Finally, Belinda had gone through two marriages and was still confused about what had happened. When you are still blaming someone else for the failure of your marriage, you need to remain in recovery and accept what you did and learn forgiveness. Belinda wasn’t close to accomplishing that. She was still playing the blame game.

If you are on a one-track search for Mr. or Ms. Right, you are not ready to remarry. Don’t get confused when you date that because someone has what you deem desirable similarities to you, this is enough of a basis for marrying.

Are You at Risk?

Searching for a soul mate can be dangerous. Are you at risk for this behavior? Do you…

  • have a “soul mate mentality”?
  • believe you will know the “right one” the minute you meet him or her? 
  • search for your next spouse looking for one important trait—maybe the opposite of what your ex had?  
  • think there is only one person in the world who is right for you, and you are on a mission to find him or her?  
  • have a set of criteria for the ideal spouse or a simple formula for knowing who would be your soul mate?

Here are some tips to help you avoid trapping yourself in the soul mate myth.

Retrain your thinking. If you have a “soul mate mentality,” educate yourself about the risks. One way to do this is to read and reread the stories in this book of redivorced people who naively searched for their soul mates only to get burned because they refused to see or acknowledge any problems once they made up their minds.

Don’t shop for duplicates or opposites. Finding your mirror-image mate in background or experience is no assurance of a good match. Likewise, just because someone doesn’t have the ugly habits or traits of your ex (drinking, yelling, spending, controlling) doesn’t mean he will be right for you, either. List the problems of your past marriage(s) and make certain that these are not the only criteria you use to select a future spouse.

Don’t be unequally yoked. If you choose someone who has a major difference in belief systems from you, it is likely to become a problem after the “honeymoon phase” is over. When your most fundamental beliefs are at odds, you will eventually see divisions creep into the marriage that could lead to its downfall. Any disagreements or major differences in belief systems will certainly become more pronounced if and when children are part of your family.

Allow enough time dating. Quick decisions about a soul mate can be overcome if you date someone at least a few years before marrying. Be alert to problems and red flags. 

Taken from: Finding the Right One After Divorce. Copyright © 2007 by Edward M. Tauber and Jim Smoke. Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR. Used by permission.

Edward M Tauber, a corporate researcher, industry consultant, and divorce counselor, received his Ph.D. from Cornell University. A former professor and department chairman at the University of Southern California, he's also been a senior executive and consultant with Fortune 500 companies.

Jim Smoke is an internationally known author, speaker, and life coach. A pioneer in the divorce recovery field, he has worked with singles and singles-again for more than 30 years. Jim has written 17 books, including his bestselling Growing Through Divorce (nearly 600,000 copies sold).