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This week we’re tackling the debate on whether or not there’s really such a thing as finding “The One” when it comes to your love life.
Roseann Higgins, president and professional matchmaker for SPIES: Single Professional Introductions for the Especially Selective, says one of the key indicators that a person has found a forever love or true soul mate is how the feeling is reciprocated. She says when a relationship works at this level, both sides feel as if they’ve found that perfect one.
Stacy E. Hall, M.C., L.P.C. with Psychological Counseling Services, Ltd. says some people often have an expectation that meeting their significant other will somehow magically complete them and finally make them whole or happy. She says this is a recipe for failed relationships.
So, is there really such a thing as finding "The One"?
Click “next page” to read the first of two positions, “Finding the perfect person is fantasy”.
“Finding the perfect person is fantasy”: By Stacy E. Hall, M.C., L.P.C. with Psychological Counseling Services, Ltd.
Relationships are not for the faint of heart. A long-term relationship requires challenging work. I have met too many clients who stay stuck hopelessly waiting to meet that one person who will “complete” them in that Jerry Maguire sort of way. The Jerry Maguire syndrome is prevalent in our society.
My clients often have an expectation that meeting their significant other will somehow magically complete them and finally make them whole or happy. This is a recipe for failed relationships. In the conventional sense of the word, this seems to be how many view the word “soul mate.” Toward this end, finding a soul mate is a myth.
Creating this soul mate type connection with someone is indeed possible and very attainable. In fact, the research on the science of love asserts that we do need deep connections with others. This safe, emotional connection is central to our very existence. However, this doesn’t just happen because we’ve met the perfect person (aka soul mate).
People get married to have a safe, emotional connection with their partner. Some refer to this connection and bond as a soul mate. Referring to one’s partner as a soul mate is not a problem at all. The problem really rests in how one defines this particular word. It becomes a red flag when people get caught up in the unrealistic ideal this word promises.
This belief that if we are with the right person for us, we wouldn’t fight. The reality is that the closer we feel to someone, the more likely we are to fight or to withdraw from our partner as a way to manage our emotions. Learning how to manage these emotions by turning to our partners and sharing in a different way is the goal in relationships, not having the perfect relationship or finding that ideal person.
For many clients I work with, they carry an implicit belief that “once I find my soul mate, I’ll finally be happy.” This is a horrible set up and leads many to assume that this lasting connection magically just happens. So, from this standpoint I believe this word can be harmful. For example, once someone experiences the very normal difficulties and challenges that show up in any close and intimate relationship, it might be far too easy to throw in the towel and determine that this person must not be my true soul mate since this relationship is such hard work.
In Wikipedia, a soul mate is defined as “a person with whom one has a feeling of deep or natural affinity, similarity, love, intimacy, sexuality, spirituality, or compatibility.” With billions of humans on this earth, it’s certainly a possibility to have more than one relationship over the course of our lifetime that contains these soul mate type ingredients. Of course, it’s also very possible to create this with just one partner during a lifetime.
The fantasy of that perfect person is just that… a fantasy. Society and popular media fails to tell the truth about love. The truth that real love isn’t something you simply have, but something you create. The concept of a soul mate creates a great deal of unhappiness for far too many. The down to earth reality is that love must become more of an action rather than simply a feeling. To quote the founder of Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy, “The new sciences of love point to real actions people can take that make a difference in their relationships.”
While the traditional concept of the word soul mate falls incredibly short of what defines healthy adult love and sets people up for failure, having deep love and connection with one or many during a lifetime is possible and worth striving for. One type of therapy that is based on scientific research that helps couples create this secure attachment is called Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT). Once people have a road map and understand that we all have a deep need to depend on someone and once we learn how to create this bond, people can have this loving relationship that everyone longs for.
In fact, human beings are hardwired to have a secure attachment with a significant other. As a couple’s therapist, I help my couple’s to work at healing their relationships, expressing their deepest needs and fostering that emotional connection to create a healthier dance. Once couples are able to create this secure attachment and bond, this soul mate type connection becomes a reality.
Having this type of relationship isn’t magic and it takes great practice. This entails learning how to be emotionally vulnerable with one’s partner and expressing underlying needs. This more humbling approach to relationships may not sound romantic, but it’s profound. If we can view a soul mate from this perspective, then the quest for a soul mate is a great cause worth pursing.
Do you agree with this opinion? Add a comment below to sound off.
Click “next page” to read the second position, “Your soul mate is out there”
“Your soul mate is out there”: By Roseann Higgins, president and professional matchmaker of SPIES: Single Professional Introductions for the Especially Selective
Ask anyone in a loving relationship how they knew that person was “the one,” and they’ll likely reply, “I just knew.” There’s no science to finding a genuine soul mate; it’s a feeling that this other person is on the same plane, the same wavelength, the same journey on which you find yourself. The emotions can come quickly or they may build over time, but the conclusion remains: these lucky people have found their soul mate!
Is it true that each of us has a soul mate? That perfect “one” to complement us and create a forever with? In a time when the divorce rate hovers around 50%, your chances of winning the lottery can seem better than being able to find a soul mate. But if you romantically, or even stubbornly, refuse to settle and choose to believe and insist on “happily ever after,” you will and should continue the search to find that special someone who makes your heart happy and, in a word made infamous in Jerry Maguire, “completes” you. True, deep, and meaningful love does indeed exist; your only task is to find it! Easier said than done, right? But it’s “doable.”
