Is there really just one match for everyone?
By John Gray and Orna & Matthew Walters and YourTango Experts — Updated on Apr 03, 2023
Photo: David Ryo / Shutterstock
We are all looking for that special someone to share our lives with … that certain someone who “fits” as if he or she was meant to be there. This exquisite person is our one true love, the person designed as our match: our soulmate.
For many people, this idea that they have one “ideal mate” is a concept they struggle with. When potential loves enter their lives during the dating stage, they are left wondering if there’s someone “better” out there.
The endless search for perfection often leaves these singles alone; more married to the search than they are to an actual relationship. Those who find healthy relationships discover the secret, that our soul mate isn’t actually perfect, but rather that person is “perfect” for us, flaws and all.
When someone takes a look at their life and realizes that they have been single for longer than they wished, often the search for the perfect mate is the cause. The very concept of a “perfect” match sets up the seeker for failure because all humans are flawed.
No one is perfect, and while we are not advocating for settling for less than you desire, the notion of “perfection” is a self-sabotaging principle. Looking for a soulmate may be keeping you from finding true love.
Abandon the often fruitless search for a soulmate — and do this instead
Are you stuck being single?
If you have been looking for love and struggling to find it, perhaps you’re stuck in “singlehood” because you’re walking around with a mistaken belief that there is one, and only one, true soulmate out there for you.
The truth is, there isn’t just one match for you, there are hundreds of them.
People who meet your criteria for emotional, physical, intellectual, and spiritual connections and who are looking for the same things you are from life and love. You just have to open your eyes and your mind to them.
To do this, let’s take a look at what a “soulmate” really is.
What is a soulmate?
A soulmate has been described as a person with whom one has a feeling of deep or natural affinity, similarity, love, intimacy, sexuality, spirituality, or compatibility. Sometimes the terms “twin flame” or “twin soul” are used to describe the ultimate soulmate.
Even the term “soul” can be too esoteric for some people to understand. The concept of “soul” can most easily be understood as “your authentic self,” the part of you that remains the same throughout your life although you may not be aware of it.
A soulmate helps you to experience “your authentic self.” Some even think of their soulmate as literally the other half of their soul.
The problem with that last idea is that it implies that if your search for the perfect mate fails, then you’re doomed to live a life missing half of your soul.
The truth is that you come to a relationship — all relationships — as a full and complete person.
What a ‘soulmate’ really does for you
Instead of completing a missing part of yourself, what soulmate relationships do is give you an opportunity to experience the parts of yourself that come alive inside of a relationship, parts that don’t have a reason or purpose to exist without this relationship.
The only thing that’s missing from your life without your soulmate’s presence is the opportunity to experience these other portions of yourself.
Think about what happens to someone when they have a child. The parent inside of them comes alive. That piece of their soul was always with them, but this particular part of their soul wasn’t needed until the child came along.
What is a soul contract?
Along with soulmates come soul contracts.
If you can open your mind to the idea that there are many people on this planet to create a soulful connection with, it begins to remove the fear from your search.
Suddenly, instead of merely searching for “the One” you’re now looking for soulful connections from everyone you meet. The definition of a soulmate changes to be anyone you choose to grow with, be they lovers, friends, children, co-workers, or family.
With these people, you form what’s called “soul contracts” and you act out different roles together.
Some soulmates become people who teach you things and then they move on. Other people will be in your life for decades to help your soul expand and share more of your true self with the world.
The soul contract that you form with a person you marry or engage in a lifelong partnership with is unique from any others because of the intimacy, vulnerability, and time associated with it.
This is one of the many reasons we are so tied to the search for a romantic soulmate. We’re hungry to grow together with someone who wants the same thing for their lives.
The dark side of a soul contract
Something else to consider is that some soul contracts are played out in light — like best friends who come together or lovers who become partners in life.
Other soul contracts are played out in the dark. They are opportunities to experience your mutual flaws and your shadow self. When considering the business of your soul, it’s important to remember that all of our lessons matter; those that bring joy and those that are painful.
Learning the lessons experienced from our soul contracts is important so we can avoid repeating them.
All too often people get into similar relationships only to feel like “they’ve been there before.” This is a sign that you’re repeating a lesson because you still need to understand why you got into this kind of relationship, to begin with.
Understand the lesson and you will move on and stop attracting the same kind of partners.
Timing is everything when it comes to soulmates
Timing has a lot to do with how we connect with people and form these contracts. Many singles have had the experience of feeling like someone they were dating had the “possibility” to be the one, only to see it fizzle out because the timing was off.
In that experience, you get to taste the parts of your soul that are longing to come to light and the work here is to stay positive and assured that your soul is leading the way; it’s ready for love to come in.
The mistake many people make here is to misinterpret the signs to mean that they will never find love because the timing was off. That’s not the case.
The truth is that your soul is speaking to you now telling you to keep looking; to see this experience as a sign of what is possible when the timing is right and to learn from this experience so that when you next feel this connection, you investigate the timing sooner than later.
Keep the faith and stay the course
Staying optimistic is your way of telling your soul you trust that the right things are going to happen and that you believe love is coming your way.
Growing in love is a lot like being a marathon runner. Every mile marker they pass brings you one step closer to reaching your destination. The same is true of relationships that don’t work out, there is insight and truth that can help you continue toward your true heart’s desire.
Your job is to not lose hope and to stay the course with your strongest desire true in your heart.
Ultimately, being with a true soul partner is all about being purposeful in love. We don’t magically “fall in love” with our soulmate, nor do we expect that there won’t be rough patches with the love of our life. It’s all about growing to be a better person.
When you understand more clearly what your soul is up to, from lessons to desires to fears, you will be more in control of who you attract to your life. From that place, you can seek out soulmates who inspire your true self to come to light.
Dr. John Gray is a leading relationship expert whose books, including “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus,” have sold over 50 million copies in 50 languages in 150 countries. He helps men and women better understand and respect their differences in both personal and professional relationships.
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Orna and Matthew Walters are soulmate coaches who have been featured guest experts on Bravo’s The Millionaire Matchmaker. They’re the authors of 7 Steps To Soulmating.