🙂

  5. Seriously made my day. I agree with everything you said. I especially loved your paragraph about soulmate love not being a comfortable kind of love.But especially, “You’re best friends. There is passion. There is someone who believes in you and you in him right back. He or she is the missing puzzle piece in your life.” That to me says it all. Thank you for it.

    I love you for this post. I hope you don’t mind that I further talk on the subject later in my own writing and quote you. This was beautiful.

    • This is the only kind of love my heart craves. Kind of makes it difficult to meet someone, but why waste your time if you’re not fulfilled? I love that you quote me and look forward to reading your thoughts on the subject.

  6. I believe that a person may have most of the qualities of a “Soul Mate” as defined in the article, but I do not believe that there is just ONE specific person out there destined for you. I believe that there are numerous people in the world that are a pretty close match to everything that you are looking for in a lover, but no one is perfect, and it is irresponsible to think so, as that will only lead to being let down. If someone is attractive to YOU, has a good personality, treats YOU with respect, and has compatible values/beliefs with YOU, then you should CHOOSE to love them, even if you do have to compromise a little bit. Your significant other will have to do the same for you. Hollywood’s depiction of love never fully happens in real life so dont chase it.

    • True! My Prince Charming isn’t going to show up at my door, and there is no perfect person (I’m certainly not). Personally, I want to feel that spark, have that connection, and overall just have someone who loves me for me. That someone has to be real, not someone pretending to be perfect. You made some great points. Thanks for reading!

  7. Pingback: Divorced people need more friends - but so do married people - Wealthy Single Mommy

  8. Pingback: Heart Open & Hopeful | Sex & The Cincy

  9. Great post. Gosh I got teary-eyed because I’ve experienced that soulmate thing too. And I grieved for at least a year after it ended. But he raised the bar. I can’t ever settle for less than amazing again.

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