Photo by Kleigh Balugo
When someone hears the word “soulmate,” they immediately think of romance, of “meant to be,” of only one person for each person. But I disagree with all of the typical conventions of the soulmate. I believe that in life, we will encounter many soulmates, and they don’t necessarily have to be romantic partners. In essence, my definition of a soulmate would be someone with whom you feel as if your souls are connected, even if you part ways or don’t see them often.
I think often of the Emily Bronte quote, “Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.” Yes, the quote is used to describe the highly problematic couple of Heathcliff and Catherine from Wuthering Heights, but it serves as the basis for my thoughts on soulmates. I feel so connected to certain people in my life, people who are not related to me by blood, that I think there is just something within our souls that is similar.
The friend who you immediately click with and pick up as if you never were separated is a perfect example of a soulmate. Someone who truly understands you, without a lengthy explanation. I consider my best friend Kleigh as one of my soulmates. We’ve maintained our friendship from kindergarten (fifteen years!), despite spending years in different states with minimal communication. Every time we are reunited, we discover we are drawn to the same interests and opinions, without influencing each other. We just connect from the instant we are together.
Of course, I consider my boyfriend Jacob to be one of my soulmates as well (it would be kind of weird if I didn’t). Similarly, we agree on so many things even though we had different upbringings and have different interests. It’s corny, but there are so many moments where I just feel like we fit perfectly together as a couple. There’s a deep connection between us that I don’t experience with anyone else.
I think the traditional definitions of soulmates can be really harmful. To believe that there is only one soulmate for each person and that there could be no one else for them romantically can lead to people being obsessive over finding a perfect person for them. It gives you tunnel vision, making you look only for a soulmate in a romantic partner when you may already have several soulmates in your closest friends. You risk undervaluing the comfort and love that your friends are already giving you. It puts way too much importance on romance and finding “the one.”
Should we even have this notion of soulmates and believe in them? That’s for each person to decide for themselves. Personally, I believe in soulmates, but it’s not something that has preoccupied my life. It serves as a way for me to describe the unique connections I feel with certain people, to show how special they are to me.
Overall, I just think there is just so much potential to spread love to others, and limiting ourselves to believing there is only one soulmate for us in the world, and it must be romantic, is a bit ridiculous. Romantic relationships are not the only relationships with value in our lives, even though movies and social media seem to say otherwise.