Is it a good idea to believe in Soulmates?

2012-07-23 10.49.39

Yes and No.

Soul mates are defined by couples who share the belief that their meeting was fate and that only one person in the world exists whom they are destined to be with.

Two psychologists decided to put such couples to the test to see whether those who endorse soul mate relationships are more fulfilled than those who believe in more practical pairings. What they found was that a combination of traditional union ideologies (such as marital permanency, division of labor, etc.) coupled with a soul mate mantra (you are the perfect one for me) lead to the most fulfilling unions.

There is a longitudinal study known as the PAIR project, which examined 168 couples since the early 1980’s for several years and provided fascinating insights into predictors of divorce. Couples who maintain idealized, romanticized, and unrealistic expectations (i.e. soul mates) about married life were more likely to divorce when things didn’t go exactly as planned.

Also, those who believe in only “one” compatible person are at risk for staying single forever if no one lives up to their ideal.

Source: W. B. Wilcox and J. Dew (2010) Is Love a Flismy Foundation? Soulmate versus institutional models of marriage. Social Science Research, 39(5), 687-699.

Source: Caughlin, J. P., & Huston, T. L. (2006). The affective structure of marriage. In A. L. Vangelelisti & D. Perlman (Eds.), The Cambridge handbook of personal relationships (pp. 131-155). New York: Cambridge University Press.

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