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Debunking the Soulmate Myth: Embracing Intentionality and Hard Work in Marriage

Updated: Aug 28, 2023

In the world of modern romance, the term "soulmate" has become deeply ingrained, perpetuating the belief that there exists one perfect person destined to complete us. The phrase "He/She completes me and is my soulmate" is one of my pet peeves. I understand what couples mean when they say it, but THERE IS NO SUCH THING! I guess the main reason it's frustrating to me is that many couples come to see me, in crisis, and since they are having many problems, they think that they married the wrong person; "this can't be my soulmate; I would not be having this many problems!"

Little do many know that the concept of a soulmate can be traced back to Greek mythology, specifically the tale of Aristophanes in Plato's "Symposium." According to this myth, humans once had four legs, four arms, and two faces, until Zeus split them in half as punishment. Since then, each half has been forever seeking its missing counterpart, the "soulmate."

When couples begin to have issues, frustrations, and major conflict, they start thinking, "If I had married my soulmate, we would be living happily ever after." Oh, the misconception!

The reality of marriage challenges the notion of soulmates, urging us to replace the fairy tale with a more grounded perspective. Instead of seeking a mythical completion in another, a successful and fulfilling marriage centers around the bond of friendship. A marriage built on friendship encompasses shared values, mutual respect, and genuine care, creating a deep connection that withstands the trials of time. Embracing that he/she is your BFF rather than a soulmate and doing the right things, intentionally, over an extended period of time, will foster a close friendship that will last through any circumstance.

I want to give you 3 Tips that will help foster this concept of becoming your spouse's best friend.

Tip #1 - Embrace Intentionality

This first tip is about making a conscious decision to nurture and grow your relationship. While infatuation and passion may kindle love, it is intentionality that fuels a lasting relationship. Investing time and effort in understanding each other's needs, fears, and dreams lays the foundation for a resilient and enduring partnership. This does not just happen; you MUST make it happen. Real marriage is not a fairy tale.

  • Intentionally create moments of meaningful conversations

  • Intentionally affirm your mate consistently

  • Intentionally share your dreams, concerns, hurts, and aspirations

  • Intentionally develop a culture of speedy conflict resolution

"The speed of a hard conversation determines the intensity of the emotions." Dr. Ronnie Gaines

Tip #2 - Incorporate Shared Adventure

Engage in activities that you both enjoy, whether it's hiking, cooking, traveling, or learning something new. These shared moments create lasting memories and deepen your bond, allowing you to connect on a level beyond just romantic partnership. The joy of experiencing life together as best friends brings a unique sense of camaraderie that enhances the marriage.

What adventures did you do together while dating? What are some of the fun and exciting things you did right after you got married? Recreate these moments in some way. Return to the past in some form and create moments that mimic the past that gave you both so much joy. This will rekindle that BFF relationship and it will possibly make you giggle and laugh like you did once before.

"Love is not just about finding the right person, but creating a right relationship. It's not about how much love you have in the beginning, but how much love you build till the end." Unknown

Tip #3 - Be Transparent

We feel most comfortable and vulnerable with our best friends. Apply this principle to your marriage by cultivating an environment of open and transparent communication. Just like I mentioned above, share your thoughts, fears, and dreams with your spouse, allowing them to see your true self. This level of vulnerability fosters deeper emotional intimacy and trust. As you both confide in each other, the marriage transforms into a safe haven where you can be your authentic selves, strengthening the best-friend dynamic at its core.

So, the notion of soulmates, rooted in ancient myth, can be an enchanting but misleading concept when applied to modern-day marriages. Instead, embracing the role of best friends enables couples to navigate the realities of life with intentionality and hard work. The depth of marriage lies not in the mythical search for completion, but in the profound companionship that blossoms through intentionality, shared adventures, and transparency. By rejecting the myth and embracing the reality, couples can foster a lasting and fulfilling connection that transcends the bounds of fairy tales.

Maybe, if a couple is intentional about doing the right things over time, and fully taking care of each other's needs, you will develop soul ties and you could say, "This is my soulmate!"

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