American writer and philosopher, Richard Bach once wrote about soulmates saying; “our soulmate is the one who makes life come to life”.
Nothing feels more intoxicating than spending time with “the one” who seems to be sent from above. The synergistic connection that people experience when they are with their heart’s desire, feels beyond what words can describe.
It’s why there are so many songs, poems and stories written about soulmates, kindred spirits and twin flames. Yet, when you listen deeply to those songs and stories, there’s often a tragic note to some of them. Shakespeare had it right when he said; “the course of true love never did run smooth”.
The truth is, not all “soulmates” end up together over the long haul. That may sound blasphemous, but history and literature say otherwise. Look at: Marc Antony and Cleopatra, Romeo and Juliet, Tristan and Isolt, Gueinivere and Lancelot, Countess Olenska and Newland Archer, etc. The list goes on.
In the non literary world, where real people reside, the pain people experience when things don’t work out with a soulmate can feel just as shattering as a Shakesperian tragedy.
AND THE TRUTH IS, MANY SOULMATE CONNECTIONS DON’T LAST.
“ But why?” is the first question people bemoan when they struggle or lose their soulmate.
“But how” is the next question they lament.
THESE ARE GREAT QUESTIONS THAT ARE OFTEN MET WITH UNSATISFYING ANSWERS. NONETHELESS, HERE ARE FIVE THAT HIGHLIGHT SOME KEY REASONS WHY SOME SOULMATES STRUGGLE AND DON’T ALWAYS WORK OUT.
- One basic reason is that some soulmates come into a person’s life during specific periods of their life that make sense for that stage, but not for other stages. E.G. some people meet in college or in their early twenties and love exploring their young adulthood together. They feel like two peas in a pod. But as they get older, they discover they have different values and then grow apart.Another example of this is that some soulmates also serve as a creative muse. Once the project is complete, so is the relationship.
- Societal / cultural rules and norms are another reason kindred spirit connections don’t always work out. In this case, there’s often great pressure from an individual’s family and or religion to marry a partner with the same ethnicity or religious background. The problem is, people fall in love with who they fall in love with. If only love knew how to discriminate, right?The struggle arises when their soulmate doesn’t match the criteria that is expected of them. Going against one’s tribe isn’t always easy. It’s especially difficult if there’s a family legacy of genecide that fuels the deeper desire and pressure to marry within the same cultural group. And of course, there are also times when a person’s sexual orientation is frowned upon or even forbidden in their family, friend, and religious peer group. When they find a same sex soulmate, very often, people will live a double or secret life. This way they find a way to satisfy both their inner needs and their tribal ones. It just doesn’t often work well for the partner who wants to live and love openly and authentically.
- They are married to someone else. Since the early days when marriage was invented, infidelity manifested right along side of it. This is so because traditionally marriage was never meant for love. It was meant for the continuance of the family lineage as well as providing economic stability for people. Love, desire and eroticism, were always found outside the marriage. While people more often than not, do marry for love these days, ironically, infidelity is still on the rise. There are many reasons for this.Sometimes people marry young, when they are not quite ready. Other times they marry because of their social clocks e.g. “it’s time” and “all the friends are doing it”. Some marry because they want to have children. Then later into the marriage, there are often serious breakdowns in the relationship. Sometimes people outgrow each other. Other times they love their spouse but no longer desire them. Or, they feel lonely in their marriage. So, they start to look outside for what they believe is missing.And when they find it in another, the start of a serious soulmate struggle comes into play. And it usually ends in shattering heartbreak for everyone involved.
- Unhealed core vulnerabilities in one or both members of a couple is one of the most common kindred spirit connections that almost always fails. Nothing feels better than when someone really sees you and seems to understand you on a deep level. They get your pain and you get theirs. This is often then accompanied by ideas such as “you were made for me, or you complete me, and or I can’t be me with-out you”. The problem is, when people have unhealed relational wounds such as neglect or abuse from childhood or past relationships, these wounds eventually seep into their newfound love. When someone sees you and seems to get you, especially your pain, it feels like your soulmate has arrived and love is born. But when one person feels the pressure to take care of that pain, or neglects that pain, love dies.
