Who is a soul mate?

Amal Chatterjee
8 min readMay 17, 2018

Synopsis : We all look for someone we can call our soul mate who understands us and helps us become a better person but most never find their soul mates. I look at the qualities of a true soul mate and how to identify him or her.

Source: Google photo

The word soul mate often pops up in my mind and I start to think on this word and what it really means. I also know that it means different things to different people. Some say that a good person attracts a good person and bad attracts the bad. So Bonnie and Clyde were soul mates in a very negative sense because they were bad and their life ended badly for them because they chose the life of crime.

I also know that a bad person can have a very destructive influence on a good person but rarely the opposite is true meaning a good person often fails to reform a bad one resulting in very bad relationship.

I know of several cases where a very bad woman married to a very good person was the cause of death of her husband and also know of cases where a bad person married to a good woman caused a lot of grief and the marriage ended badly for them.

I believe that a soul mate exists for every person somewhere who is just the right person for you but the problem is how to find him or her in this big world. This person is not limited to any geographical area, ethnicity or religion, caste or creed, skin color , race and other things that differentiate people from one another so literally your soul mate may come from anywhere in the world .

Once you meet him or her, then something will tell you that this person is the right one for you in a positive way. He or she will uplift you, encourage you always to do what is right without pressuring you, will make you spiritually a better person without incessant Bible thumping or quotes from Koran, will always standby you in your hour of need, will always take care of you and be absolutely loyal and steadfast in his or her love for you.

These are very high and almost unattainable goals for anyone so most people go through life without ever finding their soul mate who has all these qualities mentioned above and just accept their mates without the word soul attached to it. If you ask an Indian woman if she has found her soul mate, she will most likely answer that she had an arranged marriage so her mate was imposed on her so she is used to him now although he falls short of the qualities a true soul mate has. In many countries, millions of people still get married this way and never find their true soul mates. They simply accept it as their fate or destiny and take a fatalistic attitude to life.

In other countries where men and women are free to choose their mates will also tell you that their mates turn out not to be what they expected so even after a marriage of many years they part ways causing grief to both and the children. Instead of being an asset, they end up being the liability in their relationship resulting in divorce.

Now many so-called liberated women choose not to get married but live with their mates until the sparks start flying so they can walk away without legal or other issues that can cripple a married couple for life financially, emotionally or even spiritually. Others who claim to be practical in all matters of life and death opt for pre nuptials that spell out in clear terms who gets what just in case they come to loggerheads over trivial matters in the course of their marriage.

So there are no perfect solutions in either case so what can people do? How do you find and meet the soul mate and how does he or she find you in this crowded world where more often people seem to be not what they are pretending to be resulting in frictions later on that can have its consequences.

One way is to get to know the person before saying I do but the problem is that most people keep a part of themselves hidden even from themselves let alone a potential mate. He may have a weakness that makes him vulnerable in a certain situation or she may have a trauma from a childhood experience that she hides from everybody. Often it is sexual in nature that can cause deep anxiety or mistrust in others that they find very hard to overcome.

Now the Internet comes to the aid of those who are seeking their soul mates so there are dating services that match a person with you if you mention all the expectations but we are very good at concealing our dark side and put up only what we wish others to see in us so many women and men who meet their mates through the Internet find themselves disappointed once they meet face to face.

We all fail to understand that the physical attraction has a limited shelf life so to speak so even a most beautiful woman starts to look haggard after a while because of stress in their relationship, poor eating or sleeping habits or job related stress that makes them eat unhealthy food and pile up enormous fat on them. Her mate then starts looking for someone better causing more mischief.

At a certain age we tend to be idealistic and honest but these values start deteriorating the moment we accept dowry from the hapless parents of the girl we want to marry that is the first nail in the coffin of honesty and character. Later you start accepting bribes or favors to do your job in the office that represents the second nail. It all goes downhill from there so one day you wake up to find yourself a different person than when you were so idealistic and honest.

The wife notices these things and starts to think of you less favorably than before if she is a good girl because she finds herself married to a characterless and dishonest person that he has become and no longer her prince charming. If she happens to be also dishonest, immoral and without character then perhaps they find common grounds like Bonnie and Clyde but such people always end up badly.

Bad people do not uplift each other but do the opposite by dragging each other down in life so the children suffer the most in such cases. Often they run away from home to escape the horrible home atmosphere where they quarrel over petty matters and drinking, gambling and domestic violence become routine.

One girl who ran away from home and survived in the streets of New York as a prostitute was rescued by an honest and well-meaning taxi driver in the movie Taxi driver who sent her home away from crime and violence of the streets.

The other extreme is also worth mention here where an aggressive Bible thumping woman grabs a young idealistic and honest person, marries him and tries to mold him into a religious zealot by constantly quoting the Bible. It gets worse when they have a kid so now she works full-time also on the kid as well. This creates endless tension between the in-laws who may want their grandkids to be different but find themselves helpless to wean the kid away from such fanaticism that is being drilled into him daily by his mother. The father just gives up to maintain peace and often escapes to clubs where his drinking buddies from high school are waiting.

There are numerous examples of such couples who carry on with their life but secretly wish they had more character to stand up to the tyranny of their mates and had found their true soul mate somewhere.

I often see a parallel here with the nature that does not tolerate a vacuum and quickly fills it. If the alpha male of a lion’s pride dies or is injured, he loses his position and is quickly replaced by a younger and stronger lion. We as humans also become very vulnerable when a vacuum is created where a person with weak character and of irresolute nature is quickly pounced upon by another who takes advantage of the nature of the person and marries him or her even if they are not the ideal mates.

I know a case where a very bad woman grabbed a very handsome medical doctor who had a bright future in a good job and literally forced him to marry her because he was irresolute and weak in character. The outcome of this marriage was pre-ordained because the fellow died of brain hemorrhage .He just could not take any more the abusive nature of the woman.

The same thing happened to another fellow who died of alcoholism due to his bad marriage to a horrible woman. We too abhor the vacuum so someone steps in to take advantage of the situation.

So we come back to the question of finding the perfect soul mate and how to find him or her. People say that the eyes of a person are the windows to his soul so if you look deeply into the eyes of a person, you may often find the real person lurking behind the façade. You may or may not be impressed by what you find. It is nevertheless a difficult proposition because some people hide very well their true nature and show only what they want you to see.

But most people are not very good at hiding their true nature and often slip up during pressure or under some circumstances. It reminds me of the movie I saw the other night called The desert queen that was based on a true life story of a very beautiful British woman who was quite educated and fell in love with a handsome British man in the desert of Arabia who turned out to be an inveterate gambler so her father did not approve the marriage proposal. He jumped off a cliff when he could not marry and she remained a spinster dedicating her life to unite all the Bedouin tribes of Arabia under one king called Faisal and earned her the nickname as the Desert Queen. At least a bad marriage was prevented by her father and she went on to do something historic just like Lawrence of Arabia.

So the soul mate remains elusive to most people because their path does not cross with yours except in cases of a few lucky ones. There are millions of men and women who cannot find their mates let alone soul mates so remain single. I will not get into the discussion of why some people remain single because that alone is a loaded topic that has no place here in this blog.

I just wish you all who are looking for your soul mate succeed in your effort to find him or her who will help you become a better person. Only such a person deserves to be called a soul mate.

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