“A soulmate is an ongoing connection with another individual that the soul picks up again in various times and places over lifetimes.” — Edgar Cayce
Do you believe in soulmates? We’ve all grown up with this romantic idea washed upon us by fairy tales and romcoms. Is this just a passing myth or does it have some truth to it? Sure, it sounds good on paper, but what does psychology say about the existence of soulmates? Let’s explore some psychological facts about soulmates to find out.
What Does Psychology Say About Soulmates?
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The word ‘soulmate’ can mean several different things to different people. Some would call their partner their soulmate, while for others, it could be their set of friends or pets. Can people have multiple soulmates or just one in a lifetime? The rules are unknown here.
Psychologist Nandita Rambhia, who specializes in CBT, REBT, and couple’s counseling, explains, “Soulmates as a concept is more popular in philosophy. In psychology, the term compatibility is more often used and people who have a strong bond beyond just romantic love are said to be compatible.
“The psychology behind the soulmate concept is that most people believe in it. It makes people feel loved, secure, and wanted. We embrace ideas like soulmates because it implies that we don’t have to be lonely in our journey.”
“The concept of finding your soulmate has ruined some marriages,” Psychologist Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D., writes in his book, The Happy Couple.
“Sometimes I see couples who consider themselves soulmates. When they realize they have differences, this can be very hard to digest and they run into problems,” says Cate Campbell, a sex and relationship therapist and a member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, “During the honeymoon phase, small disagreements are often obscured by oxytocin, the love hormone that helps us bond and reproduce. Once we commit to each other or have a baby, this starts to wear off. That’s where small problems can start to escalate.”
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What Do Netizens Think About Soulmates?
Writers and artists have celebrated and eulogized the soulmate energy through their work. Emery Allen said, “I feel like a part of my soul has loved you since the beginning of everything. Maybe we’re from the same star.”
A famous dialogue from an iconic show, Sex and the City, by Candace Bushnell, goes, “Maybe our girlfriends are our soulmates and guys are just people to have fun with.” While this notion has been traditionally romanticized to a great extent, what does the present-day generation of digital natives think about the concept of soulmates? Here is a sneak peek:
A Reddit user shares, “Best story I can offer is my parents, who’ve been together 40 years. They met on their first day of university, in the same course, when my mum fell down a flight of stairs and my dad caught her.”
While another Reddit user says, “I don’t think soulmates exist in the predetermined but I like to think that two people can “become” soulmates with enough commitment and love.”
Yet another user says, “I think there are different kinds of soulmates for different seasons in your life. I think it extends beyond the typical romantic soulmate.”
One more user on Reddit shares their take on soulmates, “When you find them, it’s like fireworks. You feel like you’ve always known them, and like you can’t live without them.”
Lastly, someone else explains, “I feel like everyone has several soulmates or soul connections and it doesn’t have to be romantic.”
While it is absurd to think that soulmates and psychology have something in common, you may be surprised to know about the studies that do exist on the topic. Let’s dive into the research on random facts about soulmates.
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13 Lesser-Known Psychological Facts About Soulmates
Rumi said, “My soul and yours are the same. You appear in me, I appear in you. We hide in each other.”
“People think a soulmate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soulmate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your attention so you can change your life.” — Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love
Seeing all the different signs, you’ve found the one, you can call your soulmate. We all hope to meet people whom we can love as much as we could love a soulmate. Some people believe in them, while others hope to become their partner’s soulmates over the course of a relationship. Irrespective of where you stand on the belief system surrounding soulmates, read ahead to decide whether there is any merit to this notion.
These random facts about soulmates will leave you questioning your beliefs about the one true flame and what conspires when you meet your true match. Here are 13 science-backed facts about soulmates:
1. If you think soulmates are made for each other, it could hurt your relationship
We have seen the “my soulmate is mine only for the rest of our lives” notion all too often on screen. That’s why psychological facts about soulmates hit hard! “Framing love as perfect unity can hurt relationship satisfaction” concludes a research study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.
Conflicts are bound to happen in any relationship. A person who believes their partner was made for them will take each fight hard, will question if their partner is their soulmate, their entire relationship, and may then lose faith in the notion of love and happily-ever-after.
2. Soulmates may not be found but can be made
Psychology encourages the process of creating the best relationship for both partners. It won’t be perfect, and there will still be tough times, but the faith partners have in each other gives them the strength to believe they will get through things, and their relationship will thrive. There are signs you can spot to find out if your soulmate is thinking about you.
A study published in the National Library of Medicine articulates how creating a good relationship is a mix of optimum responsiveness, interpersonal goals, and compassion between partners. Working for the relationship as well as the belief of knowing your partner is your soulmate makes for a better-married life because who doesn’t want to spend the rest of their life with their soulmate?!
3. A soulmate connection may mimic an addiction
Dopamine is released in the body when you fall in love. It activates the same parts of the brain as addiction, making us want to experience the same feel-good emotions repeatedly.
The Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism cites, “Love and addictions are somewhat interconnected, the one key difference is that naturally rewarding activities such as love are controlled by feedback mechanisms that activate aversive centers, which limit the destructive qualities of addiction seen with drugs. Love activates specific regions in the reward system. The effects include a reduction in emotional judgment and reduced fear and also reduced depression and enhanced mood.”
4. Men believe in soulmates more than women
One of the most shocking yet random facts about soulmates. A Marist poll shows that men (74%) are more likely to believe in the idea of soulmates than women (71%). Turns out, men may be, after all, the hopeless romantics pining for their happily ever after.
