How to Find Your Soul Mate


Edward Gordon

Surely you and everybody have a notion that there is or should be an existence of yours beyond you. What is the use of my creation, if I am entirely contained here? If all else perished and he remained, I should still continue to be; and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the universe would turn to a mighty stranger: I should seem no part of it… Nelly, I am Heathcliff! He’s always in my mind: not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleasure to myself, but as my own being. So, don’t talk of separation again….

—Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights



The Typical Relationship

Are you happy with the partner you’ve chosen? Would you be with them if you could do it all over again? I hope the answer is, yes, but the sad truth is that many people live alone in relationships where others use them until the day they die. Love relationships, for many, are stable only so long as each partner is able to get what they want from the other. This is the typical relationship, the default relationship.

This is the relationship that exists between all of the beasts of the earth that come together for the purposes of mutual survival and mating. It’s as practical and efficient, from an evolutionary standpoint, as it is hard and cold. In the typical relationship, you give, you get; you get, you give. Some would call this relationship parasitical, but it’s all that most people will ever have.

The beasts of the field have no choice: this is the only type of relationship that exists for them, but fortunately, they don’t care; they’re too simple to care. Any desire they have to connect with another beast is programmed into them by way of instinct. Humans, on the other hand, should demand more, but few ever do. Those who rise above the mist and choose something better than the typical relationship refuse to settle for parasitical people. They have no desire to live with a parasite; they want to live with a soul mate.


Soul Mates and the Typical Relationship Compared

The typical relationship is contractual. It’s void of any real love, and it’s the hallmark of those individuals who still believe that others are objects and that they, alone, are the greatest object in the universe. Each partner in the relationship uses the other to satisfy his or her needs. They give of themselves but only enough to ensure they get what they want from the transaction.

There’s usually some pretense of love, but in the typical relationship, love has a different definition than it has in a soul mate relationship. In the typical relationship, love exists as a mystical, misunderstood feeling. It’s not unusual for people in these relationships to talk about falling in love, and this “falling” is an accurate term, because falling (as compared to jumping) indicates a lack of choice. It also connotes an unconscious process and a feeling of being out of control, and this is exactly what happens at the start of the typical relationship.

This confused feeling of falling in love isn’t part of the typical person’s normal thinking process; it’s an autonomic physical process resulting from the various hormones that kick in with the anticipation of sex. In this state, it feels as if a person is dragged into love against their will. It’s not uncommon to hear a person in this state of mind say: “I couldn’t help falling in love; it just happened.”

This basal instinct to reproduce may be masked with all kinds of dignity-preserving symbols of romance: flowers, dates, dancing, etc., but it’s still the rhetoric of sex. This interlude of courtship—this falling in love—is really no different than what the beasts of the field experience. Peacocks strut their feathers; bees dance; elk serenade. It’s no stretch to imagine that just before two dogs come together to make puppies that there’s a similar feeling of love in them, as well.

The soul mate relationship is different. It’s not contractual, and it’s not based on autonomic responses to sex; it’s psychological, and it’s synergistic. People come together as soul mates in an attempt to become greater than what they are as individuals. The idea behind the soul mate relationship is that a person becomes greater if they combine all that they are with all that someone else is.

It’s a mutual activity, but there’s no give and take, because nothing is taken—everything is given. This concept is strange for many people, because it’s a completely mental activity, determined by choice and controlled through the will and discipline of both partners. It has a spiritual quality to it, as well, because there’s no evolutionary or physical reason for its existence. It’s as if something higher than our physical being is active in the soul mate relationship giving it power and meaning.

In the soul mate relationship, two individuals willfully come together and lay down their individuality. By Jack’s own hand, Jack no longer exists, neither does Jill, by her own hand; there is now only Jack-and-Jill.

For instance, before their union, Jack may have liked to live in a green house, and Jill may have liked to live in a blue house. If Jack existed apart from Jill, Jack may settle for painting the kitchen green, and Jill would settle for the bathrooms painted blue, but that’s what happens in a typical relationship—a contractual relationship: each person gives so they can get. In the soul mate relationship Jack-and-Jill don’t like blue or green anymore. Together they like yellow, so they paint the whole house yellow.