- When one of both members of the couple in #4 keeps trying to make their relationship work, but haven’t done their own inner work, then the soulmate struggle can get really ugly! It’s common for people to believe consciously or unconsciously, that their partner is responsible for always knowing, wanting, needing and complying with what they know, want and need. This belief is an unfair burden to place upon a partner. The partner who accepts responsibility for the other’s burden, has now signed up to do some serious emotional care- taking, which can be exhausting. A co-dependent / dependent dynamic that is generally rooted in early childhood wounding has been activated. It usually doesn’t deactivate until one person leaves or they find a way to do a major overhaul to the relational dynamics.This is so because, some people just don’t know how to honor boundaries, set limits, and ask for what they want and need. They believe their partner should just know what they want and need because, well, they’re their soulmate!
MANY DON’T UNDERSTAND THAT THEIR PARTNER, WHO MAY VERY WELL BE A SOULMATE, OFTEN HAS A TOTALLY DIFFERENT OPERATING SYSTEM. THEY THINK, WANT, NEED AND FEEL DIFFERENTLY. BELIEVING A PARTNER IS AN EXTENSION OF ONESELF (MEANING THAT THEY MUST THINK, WANT, NEED AND FEEL THE SAME AS THEIR PARTNER DOES) WITHOUT ANY SPACE FOR INDIVIDUATION, IS A SIGN THAT THIS TWIN FLAME CONNECTION HAS TURNED TOXIC.
Love doesn’t always find a way to make a relationship with a soulmate, twin flame or kindred spirit work. But experiencing a soulmate kind of love will always help you find your way to your soul. You just need to be willing to look inside yourself and be open to discovering a few things about you that you may not know. With that said, here are some simple, “can do” action items for you to try.
- Identify which soulmate struggle seems to fit your current situation. Are their themes and patterns to your relational style? Are you afraid to go against your tribe and do what you would most like to do? Do you have some inner healing from your childhood or past relationships that needs some tending to, etc?
- Once you identify your struggle, why not explore that in a deeper way in Individual psychotherapy? A good therapist will help you get in touch with your core vulnerable parts and unburden them in a way that most people can’t do on their own.
- You could also try couples counseling with both you and your partner, so that not only will you get more in touch with your issues, you will also be able to understand and empathize more with your partner’s. And you will learn to do this without feeling overwhelmed by the need to fix it.
- And last but not least, set new goals for yourself. Goals that will help you get on your soul’s path. Ask yourself, If nothing mattered, who would you be, and what would you do with your life? What type of work would you want to do? What have you always wanted to try? Where would you spend time? What hobbies or activities do you think you would enjoy? Let your imagination take over and write everything down.
- Try one or all of what you listed in #4. Then commit to being your own “Sole -Mate” until death do you part.
THE BOTUMN LINE IS THIS; THERE ISN’T JUST ONE SOULMATE OUT THERE FOR YOU. IF THAT WERE THE CASE, THEN EVERYONE WOULD BE IN TROUBLE!
But If you really want to attract a soulmate who’s ready, willing and able to negotiate the many stages of a long term relationship, you need to learn how to be your own “Sole Mate” first.
The silver lining truth about soulmate struggles that nobody ever wants to hear is this: you are the one you’ve been looking for. So be you and do you!
When you are putting yourself out in the world and just being you and doing you, in time, you will attract the right mate who’s good for your soul. And when you do, you may even feel grateful that things didn’t work out with the last one. In a strange and unwanted way, your soulmate struggle actually did work out, just not the way you wanted it to.
Remember, sometimes things not working out with your soulmate is also a gift from above!
Maura Matarese, M.A., LMHC, R.Y.T. is a psychotherapist, author and yoga teacher, practicing in Sudbury, MA. If you feel like you have lost your twin flame or are struggling with a soulmate, then check out her online course: Finding Hope After Heartbreak; Learn The Secret How To Start Feeling Better Now. There’s also a free mini- course version available to try out first.