The term “soul mate” was born out of a New Age belief in reincarnation. According to believers, our souls travel many lifetimes on this planet, and we tend to be in contact with the same other souls from visit to visit. In one life, a person could be a sibling, in the next a best friend, and in the third a husband or wife. The original meaning of the term has loosened. Whether or not you believe in reincarnation or that we possess souls, most everyone can latch onto the idea that we can create strong bonds with another person. Parents know this to be true from the love they feel for their children.
But what about in the realm of romantic love? Although some people believe there is only one person for each of us—that one perfect soul mate—plenty can attest to having had a deep bond with more than one person, especially after divorcing or being widowed and thrust back into single life. The question then is, how do you find that one for you?
As a professional matchmaker from a forever-married family, the evidence that people are finding a “soul mate” shows up everywhere I turn—either in declarations during relationship progress reports (“She’s definitely the one!”) or long-term, visibly happy marriages who think they’re my best work. I’m here to tell you, the spark and deep connection (yes, you can have both) that maybe you haven’t experienced…yet, is available to you, no matter whether you call it - a soul mate, the one, or just an exceptional partner.
I knew early on that true love is real and that we really can find our soul mates (even in this constantly changing world). It brings me joy to say I learned many of these lessons from my family. They loved it that I called for their input. It was great fun hearing their love stories. And they gave me permission to share them.
Growing up in a small Illinois farm town, I had heard the story of how my grandparents met when they were 27 and 22. It was practically love at first sight. Grandpa would keep his eye out for Grandma to pass by the dry goods store where he worked, wearing her pretty hats, which made his heart skip a beat. When my Grandpa Higgins passed away at the age of 100, my grandmother was at his side; they had been married 73 years.
This tradition of finding real love continued with my aunts and uncles, and my parents—who always walked arm-in-arm. When I asked my Aunt Dorothy if Uncle Dallas was her soul mate and how she knew, her answer was, “I don’t know if you know it when you look at them. You feel it when you’ve got the right one. You just know it after you’ve been with them awhile.”
Another aunt, Gini, always had part of a song running through her head and she didn’t know what the name of it was. She thought that if she met the man who knew it, that would tell her he was the one she would marry. On a date with my father’s twin brother, he started singing something familiar; it was the lyrics running through Gini’s head all those years: “Blue Moon!” They were married 56 years and were still having sunset martinis with friends into their 90s. They passed away within a year of each other, both at the age of 93.
It is easier to believe there are near perfect partners for everyone when you grow up witnessing love and affection being modeled by a close knit family. Naturally, the opposite also could be true: if you don’t grow up in that environment, you might not know to recognize true love or emulate what you missed as easily. But just because you didn’t grow up with it doesn’t mean you can’t have it for yourself.
My belief in finding real love led me down the path that became my career, as a professional matchmaker. In the 17 years I’ve been in this business, 79 couples have married, averaging one marriage every six weeks.
I have been amazed by how quickly some couples realize they have found the one. After only two weeks of dating, one female client shared privately, “If he asked me to marry him tomorrow, I’d say yes!” She backed up her assertion, “The moment I met him, I just felt something in my heart. It felt good. My gut was telling me this was a good thing—and I didn’t even know him yet.”
First loves and love at first sights can be soul mates. Your eyes are more open with firsts.
Although professional matchmaking is part science and research, a good portion is intuition. Introductions go beyond the data I’ve already matched them on, to include how I feel about whether they will like each other. Whether you’re looking for someone special on your own or a professional is looking on your behalf, a great match isn’t always dissectible. It’s a look that might connect you forever or that long-term friendship where you finally open your eyes and realize what’s right in front of you.
“With him, my heart felt it was home. This was a first for me,” was echoed again and again by the couples I have introduced. Another shared, “We feel like we've known each other forever.”
One of the key indicators you’ve found a forever love or your true soul mate is how the feeling is reciprocated. When a relationship works at this level, both sides feel as if they’ve found that perfect one. There’s a lack of hesitation in declaring that level of emotion because you know it is returned. That's when the wonder starts, and that’s the kind of love for which we all aspire.
Waiting for true love is hard, but I promise the wait to find your soul mate will be worth it! If you haven’t found it already, your soul’s mate is out there. This may be rough, but you have a responsibility to ensure you’ve found your soul mate when making a commitment. Your love life affects your friends, your co-workers, and your entire families. When you wait for the right person to go the distance with, you can help reduce both the divorce rate (divorce is awful) and the number of step-children going between families, even if you’ve already raised your children and it’s just the ripple effect. The future depends on your belief and resolution in not settling for anything but your true love. Remember, you’ll both know it in your hearts when you’ve found each other.
Do you agree with this opinion? Add a comment below to sound off.
Read what people had to say on Facebook :
Jenny Gould Gibbs Mertes: Yes, and what made him "perfect for me" was his combination of compatible humor, compatible lifestyle, agreement on religious beliefs, compatible likes and dislikes, kindness, generosity, and good looks.
Roxanne Lopez: I thought I did I was wrong
Lee Goettl: Yes. Never argued, always been happy, regardless how bad things get. Still hate to be away from her.
Mary Westheimer: Yes, twice. My late husband and my current one are both my soulmates - and I am the luckiest person in the world!
Bryan J. Smith: you must also continuously tweak your "want list" versus your "need list"...one day they will be the same...then you know you're ready...choose wisely
Gracie Lopez: I thought I had with my husband of 11 years. Been single for almost five years now but not giving up on love yet :-)
Courtney Himes: Yes you can find "the one", But like anything you have to work at it. No relationship is easy and no one is perfect. It all in if your willing to accept there imperfections. :o)
Skylor Keith: Yup found mine!
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