Soulmates; as a kid I believed in them. I believed that people were made for each other and all one had to do was find their perfect match. You know, then life would be happily ever after.
Then I started dating. I realized that people I liked didn't like me back, or that people who liked me didn't get their affections returned. Things seemed out of whack. When I did meet someone and we got along, we tended to stay together for a long time, though I had my share of only-a-few-date times, too.
I started to realize that some people I knew, who were in arranged marriages, were doing rather well. Others, in marriages for love didn't always fare so well. How could an arranged marriage be one that could find a soulmate?
I began to realize that there are things one's parents know about a child that might actually be key to making a lifetime relationship work. A parent knows a child's moods, a child's way of understanding the world, what intrigues the child and what totally disgusts a child. A parent would look at an arranged marriage as one that is beyond the intial chemistry, but rather one that is based on similar values and the-things-that-makes-one-tick.
I have often wondered, if my parents had to choose my mate, just who they would pick for me. Would they do a good job knowing just what I need in a partner? Part of me thinks that they would get it horribly wrong, but part of me thinks that maybe they would have done a good job. They would have taken the initial sex appeal and chemistry attraction away from the whole process and would have chosen someone who would compliment me.
Back to the idea of the one and only soulmate - no, I don't believe in that. There are over 6 billion people in the world. How could I possibly find just ONE soulmate out of all those people. Say half are female and 1/10th is gay, that still leaves 2.5 billion or so as potential soulmates, and I have to find just one? I don't think Nature is so cruel.
What's left? To find someone with whom one is compatible. A person with interests somewhat similar, but different enough to keep things interesting. Also with different interests, one doesn't end up being competitive with one's partner, which is probably a good thing, given my latent competitive nature. Finding a person who compliments one's sense of the world, one's take on life in general. Complimentary humor also helps, as does similar needs for affection and intimacy. Nothing could be worse than being a person who craves physicial affection and being paired with someone who hates to be touched. That would be torture.
I love the idea of a soulmate. The idea that there is one person out there who matches my needs and wants perfectly and that if we find each other, we will both be fulfilled. I've looked for 50 years and haven't come close. Both have to find it, with each other.