Do you believe in soulmates? According to research, 73% of Americans believe in soulmates, so if you do you are certainly not alone. And discussions on soulmates are not relegated to one area of society. Young people, old people, different ethnicities, different religious faiths, and both men and women subscribe to this concept of soulmates.
Self-improvement gurus like Tony Robbins talk about soulmates. Tony defines a soulmate as, “someone who completely understands you and loves you unconditionally. It’s a meeting of minds and an undeniable connection. It’s the person you can be your true self with and never worry about saying or doing the wrong thing. A soulmate relationship is one of total trust, respect,forgiveness and contribution.” Well-known pastor Toure Roberts defines a soulmate as, “a person that God has chosen for you before the foundation of the world to compliment you and to complete His purposes for you and to ensure the fullness of your potential being realized.”
I’ve got to be honest with you, when I hear those definitions of a soulmate….I WANT ONE! That sounds amazing, fulfilling, and thrilling. I imagine going on vacation with my best friend. I imagine passionate, mind-blowing sex with my lover. I imagine brainstorming and productive business meetings with my business partner. I imagine deep emotional connection with my confidant. I imagine coming home to the person who encourages me when I’m down, supports me when I struggle and cheers me on when I’m succeeding. But does that really exist? Can I find that in one person? Is there one person specifically for me? How do I tell if I do happen to run into my soulmate?
It seems that the idea of a soulmate both excites the mind and raises dozens of questions at the same time. I’ve always liked questions with answers better than questions that cause more confusion, so for the sake of relationships all around the world let me answer a few questions about soulmates once and for all!
ARE SOULMATES BIBLICAL?……NO
HAS SCIENCE & RESEARCH PROVEN THE IDEA OF SOULMATES?….NO
ARE SOULMATES REAL?…….NO
Despite what research experts, hopeless romantics, 73% of the American population or even pastors say….SOULMATES AREN’T REAL! And you may be asking why this is important. Shouldn’t we just let believe whatever they want about soulmates? It’s not hurting anybody is it? Actually it is. This topic is worth discussing because relationships are suffering and people are hurting due to this erroneous belief in something that doesn’t exist.
Research has found that people who believe in soulmates are more likely to break up, give up and have difficult relationships!
So let’s address a couple of the areas I think are causing the most damage.
BIBLICAL SOULMATES: THE OVER-SPIRITUALIZATION OF RELATIONSHIP
Many pastors and Christian leaders are standing on stages and behind pulpits, preaching about the importance of finding your soulmate. They’ll use any number of biblical passages out of context to talk about how God brought Eve to Adam and immediately Adam recognized that she was “bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.”(Genesis 2:23) This they say shows that God will bring your soulmate to you if you just wait, and also that Adam saw something in Eve that made him know she was his soulmate. This is eisegesis (reading into the text what you want to find there) and ignoring the obvious and logical. All Adam had seen at this point was animals so of course he would recognize the first human he saw as something different, special and for him. If the biblical model for finding a soulmate was to just wait and allow God to bring them to you, we would certainly see this model throughout scripture, but we don’t.
I have talked with a lot of Christian singles over the years who are misguided, frustrated and disappointed with their dating experiences because they have been indoctrinated with a theology on relationships that says, “focus on God and He’ll bring you the one,” “wait for your Boaz,” and “dating is ungodly.” I fully believe that God can indeed bring someone into your life at the right time and reveal to you that this person would be a great fit for you. But I think that is way more the exception than the norm. I think when people have that experience and try to make their experience prescriptive for others with absolutely no biblical support, it is harmful and frankly…heretical! It can’t be supported with Bible.
It seems the biblical model for anything in our lives is that God has a part and we have a part. The combination of His grace and our belief leads to salvation. James says that “faith without works is dead.” Paul tells believers to “work out their salvation.” That is, they have a part in the life-long process of sanctification both trusting in God’s finished work and our “putting off the things of the flesh” while “putting on the things of the Spirit.” Why would our decision of a romantic life partner be any different? We should actively engage in building relationships with others while seeking God for discernment and wisdom on who we choose to spend life with.
Religious leaders and pastors must treat the biblical text with integrity and not attempt to attach out of context scriptures to a non-biblical concept like soulmates, because well-meaning Christians are developing unhealthy and un-biblical perspectives on dating and marriage
ROMANTIC SOULMATES: THE OVER-ROMANTICIZATION OF RELATIONSHIPS
While the religious community is convincing people to search for soulmates, Hollywood is creating a view of relationship and marriage that is both unattainable and unsustainable. Armed with a view of “the one” being the answer to all our relationship needs, people are constantly asking the following questions of their romantic partners:
Is this my person?
Can I do better?
Is this the best I can do?
Am I settling?
Is this it?
If I get this wrong will I miss my one and take someone else’s?
People begin to overthink and question their relationships, constantly comparing their experience to the ones they think others are having based on their social media pictures. Doubt, confusion and the fear of missing out begin to grip people causing them to avoid relationship or quit at the first sign of difficulty. Instead of cultivating existing relationships, people spend time and energy looking for this elusive “soulmate.”
No one person is equipped to be your best friend, passionate lover, confidant, business partner, amazing parent and always supportive spouse. What our entire community should provide is now being expected from one person. This is unrealistic and unhealthy. Relationships are crumbling under the weight of pressure we have put on them.
So, if soulmates aren’t real, aren’t biblical and are actually dangerous….what should we base a marriage decision on? The short answer is that volumes and volumes of books and articles have been written on this topic. The longer answer is that relationship research has been done so thoroughly and extensively that we are better prepared to make quality relationship decisions now than we have ever been. If you are single and want to date in a healthy way, spend some time researching articles and books that cover these topics. Take a class on dating like our Dating Detox Masterclass. Learn how to evaluate the important aspects of a relationship and seek someone who lines up with you in those areas.
If you are married, the same applies. Read some books, take a class, purchase a course, go on a retreat or join our Altared Marriage Membership. Reorient your unrealistic expectations about marriage around a healthier view of relationship and work at and grow your marriage. Relationships are a choice and all relationships take work. Use wisdom and put in the work….that’s the recipe for a great relationship!