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Matters of the Soul: Do We Have One Mate?

The indefinable relationship of a soulmate has been given a definition. But that just takes away from the beauty of it all.

Burning fire candle clip art
Credit: Shutterstock/Valenty

There is no reason to solidify a definition of a soulmate. Our souls weren’t meant to be solid.

The immaterial part of us, our energy or essence, is often referred to as our soul. Think of terms like “soulless,” which are thrown around in horrible arguments. Or “soulful,” maybe describing great music or art. The very word morphs with its context. Because of its immateriality, the definition is loose and subjective; changing in religions, regions, and families.

There are many different types of connections around souls, all loosely thrown into the category of “soulmate.” All are said to come from destiny, meaning, as with most unprovable things, they’re disagreed upon. Whether or not they’re real, their purpose, and the control individuals have over them.

Clip art of balance and connection
Credit: Shutterstock/kuroksta

That last aspect is a dichotomy because destiny means individuals don’t have control. That is a big aspect of discussion, on if people can change the fate of their lives and within that, the fate of the connections they make/or have made.

Statements like “everyone’s soulmate is out there” can be comforting yet derivative. They rely on other redundant mantras like “everything happens for a reason” and “what should come to you will.”

It’s interesting really, the sliding scale of belief around these concepts; around fate, souls, and connection.

Classic connection: The romantic one

The soulmates from movies, the “meant to be” couples. The media has cheapened this type of connection. It has made it seem that soulmates are found fast and frequently, with only happy endings.

In reality, a romantic soulmate implies much more than physical attraction or chemistry. It isn’t limerence or infatuation, which is what much of the younger world believes. Because of the era that we live in, soulmates have become romanticized.


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As described in the video, romanticism warps how society engages with love as a whole. It limits our beliefs about who, when, how, and what we can love; creating a narrowcast shadow for soulmates to fill.

Regardless of whether you believe soulmates exist or not, the very depiction of them in society promotes limerence as normal. Limerence is basically the false state of love many people find themselves in at one time or another. It feels involuntary, meant to be, and intense. Inconsequentially, these feelings are associated with a soulmate as well. Think of the “the intense draw” to another, the “godsent” timing. Think of the cheesy line “love at first sight.”

I didn’t learn what limerence was until about a year ago, and looking back throughout my high school life, I can say a few relationships were just that. Someone who I didn’t know too well, who fit well enough into my life, well then that must be my match! It wasn’t detrimental or anything, but I wish I hadn’t had such a fixed sense of connection back then.

Of course, this is just my experience, and some people have genuine love at young ages with people who turn out to be soulmates.

I think that is my point; how fluid and indefinable soulmates are. Because of this, the romanticized thought, the very concrete thought, that there is one out there for us, might not be so sweet after all.

There’s more than that

Just because the media and the world have made the default soulmate “your once-in-a-lifetime love” doesn’t mean that’s all it can be. Soulmates can take any shape or form. Since it’s an undefinable relationship, measured on things like energy and feeling, there is no checklist to follow. It just so happens that many people assume, or more so desire, for their romantic partner to be their soulmate.

Clip art of two people holding hands
Credit: Shutterstock/VD_Igor

If you think about the most blanket idea as just being someone to whom you feel deeply connected, then there is way more than romance. I can’t conclusively state all the types of soulmates people have come up with because some articles say four and some say 12 and then Reddit adds a whole new set of numbers to the mix. But from all these sources, I can conclusively draw some themes.

First is that there are platonic soulmates too. The specific name gets tossed around a lot, but more or less these are who’s with you for the long haul. Who you can flow freely around, in all your states. They bring joy when you think of them and that thought never gets old. Examples that come to my mind are the people who know what I will order, what I will say, and how many minutes late I will be.

I think knowing without asking…like just the feeling of trust and in-sync knowledge of one another.

Frances Markey

Ironically, my best friend’s answer is very similar.

And I don’t have just one. I don’t have a million either, but there is a steady amount of people who I consider deeply and eternally connected to. Even if we aren’t friends for eternity, the impact they have had on my life to this point makes them eternal.

Learning and growing

The second most prominent theme was figures who come into your life to teach you a lesson, and you do the same to them. This was most commonly referred to as a karmic soulmate. Interestingly, this type had no component of longevity. They are said to come when needed and leave when finished.

This is what the narrow shadow idea of a soulmate has missed. That life is long and bendy and messy. That there can’t just be one person with which your soul connects forever. People are multifaceted, people grow and change, and people need resistance, not compliance.

The “godsent” idea of a soulmate is much too easy for this life.

Thinking that one day your perfect person will fall from the sky in front of you is nice. Watching a TikTok that says your soulmate is coming to you on the next full moon and their name starts with the letter J is entertaining, hopeful even. So if that idea makes you happy, sure keep with it.

Since it is your soul, I’d say you get to decide who and what is your “mate.” Within whatever it is you believe around fate, souls, and love, there is room to appreciate. To appreciate the beauty in the intensity of connections humans can make on this earth.

Let your soul be hungry for that.

Written By

Hi! I'm Addie, a journalism student at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. I'm new to Trill, but have been writing for as long as I can remember. Originally I'm from Denver, Colorado, where I love to spend time with my snowboard, my guitar, and my dogs.

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