5. You may have a soulmate connection with multiple people
Did you know that a soulmate connection isn’t always romantic? It can come into your life in different forms. Soul partners know and understand each other deeply, and continue to be a support system for one another. Someone with whom you feel a deep, intimate connection. This person can be a romantic partner or a sibling, a friend, a business associate, or even a coworker. There are different types of soulmates and diverse kinds of connections they bring into your life.
A study conducted in 2021 researched the different phenomena associated with soulmate experiences. Among the 140 respondents who had met a soulmate; 39 had met several, 37 had married their soulmate, 39 had unmarried romantic relations, 14 were close friends, 9 described their children as soulmates, 5 were soulmates with their dog or cat; and a few described other family members or acquaintances as soulmates.
6. A majority of people believe in soulmates
The same Marist poll states that nearly 3 in 4 four residents, or 73% of people, in the United States believe in soulmates, while 27% do not. More Americans have caught the love bug. In their August survey, 66% reported they believed two people are meant to be together compared with 34% who did not. If you’ve ever wondered if your partner’s your soulmate or not, you’re not alone. There are certain signs to keep in check to figure out if your significant other is yours forever.
7. The younger generation may believe in soulmates but on their terms
While so many youngsters may believe in the idea of a soulmate, they don’t get into relationships just for the sake of being with someone, according to a study published in Science Direct. “A historical survey of paradigm shifts over centuries shows the discourse of romantic love is embedded in the individualistic assumptions of capitalism.”
The newer discourses of relationships require connectedness, communication, mutuality, cooperation, and responsibility. While the number of people believing in soulmates may be on the rise, the next generation of believers is quite logical and emotionally adept, they want much more than grand gestures and false promises of a happy life. The psychological fact stands here that the younger generation demands a healthy love story with their soulmate.
8. As you grow older, belief in soulmates goes down
Yet another one of those random facts about soulmates or is it the truth? Marist poll also found out that 80% of those under the age of 30 and 78% of those between 30 and 44 years believe in the idea of soulmates. In comparison, 72% of respondents in the 45 to 59 age group and 65% of those above 60 did not believe in the notion. We’ve all heard of people being together for a long time and ending up resembling each other, we have learned that this is a sign of a happy married life, or is it?
9. Soulmates might just be a bad idea
A belief in a soulmate may seem harmless but if taken into a deeper, idealistic format, it can translate into disaster. Staying in a relationship that is harming your physical, emotional, mental or spiritual self just because you believe your partner is your soulmate for life is not okay. If you’re looking for the universe’s signs that the love of your life’s coming, you’re not the only one!
We continue into the soulmate story and don’t question it, where there are red flags, we see familiar love. A person too bent down on the idea of the only soulmate might end up experiencing a toxic relationship and may not be able to leave.
10. Soulmates aren’t a match made in heaven
Contrary to popular belief, a soulmate may not be your “other half” sent from the heavens above. A study published by the University of Toronto states, “Our findings corroborate prior research showing that people who implicitly think of relationships as perfect unity between soulmates have worse relationships than people who think of their relationships as a journey of growing and working things out.”
11. Soulmate connection is driven by intuition and energy
Whether you believe that your soul is connected to someone else or not, there’s no denying that sometimes you can feel very close to someone, which leads to believing that the uncanny coincidences must mean something more. Intuition, energy, and your gut play a huge role here. Watch the signs, your soulmate may be your best friend you’ve known for years or the coworker you were just introduced to.
12. You have to open yourself to the possibility of a soulmate
According to Dr. Michael Tobin, who is a family and marital psychologist with over 40 years of experience, you can potentially find your soulmate.
“Everything in life is about timing. I believe it’s a matter of self-knowledge. When you understand that a relationship is not about control or the simple need for fulfillment but is essential to our psychological and spiritual development, then you’re open to the possibility of meeting your soulmate.” You might just have to be more open and forthcoming to find your soulmate.
13. Soulmates may share extraordinary, extreme experiences of love
In a 2021 study on soulmate experiences, Sundberg interviewed 25 individuals who had extreme experiences of falling in love. His respondents characterize encounters as unique and far beyond normal romantic relationships. Respondents report immediate mutual bonding and secure attachment and developed deep connections on many levels based on instant recognition.
68% formed romantic relations, marriages, or intimate friendships
Even the 32% who broke up, or did not develop relationships, see the connections as extraordinary life events, equal to bonding with their children.
Do soulmates exist? While we may not know the whole truth, there are several research pieces on soulmates that break myths and showcase how the idea of finding your soulmate influences the decisions in our love lives
Psychological facts about soulmates indicate that the idea of soulmates can be limiting, and fear-evoking, and may become an issue when it comes to relationships
Other facts about soulmates include men believing more in soulmates than women, as age goes up, the belief goes down, yet the number of believers has only gone up
Believe in soulmates or not, the work to make a relationship grow will always be there and without that, even your soulmate might not be the best partner
The next-gen of dating partners is looking for a soulmate love story but without the toxic aspect
It may feel like you’re the main character in a movie when you align yourself with the idea of finding a soulmate. It may be fun and quite intense to look for the one that your soul is made for.
But it is exhausting at the same time because you’re more focused on finding the right one and often ignore the work required for two people to share a life. And more importantly, the fact that you’re supposed to take care of yourself first.
On the other hand, it can be quite freeing to give up on the idea of a soulmate entirely and instead work on the idea of building your relationship together so you guys become each other’s soulmate proactively. There are no shortcuts at the end, soulmate or not, any relationship requires work, patience, and effort for a long-lasting future.
A freelance creative who loves to write, sing and all things digital. Writing is my forté as well as the driving force that keeps me sane. I'm trying to curate a life wherein, I spend my days working and travelling till I'm eternally enlightened!
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