Call it what you will—magnetic force, fate, the stars aligning, what have you, but Western culture is utterly entranced by the idea of the perfect soulmate that each of us supposedly has lying in wait. Whether it be enforced by worldbuilding in fantasy novels, the main conflict within a romance movie or the centerpiece of gossip-time with friends, the soulmate continues to dazzle and spark hope in us as we navigate the world in search of our own.
Thing is, do they actually exist? Why or why not? We turn to our Her Campus @ Geneseo correspondents now for opinions on the matters of the heart.
I think soulmates exist in the sense that once a (monogamous*) person finds someone that they feel close and connected with, they are the only person they will consider loving and being in a relationship with, effectively cutting off any other people off from feeling that way. For example, there may be multiple people in the world “perfect” for you (not that anyone really can be), but once you find one, you no longer would consider the others as potential partners. And if you no longer feel close and connected due to time, drifting apart, cheating, whatever, then you are no longer soulmates with that person. So I guess they do exist—with conditions? I guess breaking down soulmates to quantitativeness is not the most romantic notion.
* The concept of soulmates does wholly exclude polyamorous people; I am speaking from my view as a romantically monogamous person and acknowledge that polyamorous people can have multiple genuine close connections with multiple people without devaluing their feelings.
I definitely don’t believe soulmates exist in the traditional interpretation of the term. I think it would be pretty depressing to believe there’s only one person for everyone. With my luck, my soulmate would live all the way in Uzbekistan and I would never meet them. It may just be because I’m writing this at 2 a.m., but I think that maybe none of us completely own our own souls. Maybe all of our souls are conglomerates of hundreds of other souls and we love the people we love because we can feel that we have some of the same pieces. And maybe our souls grow to accumulate pieces of our love’s souls that we didn’t have before. Freud would probably have a heyday with this theory, but it’s all I can think about that would explain why my laughing and joking with my girlfriend feels nearly the exact same as with my childhood best friend, or why my favorite professor emanates the same energy as my mom. I think I have some of the same pieces as they do, and they have some of the same pieces as each other. But we also have different pieces, so we need to learn how to accommodate that, too. Perhaps it’s a little optimistic, but this theory leaves the possibility that maybe we can all learn to love each other.
Nah. Probably not.
I don’t believe in soulmates, I don’t believe in predestination at all. I think each individual person has different types and levels of compatibility with everyone they meet—and if you meet someone who fits you near-perfectly and you put in the work every day to maintain an intimate relationship with them for your whole lives, that’s one of the most beautiful things in the world. Love is the best!!
I used to believe more in the concrete idea of soulmates. I liked the concept of there being an ideal fit for everyone; I wanted the comfort that there was someone who was a perfect complement for me. Now, I’ve been thinking more about how people are always changing, so it’s almost impossible to have this “perfect fit.” However, I do think you can have a deep connection with someone that seems very different from your relationships with other people. You still have to do the work, though! You have to build and value that trust and take the time to learn about each other. There’s no avoiding the fact that you’re going to change as people, so you can decide if you want to go through that together. Maybe not being willing to continue that journey doesn’t mean you weren’t soulmates at one point, but you’ve both moved on to whatever’s right for you. The idea of there being only one person that you can deeply connect with and share things with feels dangerous and restricting. I think soulmates don’t have to be limited to romantic partners, or that you can’t have more than one. That doesn’t make each of these people that you want to move through life with any less special.
Writing as an extreme hopeless romantic, I think that soulmates absolutely exist. Although marriage was originally meant as a business transaction, the idea I have of marriage equates to my idea that marriage should (hopefully) only happen once and with someone you are truly meant to spend the rest of your life with. While I do have that archaic belief that the person you marry should hopefully be your one and only, I understand that times are changing. If you do end up in marriage that may not last, that just means you haven’t found the right person. This is also coming from someone who has little experience with love. Sort of like what Jessica describes above, I think that there can be many people that you will meet and have a connection with, but you will know it in your gut and in your heart when you have found that one person you are destined to love and be with. The person that you will have this almost innate connection with. I also believe that there are also soulmates you are destined to be friends with. People, whether romantically or platonically, come into our lives for a reason. No matter what, if you feel that connection, you just know they are someone that you cannot give up.
I think I’m some kind of hybrid between romantic and cynical. I don’t believe in soulmates in the typical way they are explained. The way I see it is that there are people who are meant to be in your life. These people may be romantic, platonic or even just someone you’re meant to learn from. I think the only explanation for my best friend is that we are platonic soulmates. We have learned so much from one another and my life has been made all the better because of her existence in it. I like to believe that I have added something good to her life as well. However, I wouldn’t say that she’s the only “soulmate” I have. I think there are so many people that I’ve had the pleasure of welcoming into my life who are meant to be there even if only for a short time because they help me learn, laugh and love. I think there are “soulmates” who I may never meet. This is so large and philosophical in my head, but basically I don’t believe in there being “the one.” I would like to think there are many people in this world that I could love and grow with whether that is romantic or purely on a friendship level. I guess it’s less of a “soulmate” idea and more of a “there are people who I have the potential to love” idea. It’s only loosely related to soulmates, but that’s my take on it.
I don’t know if I believe in the concept of soul mates, but I’ve always been more of a cynical person than an optimistic one. I believe the idea that there’s only one single ideal person for you is ridiculous. However, I do think that there are multiple people that could become your ‘soulmate(s).’ I just don’t like the idea of people being ‘made for each other.’ It makes me feel like I lack individuality, in a way. I would just much rather believe that I was made for, well, myself. To that effect, I think that the idea of searching for a soulmate is only going to lead someone to unhappiness: you should find happiness in yourself first. Soulmates come to you, whether they be friends, lovers or anything else.