Theoretically, finding your soul mate should mark the end of your search for “the one,” right? Because what is a soul mate if not someone with whom you have a life-altering connection that gives purpose to those countless nights out and Hinge swipes and bad dates and awful breakups? (Just me?) Well unfortunately, relationship pros say finding your soul mate and living happily ever after aren’t necessarily linear events, because finding your soul mate doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve found a healthy relationship.
“When you meet someone who has the same worldviews, you tend to find them more attractive, intelligent, and moral, but this bias can lead you to invest in those relationships based on this alone, ultimately making you feel that this person is your ‘soul mate,’” says Greta Tufvesson, co-founder of matchmaking service The Bevy, adding that these qualities alone aren’t necessarily enough when it comes to the person with whom you want to share the rest of your life. “The one is the person who complements you and makes you want to be better.”
Still, finding someone who gives you a twin-souls vibe can obviously send sparks flying. But over time, you need something more than that to sustain a relationship. “It’s possible to meet somebody with whom you feel a soul connection that’s deep and profound, yet you’re not a good romantic match for each other,” says relationship expert Susan Winter, author of Breakup Triage: The Cure for Heartache. “Regardless of the intensity of your connection, relationships boil down to day-to-day compatibility and sustainability. Without that type of consistency, nothing can survive.”
“Regardless of the intensity of your connection, relationships boil down to day-to-day compatibility and sustainability. Without that type of consistency, nothing can survive.” —Susan Winter, relationship expert
Case in point: I broke up with the only person I’ve ever considered my soul mate after only three months. From the moment we met, out at a bar, it was clear to me that I was supposed to know him and that whatever was happening was destined to be something real. And for a while, it was. But for a number of reasons—differing maturity levels, mismatched priorities and circumstances, and, perhaps most importantly, an inability to get it together to make a healthy relationship work—calling it quits was the only viable option.
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