The term “soul mate” can conjure up lots of thoughts, emotions, and feelings. The intellectuals and philosophers attempt to understand and explain the concept, while the romantics and dreamers desperately yearn to experience it. Skeptics and those who have been scorned by love scoff at the notion, while the lonely patiently dream about the day that they will come across their own soul mate. Religious and cultural leaders explain the origins of the term, while young children are first exposed to the idea courtesy of Walt Disney and his fairy tales. Whatever walk of life you travel, it is safe to say that there are a multitude of opinions and beliefs about soul mates. Do they really exist, or is it purely fictional? If they do exist, does everyone get one? And finally, how many soul mates can one person have?
Many people adhere to the notion of a single soul mate. In a chaotic, dark, and complex world, the idea of having a single puzzle piece out there to perfectly align with our own puzzles can be downright comforting. Some vehement believers in fate patiently wait for destiny to place the perfect soul mate onto their path. These are the people who believe in one great love. Although people may connect and interact with several individuals who could potentially fit, there is only one person who fits perfectly. This person is the yin to their yang, the other half to their beating heart, the true solution to the puzzle. Cinderella and Prince Charming can be an example of a solitary soul mate.
Then, there are others who scoff at the notion of one romantic soul mate for every being. Perhaps these individuals are more scientific, rational, or intellectual in nature, but they argue that the concept of one soul mate doesn’t make sense if you really sit with it. When statistics, numbers, and pure chance are factored into a world full of people, how is it that there is only one perfect romantic connection for everybody? Wouldn’t it just be a matter of which soul mate you come into contact with first? Which soul mate is closest in proximity to you? And once you find a soul mate, do the other ones no longer maintain importance? Could Cinderella have been just as happy with Prince Philip or Prince Eric had she met them first?
Under the umbrella of multiple soul mates, some believe that a person can be destined for several in their lifetime, and not just romantic ones. These individuals believe that the notion of soul mates can be extrapolated into friendships, mentorships, and other types of relationships. This type of soul mate is believed to have some higher order purpose for entering your life when they do. Perhaps they are fated to help you get through a rough patch, to teach you a specific lesson, to help you heal, or to help you grow. Whatever the reason, you may be fated to have several soul mates entering and exiting your life at various points of time. In this sense, the Fairy Godmother or the mice could be considered as Cinderella’s other soul mates.
Thus, the concept of a “soul mate” and the notion of what it means is truly dependent on who you are talking to. Do we have one romantic soul mate or many? Can a friend be classified as a soul mate? What happens if we find our soul mate and lose them? Do we ever get another shot at it? At the end of the day, a soul mate can be just about anything that you want it to be. Despite this, it is universally believed that a soul mate is a perfect fit into one’s puzzle.
Tracy is a Licensed Professional Counselor and is a clinical supervisor for the Community YMCA, Counseling & Social Services branch. Tracy has over 12 years of experience working in many settings including partial care hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs, community agencies, group practice, and school-based programs. Tracy works with clients of all ages, but especially enjoys working with the adolescents. Tracy facilitates groups using art therapy, sand play and psychodrama.