We’ve all been told that “Love at First Sight” exists, but how many believe it? A new study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology suggests that most people don’t even realize they believe it. More than half of the participants surveyed said they were unsure whether they’d met their soulmate.
While the results may come as a bit of a shock, it makes sense that we’re often unsure about these things, especially since our concept of soulmates has become so cluttered over time. For instance, while the word “soulmate” was once used interchangeably with “spouse” for centuries, today it’s not uncommon to hear couples define their relationship as being something else entirely — such as a best friend, co-parent, business partner, etc.
What exactly constitutes “finding your soulmate,” anyway? And why are you supposed to feel so strongly about it?
1) How do you recognize when your true love is near?
First impressions matter, so pay close attention to how your date looks. According to Dr. John Gottman, the father of modern marriage science, three types of facial expressions indicate someone’s feelings toward you: Positive: They smile at you. This usually indicates they’re either attracted to you or comfortable around you.
Neutral/unconcerned: They look away from you. It could mean they’re indifferent or just trying to avoid your gaze. Or it could mean they’re bored.
Negative: Their eyes narrow, and their mouth turns down. This usually means they’re feeling threatened or angry.
If you notice your date giving any of these signs, you probably aren’t on the same page, and it might be time to move on to another candidate.
2) What happens after you meet your one-and-only (for now)
Once you finally get the courage to ask your date on a first date, it’s important to take note of her reaction. While some would argue that the best predictor of future behavior comes from observing their current actions, research from Harvard University shows that the most accurate indicator is their response to your question.
For example, if she says yes, great! But if she says no, it’s safe to assume that she won’t be interested in seeing you again anytime soon.
3) Is there a spiritual component to finding the right person?
It’s widely believed that soulmates are meant to be together, but are there any scientific explanations behind this idea?
According to the book Love at First Sight by psychologist Dr. Helen Fisher, who studies sexual attraction, the answer is yes. She explains that two people form a bond through pheromone transfer, which occurs when they share similar body odors or sweat. That’s because the chemicals your body produces when stressed or excited are also produced when you’re aroused sexually. These chemicals are released into the air and travel via smell, causing others to respond similarly.
In the case of soulmates, the fact that your body chemistry is similar is enough to create a bond, but the spiritual aspect leads to lasting love.
4) Should we believe in fate or destiny?
When it comes to finding your soulmate, some people will say there’s nothing you can do but let fate play its part in the decision-making process. Other people, however, will claim that everything happens for a reason. Which side are you on?
The truth is somewhere in between. While fate plays a role, a human element is still involved in the equation. According to the author and philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, who lived from 1788–1860, the universe is governed by the principle of Will and Idea.
Will is the desire to live in an orderly manner, while Idea is the ability to see order everywhere. As a result, we tend to gravitate toward people whose personalities and lifestyles fit well with our own. When we do, we develop a strong attachment to them, known as the will to live together.
5) Are soul mates destined to be together forever?
There have been countless films, books, and songs that have romanticized the notion of soulmates, but the reality is very few relationships end up lasting forever. According to researchers from Princeton University, only 8% of marriages last beyond 50 years, and those marriages tend to involve higher-earning partners.
a recent study from the University of Rochester found that even among married couples, 70% eventually separate. So, while soulmates may exist, don’t expect to find that special someone who will always be there for you.
But don’t despair just yet…
6) Can anyone ever truly understand what it’s like to have found your “One”?
Have you ever had a moment where you thought, “This is it?” For me, it happened the day I realized I’d finally found The One. I couldn’t explain exactly what it felt like, and I didn’t want anyone else to experience it, so I never spoke of it until recently. But it left me wondering if I was the only one who went through something similar.
Now, I can speak from experience and say it’s amazing and frightening simultaneously. On the positive side, I’m confident that I made the right choice, but on the negative side, I’m afraid that my soulmate will leave me someday. I’m not sure what to do about it, though.
7) Why does everyone seem to think they already did!?
Soulmates are popular among celebrities, and the media seems to perpetuate this fantasy. However, according to the book When Two Become One, most people don’t meet their soulmates during early adulthood. Instead, their soulmate (or soulmates) enter their lives later in life. By then, most people have already developed strong bonds with their friends, family members, co-workers, and pets and are less likely to seek out someone outside those circles.
8) So how can I tell if my mate is The One?
If you’re looking for a soulmate, don’t rely on your gut instinct alone. Many online dating sites are available that help you connect with potential matches based on factors including age, location, education, occupation, religion, and political affiliation. Once you find a match that aligns with your preferences, it’s worth taking the next step and meeting them in real life.
9) How long should two souls spend searching for each other before settling?
Most people agree that you shouldn’t rush into a relationship, but what’s considered “too long” varies depending on the situation. Take, for example, the famous story of the woman who waited 30 years to marry her husband, despite his numerous affairs. Others argue that it takes only six months to know if a couple is right for each other. Based on these conflicting opinions, how long should you wait before deciding if you’ll ever find your soulmate?