Looking for that special someone? Finding a soulmate remains a formidable challenge for many of us. The good news, however, is that it’s possible. Many of us have found that someone. Here’s my take on how I prepared myself for that special encounter.
In a hurry? Read the digest version.
No, I’m not talking about glooming yourself.
I’m talking about how to work on yourself so you become a person fit, ready and available for an encounter with your soulmate.
Be Self Sufficient
Before you are ready, you need to be content on your own. If you are seeking a soulmate primarily to fill the void inside you — then your primary interest lies in getting something from your significant other. How would you like to go out with someone who’s trying to get something out of you?
An ideal relationship is a union of two independent people, who are choosing to be interdependent. Interdependency creates and enhances better life life than being alone. It’s different from co-dependence, two people dependent on each other. When you base your self-worth, even partially, on anything other than your intrinsic self-esteem and your personal principles, you are resting on an unreliable, rocky ground.
When you are seeking to be dependent, you are not ready to meet your soulmate. The only people you’ll form relationships are those who are also seeking dependency, because you can’t relate to independent people while being a dependent person. You can form relationships, even long-term, but they will be volatile, unstable, and eventually break up. If you want to meet an independent person, then the best way to do so is for you to become one.
Think about it. If you see someone walking around with the outlook of “I’m so lonely. Can you come and stay with me? I need someone,” do you feel inclined to fall in love with him/her? You may feel pity and sympathy, but that’s not true love. Only people who feed such a need do it because they are using such a charitable act as a validation for being a good person.
Before you add another person in your life, you need to learn to be content on your own.
Know Who You Are Seeking
Imagine a state, how you feel in the company of your soulmate. From it, create a portrait of the person you are seeking. You are welcome to get into details, but be sure you don’t get married to them. What you’re seeking is that feeling — and don’t assume who can make you feel that way. A lot of times we think A produces B result, but find out that C can produce B, too, and/or A actually doesn’t produce B. What you’re truly after is the end effect of that relationship — as long as that essence is achieved, how and what quality the other party brings to the table is irrelevant.
And as an extension to this idea, once you identify the core qualities of the person you’re seeking, be sure that you yourself acquire as many of those qualities. If you want someone who’s going to be an excellent parent, don’t expect to find one unless you yourself are interested in becoming one. What forms a strong bond is the size of the common ground between you and your partner. In terms of personalities, sure, opposites can compliment each other. But when it comes to values and principles, it’s safe to say the more you have in common, the better off you are.
Be Self Confident
In addition to being self-sufficient, you need to have a healthy self-esteem, confidence that you are a great person who deserves a great partner in life.
So many people “settle” for unsatisfying relationships because they are afraid that that’s as good as it gets, having someone is better than no one. Well, there is value in seeing that a glass is half-full, but beware of how you’re applying here, to justify your lack of self-worth. It’s an excuse to compromise yourself.
Once you identify the essence of what makes up your soulmate, don’t settle for anything less. Sure, reality is never as good as your dreams — but by identifying the core qualities (the “must-haves”) you’ll know clearly when the other person possesses those qualities or not.
Be Open to Change
But the flip side of the self sufficiency and self confidence is that you need to be ready, willing and able to accept and allow your life to be affected and changed by another person. So many people who stay alone for long become set in their ways, not willing to really accommodate the other person. This makes you unavailable to form a relationship.
When you open up your life to another person, you’re letting in a whole set of your partner’s needs and desires. And you can be certain that they will be different from your own. You need to see that this adds more to your life than away from it. You will have to collaborate and compromise. Don’t expect to form a lasting relationship unless you see this as a positive change.
How These Principles Applied to My Life
You read my story about how I met my wife. I had been seeking a girlfriend all my life up to that point — and was failing miserably. All my relationships seemed to crash and burn (rather spectacularly, I must add) at the beginning. In the hind sight I’m grateful that they broke at the outset, instead of having months and years of relationships that were ultimately not meant to be.
I knew who I was seeking very well. I was young so I wasn’t very articulate, but I am a feeling-oriented person and I often imagined how it would feel to be with someone. I had typically turbulent adolescence, but I was reasonably self-confident. I have always been a nurturing person, and always had deep and close friendships. So being open to accommodate someone else’s needs weren’t a problem.
Where I had a problem was with self-sufficiency. I was lonely, big time. I thought that I was somehow incomplete without a girlfriend. I needed a validation that I was lovable. I wanted to be needed.
But my soulmate came into my orbit only after I decided that I was going to be self sufficient. I had resolved not to look for a girlfriend. I think it was a case of me finally qualifying, being fit for the encounter with my soulmate. That was the last piece of the puzzle, and as soon as I recognized and resolved to change, boom! I ran into someone. The someone I was looking for, but had stopped looking. Instead of looking externally for an answer, I made myself ready by looking inward.
“Chance Favors a Prepared Mind” (Louis Pasteur)
It may feel funny to apply the above quote to a romantic relationship, but it applies, big time. The difference is that even if you meet someone who’s potentially your soulmate, you won’t recognize him/her as such until you become ready. Have you heard of any couples who were friends first, never saw each other as a romantic interest, until one day they realized what they had? Until you complete your inner work, you won’t be able to find your life-long partner. Or keep one.
If you want to find a great partner, become the person you’d fall in love with. (On the inside, of course — no sex change necessary. 😉 ) Not only this prepares you for the encounter, but it also creates a large common ground between you and your partner. It maximizes the chance of you recognizing each other.
As always, the real work takes place on the inside.
Did you enjoy this article? Check out these essays on the theme of finding a soulmate: How I Found My Soulmate, How to Tell If the Person You’re Seeing Is Your Soulmate
This article was featured in The Twenty Second Edition of the Carnival of Improving Life.