Jack-and-Jill choosing yellow may seem like the same thing as a quid pro quo agreement, but there’s a difference between the two perspectives. In the contractual relationship, Jack still likes green, and he may feel that Jill is crazy for liking blue. Nonetheless, he likes yellow a little, so he’ll settle for that, so long as Jill has to, as well.

In the soul mate relationship, Jack rejects green, because part of himself (Jill) doesn’t like it. All of him (Jack-and-Jill) likes yellow, so yellow is actually preferred by Jack over green. It’s not a compromise; it’s a new creation—a different and more perfected desire.

Soul mate relationships are characterized by the actions of the people who form them. In a soul mate relationship, the partners act differently toward one another than partners in a typical relationship do. It’s these actions that make soul mate relationships so cherished by those who are in them and so envied by those who are not. Some of the more noticeable characteristics of a soul mate relationship are the following:

  • The partners are highly dependent on one another when making decisions.
  • They dress alike or tend to match their clothes.
  • They have few individual interests (Almost all activities are shared.).
  • They show great respect for each other, especially in public.
  • They tend to be very courteous in their dealings with one another.
  • Arguments between the partners produce depression in both, not indignation.
  • They maintain sexual fidelity.
  • They stay together for their entire lives.
  • Pride in the relationship is fundamental to their self-esteem.
  • They have few friends outside their relationship and prefer other soul mate couples as friends.
  • They have strong empathy for one another.
  • They feel as if they are becoming one person.
  • They may report instances of extra-sensory perception between each other.

Soul mate relationships are not limited to male and female couples, though this is the most common, and soul mate relationships don’t have to be sexual. In fact, sexual activity is often a side note for soul mate couples, because unlike typical relationships, their relationship is more psychological than physical. Where the typical relationship is founded on the feeling of being in love, the soul mate relationship is founded on the idea that love is an action performed for the benefit of the other person, regardless of feeling.

The goal of love in the typical relationship is to continue the sexual activity and get from the other person what they are contractually obligated to give. The goal of love in the soul mate relationship is the unification of persons, psychological integration being more important than physical integration.

The greatest difference between the soul mate relationship and the typical relationship is that the soul mate relationship doesn’t end. By definition, a soul mate relationship can’t end, because the two partners that used to exist as separate identities no longer exist. One cannot walk away from themselves.

Even if physical separation occurs, the psychological link remains. Even with the death of one of the partners, the soul mate relationship continues, because the personalities that merged continue in the living partner. If two people can willfully break up, a soul mate relationship could never have existed in the first place.

Having said that, it’s not characteristic of a soul mate relationship to degrade over time. In fact, soul mate couples will often report that their relationship is as strong as it was the day they met, or stronger, even if they’ve been together for thirty years. Each year seems better, because they’re closer, even though the year before that was described exactly the same way.

To soul mates, the degradation of the relationship is tantamount to the disintegration of the self-esteem within an individual. Just as individuals will often grow stronger in self-esteem as they get older, soul mates grow closer as they get older. Their love for one another is the action that unifies their personalities. Compare this to the typical relationship where it’s not uncommon for one of the partners, usually during some form of marriage and family counseling, to report that the relationship was great for the first year, but things started going downhill after that.


Becoming a Soul Mate

The easiest relationship in the world to create is the soul mate relationship; the hardest part is becoming one. An individual must first become a soul mate before they can expect to ever meet another soul mate and start a relationship with that person.

A soul mate is someone who comes to the realization that, by themselves, they’re not very impressive. They look at the world and realize they’re not the most important thing in it. They judge their situation and determine that a life spent solely in pursuit of their own wants and desires is a life full of vanity and loneliness. They long to be greater than they are. They long for a connection with someone else.

There are three steps anyone can take if they are not a soul mate and would like to become one. Let’s look at each step individually.


Step 1: Take time off.

The interpersonal life of the non-soul mate is chaotic and disorderly. Because they haven’t outgrown the three infantile beliefs we talked about earlier, they perceive themselves to be utterly alone in a universe of mere objects of which they are the most important. What this means is that they spend a great deal of time trying to have their cake and eat it, too: they go about attempting to alleviate their loneliness by connecting with others whom they can’t help but treat as inferior objects.

