By Molly West
What is love? It is an intense feeling of affection that is a basic human necessity. Some people search for platonic love, while others crave something deeper, like romance. People tend to date around looking for a special someone, or as some people call it, their “soulmate.” What is a soulmate, though? Is there really one special person out there made just for you?
The concept of a soulmate has become popular over the last decade, especially in the world of fiction. People adore stories about two people who find each other because of their strong connection. Some writers and creators have found innovative ways to portray the soulmate idea, such as the first words your soulmate says to you being written on your skin. This implies that there is an unspoken and possibly spiritual force that connects soulmates. The debate whether or not they are real, though, is something else.
Soulmates have been talked about for hundreds and hundreds of years. The idea of a soulmate came from the ancient tale of Aristophanes, a comic playwright and contemporary of Plato. The story was about two-headed hermaphroditic giants who were torn apart by a jealous Zeus, which made them fated to forever seek their other halves; so it was not originally a beautiful and romantic tale.
If you believe in soulmates, you are not alone. In fact, you are joined by 73% of Americans. More men than women believe that they are destined to find their one true soulmate, but the gap is not that far. To determine whether or not you believe in soulmates, all you have to do is ask the question, “Do you believe there is one person that is meant just for you?”
According to a study conducted by researcher Raymond Knee, people fall into two different categories: Destiny Beliefs and Growth Beliefs. If you fall into the first category, you believe you are destined to be with one specific person. If you fall into the latter category, it means you believe that relationships grow differently.
People who believe in soulmates assess their partner based off of that, asking questions like, “Is this it?” or “Can I do better?” Whereas people with growth beliefs will ask things like “How can I be a better partner?” or “How can we grow closer?” People who believe in soulmates are more likely to break up, give up, and have more difficult relationships. They also tend to date the same people repeatedly. While destiny believers have fast and passionate relationships, growth believers focus on working things out and take more time to get closer.
That does not stop more than half of America in believing in the concept, though. In fact, soulmates are more popular than ever. As finding love becomes more enforced, essentially being a requirement to be accepted into society, more people are starting to believe in soulmates. They believe that someday, they will stumble upon the perfect person, and they will be able to tell who it is just from one glance. There are, of course, flaws in this system, but the idea itself is what is exciting. It gives single people who believe they are “forever alone” hope that they have someone out there waiting for them.
The idea of soulmates will never truly die out. Whether or not you believe in them all depends on if you believe you are destined to be with one person or not. If you believe it, then you are a part of the majority. If you do not, though, that simply means you take a bit longer to commit. No matter which way you lean, love-both platonic and romantic-Is in your grasp; you just have to look for it.
Springer, Shauna H. “The Fallacy of Soulmates (Part I).” Psychology Today, 7 July 2012, 27
Edwards, Vanessa Van. “The Science of Soulmates.” The Huffington Post,
TheHuffingtonPost.com, 26 Jan. 2016, 27 February 2018,