Can a Solemate Take the Place of a Soulmate?

February 6, 2008
Is there too much emphasis put on finding the perfect soulmate?

In keeping with my general theme of love and valentines the first part of this month, here are some thoughts for those who are afraid that if they haven’t found their “soulmate” that they are doomed to a life of lonely Saturday nights.

You see, I have been married since 1960 to a husband who is a comfortable companion, my lover, the primary bread-winner in our family, a person with whom I’ve shared the “moon game” every night for all these decades, a father of our four children, the one who keeps the cars running, the one who fixes many of the broken things in our house (or who at least tells me they are on his “list”), and a great traveling companion.

He gives me space to be who I am (more than I gave him at one time) and although he understands me sometimes, often it’s not as much as I’d like. Furthermore, he doesn’t share a whole lot of my interests, from books (he’s not a reader and I am) to discussions on spiritual growth (he is far more left-brain than I). Yet all things considered, I am glad I married him and know that I am his closest friend and the love of his life.

Once when I asked him if he thought he was my “soulmate” and described what that meant to many people, he said, “Depends on how you spell it. I’m not your soulmate, but I am your solemate.”

I certainly have never thought of him as a “soulmate” because, for me, the term soulmate includes many romantic illusions—such as assuming your partner would like the same things you like—illusions that can throw a monkey wrench into what could otherwise be a perfectly good marriage or partnership.

Here is an encapsulate of what the Internet has to say about soulmates:

To begin with, in case you didn’t know, the whole idea of spiritual soulmates started with a Greek myth in which our ancestors had two heads, four arms, and four legs. Then these pre-humans did something to offend a god and to punish them he split them down the middle, creating humans. Too bad, there are days when I could use an extra head, arms and legs. Anyway, as a consequence of offending this god, we are condemned to spend our lives searching for the other half of who we are supposed to be, our “soulmates.”

Over the years people decided that soulmates are souls who have agreed to connect with one another for a purpose, perhaps to clear up karma, to finish unfinished business, or to accomplish a particular goal together. These relationships may be “a joy to be in or these relationships may be a pain in your life.” (Searching for someone who will be a pain in my life isn’t my idea of fun.) Soulmates are mentors, teachers, friends, confidants, and nurturers who can help you achieve a life’s goal or help you out of a crisis.

“Soulmates share your heart, life, dreams, and every aspect of your life, regardless of its magnitude.” They are the people who “get” who you are without explanation and who can finish your sentences because they are so finely tuned to you. True love is the love you share with your soulmate.

Then there are “twin soulmates” and “twin flame soulmates” whose past life history creates an incredible chemistry and attraction toward each other. They “complete” each other.

Whew! It’s no wonder there’s such a high divorce rate in this country if we expect so much out of the other person. When our partner has to meet so many of our needs, but cannot, we set ourselves up for major disappointment. On the other hand, it is only fair for me to say that I’ve met some people who exhibit the qualities of soulmates either because they are extremely lucky to have met one another, or because they work at it very, very hard, which I suspect is most often the case.

So if you are having a difficult time finding a soulmate and the one true love of your life, perhaps you may want to adjust your standards a little.

A word of warning, however. If you plan to find a less-than-perfect person and make him or her over into the mate you want, you may be in for a rude awakening. While it is true that in a long marriage you and the other person are bound to become different in many ways, starting out with the idea that you can “improve” the other person is a formula for misery.


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