How to know you’ve met a con­sum­mate soul­mate

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page -

WHEN we hear the words soul­mates, of­ten­times we gaze up into the sky and vi­su­alise our knight in shin­ing ar­mour or our Ra­pun­zel who will let their hair down.

This is be­cause the con­cept of soul­mates is very prom­i­nent in the child­hood fairy­tales we grew up with, and has since seeped into our adult lives. Some peo­ple take the con­cept of soul­mates so se­ri­ously that they are not even will­ing to date un­til they meet their per­fect part­ner — their soul­mate.

But what ex­actly is a soul­mate? What are their char­ac­ter­is­tics, and more im­por­tantly, how do you know you have met a soul­mate? Karabo Madin­goane, a reg­is­tered psy­cho­log­i­cal coun­sel­lor (South Africa), says peo­ple some­times tend to cre­ate their own fairy­tale world where they would meet their soul­mate and live hap­pily ever af­ter with 25 kids and a big house. The re­al­ity, how­ever, does not al­ways work out that way.

“Some­times a passer-by ends up be­ing your soul­mate, and at times your soul­mate ends up be­ing your great­est en­emy be­cause they broke your heart,” she says.

“The Cam­bridge dic­tio­nary de­fines a soul­mate as ‘ some­one, usu­ally your ro­man­tic or sex­ual part­ner, who you have a spe­cial re­la­tion­ship with, and who you know and love very much.’ If we had to look at this def­i­ni­tion, one may ar­gue that al­most ev­ery man or woman one has been with is their soul­mate, which gets us to ques­tion whether or not a soul­mate re­ally ex­ists. Depend­ing on the types of re­la­tion­ships one has ex­pe­ri­enced, some peo­ple may ar­gue that soul­mates re­ally do ex­ist and some can ar­gue that they don’t. It re­ally de­pends on the in­di­vid­ual’s per­spec­tive.”

The prob­lem, Madin­goane says, is that at times when things are not go­ing well in our re­la­tion­ships, we tend to jus­tify them as “my soul­mate is yet to come”, and dur­ing the times when we are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a re­ally good re­la­tion­ship, we would also jus­tify or ex­plain it as hav­ing met our soul­mate. But how does one know if they have met their soul­mate?

Ac­cord­ing to Madin­goane, a soul­mate does not need to fall from the sky. Just look out for the fol­low­ing at­tributes:

They are sup­port­ive of your heart’s de­sires; They add value to your life’s pur­pose; They should be able to make you laugh from in­side and out; They should be able to make com­pro­mises; They need to be for­giv­ing; They need to be trust­wor­thy; They should be ap­pre­cia­tive of you and love all of you; You are able to be vul­ner­a­ble and au­then­tic around them; and They should be able to bring the best out of you.

Madin­goane says these at­tributes form the ba­sis for any good re­la­tion­ship. That said, some peo­ple tend to say that all those at­tributes of a good re­la­tion­ship may have been present in a re­la­tion­ship and it still man­aged to fiz­zle out. Some see this as a sign that their soul­mate is still on their way. But Madin­goane is quick to dif­fuse this no­tion: “Some­times re­al­ity gets in the way and as hu­man be­ings we end up meet­ing peo­ple that make us happy and that we are com­pat­i­ble with, but we end up sab­o­tag­ing our­selves and our re­la­tion­ships be­cause we have the ideal part­ner in mind.

“Re­la­tion­ships end, even very good ones. It’s im­por­tant to not chuck it down to wait­ing for a soul­mate, but also in­tro­spect what it is ex­actly that you are do­ing to make your re­la­tion­ships work. Peo­ple can make any re­la­tion­ship work. The trick is find­ing some­one that will be will­ing and able to meet you half way. In essence, a good re­la­tion­ship is de­ter­mined by two peo­ple who have a par­tic­u­lar un­der­stand­ing. It is im­per­a­tive at the be­gin­ning of ev­ery re­la­tion­ship to cover your ba­sics and es­tab­lish each per­son’s in­ten­tions and as to whether you share the same goals as well as prin­ci­ples. If not, are we able to make com­pro­mises by ac­cept­ing each other’s short­com­ings or are we go­ing to be chas­ing soul­mates which may not even make it to our lives?”— www.sowe­tan­live. co.za

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