If you’re proactively dating or dreaming about a potential romance, I imagine most of you want to find a soulmate . . . especially if you’re dating over 60.
Finally, it’s time to begin a new, fulfilling life with that special someone.
We all know the term “soulmate”.
A soulmate goes way beyond a life partner, who is someone you get along very well with and will live a happy, comfortable life with. This is 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 soulmate.
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 my soulmate Cosmo in my 60’s was well worth the wait.
If you want to find a soulmate, keep this in mind
I truly believe that there’s more than just one potential love of your life out there. There can be many at one time and over your lifetime. Of course, they may not be located near enough to you for you to come across them.
I think it’s unfortunate when people who are widowed cling so tightly to the love they have for their late spouse or partner that they don’t think they can ever find that kind of love again.
They want it again, but won’t let themselves believe it can happen, so they don’t pursue it.
The problem may be that they frame this as “replacing” their loved one, which implies finding someone just like their partner, which isn’t likely.
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?
I like the way Judith Orloff M.D., who writes about highly sensitive people (or “empaths”), describes a soulmate:
“A soulmate is a meant-to-be relationship with someone for whom you feel a strong connection. When you meet, something in you awakens. You want to support each other’s souls and be each other’s safe place to land. A soulmate can be a lover, a friend, a co-worker, a teacher, or another pivotal relationship in your life. Whatever the relationship, you can take each other further in your own emotional and spiritual growth than either of you could go alone.”
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, or watching TV – 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.
How your soulmate makes you feel
As Dr. Carmen Harra 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”
It’s all (or mostly) in the eyes
According to research, soulmates communicate deeply on both verbal and non-verbal levels, such as facial expressions and body language:
“Typically, those who describe interactions with a soulmate note communication based on eye contact. The eyes are used to express, receive, and share experiences of every kind of affect. Many people fall in love with those whose eyes they have permitted themselves to look into and let themselves be seen (Tomkins, 1962/1991). Through eye contact, people experience mutual awareness of excitement. Given that the eyes are critical in mutual affect awareness, ‘there is no greater intimacy than the interocular interaction’”
How do you find a soulmate?
As with most of the big, life-changing things we contemplate taking on, preparation can be key.
An article in Your Tango details some things to do, to ready yourself and then pursue finding your love, including:
Get clear about what you really want.
Spend some time thinking about and making notes on who your ideal partner will be.
“Each failed relationship in your past has given you clues about what you want in your ideal partner. The problem is, many people focus on the negative instead of the positive.”
Fall in love with yourself.
“When we judge or criticize ourselves too harshly and too often, we’re prone to send out an energy that repels others. Self-criticism is a negative energy that may repel potential mates.”
Don’t give up.
When it comes to love, people get disappointed when their dates don’t meet their expectations and they don’t see evidence that true love is coming. Out of disappointment or fear of being disappointed, they give up, never knowing what they missed.”
Get your beliefs in order.
“Examine your beliefs about love and clean up any beliefs that don’t support attracting, having and keeping your perfect relationship: ‘I’m not attractive enough.’ ‘I don’t make enough money.’ ‘All the good ones are taken.'”
Where do you find a soulmate?
Not to sound pie-in-the-sky, but your soulmate can be anywhere. And any date you have can turn out to be your one-and-only.
Increase your chances of finding her or him by looking and positioning yourself in various places.
Find them on online dating sites.
You’re more likely to find your soulmate here because the pool of people who are looking – just like you – is so large.
And check out our Top 10 Best Online Dating Sites for Over 60: How To Choose and Use Them.
Find them in various places in-person.
Being “out there” and meeting new people is another way to find your soulmate.
We’ve put together a robust list of 44 Places Where You Can Meet Singles Over 60.
Find them through people you know.
Don’t forget the people around you. Ask everyone you know (friends, family, co-workers, hair stylist/barber, etc.) if they know someone.
How do you know for sure when you’ve found a soulmate?
In a Life Hack article, June Silny 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.
8 Reasons why you may be having a hard time finding a 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 have a mistaken notion of what a soulmate really is.
The movies we see and books we read often portray an unrealistic picture of who that ideal person is.
Believing that picture makes some people think that a soulmate is someone who is perfect for us in every way.
But that’s pure fantasy.