Quite often, this interpersonal chaos leads to destructive relationships. For instance, a couple may fight constantly, and each partner may desperately wish to be free and single again. One or both of the partners may be having an affair or spending a great deal of time hoping to start one. Perhaps they’re even mentally or physically abusive to one another.

If the non-soul mate is a single person, he or she may be dating several different people simultaneously. Perhaps even having sex with them. And while this may be a conscious or subconscious attempt to make a permanent connection with another human being, in the end, none of the one-night or two-week stands ever lasts. Loneliness for them continues unabated like a wolf at the door of a starving man.

If the non-soul mate tries to escape from these situations, they soon find that they cannot. If they break up with one partner, they almost immediately dive headlong into another relationship. And often to their complete surprise, they find that whatever problems they were having in their old relationship transfer directly to their new relationship.

After all, how can they not? How is the person who starts a new relationship any different from the person who left the old one? For all these reasons, non-soul mates need more than anything to take some time off.

Taking time off means living alone without dating, without sex, and without anyone else that in any way represents an intimate personal relationship for them. Most likely, since many non-soul mates are in some kind of relationship with someone, time off means breaking up with that person, most likely for good.

The timeline for this time off varies. There is no set limit. A person may live alone for six months, a year, or for many years. I must admit, however, that in all the people I’ve counseled on this topic, I’ve never advised that they spend any less than a year alone. Nevertheless, it’s ultimately and individual choice. All people have different rates of personal growth and self-improvement. What matters most is that they are completely alone without any current relationship or any relationship waiting for them when they come out of their time off.

A non-soul mate desperately needs this time alone. They need time to break the typical relationship cycle of self-destruction. They can’t just leave the person they’re currently with, start up with someone new, and expect things to be different. They have to become lonely, and learn to live with that loneliness.

One of the main reasons for this time off is to gather a sense of the incompleteness that comes from living totally for one’s self. A non-soul mate has to have time to discover that they are not a sufficient reason for their own existence. They have to be forced out of their third infantile belief that convinces them that they’re the greatest object in the universe.

And not only do they have to have time to realize that others are not merely in existence to serve their personal needs, they have to have time to heal their own soul, as well.

They have to have time to end the cycle of revenge that comes from being hurt in past relationships and then taking that hurt out on the next person they connect with. If they take a sufficient amount of time off, the emotions of past hurts will eventually fade away, and when the time comes to begin again, they’ll be able to start another relationship without any old baggage.

It’s tragic when you think about it, but some people never have any time off at all—not once in their entire lives. Their souls become damaged and stay that way, permanently. They begin dating in high school or earlier, and from then on, their life is punctuated by one failed relationship after another.

The hurtful baggage from their very first relationship, perhaps when they were no more than twelve years old, is still affecting them in their third marriage thirty years later. It has to end; the cycle of failed relationships must be broken, and a person must have time to heal.


Step 2: Love by choice.

The second step in becoming a soul mate is to learn to love by choice. If one wants to be a soul mate, they have to stop linking real love to the feeling of love. They must redefine love, and see it not as an emotion provoked by the thought or sight of another, but rather an unconditional act done for the benefit of someone other than oneself.

Caring for someone because you feel in love with him or her is a grotesque and selfish act. Your charity and goodwill is only payment for the way they make you feel. When your brain chemicals change and you no longer feel what you used to feel for that person, more often than not, they’ll be left out in the cold, even if they’ve come to depend on your love. Love by feeling is the greatest evil anyone can do, unwitting though it may be.

Besides there’s a better way to love someone, and that’s to choose to love them. When you come out of your time off, and you’re ready to start over again in a relationship, enter that relationship by choice. Say to yourself, “I will love this person forever, no matter what and no matter how I feel. Nothing will stop my love for this person.” Until you can enter a relationship in that way, you’re not ready to be in a relationship with another human being, especially another soul mate.

