Psychology Finally Reveals the Answer to Finding Your Soulmate

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finding your soulmate

Love doesn’t make the world go round; love is what makes the ride worthwhile.

– Shannon L. Alder

We all as social creatures have a deep and underlying desire to find that one perfect person to spend the rest of our days with. That one person when we meet, you feel an uncontrollable desire and an illogical sense of familiarity with. As if you’ve known that person for a lifetime, or perhaps lifetimes. Whatever you want to call it, films and TV series alike have romanticized the phenomenon known as the soulmate.

But what do we really know about the perfect mate or the ideal partner? Psychology is finally shedding light on the mystery that encapsulates so many hearts and minds around the world in an effort to understand what truly makes two people compatible for a relationship.

The Issue With Compatibility

Dating sites like OkCupid.com or chemistry.com boast about their in-depth personality tests and about finding someone with similar answers to the questions you answer on their tests can result in finding the perfect mate.

Now this sounds very appealing for many different reasons. First, naturally you want to be with someone who shares the same values as you and perhaps even someone who enjoys similar activities like rock climbing.

Secondly, it only seems logical to search for another person that also wants to raise children and begin a family someday. Lastly, we have such a yearning for love as social creatures, that we will convince ourselves of just about anything in order to fill the empty spots in our hearts.

All of these reasons, create quite the compelling case for compatibility sites but how well and how long do the relationships that have similar interests and quirks truly last?

Dr. Ted Hudson of the University of Texas, ran a longitudinal study of couples that had been married for years and in his research he found out something quite surprising. Dr. Ted Hudsons explains,

My research shows that there is no difference in the objective compatibility between those couples who are unhappy and those who are happy.

Dr. Ted Hudson went on to say that couples that are feeling content and warmth in their relationships said that compatibility wasn’t an issue for them. In fact, they were perfectly ok saying that it was them who made the relationship work, not the compatibility of their personalities. But when the unhappy couples were asked what they thought about compatibility, they all answered by saying that compatibility is extremely important to a marriage. And sadly, that they didn’t think they were compatible with their significant other. Which Dr. Ted Hudson explained that when the unhappy couples said, “We’re incompatible” they were truly meaning, “We don’t get along very well”.

That’s where the issue arises with compatibility, everyone who is unhappy naturally blames it on the facade of compatibility. They fail to realize and comprehend that a successful relationship does not hinge its posterity on how alike you are instead it hangs on by the sheer will power and want to stay in a relationship.

As observed in arranged marriages, where they tend to last longer and tend to be happier in their relationships, according to international happiness surveys. Do these arranged marriages last longer because they don’t have the option of divorce like we do in the United States? Of course not, it’s because they choose to stay committed and aren’t looking for “the next best thing” or someone that’s more suitable in their eyes. 

Professor of Sociology at Stanford University, Michael J. Rosenfeld explains that arranged marriages aren’t that different from the love relationships we have in the Western world. The greatest difference is in culture, Americans value autonomy more than anything, they want the freedom to choose who they want to be with. More often than not, however we get stuck in the perpetual loop of consciously and unconsciously considering someone else when things aren’t going perfectly in your own relationship. And this is where the illusion of compatibility comes into play.

Finding A Mate To Spend A Lifetime With

So we know that building a relationship with another person is dependent on you and the other person. It has more or less nothing to do with compatibility. But if you can’t depend on compatibility exams or some standard form of testing to find your ideal mate, then how do we do it?

John Gottman, the founder and director of the Relationship Research Institute in Seattle said that measures of personality are incapable of truly predicting the length or success of a relationship. John Gottmans Relationship Research Institute discovered that couples who focus their energy on building something meaningful together in their life (e.g., starting a business together like a magazine,) tend to last the longest. How a couple interacts is the single most fundamental aspect to creating a successful relationship. Meaning, its not who you are or what you do that will prolong or help you find the perfect mate. Its how you speak to each other, how well you get along, how much dreams you can envision together.

John Gottman went on to say, if your relationship or interest supports your life dreams. Your ideal partner will look up to you, admire you and view you through rose-colored lenses. Now this sounds ideal, but when you truly reflect on how you’ve always wanted to be treated —having someone who genuinely believes in your greatness, is paramount.

Don’t think it’s all just how we view one another however, a lot of the connection you feel with another person is emotional. Therefore you must be capable of responding to each other when you need something. Or as John Gottman said,

Does your partner turn toward you with equal enthusiasm? You need to ask questions and constantly update your knowledge of one another.

Final Thoughts On The Soulmate

If you truly are looking for love and want to find that person that you can spend the rest of your life with —then remember, that it is YOU who creates compatibility. There is no magic formula or perfect algorithm for making a fruitful relationship with another human being. Yes, you need to find the other person attractive, look up to them and feel a strong sense of familiarity with, but those are but one small slice of the pie that constitutes a healthy and long relationship.

So next time, you spot someone who catches your attention and makes your pupils dilate with interest and enthusiasm, pay attention to whether or not they can see the dream you envisioned for your life. If they can share in your delight and can accept you for who you are today, not for who you can be tomorrow then you have found your soulmate.

To learn more about relationships (References):

  1. Journal of Family Therapy: https://www.gottman.com/wp-content/uploads/BabcockGottmanRyanGottman2013.pdf 
  2. The Journal of Marriage and Family: https://www.ncfr.org/jmf 
  3. American Psychological Association: http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2009/03/romance-relationships.aspx 
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Luis R. Valadez

As an American Author and Research Psychologist, the two aspects in life I value most are: humanity and self-improvement. I make it my goal and life's work to illuminate the secrets of the mind and our potential to every thirsty man and woman. For when given water to grow, we humans prosper. Aside from my love of moving the human spirit -- I also research and rejoice in the fields of neuroscience, historical arts, and quantum mechanics.




Copyright © 2017 Learning Mind. All rights reserved. For permission to reprint, contact us.

31 Comments

  1. Rodney Haitana October 24, 2015 at 7:21 pm - Reply

    Thank you, I enjoyed your article 🙂

  2. ymaont December 11, 2015 at 1:25 am - Reply

    Quotes “measures of personality are incapable of truly predicting the length or success of a relationship” and “it is YOU who creates compatibility” and “can accept you for who you are today” remove the fog from oblivion knowledge. Thank you and thoroughly enriching.

  3. Guest January 16, 2016 at 10:45 pm - Reply

    Your soulmate is whomever life gives you an opportunity to interact with in that very moment. Nothing more, nothing less.

    If we pine away for something/someone that doesn’t exist in your present moment; then you’re not only living in an illusory state but you’re disrespecting your “soul mate”.

  4. Dr.Nausheen saba May 16, 2016 at 9:49 am - Reply

    “Accept you for who you are today and not what you will be tomorrow”…….great words!!

    • Rabbitnexus July 7, 2016 at 11:06 am - Reply

      Women marry a man believing they can change him. Men marry a woman believing they will never change. Boith are doomed to dissapointment.,

  5. Rabbitnexus July 7, 2016 at 11:04 am - Reply

    I’m married to a woman who is 29 years younger, from another country and culture and this is my third marriage. My wife and I met on facebook, and a relationshiop developed very quickly due to a shared level of intellect and a similar level and direction of spiritual energy. We eloped and married secretly after I converted to Islam and thus challenged the arreanged marriage culture of Pakistan. Thankfully the intial problems which came close to honour killing and if not for Sharia law which permits a girl to marry whom she chooses even secretly if certain condistions are met, we wouldn’t have made it since we did get caught at the airport. Now we are what is called (derogatively) a “love marriage”. Now having been accepted by her family and become very close with them I have been involved in the marriage of my sister in law and what I have learned about arranged marriages is indeed in agreement with this article. I do agree with the conclusions in this article. Compatibility is certainly important but it is a complicated thing and far from easy to define. Despite vast gulfs between our experience and cultures, our age and outlooks, I have to say that after three marriages this is the successful one. I am fairly clear over why it is and none of the traditional answers bears fruit. I am a baby boomer and she is from the “Selfie generation” for one thing. She is a conservative and very pious Muslima who didn’t even know how babies were made before we became engaged and I realised this, and exlained the facts if life to her before we went any further towards marriage. She is happy to spend most of her waking hours on social media talking to her sisters and friends and watching dramas whilst I am an outdoors sort who can’t even watch ten minutes of TV without getting restless. I smoke pot, she does not. I work hard, am something of a workaholic and she sleeps late and does the minimum anytime. Yet despite these differences which make for very little compatibility our relationship is simply amazing. We stopped fighting about anything within the first few months of marriage, things which remained unresolved after 20 years of endless fighting with my ex wife, were dealt with the first time in the first three months of our marriage and never returned again. Despite the fact my ex wife kept the house brilliantly, cooked beautifully and was the most discilined and effective wife a man could desire, and despite the fact she and I were from similar cultures and backgrounds, we never found common ground, we never resolved stupid issues around things as petty as the toothpaste tube or chores to be done. Yet my wife now couldn’t even come close to my ex wife’s abilities in the house, but she managed to give me what I needed which was resistance and a good fight over the issue. Suddenly in the midst of a dramatic argument with threats to kill oneself or each other and with tons of anger, pride and courage, one or the other of us recognises the bluff and starts laughing. The result is the end of tensions and the issue suddenlt vbecomes meaningless next to the gorgeousness of that person in our lives. She is completely unmoved by my most ferocious and scary Aries firestorms, recognising the bluff at the heart of it and I am as equally unimpressed by her Leonine displays of fury and hysteria. We’re a couple of fire signs who have found our match. We can’t hurt each other (what a relief) and we are immune to each others worst weapons. I was as suprised as anyone to discover I didn’t actually care that my home was spotless, tidy and orderly after all. I can see the pattern already. This relationship is based not upon compatibility in the normal sense, however atrologically speaking the answer is as clear as day and does indeed come down to compatibility. The compatibility is astrological. Not that an Aries and a Leo would normally be a good match. However the problems which might arise between two such potent fire signs are balanced by our difference in ages. Many of the things in her arrogant and presumptive Leo makeup would have infuriated me as a young man. However because my wife is much younger I see her in a less competitive light and more for who she is as a person. As such I am in love, happy and am aware that my outlook will change about many things but my regard for my wife will remain the solid foundation for it all. My philosphy is that people marry for one or a combination of three things. Wealth, beauty and shared faith. By shared faith I mean same direction. You can both be atheists, both be Budhhists, Muslims, Christians or whatever but the paths must converge. Of the three choices, the only one which stands the test of time, is the last one.

  6. janet November 20, 2016 at 12:27 pm - Reply

    This is so not true. There is more to compatibility than what this article describes. In our country people come from so many different back grounds and its very hard to get the underlying values and areas of compatibility right. In arranged marriages there is a common culture and a support system surrounding that culture that keeps marriages together. A lot of people marry the wrong person just as simple as that.

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Psychology Finally Reveals the Answer to Finding Your Soulmate