Everyone, including you, has flaws. Some minor flaws and some major ones.
If you have your sights set on perfection, you’ll never find someone.
As clinical psychologist Forrest Talley, Ph.D. said:
“If you are to ever have a happy, healthy, long-term relationship, it is important to aim for what is realistic. Sure, aim high, but with your eyes wide open. If you make it your goal to find a soulmate, the ideal person who makes you constantly feel whole, happy, and complete, then every romance will eventually end in disappointment.
No one can wipe away someone else’s insecurities, their selfish impulses, or their past hurts.”
2. You’re not ready for or capable of having a soulmate.
For various reasons, you may not be ready or able to accept a soulmate or true love into your life. If the things 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.
To get yourself ready and in the right mindset, use our Mature Dating Game Plan – The Low-Stress Way to Find Your Soulmate After Divorce or Loss Without Getting Played
3. You’re attracting the wrong kind of people.
This can be a conscious or unconscious thing.
You may not understand yourself and what you’re really looking for. If things that happened to you in your childhood and/or past relationships have gone unattended to and unresolved, you’re likely to carry those problems with you into every relationship.
Or, you may be trying so hard to attract just ANYone that you push down who you really are.
If you don’t present your true self to people, the wrong people will gravitate towards you.
Cosmo wrote an insightful article about avoiding dating people who are bad for you. He included some struggles of his own in this regard.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. Your addiction is getting in the way.
If you have any kind of addiction (alcohol, drugs, sex, hoarding, etc.), it will negatively impact all of your relationships.
You’ll doom yourself to never finding your soulmate because the way you navigate your life is entirely built around the selfish pursuit of getting that fix.
Get yourself cleaned up before you impose yourself – and all the problems that go along with addiction – on someone else.
8. You don’t need to find your soulmate. You already found them.
What if your ex is your soulmate?
Maybe you already found your soulmate in a past spouse or partner, and you don’t believe anyone else could possibly measure up.
If that person is still alive, you may be holding onto the possibility (realistic or not) that you’ll get back together again:
“The appeal of returning to a past partner is agonizingly familiar to many, and the reasons vary: Sometimes you try again because you’ve both matured and changed for the better. Sometimes it’s better to stick with the “devil you know” than risk dating someone new who may be worse. Sometimes the investment in a long relationship makes it hard to consider starting from scratch. Sometimes it’s their delicious cooking. Sometimes the sex is just too good.”
This kind of thinking could sabotage your chances of finding true love again.
Remember that there was a reason (or many reasons!) why you broke up.
Do this: Go back to your dating game plan and review what it is you’re looking for in your ideal partner.
Then tally up the good and bad things about your ex and the relationship, to remind yourself about why you broke up.
Is this person really someone you want to get involved with again, if that’s even an option?
Chances are, there were problems from both of your perspective. If so, it’s time to move on.
How to maintain a soulmate relationship
Dr. Orloff (noted above) offered tips on letting go and being real with your soulmate:
- Set healthy boundaries about your time and energy requirements such as “I’d love to go out but only for an hour.”
- Express your authentic needs such as “I want to take some alone time now” or “I need you to really hear what I’m feeling about__.”
- To find balance listen to your partner’s emotions with an open heart, and your partner can listen to yours. That’s when real intimacy becomes possible.
- If you’re in a relationship with someone who is inexperienced in being with empaths or expressing emotions, go slowly and educate them about your needs. It might take a while for you to get comfortable being truly authentic.
What others say about soulmates
Parade offered up a list of 100 quotes about soulmates, including:
“Your soulmate will be the stranger you recognize.” — r.h. Sin
“A soul mate is not found. A soul mate is recognized.” — Vironika Tugaleva, The Love Mindset
“I used to believe in one true soulmate, but not anymore. I believe you can have a few.” — Paul Walker
“A soulmate is an ongoing connection with another individual that the soul picks up again in various times and places over lifetimes.” — Edgar Cayce
“Sometimes, soulmates may meet, stay together until a task or life lesson is completed, and then move on. This is not a tragedy, only a matter of learning.” — Brian L. Weiss
“What greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel that they are joined to strengthen each other, to be at one with each other in silent unspeakable memories.” — George Eliot
“People think a soulmate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soulmate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.” — Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love
“A soulmate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks.” — Richard Bach