This week’s question comes from Tamar:
“Hi Orna and Matthew,
I hope you can help me figure out why soulmate relationships are difficult. It seems that whenever I have a great connection with a man I am easily triggered, and I overthink everything.
Being in my 40s I’ve been around the block; I know relationships take work. I just wonder why the deeper the connection the more I seem off-kilter. Perhaps I should be with a completely different kind of guy than I think…?
Curious about your thoughts on this. I am a long-time reader of your blog.”
Thank you for asking this common quandary: why are Soulmate relationships difficult. Yes, it’s true that all relationships take work, and we find the most common reason is people have a misconception of what a soulmate relationship actually is.
A Soulmate May Not Be What You Think
A soulmate relationship is supposed to stand the test of time. Ultimately a soulmate is a person that you choose again, and again, and again, just as he chooses you again, and again, and again.
Why soulmate relationships are difficult is in large part due to the misconceptions about them and the unrealistic expectations that are commonly held.
The myth of accidental love will have you believe that when you meet the “right” person that everything will just work out.
Author Elizabeth Gilbert created a lot of confusion in her mega best-selling memoir, Eat Pray Love by writing:
“People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.
A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you and then leave.
A soul mates purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life.”
This couldn’t be further from the truth. It seems that Gilbert confused a soulmate with a soul contract.
We believe you have agreements with other souls and some of those are played out in the light, and some are played out in the dark. This is NOT a soulmate relationship at all, but rather someone who is here to move you forward toward your soul’s purpose.
The journey in Eat Pray Love is one of spiritual awakening, and often heartache is the catalyst that sets people up to begin this pilgrimage. A soulmate relationship can provide a soft landing after such an arduous journey, as it’s only after you find yourself that you can expect to find your soulmate.
We wonder if after all these years and life experience if Liz Gilbert has changed her beliefs about soulmate relationships. Hopefully, we’ll have an opportunity to ask Ms. Gilbert directly.
A Soulmate Relationship Does NOT Complete You
Why soulmate relationships are difficult is because people expect that their partner will somehow complete them and be the key to their everlasting happiness.
This particular myth about soulmates is permeated throughout popular culture in songs, books, movies, and poems. Most notably, in Jerry Maguire when Tom Cruise’s character tells Renee Zellweger’s, “You complete me,” at the movie’s climax.
Somehow co-dependence has been romanticized since the dawn of time as in Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, where two star-crossed lovers cannot live without each other.
Quite the contrary is correct: when you feel whole and complete you can come together with another whole and complete person to create a healthy, lasting soulmate relationship.
If you are expecting that your life partner will magically make you happier or fill the empty space inside of you, then you will be destined to have heart-wrenching relationships that leave you wanting more.
Why soulmate relationships are difficult is because you must take responsibility for your actions and behavior – there is nowhere to hide, and no one to blame.
Your bad mood is yours and yours alone. Your triggers belong to you. You are ultimately responsible for your own happiness. In a soulmate relationship, each person takes responsibility rather than places blame. Therefore, we believe that the masterclass of personal growth is done in intimate relationship with a soulmate partner. You grow together rather than apart.
Most People Are Conflict Avoidant
Taking personal responsibility can be a daunting task especially when most people are raised to avoid conflict at all costs.
Why soulmate relationships are difficult is because most people assume that their partner will handle conflict in the same way they do. But your partner will be a completely different human being than you, with different strategies, mental/emotional patterns, and beliefs.
For love to last you must learn the skillset to turn a conflict into a deeper connection.
Just as you have challenges that come your way as a single person, you’ll also have them when you’re coupled off. Yes, even when you are with your soulmate!
It’s not that you should seek out conflicts, it’s knowing what to do with them when they arise.
So, the key is to learn how to move through the discord to create harmony. Conflict happens in a relationship when you are not connected to each other. The conflict arises as an opportunity to reconnect.
Not dealing with conflicts (from tiny to extra-large) can become landmines in your relationship so it’s best to deal with issues as they occur. There is no shame in seeking professional help. As a matter of fact, it should be commonplace with zero stigma.
The myth of love by accident has couples avoiding problems and delays seeking professional help. If you want to create long-lasting love with a partner, it’s likely that you’ll need to upgrade your skillset with a pro.
A Soulmate Relationship Requires You To Be Authentic
Attraction or even deep love does not come with mindreading powers. Why soulmate relationships are difficult is because you were not taught communication skills in your family of origin or in school.
Being authentic means you are able to speak your truth – not your opinion.
Sharing how you feel and being able to communicate with your partner is the foundation of a loving relationship and a soulmate relationship is no exception.
Since your partner will not be just like you – it’s important that you speak up and say what you do and don’t like, and to make requests.
Being authentic is required for the entire relationship, not just at the beginning.
To love someone requires that you take a risk. The ongoing risk is to share your authentic self with that person moment to moment, and day after day.
When you embrace your authenticity and practice speaking your truth through the dating process, you will find a person who accepts you as you are and doesn’t want to change you (and you feel the same about him).
