With online dating apps, the ability to connect over the phone and travel long distances in a fraction of the time than has been historically possible, shouldn’t finding your person — your soulmate — be easier than ever?
And yet, for many people, dating and finding “The One” feels more impossible than ever. This raises the question, do soulmates even exist? Is our pursuit of a relationship that feels both safe and exhilarating truly impossible, like trying to sail off the edge of the earth?
Unfortunately, there aren’t concrete answers to those questions. However, your ability to discover and experience a thriving intimate relationship has a lot to do with what you believe and how you choose to show up in life.
In this article, you’ll learn why your belief regarding soulmates matters, the four phases of a relationship so you don’t miss your soulmate if you meet them, and two non-negotiable things you need to do to attract your soulmate.
Do Soulmates Exist?
Did you know that whether or not soulmates exist actually isn’t important to the well-being of your love life?
What is important, according to Anthony Robbins, “is whether you believe soulmates are real.”
56% of Americans believe that soulmates exist, 25% don’t believe in soulmates, and 19% say they question the idea of a soulmate. So the real question is, do you believe soulmates exist?
One way to figure out whether or not you believe soulmates exist is to define what a soulmate means to you.
Dr. Michael Tobin defines a soulmate as someone you journey through life with and with whom you mutually help each other grow. While you experience a deep connection with this person, you are not entirely dependent on them for your physical and emotional existence.
On the other hand, Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a soulmate as someone perfectly suited to another in temperament; a person who strongly resembles another in attitudes or beliefs.
With so many opinions about what a soulmate even is, it’s most important to know your definition of a soulmate — if you believe they exist at all. After all, what you believe about soulmates and whether they exist changes how you approach the world, especially within relationships.
What Happens When You Meet Your Soulmate?
Do sparks fly when you meet your soulmate, or does everything in life finally make sense? Or maybe it happens slowly, like the sun and moon trading places every night and day?
Really, these questions are asking: Is there a feeling or experience I should be looking out for so that when I meet my soulmate, I won’t miss it?
And in short, the answer is, “No.”
Sometimes you become best friends with someone instantly, and sometimes you become best friends over time. Romantic and intimate relationships can develop in the same way.
While there aren’t specific signs to know when you’ve met your soulmate, there are specific phases in each relationship that can help you discern where your relationship is headed.
According to Matthew Hussey, British life coach and dating expert, a relationship has four phases.
Relationship Phase #1: Attraction
You know that first smell of coffee when you walk into a coffee shop?
The fragrance draws you in and hints at an experience you’ll enjoy. You’re attracted, and this initial attraction prompts you to get in line to get a cup of coffee.
The first phase of a relationship is the initial attraction. You notice something attractive about someone — their hair, flare of humor, or genuine kindness. This is the point where relationship potential is acknowledged and noticed.
Like the fragrance in the coffee shop doesn’t compare to drinking a cup of coffee – there’s still a lot to learn about someone you’re attracted to, but it’s enough to get your attention and inspire action.
From here, you start a conversation, exchange numbers, and see if the two of you hit it off.
Relationship Phase #2: Connection
Have you ever read a book that you were sad to finish?
Somehow amid all those words, you connected with the characters and wanted to witness more of their story.
Connection, the second phase in a relationship, is similar. After the initial attraction, you connect over mutual likes and common ideas or perspectives. In short, you discover that there is even more to this person than you originally noticed, and you want to find out more.
Chemistry can be used interchangeably with connection in this phase. And it’s pretty safe to say that connection or chemistry can usually be identified in the first few dates, maybe even the first.
Relationship Phase #3: Commitment
Commitment is one of the most beautiful pieces of any relationship. It’s where both people say to the other, “I want to build with you.”
It’s important to note that this phase in a relationship often requires some compromise. You’re not committing to a relationship with a perfect person; you’re committing to a relationship with someone you love who has quirks just like you.
That being said, compromising is not the same thing as settling. Settling is when you give up something vital in a relationship. For example, Matthew Hussey explained that physical touch is super important to him in a relationship. He would be settling if he stayed in a relationship that continually lacked physical closeness.
