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LOVE. Is there such a thing as a soulmate?

LOVE. Is there such a thing as a soulmate?

It’s almost Valentine’s Day.  Which is my favorite holiday of the year.  Just kidding.  It’s maybe my next to least favorite.  Right above Arbor Day.  It reminds me (and many others) that singleness is not looked on kindly by the world.  Or the faith community.  I put the “I” in single.

With our obsession over The Bachelor, celebrity romances, marriage, etc. I thought it might be appropriate to revisit whether we have a soulmate or not?  Is there someone out there that “completes” you?  Are we all on a quest to find this person?

“The Bachelor is the show that answers the question how much wine do you have to drink before the man making out with 20 different women seems like he’d make a good husband?” –Jimmy Kimmel

According to a 2011 Marist poll, 73% of Americans believe that they are destined to find their one, true soulmate. The percentage is higher for men (74%) than women (71%). The belief is also higher among younger individuals, with 80% of those under 30 believing in soulmates (as opposed to 65% of those over 60).  I am defining a soulmate as that one person that you are destined for, meant for, supposed to marry and spend the rest of your life with.

This is the truth:  We do not have one person on this earth who is designed to be our soulmate.

This might be bad news at first but I think it is actually good news.  We are not on a wild goose chase.  We don’t have that pressure to find the one.  We can choose our spouse and use the right criteria to do so, not just hope for that unbelievable, unlikely connection.

7 Reasons why we don’t have a soulmate

  1. People are fallible. People make mistakes.  If soulmates existed, that would mean if you didn’t discern who it was correctly, and married the “non-soulmate”, this would be disastrous.  You would have a 2nd best marriage, and therefore 2nd best children.  Really a second best life.  This can’t be the case.  I think there are many other factors like timing, maturity, stage of life, circumstances, effort, past, etc. that influence who and when we marry and if they are the “right” person.
  2. We always marry the wrong person. (from Tim Keller’s The Meaning of Marriage)
    1. Everyone, because they are imperfect and sinful, are the wrong person to marry.
    2. Sorry, you are not meant for one specific person. The good news: Neither is anybody else. We are all not capable of “completing” someone.  “You complete me” is a fallacy.
    3. Some people are really, really the wrong person to marry. Everyone else is still incompatible.
  3. If true soulmates existed, this would mean the majority of people in the world have not married their soulmate. For every arranged marriage (which is a huge part of the world for a big part of history) it is unlikely that someone’s parents, in their insightful wisdom about their child’s love interest, picked the soulmate.  Just an FYI—most arranged marriages boast better “ratings” than freedom of choice marriages. With the prevalence of divorce in the world, that would mean that most people did not marry their soulmate.
  4. When we marry someone, it changes us, and them. So we end up with someone that is different than the person we dated.
    1. “We never know whom we marry; we just think we do. Or even if we first marry the right person, just give it a while and he or she will change.”  — Stanley Hauerwas
  5. If we were all searching for a soulmate, this would suggest we are not a complete person on our own.   The message of needing someone to “complete” us is:  You are not sufficient.  You are not enough in yourself.  This is a fallacy.  Truth:  You are a complete person.  The one who allows your soul to come alive is actually your Creator.
  6. Scientific improbability (Article:  Science says finding your soulmate is almost impossible)

a.  If soulmates exist, the chances of actually finding that person are slim to none. “In other words, you better damn well hope fate brings you together, because probability suggests you’re not going to meet this person on your own.”

b. “Let’s suppose you lock eyes with an average of a few dozen new strangers each day. (…definitely a generous estimate.) If 10 percent of them are close to your age, that’s around 50,000 people in a lifetime. Given that you have 500,000,000 potential soul mates (people around your age living in the world), it means you’ll only find true love in one lifetime out of 10,000.”  I sure hope there’s not only that one person, somewhere in the world.  Happy searching if there is!

7. Relationships are not about getting; they’re about giving.

“The “soulmate” idea suggests that marriage is all about me, that I need to find someone who understands me perfectly, who makes me happy.  Instead, marriage should be about finding someone you can make happy.”  –Eric Metaxas

In the Bible, husbands are told to lay down their lives for their wives, to actually die for them. This is a far cry from searching for that one person who “completes” us.

So to sum it up:  We don’t have that one soulmate yin to our yang.  But before you curse me and shake your head at my unromantic-ness, I do believe we can become that one person.  Check out these other posts How to become a soulmate Part 1 and Part 2.


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Pete Hardesty

Pete Hardesty grew up in Baltimore, MD and graduated from the University of Virginia. Pete then joined the staff of Young Life in 1997 till present. He lives outside of Washington D.C. where he leads the college division of Young Life for the eastern part of the U.S. He loves college students, beach volleyball, and his 2 nieces very much. Likes: His nieces, Ravens football, college people (even though they make him feel old), movies, cigars, Thai food, the Middle East. Dislikes: Country music, tomatoes, shrimp, rice crispy treats, and wet socks. Pete believes because we only get one shot at this life we need to figure out what matters and give ourselves to it. Let’s make it count. If you have a problem with this, he challenges you to meet him behind the dumpster after school to fight.

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