We all want our relationships and love lives to be perfect. But what if they’re not? What can we do about it, anyway?
The Problem With Perfections
It starts with our expectations of perfection in a partner or relationship. We set high standards for ourselves (and others) that are hard to meet.
The average person has around 500 unmet needs. And each of us is different. So one person might need “someone who always makes me laugh.” Another might say, “I need someone who will never hurt my feelings.” And so on.
We also look for specific traits or characteristics in potential partners. So when we find someone who meets these criteria, we feel like we’ve found our soul mate.
But what if you meet someone who doesn’t have those exact qualities or traits? What if something is missing from your ideal match? Or what if there’s another trait that you don’t care about but that he does?
If you’ve met someone who falls into this category, you may know him as your “fake boyfriend or girlfriend.” But if you haven’t yet met anyone who is truly right for you, you may wonder whether you’ll ever find true love.
What Is A “Soul Mate” Relationship Really Like?
A “soul mate” relationship is often characterized by two characteristics that are often overlooked in other types of relationships: 1) you’re both committed to the relationship, and 2) you both share deep emotional connections.
Research has shown that people who believe they’re soul mates are more likely to be satisfied with their partnerships than couples just dating. And when you dig deeper, you realize that this type of relationship provides a lot of benefits for both partners—especially those of us who are looking to improve our romantic relationships.
Here’s how to spot a soul mate from a fake one.
1. You Both Are 100% Committed
One of the hallmarks of a soul mate relationship is that you’re both 100 percent committed to the relationship. This means that you’re both ready to take risks and explore new experiences together, even if it means moving across the country or starting a business venture together. It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day challenges of a relationship, especially if you’re trying to start a family or run a household. But if you’re committed to your significant other and their goals, you’ll be able to work through any obstacles together. In a fake relationship, only one partner is committed.
2. You Share Emotional Connections
Another defining characteristic of a soul mate relationship is that you share strong emotional connections. True soul mates are fiercely loyal to each other because they bring out the best in the other. They know exactly what the other person wants, which makes them great communicators and leaders. They don’t try to control the other person because they’ve learned that no matter what they do, the other loves and respects them for who they are.
3. You Work On Yourself Together
When you’re in a real soul mate relationship, you work on yourself together. Because you have a shared vision for where life is going, you’re motivated to grow personally and professionally. This means you’re open to taking risks and changing careers because you’re confident you won’t let the other person down. You’re willing to spend time and effort learning new skills and building a better future together.
4. You Respect Each Other’s Boundaries
A key part of having a soul mate relationship is respecting each other’s boundaries. If you’re constantly pushing the other person to go further than they’d normally go, you’re not going to achieve your desired level of success. Instead, you should both have clear boundaries that you agree upon. That way, neither of you feels pressured to compromise.
5. You Don’t Compare Yourself to Each Other
You’re both aware of your strengths and weaknesses and celebrate them. You don’t compare yourselves or focus too much on what you don’t have. You recognize that everyone has unique qualities and that you complement each other well. When you’re in a soul mate relationship, you have a solid sense of self and confidence in knowing you’re good enough to be with someone else.
6. You See Eye-to-Eye on Future Plans
You’re both excited about the same things in life. You see eye-to-eye on major decisions, such as career direction and family planning. You support each other’s dreams, and you’re able to bounce ideas off of each other to make sure they’re realistic.
7. You Have Similar Values and Beliefs
If you’re in a soul mate relationship, you share similar values and beliefs. You might have different opinions on issues (such as politics or religion), but you agree on most things. You’re on the same page regarding what matters most to you in life. This includes things like money, health, spirituality, and social justice.
8. You Make Decisions Together
In a real soul mate relationship, you make decisions together. You trust one another’s instincts and intuition. You respect each other’s points of view and give each other space to process information and consider options before making a decision. You’re comfortable deciding without first consulting your partner. As a result, you’re less likely to make poor choices based on fear or uncertainty.
9. You Accept Each Other’s Differences
In a soul mate relationship, you accept each other’s differences. You’re OK with each other’s quirks and foibles. You understand that everyone has their ways of approaching life, and you’re willing to embrace those differences instead of fighting against them. In a fake relationship, you constantly argue over finances, sex, and children.
Tips For Finding The Right Partner
What can you do if you’ve already fallen for someone’s charm? Here are some strategies to help you identify if your relationship is a soul mate:
1. Do You Feel Happy Together?
This isn’t a test. There’s no right answer here. Just ask yourself: Do you enjoy spending time with this person? What do you do together for fun? How does this person contribute to your happiness?
2. Do You Feel Close Together?
There’s a difference between feeling close and feeling intimate. Intimacy happens when you share secrets, show affection, engage in sexual activities, and discuss things you wouldn’t otherwise discuss. Feelings of closeness happen on a smaller scale, but they’re still important. Ask yourself: Do you feel closer to this person than you would with someone else?
3. Does This Person Make You Feel More Alive?
Your partner should make you feel alive. Your relationship isn’t healthy if you lose interest in your daily routine and dread coming home from work. Ask yourself: Am I energized after spending time with this person?
4. Can You Give And Take Love?
Love is an act of giving and receiving. It requires patience, commitment, vulnerability, and honesty. If you feel like you’re stuck in the middle ground between giving and taking, you’re probably in a fake relationship that isn’t a soul mate. Ask yourself: am I a loving, generous person? Can I express myself freely and fully?