A happy, long-lasting relationship with our soulmate is something I imagine most of us aspire to when we’re proactively dating or dreaming about a potential romance . . . especially when we’re dating over 60. Finally, it’s time for us to begin a new, fulfilling life with that special someone.
We all know the term “soulmate”.
A soulmate goes way beyond a life partner – someone you get along very well with and will live a happy, comfortable life with – also an admirable relationship to search for, but some may say you’re settling, if you’re seeking a life partner and not your soulmate.
Finding your soulmate is the ultimate in a relationship . . . someone with whom you’re utterly compatible and so deeply in tune that you seem to think the same thoughts and feel their feelings.
Both of your souls and beings are inexorably intertwined and in sync. You’re a perfect fit. This is the person you feel you were destined to be with.
Many of us who are dating again later in life have to suffer through some bad relationships before we’re ready for, or come in contact with, our soulmates.
Sometimes we happily settle into life-partner relationships that satisfy on many levels, and meet many of our needs.
I like to think that when we’re older, we have the emotional wherewithal and freedom to pursue a soulmate relationship. At least I hope there are plenty of us out there who strive for such a relationship. For me, finding Cosmo in my 60’s has been worth the wait.
How long has the word “soulmate” been around?
“Soulmate” became particularly popular in the 1980’s, but I remember hearing it when I was young. For the longest time I thought “soulmate” was born during the free love movement of the 1960’s. This was when I first heard the word.
But soulmate predates our coming of age as boomers.
Several years ago, I heard the term used in the wonderful 1935 movie “The Whole Town’s Talking”, starring Edward G. Robinson and Jean Arthur, and directed by John Ford.
But the concept didn’t originate in Hollywood.
Researching this article, I learned that “soulmate” was first seen in print in 1822, when poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote in a letter, “To be happy in married life . . . you must have a soul-mate.”
But the idea precedes even that date.
Soulmate probably morphed from the notion in the New Testament that, “humans were once whole, but were then divided to create [their] mate”.
And Plato’s ‘The Symposium’ proposed that
“Humans were androgynous and had four arms and four legs, making them a round shape. They were full of such power and self-sufficiency that the gods felt threatened, and so Zeus split them in two and scattered the halves across the world. Humans were forevermore doomed to wander the planet searching for their literal other half.”
What exactly is a soulmate?
For me, on my first date with Cosmo I don’t believe I was thinking “This is my soulmate”, but I do remember feeling like I was home.
I didn’t know why “home” was the word that came to mind then, until some time had passed, and we’d had a few dates.
We quickly came to have a level of comfort together that I’d never had with anyone else . . . sort of like that cozy feeling you have wrapped up in a blanket on the couch on a cold, cold day, watching the snow fall and grateful to be inside, safe and warm.
Quiet times, just sitting together over lunch or breakfast, or sitting outside enjoying nature – even without conversation – may be the times I relish and look forward to the most.
After slogging through so many dates before that, with men who sparked very little or nothing in me, in Cosmo I knew I had found the right one for me and, significantly, I knew I was the right one for him. He came to the same understanding after the second date.
As Dr. Carmen Harra (@DrCarmenHarra on Twitter) notes in a Huffington Post article,
“Your soulmate makes you feel entirely whole, healed and intact, like no piece is missing from the puzzle.”
She includes in her article a list of the 10 elements of a soulmate. Here are the ones that most hit home with me:
1. It’s something inside. Describing how a soulmate makes you feel is difficult. It’s a tenacious, profound and lingering emotion which no words can encompass.
2. You just get each other. Ever met two people who finish each other’s sentences? Some people call that spending too much time together, but I call it a soulmate connection.
3. You fall in love with his (or her) flaws. Your relationship is more likely to be a soulmate match if you both love each other exactly as you each are, accepting both the great and awful tendencies we all have.
4. It’s intense. A soulmate relationship may be more intense than normal relationships, in both good and sometimes bad ways. But even during negative episodes, you’re focused on resolving the problem and can see beyond the bad moment.
5. It’s you two against the world. Soulmates often see their relationship as “us against the world.” These relationships are founded on compromise and unity above all else.
6. You feel secure and protected. Your soulmate will make you feel like you have a guardian angel by your side. A person who plays on your insecurities, whether consciously or subconsciously, is not your soulmate.
7. You look each other in the eye. Soulmates have a tendency to look into each other’s eyes when speaking more often than ordinary couples. Looking a person in the eye when speaking denotes a high level of comfort and confidence.
Never underestimate the power of “the look of love”, which you’ll only get with your soulmate. I wrote about this in my post, How Will You Know If He’s THE ONE? Look for “The Look”
How do you know when you’ve found your soulmate?
In a Life Hack article, June Silny (@LivingOutLoud_) outlines 18 signs you’ve found your soulmate, including these 6:
1. You feel each other’s pain, sadness, worry, and stress. And you share each other’s happiness and joy.
2. You share the same life goals, values and ethics.
3. You’re not afraid of having the big conversations, knowing that by joining together, you’ll work it out.
4. You are not threatened by the need for alone time.
5. You respect each other’s differences and opinions.
6. You don’t scream, curse, or threaten to leave each other.
Why you may be having such a hard time finding your soulmate.
There can be many reasons why you haven’t happened on your soulmate. If this is the kind of relationship you really want, keep looking. Take consolation in the fact that she or he is out there somewhere, unless any of the following things are going on with you:
1. You’re not capable of, or ready for, a soulmate.
For various reasons, you may not be ready or able to accept a soulmate or true love into your life. If the items I noted above are off-putting or feel alien to you, you’re probably not ready.
I’ve outlined other reasons in my post, 5 Reasons You’re NOT READY for True Love, which include:
1. You have addiction and/or substance abuse issues.
2. You’re not being honest about who you really are.
3. You haven’t carefully considered who your ideal partner is.
2. You already know the person who is in fact your soulmate, but you’ve overlooked them.
You may be too picky for all the wrong reasons or you can’t “see” your soulmate when you meet them.
Your soulmate could be standing right in front of you, but you don’t see them as “the one” because they don’t meet enough of the criteria on your dating checklist. They may have been orbiting around you for years, or you may even have dated in the past. Maybe that swooning love-at-first-sight feeling didn’t hit you, so you crossed them off your list of potentials.
3. You’re someone who’s not good with compromise.
Even the best of relationships can be rocky at times, and any new relationship takes adjusting and mutual give and take. So-called “right fighters”, those who never give in, aren’t good soulmate relationship material. They won’t relent even for the sake of saving and bolstering the relationship itself. Compromise is the cornerstone of any healthy, abiding relationship . . . romantic, friendship, familial or otherwise.
4. You’re not someone who continues to grow and learn, even in the latter part of life.
We all have a lot to learn, always, and need to be open to emotional and spiritual growth. Part of finding and being with your soulmate involves learning from them how to be a better person.
We all have strong points and weaker ones we should be working on. Someone who personifies and models the positive personal attributes you aspire to possess, will help you incorporate them into your own persona. Your soulmate truly helps you become a better person.