There’s a lot of talk about soul mates, but how old should you be when you meet your true love? We asked some experts for their thoughts on the subject, and here are our favorite answers!
Whether you’re single or already in a relationship, there’s a good chance that you’ve had more than one close friend who has told you they met their “true love” at a certain age.
According to Dr. Brett Williams, a psychologist with expertise in relationships, we all have different ideas about what “true love” is. And while many people will say it happens around 20 years old, he says that might not be the correct answer. That’s because everyone experiences different things during their lives — both emotionally and physically — and it makes sense that a person’s idea of “the perfect mate” changes over time.
“I think the question of ‘when’ someone meets their soulmate is very subjective,” says Williams.
He thinks that when people look back on their lives, they don’t necessarily see everything as a linear journey. In his experience, he says it’s more common that people go through peaks and valleys when they think they’re “meeting their soulmate.”
And even though there isn’t a clear-cut age to meet your true love, he thinks that if you feel like you just haven’t found the right person, it may be worth taking a hard look at your life.
Dr. Gail Saltzberg, author of The Love Doctor and co-author of How To Find Real Love: A Practical Guide to Finding and Keeping Lasting Love
In her book, Saltzberg explains that the critical difference between being alone and having a satisfying relationship is feeling truly loved by another person. She also stresses that you need to feel good about yourself before you can start looking for love. If you’re struggling with self-esteem, she says you may be making it harder for yourself to find someone special. Sylvia Youngblood-Abrahamson, Author of The Art Of True Love: Discover Your Authentic Desire For Romance & Intimacy in Every Relationship
Youngblood-Abrahamson agrees with Williams and Saltzberg. According to her, there’s no set number of years to wait before you find your soulmate. Instead, she says you should spend your years thinking about what kind of person you want to be with and then take steps toward finding that person.
For example, if you want to be married someday, you could try dating someone with similar values regarding religion, career, hobbies, and other interests. If you’re still unsure where you want to end up, you could focus on learning new skills to help you achieve those goals.
If you’re interested in getting severe before you turn 30, you can read this article for more advice.
Brett Williams (Psychologist)
As a therapist, Williams sees the importance of developing your self-image to attract the type of partner you want. He also believes that your personality and behavior aren’t static — they change throughout your life.
“We’re constantly growing and changing, and it makes sense that our views of ‘who I am’ are likely to evolve,” says Williams.
That means that the idea of meeting your “perfect match” will probably shift over time too. For instance, he says you’re probably most focused on physical attraction and compatibility when you first meet someone. But as you get to know them better, you may notice other qualities that make them appealing, such as honesty and loyalty. Or maybe you find out they’re not perfect, but you still respect them enough to keep dating them.
Ultimately, he says that whether you meet your soul mate in your early twenties or late thirties is irrelevant. What matters is that you’re happy with who you are and can create healthy relationships with others.
Dr. Gail Saltzberg (Doctor)
While Saltzberg doesn’t believe there’s a magic number for finding your soulmate, she agrees that many factors play into who you connect with at any given time. These include upbringing, family dynamics, work, social life, and other outside influences.
She says you should be open to trying new things and forming new relationships at any age, but don’t force yourself to do something that doesn’t serve your best interest. Just because you meet someone who seems great on paper doesn’t mean that you’ll enjoy spending time together or that it’s possible to build a deep connection that lasts forever.
In addition to all of these reasons, she says that sometimes it’s essential to give your heart a break from focusing on dating — or even looking for love altogether.
“It’s easy to become fixated on romantic relationships, especially when we’re young and inexperienced,” says Saltzberg. “But if we become overly involved in dating, we can miss out on other opportunities to develop friendships and deepen our emotional connections with friends and family members.”
Sylvia Youngblood-Abrahamson (Author)
When Youngblood-Abrahamson talks about soul mates, she always emphasizes the importance of understanding who you are and what you want. She says that when you figure out what makes you happy, you can pursue that goal instead of waiting for someone else to fulfill you.
So if you’d rather date a guy who plays guitar than a lawyer, for example, that’s OK. It only takes a few minutes to write down the qualities you value and use that list as a guide when looking for potential dates. Then, follow your gut and let the universe decide which ones seem a good fit for you.
Once you’ve narrowed your choices, you can start talking to each person. Don’t judge anyone based on looks or age; remember that it’s perfectly normal to change your mind several times.