I got an email from a young man who was feeling frustrated with relationships. He had recently asked a girl on a date and had been turned down. She explained to him that she was waiting for her “soul mate.” Apparently, she didn’t think he was the one.
My heart goes out to this young man, because it always stings to get turned down—no matter how spiritual or holy the rejection may be. I’ve met more than my share of young men and women who are sitting around, waiting for their soul mate. As though one day, there will be a magical knock on the door and “poof,” their soul mate will be waiting.
The Soul Mate Myth
I think this philosophy of a “soul mate” has done far more harm than good in our society. First and foremost, it’s a concept that is rooted in ancient mythology. Story has it that the gods split human beings as a form of punishment for their pride. Since then, human beings have been on the search to find their “soul mate” in an attempt to reach completion once again. Ancient mythology declares that there is this unspoken knowledge—some sort of feeling a person experiences when they come face to face with their soul mate. It’s the idea that we’re half-full people waiting around for someone else to complete us.
I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound very healthy to me.
Beyond the fact that the term is founded completely in fairy tale, it’s also entirely unbiblical. It is a title that is promotes “feeling” and “energy” that attracts one person to another. It’s a dangerous concept because it fools you into believing that love and marriage hinge on emotional ecstasy. And even more detrimental, it gets you to believe that you are incomplete until you come face to face with the love of your life.
There’s More to Forever Than Feelings
How long will it take us to learn that feelings can’t be trusted? They may help point us in the right direction, but they should NEVER be the sole foundation on which an entire relationship is based. Because at the end of the day, feelings come—and then feelings go. Those who build their relationships on the foundation of “feeling” will find that when the rain comes, their love quickly crumbles.
All over the world there are Christian young men and women waiting for that magical moment when they will come face to face and eye to eye with the person that will stir their heart and connect deeply with their soul. For the one who will complete them and make them whole.
There is no such thing as a person who will complete our souls, because according to God’s word, we are only made complete in Him.
Healthy relationships begin by understanding this completeness. They are based on positive interactions, effective communication and an emotional give-and-take with another human being that reflects health and wholeness. They are founded in faith, rooted in good choices and grounded in hard work and a whole lot of grace.
Don’t get me wrong—healthy relationships will always come with an abundance of healthy feelings, passion and romance—but they may not always start with those emotions.
If you’re waiting to meet that person that will trigger some sort of magical moment inside of you that will dub them as your “soul mate” or “the one,” there’s a good chance you’ll be waiting for a long, long time. Instead, do yourself a favor and begin to make connections with the people God has placed in your life. Get to know yourself, and then get to know people of the opposite sex who have the qualities you are looking for in a future mate.
Don’t freak out if the feelings aren’t magical or mystical, because frankly, they were never intended to be. Look for qualities, traits and characteristics that are attractive based on the things you know you need and want in a relationship. Find a relationship that emits healthiness, wholeness and respect. Take it one step at a time, and be assured that in a right relationship. feelings will always be present, but they can never be the foundation of a healthy relationship.
True love is based on a healthy combination of facts and feelings, and a whole lot of good choices. May God give you the wisdom to choose well.
This article was originally posted at truelovedates.com
Debra is a Licensed Professional Counselor, relationship expert, speaker and author of several books, including True Love Dates. Debra is also the creator of the popular relationship advice blog TrueLoveDates.com, reaching millions of people with the message that healthy people make healthy relationships. Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter.