Soulmates Are Bullshit – How to Find a Real Relationship

Summary: Fantasies of the perfect soulmate will kill any good relationship.

Is my partner of 21 years, the mother of my child, the one I trust with absolutely everything in my life, my soulmate? Puuuleeeze. Don’t be such a sentimental dope.

We weren’t “made” for each other. Magical forces were not afoot. Nor was this part of some cosmic plan. We had the opportunity to meet by being near the same age, in close geographic proximity to each other, while we were both young and single, and by having mutual friends. Eliminate any one of those factors and it probably never would have happened. Especially since we weren’t all that impressed with each other in the first place. Sure, we found each other attractive, but I thought she was too naive and wishy-washy intellectually and she though I was just too weird. Over time I realized that she wasn’t wishy-washy at all, she was just super sweet. She also had a strong moral core and a wicked sense of humor. These are non negotiable. If you’re not a kind person at your core, if you aren’t a beacon of goodness and moral character, if you can’t make me laugh, then it’s not going to work. Sorry. All the rest is just fluff.

Everyone wants a hotty that just blows them away. However, that’s unlikely to happen. No matter how hot the other person is, if you’re not turned on by their personality you won’t think they are so hot after a while. Likewise, someone who’ds just cute can become stunning over time if their personality turns you on. So more important than “take your breath away” beauty is finding a person’s face relaxing and pleasant to look at. Their looks should draw you in. Perk your curiosity. Make you want to learn more.

However, love at first sight type looks isn’t necessary. Like at first sight is plenty good enough.

Beauty comes and goes. Skin ages. Styles change. Your own feelings about the person will move them up and down the attractiveness scale. But if you can look at a persons face and feel relaxed and warm then you’ve got something you live with through thick and thin.

After you’ve found someone in the “pleasant to look at” category you need to see if you have stuff in common.

I don’t mean all the little bullshit stuff like music, movies, food, clothing, and hairstyles. I mean the stuff that matters.What core values and traits are essential for your long-term happiness? Keep the list to three items. Having the same favorite band doesn’t count. You should know this stuff. If you don’t, you need to figure it out because you’re not ready for a serious relationship.

This is the secret to a long-term relationship. Finding a person that is pleasant to look at and shares your three most important core values or traits. If you don’t have these things then you may not make it. The honeymoon phase will end soon enough and you’re going to need a solid foundation to handle what comes next.

Here’s another secret. Long term couples don’t always like each other. Some days you just want to kick their ass. Some days it’s amazing and you synchronize perfectly. Some days you just lay into each other. Sometimes the sex is earth shattering. Sometimes it’s just maintenance sex. There is an ebb and flow. It’s not static. Young couples will talk about how mad they were at breakfast and now have second thoughts about the relationship. Older couples will tell you how they were mad all week and just shrug it off without a passing thought. After a couple of decades you realize that there are even good years and bad years.

This is where the “finding a person that is pleasant to look at and shares your three most important core values or traits” foundation comes in. This is what keeps you from killing each other or running away. It’s what enables you to have a knock down half an hour fight and then ten minute latter sit down together to watch your favorite show in peace. It’s what allows your partner to feel comfortable enough to tell you stink and you better shower if you want any. And it’s what enables you to just go and shower without feeling rejected. It’s what allows you to go to bed angry and know with 100% certainty that you’ll be fine tomorrow. It’s what allows you to complain to your buddy that your partner has been such a bitch lately, and it’s what makes you instantly defend her if he agrees.

This is the paradox of the “perfect” relationship. It’s not perfect. But long-term couples are in it to win it and don’t have any plans to bail. They don’t get distracted by normal couple conflicts.

I wish there was some magical perfect person for everyone on the planet. One being that would deliver a harmonious state of Nirvana. But it’s just not true. There are thousands of “perfect” mates scattered around the globe and each one can make you equally happy as well as equally frustrated. It’s just that each one will do it in a different way.

If you can accept that, then you’re go to go. The rest is just fluff.

That’s it for now.

File Under: Dating Tips – Finding a Soulmate – Developing a Long Term Relationships – Finding a Life Partner – How to Find the Right Person to Spend the Rest of Your Life With


5 Responses to “Soulmates Are Bullshit – How to Find a Real Relationship”

  • Molly Williams Says:

    I’ve only recently stumbled across your blog and have been slowly making my way through your posts, so I apologize for the random and scattered comments. But I have to say again, I couldn’t agree with you more here. Fairytales, prince charmings and sleeping beauties have long been the false hope behind, and in turn the demise of anything possibly resembling a successful relationship. Bottom line, it’s a choice. Monogamy is a choice. A damn fine one when following the rules you outline here. But it is a choice, nothing more nothing less. Check out the book ‘If The Buddha Dated’ or ‘If the Buddha Married’ if you have a chance. Shit’ll change everything you ever believed about relationships (and by you I clearly mean everyone but you). Dig.
    .-= Molly Williams´s lastest blog ..The One…The Only….Lily Allen =-.

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  • a Says:

    Yes, ‘soulmates’ is total bullshit. It’s a significant cause behind a lot of frustration, unhappiness, divorce, some minor domestic violence (reckless yelling), and so forth in the WHITE CULTURE. take a cue from other cultures that don’t have that concept. I can’t even talk straight to my wife. But why the hell would i want to. She can’t form a logical argument, and stubbornness prevents her form learning that skill. (Reason is not a male trait at all, its just missing in my woman.) I can’t drop my hopeless and analytical search for ‘the truth.’ What the hell is that. So were both idiots. Big deal.
    Nevertheless, your new model for success is equally stupid and unworkable as ‘soulmates.’ Why the hell would anyone want to live with one person for a ‘long-time’. It seems to come down to Fear of loneliness. Which boils down to lack of faith. You have failed to look out the window to see millions of people, and focused on an imaginary post-apocylptic world. Absurd and stupid.
    You seriously “wish there was some magical perfect person for everyone on the planet.” What a DOPE dad you are. That’s the emotional beginnings of the retard soulmates thing.

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    Straight Dope Dad Reply:

    Really? So finding someone that shares your basic values is equally stupid and unworkable?

    And why would someone want to stay with someone a long time? That’s easy, because it’s rewarding. I’m sorry that your relationship sucks and you don’t have the guts to take the steps necessary to change your situation, but believe it or not the world is full of happily paired people. And the happiest are the ones that embrace my principles. Go talk to anyone who’s in a happy long term relationship and they will all say the same thing. Focus on what’s important and don’t sweat the small stuff.

    And no, I don’t literally wish for a “soulmate”. “Wishing” for something to be true that is obviously impossible is a common expression that means, “yes, it would be nice if it were true, but it isn’t, so figure something else out.”

    I think you’re the only person I’ve run across who would take that literally.

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  • CB Says:

    By far the best no nonsense, let’s get “Romeo and Juliet” out of our high schools write up about love that I’ve ever read. Well done.
    CB

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  • Lindsay Says:

    You summed up my thoughts on this perfectly!! My ex gave me all this crap for not believing in fate, and it annoyed me to no end. He was like “I FEEL LIKE IM JUST SOME RANDOM GUY AND ANY GUY WHO WAS JUST AS NICE WOULD MAKE YOU FALL IN LOVE” just stfu, that’s how the world works (although just being “nice” wouldn’t be enough). I seriously don’t understand why my realistic view bothered him so much; perhaps because he was extremely insecure, he was looking for reasons to believe I might leave him one day. Anyways, I also hate the idea of love at first sight. Imagine some guy “falls in love at first sight” with one partner, but with his next partner, he falls in love gradually. Most people would give their life for the one they love, right? Well, that means that had he never met either of them, but came across them in a life or death situation, he would have given his life to save that other girl because he already “loved” her, but not the other one, even though he knows nothing about her. Indeed, this idea of love is an insult and it greatly cheapens the meaning of love.

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