7 Signs that they are your Soulmate
Updated: Mar 22, 2022
By Runa Sanna
Photo Courtesy of roma_kaiuk on Unsplash.com
If the term soulmate threw you off, fair enough. Call it what you want: The One, Prince Charming, the love of your life, your better half, partner in crime. I really don’t care. The idea is: what are the signs it will work and what are the signs it won’t?
We live in a capitalist society that discards clothes instead of mending them, trashes takeout rice instead of reusing it for a meal the following day, and … we do the same with partners. We don’t spend nearly enough time considering if we really want something. As a result, we’re constantly busy ridding ourselves of stuff that we picked up almost accidentally.
I say: Let’s be more sustainable in our choices. Partners included.
Perhaps I should start by owning up to the fact that, while researching this, I was fully prepared to come to the realization that my own relationship doesn’t make the “soulmate-cut”. When reading these seven points, I’m sure you’ll think of people - perhaps your best friends’, parents’, or own relationship. I intended for it to be this way. This article is going to give it to you straight. We all deserve some guidance because I’m sure we can all agree that dating can be confusing as hell.
The number one thing you hear at weddings, when people retell the early stages of their relationship, is: “it just felt so right”, or “it felt like we knew each other”. You don’t tend to hear: “Yeah, so, we didn’t really talk, and he was actively trying to get with other people, then I finally hunted him down and made him date me exclusively”.
In my opinion, Shakespeare had it all wrong when he wrote; “The course of love never ran smooth”. Love should be easy. It’s life that tends to rock the boat. When I started dating my boyfriend, I knew I could trust him, I was made to feel safe, and he was not playing games.
Of course, some games are part of the early dating phase and I am not encouraging you to give out right away. However, there is a difference between the classic ‘waiting a bit before you text back’ and outright ghosting someone. As Shallon Lester says: there’s gamesmanship and sportsmanship. I love those terms because they encapsulate the difference: Sportsmanship is the excitement at the beginning. It is healthy, fun and it keeps things spicy. Gamesmanship. Man, all I can say is: why?
For the people in the back, let me say it extra clearly: Don’t be with someone who keep ghosting you. Ghosting is gamesmanship. Are you in this loop of being miserable whenever they ignore you, and elated (and getting on your friend’s nerves) when they see you once a week? If so, it might be time to reconsider if they are worth your while.
Far too often, we look at a person’s potential or nostalgically think back to how it was in the beginning. I don’t care what they did on your first date. I also don’t care about how you’re sure they’ll mature. All I’m interested in is: what was today like? Who are they right at this moment?
If every day from now on was exactly like today, would they make the cut? It’s important to think about whether their level of ambition, empathy, or sex drive meet your needs long term. Should they never change, would that be okay with you?
This section is called “acceptance” because I want you to reflect on the reality of who this person is… and compare that to the reality of your needs. Do the two align?
Please understand that people don’t change - at least not as much or as quickly as we like to believe. Don’t be desperate. Do not settle for less. Do not desperately try to make something work that is not meant to be.
Instead, look at your needs and what they have to offer. If it aligns, great. If not, that’s fine.
I’m going to be brief on this next point: You can’t have someone who is just good on paper. Don’t tell yourself that sex isn’t that important.
Do you have hobbies that overlap? Now, this doesn’t mean that she needs to get into video games or come to the sports bar with you. After all, we don’t ask you to perfect your eyeliner or up your online shopping skills (excuse the stereotypes). I do, however, think that it helps to share SOME hobbies. There was a study done in a care home, and the happiest couples were those who dance together. They had a shared hobby of going to dance class once a week. Dancing is physical, releases endorphins and bonding hormones (oxytocin) and it also gives you the option of going out to dance or staying in. The example of the old couples underpins the power of recreation. I made two podcast episodes on the best relationship advice my boyfriend and I have ever been given. One is literally titled “Dance With Your Partner”. If you’re interested, the podcast is called ‘Runa’s Ruminations’ and you can find it on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.
The bottom line is: If your ideas of a fun weekend are diametrically opposed, that can create issues over time. If one person wants to puzzle and the other wants to hit up a club, you reach a point where they do their thing and you do yours … and over time a divide is created.
When writing this article, I asked myself: What it is that makes people break up after high school? What makes high school dating, in most people’s lives, more manageable than dating in ‘the real world’?
I think a big reason is that in high school, you have a shared goal… which is to graduate. In the real world, you and your partner need to create your own shared goal. Here, two challenges arise: do they share your goals, and are they fit to work toward this goal with you. A great example is kids: say, you both decide that you both want children, you then have to ask yourself “but would they make for a great mom or dad?”
What you are moving towards, your goal, can be anything from writing a cookbook together, to traveling, to building a house. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the author of The Little Prince, writes:
“Love is not two people looking at each other, it’s two people looking out in the same direction”. So, what are you and your partner moving toward? What is your shared goal?
Naturally, these aren’t questions you tackle on the first date but at some point, you have to figure out where they stand. They, too, deserve to know where you stand. If you’re looking for a soulmate, a life partner, someone to build something with, you can’t lie to yourself or them.
This sounds so cheesy, right? When you meet your soulmate there is a distinct ‘this is who I was before’ and ‘this is who I have grown into'. In this relationship, you are becoming a better version of yourself every day. You work hard on yourself to make this last, to be a healthy partner, to be the best version of yourself for yourself- and by extension for your relationship. Your partner is encouraging in a supportive way. They don’t tell you: “If you don’t change x, I will leave you!”. They accept and love you so much that your bad habits don’t seem fair to not kick. You should find it easy to share your emotions, even if you usually struggle with that. They should be your safe space.You are happier, healthier, and stronger than you have ever been.
This last point goes back to acceptance: are you growing together?
For this to be effective, we must employ a metaphor: basketball. Who you want as a partner, is someone who won’t take the ball from you but cheer from the sidelines. In other words, you want someone who supports your ambitions but respects and trusts your ability enough to stay in their lane. This point is really important because the only way for your partner to build confidence is for them to score by themselves. And the only way to show true support is by trusting that they are capable of scoring without your help.
Here, we circle back to desperation: Don’t be desperate. When you are standing at the sidelines, supporting, you are essentially saying; “You got this. I believe in you, but I am not fighting this battle for you.” This also shows a lack of codependency because you are not manipulating the score. Should you not grow together, should they not score, your cheering time is over and you leave. You are trusting, by staying in your lane, that things will work out. And you are accepting, should they not, that this person is not meant for you.