As the American writer Richard Bach said, "A soulmate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks. When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we are."
Ah, soulmates. The epitome of love and partnership. In our fast-paced chaotic world, which boasts all sorts of different people, we find ourselves skimming through more relationships than we'd like in order to find that one person who can truly open our locks.
Not just anyone can fulfill you the way your soulmate can. There's a world of a difference between your soulmate, your heart's other half and a life partner -- a person who lacks the elements to mold perfectly to you. Your soulmate makes you feel entirely whole, healed and intact, like no piece is missing from the puzzle. A life partner, on the other hand, can be a great supporter and long-time companion, but is limited in his or her capacity to enrich your spirit.
Most of us remain in life-partner relationships because we "settle," for a multitude of reasons. Firstly, we may have a real subconscious fear of being alone. And since we're biologically designed to fall in love, it's only natural that we pair up in this world. But we sometimes prolong what are meant to be temporary relationships and mistakenly settle into them for good. There are relationships which must last for a certain period of time to close out a karmic chapter of life, relationships in which we're meant to have children with our partner but not necessarily remain with them, and relationships which are just plain confusing because a melting pot of emotions doesn't allow us to see our predestined path.
I've seen it all in my practice as a psychologist, from couples who married their childhood loves to people in their retirement years who still struggle with commitment issues. Most of us fall somewhere between these two extremes, meaning that we experienced several relationships before finding the person we believe to be our perfect pairing. Whether you're currently married, in a relationship, or contemplating entering a relationship with a new love interest, it is crucial that you know what role this person will play in your life. After all, there's no avoiding the inevitable, often uncomfortable question we must ask ourselves: Is this the person I was bound by destiny to share my life with? Or did I settle too quickly into a relationship with someone who can never complete me?
No matter the category you fit into to, there are several indications which clearly outline a soulmate bond (or a lack of bond) between you and your partner. As you go through this list, think about your partner or potential partner and evaluate whether they meet the soulmate criteria.
The 10 Elements of a Soulmate:
1. It's something inside. Describing how a soulmate makes you feel is difficult. It's a tenacious, profound and lingering emotion which no words can encompass.
2. Flashbacks. If your partner is your soulmate, chances are he or she has been present in your past lives. Soulmates often choose to come back together during the same lifetime and scope each other out in the big world. You might suddenly and briefly experience flashbacks of your soulmate. You might even feel an odd sense of déjà vu, as if the moment in time has already taken place, perhaps a long time ago, perhaps in a different setting.
3. You just get each other. Ever met two people who finsh each other's sentences? Some people call that spending too much time together, but I call it a soulmate connection. You might experience this with your best friend or your mother, but it is the telltale sign of a soulmate when you experience it with your partner.
4. You fall in love with his (or her) flaws. No relationship is perfect, and even soulmate relationships will experience ups and downs. Still, that bond will be much harder to break. Soulmates have an easier time of accepting, even learning to love, each other's imperfections. Your relationship is more likely to be a soulmate match if you both love each other exactly as you each are, accepting both the great and awful tendencies we all have.
5. It's intense. A soulmate relationship may be more intense than normal relationships, in both good and sometimes bad ways. The most important thing is that, even during negative episodes, you're focused on resolving the problem and can see beyond the bad moment.
6. You two against the world. Soulmates often see their relationship as "us against the world." They feel so linked together that they're ready and willing to take on any feat of life, so long as they have their soulmate by their side. Soulmate relationships are founded on compromise and unity above all else.
7. You're mentally inseparable. Soulmates often have a mental connection similar to twins. They might pick up the phone to call each other at the exact same time. Though life may keep you apart at times, your minds will always be in tune if you are soulmates.
8. You feel secure and protected. Regardless of the gender of your partner, he or she should always make you feel secure and protected. This means that if you're a man, yes, your woman should make you feel protected, too! Your soulmate will make you feel like you have a guardian angel by your side. A person who plays on your insecurities, whether consciously or subconsciously, is not your soulmate.
9. You can't imagine your life without him (or her). A soulmate is not someone you can walk away from that easily. It is someone you can't imagine being without, a person you believe is worth sticking with and fighting for.
10. You look each other in the eye. Soulmates have a tendency to look into each other's eyes when speaking more often than ordinary couples. It comes naturally from the deep-seated connection between them. Looking a person in the eye when speaking denotes a high level of comfort and confidence.
Whether you're designed by the universe to be soulmates or two loving people who have settled for each other's strengths and weaknesses, the decision is yours. The beauty of free will is that you can remain in or change any relationship as you see fit. To be with your soulmate is one of the precious treasures of life. And if you feel you've found your heart's other half, I wish you endless days of joy and laughter, and countless nights of deep embrace, unraveling the mysteries of the universe one by one.
Dr. Carmen Harra
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