A soul mate may be defined as another person with whom one is in love, or has a deep feeling or natural affinity. The implication of a soul mate in current usage is a romantic partner with whom one has a lifelong bond. It is considered a phrase used more rarely than romantic partner or spouse. Different definitions exist for differing cultures; however, all agree that it is the strongest romantic bond one can share with another person. Many feel that they are ‘complete’ as a person when they have found their soul mate. Others describe the relationship as a union that was ‘meant to be.’
In ancient Greece, Plato wrote a story about soul mates. In its simplest telling, androgynous humans were split into two different genders as punishment for their pride. They were miserable alone and couldn’t exist until they found their other ‘half.’ Uniting the two halves of the whole brought eternal and unbounded joy.
Theosophy’s definition of soul mates states that two halves seek to be whole. This unity will be achieved over a number of reincarnations and only when all karmic debt is purged.
Other cultures believe that an all-powerful superior being or god arranges all marriages. This belief may have lead to the proverbial phrase “marriages are made in heaven.” People who believe this may spend a lifetime looking for the one person who will complement them perfectly and vice versa. Since marriage is believed to be foreordained by the couple’s god of choice, one’s spouse is considered one’s soul mate, whether the marital life endures or not.
People who are seeking a soul mate may believe that they make their own destiny and shouldn’t wait for it to come to them. Hence, they engage in a search for the soul mate that will complete them as a whole person.
Soul mates and seeking one’s soul mate has been a recurring theme in some motion pictures. The screenplays seem to have a common idea, for no apparent reason, and that is the death of one person to find his or her soul mate in whatever heaven there may be or in another incarnation. Others fictionally put forth the theory that time travel is necessary. These are obviously unrealistic; many couples in the ‘real world’ strongly believe they are bonded with their soul mate and neither had to die or time travel to achieve that state.
Soul mates share romantic love, which is relative and difficult to define. The term can be described as situations and moments within an intimate relationship the contribute to a noteworthy relationship connection. Others say that it is an optimization of intimacy in a luxurious manner.
Culturally speaking, the custom of arranged marriages seems to preclude or conflict to the idea of soul mates; however, even partners in an arranged marriage can share a strong, close romantic love. The question seem open to debate.
Soul mates are not necessarily married to each other. In previous times and varying cultures, it was not uncommon for a man to have a mistress who he considered his soul mate. Because marriages were arranged or brought about for monetary gain or political affiliation, the married couple might find that they really didn’t like each other. Man would find a mistress, and woman might take a lover. In the context of romantic literature, each might seek his or her own soul mate outside the bounds of marriage.
The term ‘soul mates’ brings to mind a divine or spiritual connection for many people. These couples tend to hold the same core beliefs, worship the same god, and observe the same religious rites. They have the same morals and religious interests. They are guided by the same precepts regarding marriage, procreation, and life in general. These soul mates are more likely to stay with one mate for the duration of one’s life, generally.
No matter an individual’s perception of soul mate, it can be argued that everyone is looking for another significant person to share his or her life. Whether the relationship is hetero- or homo-sexual, people seek a companion with whom they share common interests, an intimate relationship, and in many cases, a sexual relationship.