The universe has changed, and so have people. Technology is everywhere, and many of us live freer, more individualised lives. But with freedom comes responsibility – and the need to make choices which are integral to our true happiness, and the happiness of our relationships.

While the world around us has altered enormously, one thing that has not changed is the quest for happiness through romantic love. The modern age, with its many distractions and choices, presents us with the challenge of cultivating awareness if we are to find a life partner whom we can call a soul mate. So how do you know if someone you meet is right for your soul?

A soul mate is just a term, and as such, it is open to many interpretations. If we take the soul to represent our internal emotional makeup, what one soul craves in order to achieve a sense of completion will not be fulfilling to another soul. While there are infinite variables when it comes to possible matches for a happy soul union, one thing remains constant, and that is the need for balance.

Follow Your Instinct

Some believe instinct to be a purely physiological phenomenon, while others feel it is an inner voice which helps us make decisions that are right for us. Turning inwards to subconscious signals can help you choose a partner who will bring you happiness. A soul mate should be someone who just ‘feels’ right. A trusted companion. Someone who really gets you, brings out the best in you and with whom you can be yourself. Seems easy enough. So why isn’t it?

The Shadow Side of Romance – Choosing a Partner for all the Wrong Reasons

While many of us would be happy with this simple combination, our journey to this end is not always an easy one. Our choice of partner can sometimes be based on factors which will not, in the end, bring us true happiness. These culturally accrued phenomena include the following:

  • Social Status – How does my partner look in the public arena? Do they make me look like I am worthy of attracting a powerful mate? Do they affirm my identity as a diligent worker, an intellectual, a commercial success or professional elite?
  • Material Wealth – Will we have lifestyle, freedom, choice, space and control? If it all goes wrong, will I have ‘gained’ from my investment?
  • Physicality – Are they pretty or handsome enough – or too much? How does this make me look?
  • Personal Power – Do they challenge me or can I just get away with whatever I like? Do I like them because they make me feel powerful?

The Survival Instinct

Often we will gravitate towards a partner who appears to provide the antidote to a childhood family dynamic. The child of a loud, argumentative or chaotic parental influence will often choose a partner with whom they feel safe, cultivating a stable, low-conflict relationship.

While safety is central to a happy relationship, the perceived need for safety may be greater than the actual need for safety.

Similarly, children of families in which emotions were repressed may find themselves seeking emotional attachments promising to deliver big emotions, emotional expression and fewer boundaries. When balanced, this is a healthy dynamic, but too much high emotion can, in time, become destructive.

Cultivate Self-Awareness

What can you do to make the path a little clearer? Cultivate self–awareness and self-compassion. Get to know yourself and what you truly want for your life, for your soul. Move towards this with an open heart and let superficial concerns fall away. Discovering ways to build self-knowledge will help you feel more confident. Rest assured that once you are on this path, your soul mate will be too.

Are you seeking relationship or marriage counselling? Call 02 6262 6157 to secure an appointment with a psychologist within seven days.