We must love others by choosing to act with love toward them, not by expressing a feeling we may or may not have at any given moment. So what are the actions that constitute love? Below is a list of actions that constitute the behaviors we should display if we say we love someone.

  • We are patient with them
  • We are kind to them.
  • We are loyal and faithful to them.
  • We don’t begrudge them their successes.
  • We don’t keep track of everything they do that’s wrong.
  • We don’t get angry with them.
  • We don’t make them feel inferior to us.
  • We don’t embarrass them.
  • We don’t stew in bad thoughts about them.
  • We’re happy to understand who they really are, and not what we preconceive them to be.
  • We believe in them; we hope with them, and we endure with them in their sufferings.

Most of all, we never cease. Our love for them never ends, and it has nothing to do with what we think we want or how we feel. Our love never ends. You will notice that nothing in the list above has anything to do with a feeling. They’re all acts of the will.

Now ask yourself this one question: If you could meet someone, and you had the choice to have them feel in love with you, or act in love with you according to the list above, which would you choose?


Step 3: Disarm.

Finally, the third thing we must do if we are to transform ourselves into soul mates is to disarm our self-defenses. It may not be wise for countries to follow this advice, but it’s an essential ingredient to the soul mate relationship. We must lay down our defenses, and be willing to get hurt emotionally.

Real love for another means a willingness to let them hurt you. Only in that way can a person be truly open to another. If you’re going to open up to someone and let them in, how can you then expect to protect yourself against them? The only way you can protect yourself is to keep them separate from you, but there’s no room in a union of soul mates for such separation.

You can tell a person you love them all day long, but if you lay down your defenses against them, place their sword’s tip against your chest, trust them completely, you can prove it without any words at all. You see, love without feelings means not only will you not be carried away by the feeling of falling in love, but by the same token, you won’t be motivated by the fear of being hurt either. You are not waiting for the next emotional blow and taking preemptive steps to counter it. You’re simply willing to let it strike you should it come.

But don’t let any of this scare you too much. When you decide to love another soul mate by choice, that strength of character will diminish the fear of being hurt. When you take the time to realize the negative value of your solitary self, when you learn to love by choice, and when you disarm your self-defenses, you will be free at last.

Real love for another will set you free, and all the relationships that were typical and contractual in your past will seem like so many garbage dumps you finally walked away from. Just as you will act in love toward your soul mate, so too will your soul mate act in love toward you. All you need to do is find that person.


Finding a Soul Mate

For the soul mate, the idea of a personal merger only makes sense. However, they realize that merging with a non-soul mate would not produce a larger personality. In the end, the selfishness of the non-soul mate would only consume and extinguish the personality of the soul mate.

Ultimately, the soul mate would be worse off than if they’d merely lived for themselves to begin with. On the other hand, two soul mates coming together amplify one another. They become more than they are by giving up all that they are to each other. The greater I is born from the lesser me’s.

What this means to you, if you’re looking for a soul mate, is that first you must become one, yourself, and then you have to stop looking at non-soul mates as if they were potential candidates for a lifelong partnership, because they’re not. The very idea of laying down your self-defenses as described above to a non-soul mate should be enough to horrify even the casual reader.

If you do the work to become a soul mate, you’ll be able to spot soul mates when you see them. You need only put yourself in the places where soul mates congregate in order to find one. But where are those places?

Naturally, there are exceptions to what I’m about to say: there are whores in church and saints in brothels. But for the most part, if you’re going to put yourself in places where soul mates congregate, you have to go to those places that lend themselves to the character of a soul mate. Conversely, if you put yourself in places where typical-relationship people congregate, the character of the people you meet will reflect that.

Soul mates are much more prevalent at church, school, work, martial arts clubs, and other organizations that tend to emphasize personal character over physical pleasure. They can be found in places that employ hospital volunteers, animal care volunteers, Peace Corps volunteers and religious missionaries. Non-soul mates are much more prevalent in places where people are looking for other people they can use: bars, dance clubs, dating services, brothels, strip joints, and casinos.

As far as meeting soul mates electronically through Internet chat rooms, newsgroups, and other forms of computer communication, you have to be cautious yet willing to give it a try. This system of meeting people is somewhat neutral. There are lots of weird people in cyberspace, but I know more than a few people who swear they’ve met their soul mates on-line.