Compromising is when you realize that something you thought was essential isn’t as important to you. In other words, you thought having your partner do all the budgeting was a must. But you love your partner, are good at budgeting, and can thrive in a relationship with them even if you’re the one budgeting.
Relationship Phase #4: Compatibility
“Love is all you need” and “love conquers all” are cool bumper stickers, but those statements aren’t always accurate in real life.
For example, if you have a sex drive of ten and your partner has a sex drive of three, that will be challenging. If your partner wants to spend every weekend with friends and you prefer a quiet weekend on your couch with a book, that will cause conflict – whether early on or down the road.
Again, relationships require a give-and-take. Being incompatible with your partner in one area doesn’t mean the relationship will never work. But it’s worth stating that the more areas you and your partner are compatible in, the more likely your relationship will be satisfying and successful.
Love is a precious and powerful ingredient to an intimate relationship – there are many good reasons to prioritize love. However, compatibility is priceless in a long-lasting relationship and is too often overlooked.
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How Do You Attract Your Soulmate?
How do bees find flowers? They’re attracted.
Flowers don’t go anywhere. Instead, they have a fragrance that’s captivating to bees and give pollen to bees.
Attracting your soulmate requires two very similar things: being an interesting person and being willing to contribute to the relationship.
Be An Interesting Person
If you had ten hours free could you tell someone how you would spend them?
One of the best things you can do to improve your dating life and become attractive to your soulmate is to know how you would spend your free time. Matthew Hussey calls this an independently interesting person. In other words, how you live is interesting and attractive to someone who isn’t yet in a relationship with you, and it’s fun to watch you do life!
Start by investing in your hobbies, and always keep in mind that cultivating things that contribute to making you an interesting person are significant investments in a future relationship. If you want to learn yoga, consider taking a yoga class where you will meet other people instead of watching a YouTube video at home.
Read a book! While reading a book might not seem like it’s directly contributing to a relationship, it goes a long way on a date when you have something to talk about.
Being an independently interesting person is not only essential for getting into a relationship but also for a healthy one. When you find your soulmate, you will be in a relationship with another human, which means there will still be moments you need to meet your own needs.
And when you know your own interests, you’ll be able to take care of yourself in those moments of self-reliance.
Be Willing to Be the Gardener
Whether we realize it or not, the fear of missing out, or FOMO, is taking over many of our lives.
This is evident by the number of things we try to cram into our days. FOMO shows up in dating relationships when people continually jump from relationship to relationship. The seemingly endless choices at our disposal make us less likely to truly invest in one person.
It’s easy to assume that if the current relationship isn’t working, surely a different relationship will. And while there are times the relationship we’re in isn’t right or won’t work, it’s just as frequently the case that you or your partner are not willing to do the work required for a relationship.
Matthew Hussey says it this way, “A lot of people want to be in a relationship where they’re always the flower and never the gardener.” In other words, most people want to be the adored superstar of the relationship and not take the time to cultivate it by tending to and caring for their partner’s needs.
Remember that caring for your partner’s needs might not be what you think. You might love cooking and want to get up early to make them a lovely lunch to take to work, but they may not interpret your actions in the same way. Your partner might actually need you to be present and interested in what they have to say when they get home from work instead.
If you genuinely want to find your soulmate, you must be ready to do the work a relationship requires. There will be moments when you get to be the flower of the relationship, but there will also be moments when your partner needs to be the flower of the relationship. This means that you need to be thinking of your partner’s needs.
It’s possible that you could miss meeting your soulmate simply because you were not ready and willing to be the gardener. Don’t let that happen!
It’s Time to Believe
First things first: dating and finding “The One” in the 21st century is not impossible.
Yes, we face challenges that other generations didn’t, but then again, they faced challenges we can’t even comprehend.
When it comes to dating and finding the right person for you, your mindset is critical. Just like your belief about soulmates is more important than whether they exist, your belief regarding the possibility of dating is significantly more important than whether or not finding “The One” is possible.
You’re not the only person looking for lifelong connection and a lasting relationship. Believe your person is out there, become an interesting person, be honest with yourself about potential compatibility, and take time to be the gardener in your relationship.