“Our universe grants every soul a twin-a reflection of themselves- the kindred spirit. And no matter where they are or how far away they are from each other, even if they are in different dimensions, they will always find one another. This is destiny; this is love.”
I grew up watching movies from The Disney Renaissance. I sang along to the songs from The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, and more. They were all charming, and several of them had this obsession with overcoming adversity with true love’s kiss.
True love’s kiss was the best thing in the world. Yes, even better than sliced bread. It was the solution to curses that transformed you into an orgy or a beast; the get out of jail free card when you make a deal with an evil witch. There was nothing kissing the person you were always meant to be with wouldn’t fix. No force on Earth was more powerful than soul mate magic.
Of course, now that I’m into more adulting things, I know that’s all fiction, and kissing strangers doesn’t make your depression go away. Still, many of the movies and series we see today retain the central theme of two lovers destined for each other. We’ve swapped Belle and Adam for Daphne and Simon Basset. Even though we don’t specifically refer to them as soul mates, they still fit the term’s pop culture definition. Two people, who despite not liking each other initially, are such a perfect match for each other they eventually fall deeply in love and live happily ever after. Isn’t that where sayings like, “if you love something, let it go. If it comes back to you, it’s yours” originate?
Today, many people buy into that idea of having a soul mate. Someone made specifically for them by God himself. For many people who want to get married, searching for the ideal mate –their perfect match- is like digging for gold with your name etched on it. Of course, most people look forward to a happier ending than Romeo and Juliet.
So in a world overflowing with literature, movies, and the emerging online dating world, we have to pause and ask, do soul mates exist? Are we composing hundreds of songs and writing thousands of stories about something that isn’t even real? There has to be some truth to all this bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh stories we’ve heard since we were kids, right?
Well, it all depends on your definition.
For some, a soul mate is simply someone for whom you have a deep affinity. In that context, anyone could be your soul mate, even your best friend. They wouldn’t necessarily have to be a romantic partner, only someone you resonate with deeply. A person whose values and taste aligns with yours, and who you’re free to share your innermost thoughts and feelings. If we use that definition, you probably already have one or even more. So while such individuals might not be ‘perfect’ for each other, they have a unique bond that draws them towards each other.
Although more common in the media, the one-match-in-a-billion type of soul mate is a lot harder to picture. The notion that out of the seven billion or on the planet, only one is right for you is quite romantic. But when you factor in the chances of meeting your soul mate, it can seem daunting. I mean, what if my perfect match was born in a country I’ve never even heard of? Although some might argue that fate will bring you too together somehow, the idea of never finding them still exist and can be downright terrifying.
Skeptics like Philosopher Alain de Botton argue that the idea of soul mates is fictional and can be downright dangerous. He explains that romanticism is the ban on love because we expect the other person to complete us. Such inflated expectations of love can make the reality of co-existing with someone seem grey and dull.
In the end, I guess the question, ‘do soul mates really exist?” is one of those questions each person has to answer for themselves.