Is the phenomenon of “soulmate” familiar to you? What does it really mean? It is considered that if your partner is our soulmate you feel entirely whole, healed and intact, like no piece is missing from the puzzle. Soulmate differs from a life partner, who can be a great supporter and long-time companion, but is limited in his or her capacity to enrich your spirit.
We all as social creatures have a deep and underlying desire to find that one perfect person to spend the rest of our days with. That one person when you meet, you feel an uncontrollable attraction to and an illogical sense of familiarity with. But what do we really know about the perfect mate or the ideal partner? Psychology is finally shedding light on the mystery that encapsulates so many hearts and minds around the world in an effort to understand what truly makes two people compatible for a relationship.
Nowadays, personality tests help finding someone with similar answers to the questions on these tests can result in finding the perfect mate. Sounds very appealing for many different reasons, doesn’t it?
Dr. Ted Hudson of the University of Texas ran a longitudinal study of couples that had been married for years and in his research, he discovered something quite surprising. This research shows that couples that feel content and warmth in their relationships does not recognize that compatibility hasn’t been an issue for them. In fact, they admitted that it was them who made the relationship work, not the compatibility of their personalities.
Nevertheless, the unhappy couples put a weight to the issue of compatibility in their marriage, because from their viewpoints, they didn’t get along very well. Dr. Hudson argues that is where the issue arises with compatibility, as everyone who is unhappy naturally blames it on the facade of compatibility. They fail to realize and comprehend that a successful relationship does not hinge its posterity on how alike you are, instead it hangs on by the sheer will power and want to stay in a relationship.
You probably know that building a relationship with someone is dependent on you and the other person. It has more or less nothing to do with compatibility. But if we can’t depend on compatibility exams or some standard form of testing to find our ideal mate, then how do we do it?
Dr. John Gottman, the founder of The Gottman Institute in Seattle, said that measures of personality are incapable of truly predicting the length or success of a relationship. Gottman discovered that couples who focus their energy on building something meaningful together in their life tend to last the longest. How a couple interacts is the single, most fundamental aspect to creating a successful relationship. Meaning, it’s not who you are or what you do that will prolong or help you find the perfect mate. It’s how you speak to each other, how well you get along, and how you move through time together. John Gottman went on to say that your partner should support your life dreams. They should look up to you, admire you, and respect you. Now this sounds ideal, but when you truly reflect on how you’ve always wanted to be treated, having someone who genuinely believes in your greatness is paramount.
Don’t think it’s all just how we view one another; however, a lot of the connection you feel with another person is emotional. Therefore, you must be capable of responding to each other when you need something. If you truly are looking for love and want to find that person that you can spend the rest of your life with, remember that it is YOU who creates compatibility. There is no magic formula or perfect algorithm for making a fruitful relationship with another human being.
So next time you spot someone who catches your attention and makes your pupils dilate with interest and enthusiasm, pay attention to whether or not they can see the dream you envisioned for your life. If they can share in your delight and can accept you for who you are today, not for who you can be tomorrow, then you have found your “soulmate.”