As humans, we all long for finding the perfect partner in life or what some like to call a “soulmate”. What most of us fail to realize is that both of these terms are not the same thing.
Soulmates are individuals who come into our lives to shake them up, tear us down to our core, help us feel a bit more deeply, and teach us a valuable lesson.
Once the lesson has been learned, our soulmates usually have done their deed and oftentimes disappear into the moonlight.
On the other hand, life partners are those who stay with us either for a significant amount of time, or for the rest of our lives. They not only teach us, but stay with us along the way.
In modern day, we tend to believe that we are most compatible with those who share our interests and live by our values. Dr. John Gottman, founder of The Gottman Institute in Seattle, stated that, “measures of personality are incapable of truly predicting the length or success of a relationship,” challenging this belief.
He revealed that couples who tend to center their energy on building meaningful relationships have proven to last the longest.
He states that, “how a couple interacts is the single, most fundamental aspect to creating a successful relationship.
Meaning, it’s not who you are or what you do that will prolong or help you find the perfect mate. It’s how you speak to each other, how well you get along, and how you move through time together.”
Notwithstanding, five major differences prove how dissimilar soulmates and life partners really are.
- The profound attraction that stands the test of time
As Tarryn Fisher quotes in Mud Vein, “What’s the difference?” I asked him. “Between the love of your life, and your soulmate?” “One is a choice, and one is not.”
Soulmates come into our lives unannounced, like a storm in a clear sky. However, when we meet them, we feel as if we have known them forever, from a past life.
They are those who seem to understand us and know us best, even without the need to explain ourselves. It’s as if they come from the same background and have gone through very similar experiences as us.
This creates an instant, compelling magnetism that can last a lifetime. In most cases, these type of relationships cause the greatest hurt, as they tear us down to a fault.
The attraction is so resilient and powerful; you cannot help but get sucked in. On the contrary, life partners are quite the opposite. When you meet your life partner, you notice the differences, but like them in spite of them.
Those very differences awaken a mystery inside of us, leaving us wanting to know more. Getting to know someone is a process that eventually turns into a trusting friendship that stands the test of time.
The friendship, combined with love that grows along with both of you, can be quite a magical experience.
When two souls meet, hence making both individuals soulmates, they understand each other like never before. You do not need to communicate everything with your soulmate, as both of you are connected in a more intuitive sense.
Both of you know what the other is feeling, without needing words to express it. However, life partners take a completely different stand. They do not use intuition to guide the, but rather intellect and pure rationality.
Here, instead of two souls meeting, we have two physiques meet and connect on a different level. Life partners tend to be more stable and down to earth, unlike soulmates.
Upon meeting our soulmate, we experience a profound and highly intense connection, one that is impossible to explain. These connections tend to shed off our layers and touch the very core part of our hearts.
But at the same time, they bring our egos and flaws into the light, in turn causing chaos and havoc. In most cases, they end in broken hearts, left to be mended by time.
These are usually periods in our lives where we are forced to face ourselves, as soulmates tend to mirror us and reflect both our flights and downfalls, flaws and qualities.
As humans, it is only a natural phenomenon to try to fight this. However, at the end of the day, we come to terms with the fact that it is time for change.
Once the change has taken place and we have learned to brush off our egos, we start to live a life of true acceptance. This s when our life partners take the stand.
Our egos no longer need to be fed, as we are fulfilled all on our own. Life partners compliment us rather than complete us.
Soulmates do not necessarily need to be our significant others. They may come in the form of friends or family as well.
Their “role”, if you will, is to teach us a valuable lesson by breaking us into so many tiny pieces, we have no choice but to clean up the mess and get ourselves together.
After the lesson has been learned, our soulmates leave the scene and go on with their lives, leaving a wound that needs to be healed. Life partners are looked at from a completely different perspective.
They apprehend our interests, understand and support our lifestyle, if not share it. Life partners are our biggest support systems, cheering us on every step of the way.
They are those who believe in our dreams and help us achieve them. Unlike soulmates, life partners choose to stick around no matter how hard it gets. Ignoring the ego, life partners guide us emotionally and psychologically.
We usually meet our soulmates at times when critical life decisions must be made, which usually involve huge changes. These changes affect the rest of our lives, teaching us valuable lessons.
They are also unforgettable experience, full of turbulence and heartbreak. Most times, we learn a lot about ourselves in the process, as soulmates uncover both the beautiful and ugly sides to us.
This turmoil does not take place once we meet our life partner, as it gets much easier. The learning curve comes on a daily basis, when both sides learn to accept the other and learn from them.
The healthiest of these relationships are those who remain themselves while being one.
This should by no means give the impression that life partners cannot be soulmates and vice versa. To quote Tarryn once more, the main difference between the two is that one of them is a choice, while the other chooses you.
Every person we meet in our lives suits a different purpose, whether to teach us perseverance, love, joy, independence, or merely the fact that everything we experience in life is something learned.