There is a lot of misconception in society on the topic of soulmates. Many people think that they have to wait to find “the one”. Many have found “the one” and wouldn’t leave them for the world. But what is the one?
If you ask many people about what’s the most important thing to making “the one”, you’ll get many different responses. But they’ll be some overlap. It’s likely that you’ll get responses like kind, caring, and loyal. Maybe they’ll talk about other things like financial status or job position. Maybe you’ll get an answer related to physical determinants.
We have to think about why we are looking for a partner with these traits before continuing. Do we want the partner to have a good job position because that is really important to our self-esteem, to have someone with xyz position, or are we instead seeking financial security? Do we need proof of our self-worth, or are we happy with where we are?
Many partners feel that they find their one, marry them, and then get divorced. In the process of getting to divorced, their perspective of their partner radically changes. So then that begs the question: how important are traits in a partner for determining if they are our soulmates or not? Are soulmates made, or found?
Questions to consider when looking for traits in a partner
Before we begin, we have to first consider the traits we seek in partners. Many of us have a long shopping list about the things that we seek in a partner. We need to ask ourselves though if this list is enabling us or holding us back. Often, we have so much on our list because we are actually scared of having a relationship deep down. It’s not that we would just take anyone to be our partner, it’s that deep down we don’t feel that we are ready to have a partner, and we are looking for a reason to justify that.
Having a partner is scary at times. It takes a lot of work. There are a lot of things that we don’t know the outcomes for. We can get hurt. And to be with one, we have to be willing to take our armour off and be present. Are we overwhelmed by the thought of this?
Another important reason to consider things we seek for in partners is if we are seeking them for social validation. Do we want them because we want to feel good knowing that others know we have them? Are the partners for us, or for our friends to think higher of us? Are our partners there to help us grow, or to distract us from a hole we are trying to fill in ourselves?
All of these questions are very important to consider when deciding what we want in a partner, or if we are ready for a partner in the first list. This list will help to make things a little simpler. Now’s a great time to go through it:
People (usually) mirror what you show them
As I’m sure it doesn’t take rocket science to figure out and you’ve noticed many times already in your life, people change depending on who they’re with. That means a person can be really nice around someone else, that person who seems shy and cold around you is really open with others, and they are people that you love conversing with and those you try pushing away at the slightest chance. This is so important to consider.
Besides, what are you looking for in a partner anyway? If you say things like someone who is kind, caring, supportive, friendly, and loyal, yes, these are traits that some people give more easily than others, but also, you have to earn them. As we already discovered and you will too through thinking about your own life, people generally aren’t really kind to everyone. If they are, and go out of their way to help everyone, this may be a symptom of codependency. More on this in a future article.
The idea here is that you have to earn these traits in partners, you cannot just expect them from the outset. And if you have them from the beginning, you need to keep working by sharing those traits to have them shared back with you. All too often, at the beginning we are very kind to our partners, only to start being more difficult with them later on. At the beginning of a relationship, when we are fuelled with a strong feeling of lust and romance, it’s so easy to feel like we would do anything for our partners and the act that way with them. It’s often as we got to know them more and we got more used to them, we become more difficult and harder to want to please.
This mirror concept holds true for everything that we do in our life. There are times when people are so extreme that no matter what we do we feel like we’re doing something bad. That could be unrelated to us but another underlying condition, for example of borderline personality disorder. But these disorders are relatively rare relative to the size of the population.
Most of the time, we really have to think about what we are doing how we are contributing to the situation that’s leading to the behaviour we receive from our partners. And not just our partners, but also our co-workers, friends and peers. This idea of actions getting reactions is so common that it’s Newton’s third law of physics. It applies not just to our friends and community, but also almost everything else too.
We need to give our partners the behaviours we want them to show consistently. Think of what you want as a soulmate in a partner. Then give it to them, and they will usually mirror it back to you.We need to give our partners the behaviours we want them to show consistently. Think of what you want as a soulmate in a partner. Then give it to them, and they will usually mirror it back to you. amplify this
Where we play a part
So often, we’re much nicer to her friends then we are to our partners. If a friend did something wrong, then we would often treat them nicely and with respect. We’d say something like, ‘oh it’s okay don’t worry about it.’ But if it were our partner, we can get really angry at them and curse, and say really mean things. Have you ever done this before? Do you speak this way to yourself? It’s unfortunate that we can be the harshest with those that we should be the nicest towards.