A soulmate relationship is one where you accept each other “As Is” and that only happens when both people show up authentically.
Soulmate Relationships Are Designed To Heal Your Wounds
The wounds you carry from not being loved exactly as you would’ve liked in childhood will always be with you. These trigger points will match up with your soulmate’s like puzzle pieces that fit together.
It is through being in partnership with your soulmate that these childhood wounds are healed. Not because they no longer exist, but simply because your partner loves you and chooses you anyway.
Why soulmate relationships are so difficult is because it’s all too easy to call it quits when the journey gets rough. Divorce is no longer taboo, and couples throw in the towel all too easily.
Unfortunately, wherever you go there you are. Most people end up dealing with the very same issues with the next person they are in relationship with. Your wounds belong to you and no one else, and your soulmate will be willing to work through those triggers with you again and again and again.
You can also learn to do this in partnership when you discover how to select an ideal mate. A soulmate relationship is not destined or come about by fate. Rather it comes from two people not willing to give up on each other. Knowing that the bad times are temporary and that there are so much more good times when you’re together than could ever be apart.
Soulmate relationships can be difficult because they will challenge you at times to step up and become the best version of yourself. The effort you put into your relationship is worth it because the rewards are a lifetime of love and happiness that grows over time.
Based on your question, you may be confused about whether these men you’re dating are soulmates. They may be a match to your childhood wounds and that’s why you are triggered and feel off-kilter. These men are likely matches to Your Love Imprint® and not soulmates at all.
So, how do you know if the man you’re dating has what it takes to be your soulmate? Look for these signs that he is worthy of you and capable of creating a soulmate relationship with you.
5 Signs You’ve Found Your Soulmate Relationship
It Will Be Easy In The Beginning
The first stage of a relationship is the Romance Stage. This is the falling in love stage that is very intoxicating. When you are with your soulmate it will feel easy. There won’t be a lot of drama between the two of you. It will feel magical and special – like you’ve met a long-lost friend whose clothes you can’t wait to rip off.
The chemical high of this phase creates rose-colored glasses that you view each other through, and you are blind to one another’s faults. You’ll be able to navigate any conflicts between the two of you in a thoughtful and caring way. The ease of the relationship will create a feeling of safety and security.
In your soulmate relationship, the Romance Stage will last a long time. Your love will feel new and the two of you will feel like young lovers no matter your age.
You Will Share The Important Things In Life
Your soulmate may not like the same kind of music as you or want to share in all your hobbies. But when it comes to what’s important in life, you will be on the same page. You will both value the same things and have similar life goals and share a vision of what you desire together.
In a soulmate relationship, you will support each other in achieving individual aspirations and create the space for each of you to blossom in life. You may have differing strategies for achieving those goals, but you will respect each other’s differences and defer to one another’s strengths.
In your soulmate relationship, you will easily work together as a team to create a life together and a love that lasts.
You Will Accept Each Other As Is
Just because your soulmate will inspire you to grow doesn’t mean he needs you to change. Your soulmate will accept you as you are and will probably love your imperfections as much as your strengths.
Your differences will become the foundational strengths of your relationship. You will balance each other energetically and emotionally. Instead of competing, you will celebrate each other’s successes and mourn each other’s losses.
In your soulmate relationship, you’ll be able to relax and completely be yourself because you’ll be accepted for who you really are.
You Fight For The Relationship
Your soulmate relationship won’t be without conflict, but you’ll find yourself fighting for the relationship instead of against each other. You’re willing to work through your differences so that your relationship can thrive.
You intuitively understand that by coming together you are creating a new entity: the relationship. Both of you will put effort into keeping the relationship healthy and thriving. Your relationship will be balanced energetically, with both of you giving and receiving equally.
In your soulmate relationship, you’ll stop fighting each other and instead, you’ll fight to keep the relationship growing and your love for one another will grow deeper with each passing year.
You Both Choose Love
Through the challenges and curveballs life throws your way, you will face them together, you’ll choose to navigate them in a loving way. You’ll communicate with respect and be on the same team. Choosing love means that even during a conflict you don’t withhold love from each other.
Soulmate love requires making a conscious choice to love and be loving. Whether you’re considering that your partner is having a bad day, or your partner is encouraging you to have that uncomfortable conversation with a friend, the two of you are consciously choosing to be loving and kind with each other.
In a soulmate relationship, you’ll both want to reduce each other’s stress and anxiety, not add to it. Ultimately, the two of you are in it to win it – no matter what. The relationship is always a priority.
If you’re tired of facing life’s stress and challenges on your own, and you want to share your life with an ideal partner download our special report, “7 Steps To Soulmating™.” You’ll receive our top dating strategies that have helped thousands to change their love patterns and finally create long-lasting, soul-satisfying love.
Orna and Matthew Walters are Soulmate Coaches who have been featured guest experts on Bravo’s THE MILLIONAIRE MATCHMAKER. They uncover subconscious blocks to love so that you can select an ideal partner to share your life with. Follow them on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.