The idea of soulmates is a fascination in pop culture but one that gets shushed in the Christian community for reasons that often misunderstand the concept in question.
While all the connotations of a “soulmate” may not be true, there is truth behind the idea regarding the like-minded people God brings into our lives to change us for the better.
So, as the popular question asks what a soulmate is, let’s take it from a different angle and ask, what is a soulmate not?
#1 — Your typical hello
A soulmate is someone who steps into a conversation where everything feels forced, knocks down walls of insincerity, and revolutionizes your world.
As author R.H. Sin said, “Your soulmate will be the stranger you recognize.” They are someone you don’t meet every day because in them you find what you were missing with everyone else.
“One of these days you will meet eyes with someone who makes you feel so at home in the world you will think to yourself, Ah, there you are.”-Beau Taplin, A Patient Heart
They are someone with whom you have an immediate connection so strong that you are drawn to them in a way you’ve never experienced before.
A soulmate is not necessarily the human being everyone has idealized, but an ordinary person who marks a before and after in your life.
#2 — A romantic partner (necessarily)
The root of romance is deep-seated friendship, making love friendship that has caught on fire, so not all soulmates become romantic partners.
As their connection develops over time, soulmates experience a love so deep, strong, and complex that they doubt they ever truly loved anyone prior.
Still, this kind of love is not exclusively shared between spouses.
“The soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.”-1 Samuel 18:1
Like Anne Shirley’s “kindred spirits,” soulmates share the purely golden, best friend kind of love that goes deeper than romance.
A soulmate is the truest of true friends, someone who knows the song of your heart and sings it back to you when you’ve forgotten the tune.
“The best relationships—the ones that last—are frequently the ones that are rooted in friendship. You know, one day you look at the person and you see something more than you did the night before. Like a switch has been flicked somewhere. And the person who was just a friend is suddenly the only person you can ever imagine yourself with.”
-Dana Scully, X-Files
#3 — Giddiness or emotional highs
A soulmate is not someone who makes your heart skip a beat when they enter the room. You do not feel an impulse to consistently adjust your appearance or find everything they say to be the funniest thing ever.
“The Buddhists say if you meet somebody and your heart pounds, your hands shake, your knees go weak, that’s not the one. When you meet your ‘soulmate’ you’ll feel calm. No anxiety, no agitation.”-Monica Drake
A soulmate is someone you can be with and talk to like you do with yourself. They are the kind of person who feels like home because you are naturally comfortable around them, like you have known them your whole life.
You feel safe around them and thus sooner let them in on the parts you try to hide even from yourself.
#4 — Requirement for verbalization
A soulmate is not someone you feel obligated to talk to, like you have to maintain conversation for the sake of politeness.
In fact, a soulmate is someone you understand and have gotten to know so innately that you don’t need words to communicate.
“So, if you are too tired to speak, sit next to me, because I, too, am fluent in silence.”-R. Arnold
Soulmates seem to always be on the same wavelength and need merely a glance to know exactly where the other is at.
Like a couple that has been happily married for 60 years, soulmates enjoy the richest form of community: perfect fluidity with seemingly no communication.
“They had a way of speaking to each other without words, such a perfect understanding that sometimes Leia thought they didn’t need to talk at all. It had taken her a long time to realize not all spouses were like this, that not everyone found the kind of love that was like sharing souls.”
-Claudia Gray, Leia, Princess of Alderaan
#5 — Source of misunderstanding
For lack of eloquence, soulmates just get each other. They click upon meeting and understand the other’s mind.
“Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.”-Emily Bronte
Soulmates are particularly interested in the other. They want to learn what makes the other unique and how they became who they are. They want to hear about all the things that go on in the other’s mind.
“A soulmate is someone who appreciates your level of weird.”-Bill Murray
They are fascinated when they come across something about the other they cannot explain and seek understanding. Soulmates could talk to each other for hours and still have a million questions to ask.
#6 — A perfect fit
A soulmate relationship is not a relationship so pleasant that two never need conflict resolution. It’s not just peaches and cream, it’s also roses and thorns.
A soulmate causes you to think twice and ask questions. They match your wit yet inspire you to reach farther. They adore you yet challenge you to your fullest potential.
They shake things up, show you true love, and stand up to you in ways no one else has. A soulmate refuses to settle for who you are yet pushes you to become the best you can be.
“That someone who makes you a better person. No, actually they don’t make you a better person. You do that by yourself because they inspire you.”-Dawson’s Creek
A soulmate is someone who loves you with so much conviction and heart that it is nearly impossible to doubt just how capable you are of becoming exactly who you’ve always wanted to be.
“A true soulmate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. A true soulmate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet because they tear down your walls and smack you awake.”
#7 — Your one and only
It is quite possible that you could lose someone you once considered a soulmate and that you can find that same kind of connection in someone else (albeit under unique circumstances).
To find someone you might call a soulmate does not mean they are your one chance at companionship.
“You can be attracted to a lot of different people, but you choose where to set your affection.”-Jean Cook
Like the widow who eventually remarries or how time heals heartbreak and brings about new love, there are far too many people on this earth and complexities in the human heart to say you only have one shot.
#8 — Seasonal
A soulmate is someone you not only want to spend the rest of your life with but are determined to push through anything to keep them around.
Soulmates are just two ordinary people who are too stubborn to let the world tear them apart. No matter what is thrown at or between them, they are determined to pursue unity with the other.
“And no matter what happens, you’ll always love them and nothing could ever change that.”-Dawson’s Creek
While many people walk in and out of your life, a soulmate leaves footprints on your heart. They rewrite your story by merely being your friend.
Because of the impact they had on your life, regardless of whether they continue with you or not, you will never be the same.
Beware not to let your imagination run wild with the soulmate-like person you have in mind. Sometimes the best friend who fits this description is not meant to be in your life how you hope or expect.
They will start a fire in you, and you shouldn’t lose that, but they are not always the one with whom we spend our lives. Settle your heart, God can turn either case into a beautiful story.