People tell me in therapy that they have or want to find their soulmate. I’m really not sure what that means. Murray’s new book, The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Getting Ahead defines soulmate as your closest friend to whom you are sexually attracted.
I like this definition because of the importance it places on finding a friend, not just a lover. We know that relationships not built on a foundation of friendship have problems. If you marry only for passion and then realize you don’t like the person, the relationship is going to have major problems.
In a good relationship, you don’t have to be alike on all fronts, but you should like the personal habits of the other person. Jacques Barzun, cultural critic who died in 2012, says that if you differ on areas of punctuality, orderliness and thriftiness, you are headed for trouble. Apparently, those areas just eat away at relationships. You know, the constant complaints of, “She’s always late for dinner.” “He’s such a slob around the house.” “She spends too much on herself.” Yes, these are touch points for many people, but they are also criticism, a relationship killer.
Those three areas represent a deeper issue of not liking the person, because people who like someone and feel very positive about the person overall, can overlook a late comer or impulsive spender. There is too much positive in the relationship to make those things an issue. The positives are built on friendship–knowing, liking, and admiring the person. Without the friendship, you are easily annoyed.
So, to find your soulmate, ask yourself:
Is this person someone I would want to be with if there was no sexual attraction?
Do I feel better when I am with this person?
Do I like his or her personality?
Do I have shared meaning with this person?
Am I in spiritual unity with this person?
Can I create a life together with the same values and goals or am I constantly fighting about the deeper meaning of life?
Soulmates share your fundamental beliefs and values. Your desire to be with them is because of who they are.
If you don’t like the person you are dating, run for the hills. Don’t overlook his contentious nature, the out of control temper, her controlling personality, or her obsession with self. These are deal breakers when it comes to a soulmate. Look beyond attraction and liking someone to the deeper values and beliefs that are held.