Are Soul Mates a Myth?

by | Feb 15, 2012

Many people spend a lifetime searching for their soul mate, their one and only true love. Some believe they have found them in their current partner, some are still searching, some don?t believe that they exist. So are soul mates a myth? And what or who exactly is a soul mate? According to Wikipedia, a soul mate is a term sometimes used to designate someone with whom one has a feeling of deep and natural affinity, friendship, love, intimacy, sexuality, spirituality and/or compatibility. The Wikipedia definition does not mention the length of time that one has this feeling for?so do soul mates last forever? Or are they just a stage in your life?

Do you have to believe in true love in order to believe in soul mates? 
Literature and film tend to see the concepts of true love and soul mates as interchangeable?you can?t have a soul mate without true love and vice versa. Throughout literature, writers and poets have celebrated true love. Dante had Beatrice, Hero had Leander, Romeo had Juliet, Edward has Bella, Homer has Marge. In The Princess Bride, Wesley is saved from the brink of death by Billy Crystal?s character all because of Wesley?s declaration of true love for Buttercup.

Only one for everyone? Let?s really look at the ?real? myths of soul mates
According to Greek mythology, our ancestors once had two heads and four arms. They did something to offend a god so that god punished them by splitting them down the middle, resulting in the creation of humans. As a punishment, humans are condemned to spend their lives searching for the other half, their soul mates. So the Greeks believed that everyone had one soul mate, you could say their ?significant other?. However, many people today believe that they have more than one soul mate and that they will meet them at different points in their lives; their soul mate will not necessarily travel with them along the path of life.

Does your soul mate have to be a sexual partner or can they be a close friend? Cupid vs. Psyche
In Roman mythology there are two gods of love, Cupid and Psyche. Cupid represents sexual/carnal love and Psyche, the human soul and therefore spiritual love. Some would say that a soul mate is someone they feel very close to, someone who is always there for them, but that they are not sexually involved. However, to be a true soul mate, surely there must be a connection on both the sexual AND the spiritual level? Without the spiritual connection, it is just sexual attraction. And without the sexual bond there cannot be the physical intimacy that supports the spiritual closeness.

Do you have to be a romantic to believe in soul mates? 
Not necessarily, it is a matter of semantics. For example, most men would never declare to their friend, ?I have met my soul mate, she?s the one.? But they might say ?I?ve met this girl and I like her? to a close friend and mean exactly the same thing. He feels the soul mate emotion but doesn?t articulate it that way. Women are more likely to talk about the concept and maybe idealize future partners, and definitely more likely to have a very romantic view of relationships and ?the one?.

So are soul mates a myth? Whether you believe in soul mates or not, everyone needs that special someone they can turn to in times of happiness as well as sadness.


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