If you do a Google search for soul mate, over 35 million results pop up in less than a second.
If only finding one were that easy.
The soul mate is an ideal that has been romanticized for hundreds of years as a lightning strike of a moment when you meet someone and instantly recognize them as THE ONE.
But are they?
It’s often hard to sift through instant chemical attraction, infatuation, and the excitement of meeting someone new to figure it all out.
And sometimes that instant explosion can be more of a slow burn as you come to know someone, experiencing one pleasant surprise after another.
Unfortunately, there’s no real science to provide you with a checklist to figure out whether the person you’re involved with is, in fact, your soul mate.
That said, psychologists have long studied relationships and agree on several important characteristics of a soul mate.
To get you started, here are 7 things your lover will do (or offer) if they are your soul mate:
At the foundation of any good relationship is a healthy dose of trust.
Trust allows you to open up and expose yourself, and, ultimately, to become vulnerable. And your lover should respect your trust and reciprocate in kind.
You should both feel comfortable with the fact that your innermost secrets are in good hands.
If your lover is your soul mate, this kind of trust isn’t hard fought, it’s understood and respected.
A soul mate believes in you and encourages you.
This is the type of person that applauds your audacity, who is there every step of the way, encouraging you to find your own strength.
Here’s where a soul mate can be really fascinating because your soul mate often understands you better than you understand yourself.
This is the person who can easily pick through a narrative of yours and zero in on what really bothered you before you do.
A soul mate is often that person who will call you out if you’re not being true to yourself, because, if you go back to the point above, they understand (and believe in!) the very essence of who you are, even if you don’t see it.
Have you ever been able to look at your lover and have an entire conversation without uttering a word?
A soul mate is someone you easily communicate with on a verbal and non-verbal level.
You’re able to read each other’s subtle body language and facial expressions from across a room and respond accordingly.
Socrates taught that the soul consists of three parts: appetite, spirit, and reason.
All too often, spirituality is assumed to be religion when, in fact, spirituality embraces the importance of the human spirit and how it fits into the world.
If you and your lover share the same core beliefs about the human spirit, according to Socrates himself, you may be soul mates.
Does your lover eerily anticipate you — your reactions and your emotions — and know just what to do?
That’s because your lover listens to you and is aware of your moods and emotions to the point where they can predict how you might be feeling.
This type of awareness is a rare find because it means that your lover is thinking about someone (you) outside of themselves.
Again, there’s no checklist you can sit down with to figure out whether you’ve met your soul mate and even the seven items listed above may miss something that’s important to you.
Thankfully, humans are wildly different and it’s almost impossible to foresee when you might make a special connection with someone.
Often, a soul mate can be right under your nose, but you may have been too busy to notice.
People are also understandably guarded when it comes to relationships, so while you may not have been thunderstruck when you first met, it doesn’t mean that your soul mate can’t slowly reveal themselves as you grow together.
You may also find soul mates who aren’t lovers, but valued friends.
No matter how they appear in your life, all soul mates are worth cherishing.