Why should we expect so much of them, or us? We’re both only human. So are our friends and strangers. So we should treat everyone, including and especially ourselves, with respect and kindness.We’re only human. So are our friends and strangers. So we should treat everyone, including and especially ourselves, with respect and kindness. get the message out
If we keep lashing out at our partners, then our partner is not going to be nice to us the way that we want them to. They’ll probably start treating us from a place of resentment or even anger. Now the funny thing is that if we were to act this way with our friend, we would totally expect our friend to react back in this way. The same is true for a stranger – if we were trying to become friends with a stranger, we would never ask the stranger to be good to us if we were mean to them. The unfortunate thing is that with our partners, we expect that they’ll be there for us no matter what and forever, but forget that they’re humans too. We have to earn the behaviour that we want to receive from them.
Do you want someone to be your soulmate? Start by consistently treating them in the way you want them to treat you. Sometimes make mistakes with them? Expect that they will make mistakes with you too.
Do you want someone to be your soulmate? Start by consistently treating them in the way you want them to treat you. Sometimes make mistakes with them? Expect that they will make mistakes with you too. Click To Tweet
Learn2Love believes that soulmates are not found but instead made through the communication of our needs, expectations, and desires and treating the partner the way that we want to be treated. This takes a lot of work and it’s difficult, but it is really beautiful and feels just amazing when we have it.
If you ask any couple that’s been together for many decades about their relationship, they’re going to tell you that there were times when it was very hard. That’s the norm. We’re expected to live in a world today where we think everything is easy and that things are just given to us without so much work sometimes. But this can be a very damaging mindset for building relationships because we need to understand that there’s a lot of hard work required to getting them to where we want them to be.
Is your fear of working hard to build someone into your soulmate holding you back from getting there?
It’s very liberating to have a sense of responsibility for the relationship outcome that we want. To me at least, it feels very special knowing that there are things I can do to increase my odds of positive growth in a relationship dynamic. It’s hard to live in a world where we think that we don’t have control over our environment. The belief that there are things we can do to build a better environment around us feels amazing because it’s eye-opening. It gives us the opportunity to build what we want to build and not just to succumb to what others want from us. Instead of believing we are stuck and that there is nothing we can do, we can actually become active leaders in developing the future that we want to live in.
How to get to soulmate
We believe at Learn2Love that soul mates are made not found. But what about the traits that we look for in a partner?
Well, the emotional traits are ones that we have to guide our partners too, that they may not show depending on how we treat them. Nice people aren’t nice to everyone. Yes, people showing some level of the trait that we hope to see in them is a good start, but how do we know that this trait is genuine and not just there for another reason? We have to wait out for the long-term before getting to physical intimacy, as described in How to protect our hearts the smart way, to increase our odds that it is from the right intentions.
Yet there are some desirable traits to have in a partner not related to character, such as looks. Yes, we are attracted to some people and not others, but we’re attracted to way more people than the amount of people we could have as a soulmate. If this is not the case for you, see the checklist at the front of this article to see if you are really ready for a relationship or just using it to numb a deeper issue.
What we have to do, instead of comparing to everyone else and wanting what we don’t have for what we see, is to pick one person that we attracted to and to really work on building a beautiful and strong relationship with them. The relationship that we want to have for ourselves, yet realistic, where people act in accordance with the way they are treated. The first step to doing that is to recognize that people often act as mirrors based on the way we treat them.
The next step is to recognize that there are stages of a relationship that change over time and have the key roles that need to be accomplished to proceed to the next stage. We’re going to explore these stages in much more detail and the next blog post, but to outline them briefly hear those dates as which we refer to are first romance/lust, followed by struggle, and then working and finally maintenance.
The big part of these stages is learning how to add value to our partner’s lives and adapting to this as both we and our partners change. So often we make an image of what we want our partner to be like and try to add value to them in the way that we think that they should be receiving value, only to find out that that’s not working for them.
So often we make an image of what we want our partner to be like and try to add value to them in the way that we think that they should be receiving value, only to find out that that's not working for them. change a perspective
People receive and share love in different ways, which we will explore in much more detail through the discussion on Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages. People think that they can justify the way they feel based on what they expect their partner to feel in the same situation, and vice versa, but this doesn’t work for the not-so-obvious yet obvious reason that both people in the relationship have different lived experiences Next, they think that they can guess what their partner expects and wants, based on what they would choose, but that’s not the case either.
