Dear Dr. Warren,
I have a question about soulmates. Do you believe soul mates exist? And if you do how can you tell if a person is really your soul mate? Can a person have more than one? Thank you for your time.
I am reminded of the study we conducted at eharmony.com that examined two hundred couples who had "highly successful" marriages. We found that there are 29 characteristics-including religious values, ambition and energy level-that determine a couple's "compatibility quotient." If a man and a woman match on a preponderance of the characteristics, it's highly likely that they will have a terrific marriage.
Let's consider a man who is 40 years old. Out of all the women in the world, there must be at least 500 with whom he would match on all 29 items. And there are probably thousands more he would match with on, say, 26 or 27 items and still be quite satisfied.
Norma, I believe soul mates are made, not born. You start with the ingredients for a highly compatible, successful relationship and then you work to develop closeness and intimacy. Does this mean you lower your standards when it comes to finding a partner? Absolutely not! It simply means you "expand your field of vision."
My best explanation for "expanding your field of vision" is contained within my book How to Know If Someone Is Worth Pursuing in Two Dates or Less. Many times the person who is excellent soul mate material will be a diamond in the rough. They may not look like you're dream mate. They may not have the trappings that you've envisioned in your mind. To mine these diamonds you must become skilled at assessing the important qualities regardless of the packaging.
Take some time to focus on the 10 traits you MUST HAVE in a mate. This exercise won't be easy, but it is vital to develop a short, tight list of traits that you absolutely must have from any relationship partner. Then spend any equal period of time listing the 10 traits you Can't Stand in a partner. Be detailed. Be strict. But you are allowed no more than 10.
This list of 20 traits is what you will use to help uncover your soul mate. The next time you are considering a relationship with a gentleman, begin with your list. A person who fits into your list perfectly is worthy of serious reflection from you, even if they aren't your "type."
Chemistry is certainly a part of any relationship, but take care to put important things first. Before you become infatuated or enthralled with your date's looks, consider what he is like inside. In the long run, it will certainly be what matters most.
The eHarmony Research Library is a branch of eHarmony.com(tm), North America's most successful Relationship Building Service. Our precise technology searches a database of 500,000 persons to find truly compatible matches. Then, eHarmony's guided communication system helps you meet and get to know each other in an appropriate, in-depth manner. Click HERE to learn more about eHarmony.