Chat rooms and the like are great for talking with people and getting to know them, but you can never really make any decisions regarding their character until you actually meet with them face to face and experience their actions and mannerisms firsthand. A person can pretend to be anything when they’re hiding behind a computer.


Meeting Your Soul Mate

As I mentioned earlier, the easiest thing to do, assuming you’re a soul mate is to form a soul mate relationship. Look at it this way: you and whatever soul mate you finally connect with have the same characteristics and are looking for the same goals in a relationship. You’re both living alone, waiting to meet another soul mate, and you’re both going to the places where soul mates are likely to be found. If you’re for real, and the person you meet is for real, you’ll probably recognize each other fairly quickly.

Unlike the start of a typical relationship where games are played to try to manipulate the other person in some way (usually for sex), the soul mate relationship often starts out as friends. Conversation is easy and deeper than it would be if you were talking to someone you were trying to manipulate or who was trying to manipulate you. This deeper conversation leads to a closeness that makes both partners want to engage in it again, and at that point, the relationship takes off fairly quick.

If you put yourself in the places where soul mates are likely to meet, and if you’re a true soul mate, you’ll meet your partner very soon. They’ll be attracted to you, and you’ll be attracted to them.

The worst thing you could do is to develop your character into that of a soul mate and then become a hermit. You must put yourself out there and get involved in soul mate social activities. If you do, you’ll find another one like yourself sooner than you expect. You won’t even have to try; your personality, alone, will attract them to you.


A Stern Warning

Beware: soul mates are hot targets for non-soul mates, as well. A soul mate is like a light that shines in a dark room. In fact, non-soul mates are usually so desperately lonely that they’ll go to great lengths to attract someone with the character of a soul mate. They’ll lie, and manipulate, they may even resort to stalking—or worse.

Remember, these people are operating on the level of animals when it comes to their motivation for starting a relationship; believing they will act like animals to get what they want, especially if they’re slighted, is no mistake. Your soul mate character is more precious than gold to anyone looking for a relationship, regardless of their motives. You must protect yourself as if you were guarding Fort Knox.

A non-soul mate sees the soul mate as someone who’ll give 100% of themselves and are, therefore, good scores for their insatiable egos. If you get involved, you’ll never be able to connect with them, and they’ll never care about anyone but themselves. Stay away from the places they frequent, and never let your guard down around them.

Never think they’ll change, because they won’t. The only way a non-soul mate becomes a soul mate is to spend time alone and change themselves. One first becomes a soul mate, then one gets a soul mate: That’s the rule, and any violation of it ultimately leads to interpersonal unhappiness.

I don’t know if it’s possible to find interpersonal contentment if one isn’t a soul mate and isn’t in a soul mate relationship. I’ve never found any happiness in the contractual-type relationships, myself, and I never saw a happy person in one. Even if one does find some degree of happiness being selfish and living with someone else who is selfish, these relationships always seem to end, especially in this day and age when divorce is so prevalent. It seems that any happiness gained is eventually lost and replaced with a pain of loneliness that’s worse than before the relationship existed.

What good is being happy or content if it isn’t for life? Why have a taste of something that can’t be kept or isn’t real? Why live alone with someone you can never connect with?

I’ve known couples that have been married for twenty years, and they still treat each other like royalty. They complement each other so perfectly that I can’t even imagine them as individuals apart from one another. These people are happy, because they’re soul mates.

On the other hand, I’ve seen people divorce after twenty years and argue violently over who gets the blue bath towels and who gets the green pillow case covers; this is how sad and pathetic the typical, contractual, parasitical, non-soul mate relationship is. So, the questions remain: are you happy with the partner you’ve chosen? Are you soul mates?

There is no fear in love, because perfect love casts out fear. —St. John

This article is derived from his book, Vital Architecture and the New Design of Happiness, by Edward Gordon (XYSTUM Publishing, 2001) The book is now out of print, but used copies are available at or by contacting the author at

© 2001 Edward J. Gordon. All rights reserved.

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