Over the next couple of blog posts, we’re going to discover how to understand what our partner wants from us and needs from us. We’re going to do that by learning how to have productive discussions with them to uncover the blueprints that they hold for themselves. Oftentimes, we may not have all the answers or they may not have all the answers either, but that’s normal. We have to try and adapt to succeed. Through continued open conversations with our partner and the willingness to accept feedback to grow, we can understand our partners in a new light.
We have to accept that we’re not perfect
So many of us walk into a relationship thinking that we know what to do or that we are a good lover or that we are doing the best that we can. It’s okay to think that. But it’s also important to understand that we’re not going to be an expert on our partner from the moment that we start the relationship. If you ask any couple that’s been together for decades, they’re going to tell you that they are still learning about each other and that they learned something new about each other every single day. This is not just because there is so much to know about a person, but also that people are changing every day and with every moment. This is what makes it so exciting and fulfilling to be in a relationship over the long-term.
So many of us get very anxious, scared or insecure from the thought that we don’t know what to do or that we’re not doing a good enough job to be loved. This is normal to feel, especially in our culture today of always seeing what we don’t have on social media and spending more time alone than in previous generations. However, this can be severely limiting our growth and opportunities to get better at love.
Just like with everything else in life, like our work evaluations to our school assignment feedback to even if you submit an article to an academic journal, we need feedback to grow. Even the best academic articles sent to journals come back full of feedback on how they can get better. Feedback, or at least the ability to take it, is central to unlocking our potential to get better. Not necessarily by working harder, but instead by learning how to give love to our partners in the way that they want to receive it.
We’re often scared of receiving feedback because we feel deep down that we’re not good enough. But all our life we’ve been taking feedback, and it’s been hard sometimes, but often it lets us make even better creations, work and projects than we’ve ever done before. If we never told ourselves when we were younger what we can do to get better, do you think that we would be so good at maths, engineering, arts, accounting, medical occupations, or whatever else we do for our professions today?
We’re not perfect. No one is. But we don’t have to be.We're not perfect. No one is. But we don't have to be. tell a friend
Our desire to be perfect often stems from a place of not feeling good enough. We feel that if we’re not good enough, then what we feel may not matter, so we should instead strive to be something else. But as we all too often realize through burnout, dissatisfaction or something else, we have to be ourselves if we want to make it for the long term. And a relationship, we hope, will be our longest term and best investment.
Accepting that we’re not perfect and we’re going to make mistakes sometimes is the first step to allowing our partner and inviting our partner to share with us what we can do to become better lovers. This is going to transform our ordinary relationship to one that’s stronger, more effective, adds more value, and leads you to feel like you’re really meant for each other.
It’s through learning about our partner’s needs and desires, and what they want from us, and what we can do to be better, we can learn to become better lovers for them. And in this process, we also open the doors for them to accept feedback from us on what they can do to be better lovers for us. Isn’t that so beautiful, compared to not being able to share the things that are really important to us out of fear that these kinds of conversations just don’t happen between us and our partner?
“First seek to understand, then to be understood.”
-Bene Brown in Dare to LeadFirst seek to understand, then to be understood. help someone
We at Learn2Love believe that soul mates are made, not found. Partners get to soulmate status through treating the other the way they want to be treated consistently and over the long-term, allowing themselves and their partners to make mistakes, recognizing that both they and their partner are not perfect and make mistakes, and having open discussions where they can get to the heart of what they need, want, and expect of each other. They should be open to trying new things when things don’t work out, and recognize that doing this all is hard sometimes. However, it is ultimately extremely rewarding.
Our desire to feel like we need to be perfect and have everything under control is limiting our ability to get better, for only through understanding that there is lots that we don’t know can we take the steps to improve. We must remember that our partners are different to us in many ways, and always will be, and they always will change, for they are human. Only through curiosity to make discoveries about how we can understand our partners more, learn about how to support them, and expect them to do the same for us, at the level of which we are leading, can we expect beautiful results that take our relationship to the next level.
Finally, our lists for what we seek in our partners often come either from a sense of insecurity, fear, or entitlement, and end up limiting our selection of great potential partners to build into soulmate status. We have to be willing to put in the work and time required to get to this level naturally, for any sensation of this without work will fade over time and is due mostly to intense feelings that are heavily present at the start of a relationship. Pursuing this simple connection without the work, but for the short term initial pleasure only, can be a symptom of sex or love addiction and should be proceeded with carefully.
Over the next series of blog posts, we will unpack each of these ideas further, and reintroduce them with more examples. Thank you for your time and interest to Learn2Love with us.
Prefer podcasts? See our Stages of a relationship episode below, available wherever you get your podcasts: