Soulmates destined to fail

Illustration by Tonesha Yazzie

Being in love is a beautiful thing. When faced with that beauty, we want to explain it in a way that feels as grand and as beautiful as being in love. That is why so many people latch onto the concept of soulmates. It is nice to feel special and chosen, even on a small scale.

But believing in such a grand notion undermines the reality of being in a relationship, often to the relationship’s detriment.

It is hard to deny the feeling of meeting someone and instantly feeling a connection to them. It feels like that person is right for you and there is nobody else you can see yourself with.

Eventually, that feeling fades and things start to change. The effort of being with someone turns from a passionate and wild sprint to a cross-country jog. Shortcomings and personal incongruities that were easy to ignore become more apparent as a relationship becomes more relaxed.

While this happens to everyone, this tends to mark the end for people who believe in soulmates.

In any relationship, there will be disagreements. Disagreements that are big. Disagreements that reveal fundamental differences in personalities, lifestyles and ideologies. Sometimes these differences become so overwhelming the mere thought of the other person is enough to make someone want to scream.

This does not happen to soulmates. Soulmates are meant for each other. They make each other happy and more fulfilled. If someone makes you want to scream, they are probably not your soulmate.

This is why believing in soulmates almost inevitably leads to breaking up. Despite the eternal reputations of soulmates, people who believe in soulmates tend to leave a relationship when things get bumpy. Why stay with someone who is not your soulmate and is just wasting your time?

This is not just me making judgments, there is evidence.

According to The Berkeley Science Review, researchers studied the effect of “growth beliefs” and “destiny beliefs” in a relationship. They found that people who hold destiny beliefs — people who believe in soulmates — are more likely to disengage from and end their relationships sooner than people who held growth beliefs.

While being in love is beautiful, it is important to be realistic in your beliefs and expectations. The honeymoon phase of a relationship inevitably ends.

According to Live Science, this happens as the pleasure system in the brain moves away from the passion that makes being in love feel like a drug in favor of long-term bonding. As that passion wears off, hardships set in.

Most people see their partner lying to them as the biggest threat to a relationship. But the biggest reason people lie to their partner is because they are lying to themselves. They do not admit to themselves when they find something unsatisfactory in their relationship, especially if it is small.

It is never easy to talk to your partner about uncomfortable emotional truths, but it is only made harder if you believe that you are meant for someone. If two people are destined to be together, then it is only a matter of time before that dissatisfied feeling goes away.

Some people take this dissatisfied feeling as a sign that their partner is not their soulmate and bail. But if you are looking for a relationship that makes you feel satisfied and fulfilled all the time, you are going to be looking for a long while.

If there is something unsatisfying about a relationship, the best way to get rid of it, or at least mitigate it, is to work through it with your partner. This is easier said than done, as it can be hard to admit feeling dissatisfied in a relationship in the first place.

Understanding the reality and hardships of a relationship does not make being in love any less beautiful. It only makes you better suited to take on those challenges.

You will not find someone out there who is made for you. That is because there is no one out there who is made for you. You get to make your own relationship.