Intimate love — 26 December 2009
Have you found your soul mate?

Many happy pairs are thrilled about having found their ‘soul mate’ in their partner. Others seek that special person or feel disappointed that they are not magically matched. What is a soul mate? Can you have more than one? Is this designation solely reserved to a love match? And how can you find yours?

In love relationships, common definitions of a soul mate are: “ Someone who understands and accepts me as I am”, “Someone I can fully trust”, “My best friend”, “Someone I can feel free to be honest and open with without fear”, “Someone who truly loves me”, “A person I can love and be loved by unconditionally”. Those definitions center on several themes: Trust, Safety, Understanding, Acceptance and Unconditional Love.

Thomas Moore in his book “Soul Mates” states, “A soul mate is someone to whom we feel profoundly connected, as though the communicating and communing that take place between us were not the product of intentional effort, but rather a divine grace. This kind of relationship is so important to the soul that many have said there is nothing more precious in life.”

Since yearning to be truly and effortlessly connected is compelling and not commonly seen, people perceive finding a soul mate as a magical occurrence few are privileged to find. Yet, Moore further asserts, ”We may find a soul partner in many different forms of relationship—in friendship, marriage, work, play and family. It is a rare form of intimacy, but is not limited to one person or to one form.” It can be found in several people, not only love mates, who have “A high degree of mutual understanding, a common concern for each other as individuals, and perhaps a sensitivity to the soul work of the other. Ultimately, this kind of friendship may be the most soulful relationship.”

Psychologists, behavioral scientists and researchers seem to agree that mate selection has its roots in deeper, personal and yet to be fully understood human inter and intra-psychic processes. Carl Jung, in “Marriage as a Psychological Relationship” states that one of the hardest problems in relationships is the interaction between the parties’ unconscious needs. Thus, finding one to connect with is a true blessing.

I propose that you can consciously find your soul mate in marriage, family, friendship, work or play – not by expecting fate to magically send you the “right person”, but by taking three steps: A. Prepare yourself for connection. B. Identify ‘soul ready’ people and C. Act in a soul mate fashion.

A. Prepare yourself for connection by testing your own soul mate readiness:

• Can you trust others and be trusted?
• Can you express your ideas, needs and wants clearly?
• Can you be honest and open with a safe person without fear or shame?
• Do you know how to be a good selfless friend?
• Can you love unconditionally?

If you are not feeling solid in any of these areas, you need to build them up prior to seeking your soul mate.

B. Find soul mate candidates.

• Abandon notions of magic, fate or luck as significant factors in soul mate availability.
• Trust your own soul, intuition, guiding inner voice, in scouting people whom you find appealing.
• Respond to your cues of interest and pleasure in meeting people or sharing activities.
• Notice your inner dialogue. “I like this person” is a solid cue.
• Initiate further contact with anyone who attracts you or holds your interest.

C. Act in a soul mate fashion.

• Perceive others as different than you and equally lovable.
• Abstain from fear or self-doubt. Trust your ‘soul’ to follow its wish.
• Feel worthy of finding a soul mate.
• Be affirming, positive, friendly, and open to the positive energy of others.
• Initiate friendship – your soul mate connection will be discovered.

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About Author

Offra Gerstein, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist in clinical practice in Santa Cruz, California for over 25 years, and specializes in relationship issues for couples and individuals for improved quality of life. Her work includes: mate selection, marriage, long term relationships, gay and lesbian couples, work relationships, parenting issues, family interactions, friendships, and conflict resolutions. Offra has lectured extensively to various groups, conducted support groups for several organizations, and has been writing a weekly column "Relationship Matters" for the Santa Cruz Sentinel since 2001.

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