According to Thibodeau (5), the concept of soul mate is an old subject that captures imagination as it touches at the very core of people’s existence. He describes a soul mate as one who pushes another person away from the illusion that they are not only human but also spirits. He indicates that soul mates may help each other to become the best. Soul mates may also enhance spiritual growth besides acting as catalysts to the partners to do things they would not have done if they were alone. Thibodeau (5) notes that soul mate is where two people of opposite sex are attracted to each other. He further observes that the concept of soul mates has evolved over time to imply the lowest level of attraction which is sexually inclined. According to him this form of attraction has come to be known as love at first sight, which is purely biological and has nothing to do with the spiritual element of the two people involved. This kind of view seeks to shift attention from the real topic that is soul mate. Statements like "Forty days prior to the formation of a child, a Heavenly Voice cries out saying the daughter of so and so is destined for so and so” has caused a lot of interest in the topic of soul mates (Thibodeau 5).
In Moore’s description of a soul mate, the two individuals have to feel so much connected to the point to which one may imagine that “the communication and communing that take place between us were not the product of intentional efforts, but rather a divine grace” 9. He then argues that this kind of relationship is so important to the soul to the extent that it can only be compared to life itself.
Bowers (20) says that the subject of soul mate is arguably a multifaceted area of study since it has received varied opinions and definitions from different scholars. Furthermore, the widely accepted as the meaning of soul mate has been subjected to various interpretations and therefore cannot be ascertained. For instance, early scholars like Plato opined that human species was made up androgynous creatures many years ago, which carried both male and female sexuality. This androgynous creature was split into two parts that resulted into a male and a female.
Bowers (20) seems to have supported this claim when he claims that each present human being knows in their subconscious mind that a part of them is missing and thus always seek to have wholeness. Purists and romantics conquer with Plato stating that there is always a true soul mate is a person’s other half which according to Plato can be referred to as a twin soul. Bowers (20) notes that German idealist Schopenhauer agrees with Plato’s view by stating that the attraction force that attracts two equal people of the opposite sex to one another can only be compared to that between a crystal and a magnet.
However, a number of theories put forward to explain this concept have deviated from Plato's views though it is widely accepted that these theories have their base from his work. For instance, Moore (9) views soul mate as someone who has the urge to love and be loved. He further notes that a soul mate can confuse, disappoint and irritate and bring joy and happiness. He states that soul mates reminds each other of the power of soul-to-soul connection, helps in transforming humans with regular spiritual connections to spiritual beings aware of the importance of human connections, human bodies, human lives.
Similarly, Moore (9) also argues that soul mates are two people who knew each other in a former life and they mirror each other in character and behavior in the current life. This concept is hinged on the belief that when people die, they come back again to life later to learn a lesson before they finally go back to the creator. In this case, soul mates are able to see each other spiritually through distances of time and space.
Soul Mates and Sexuality
Sex form part of existence of human beings that helps them to discover themselves and it is connected to soul mates who are partners in sexuality. These partners are engineered to have the ability to feel the partner’s state of mind. In this regard, Moore (15) suggests that human beings are relational creatures who eternally seek to be related to one another. This relationship is naturally formed to go right but human beings mess it up when they become sexually active. Naturally, people are formed to have perfect soul mate this is indicated by their experience closeness and enjoyment of feelings whenever they are with their soul mates. However, Moore (15) notes that this is not the case as people engage in sexual escapades with other partners who are not designed soul mates.
Bowers (40) suggest that soul mates are able to feel the other’s feelings, state of mind, and thoughts. Soul mates are able to know the longing of their partner separate from their own. Furthermore, Moore (25) observes that soul mates are able know if the attraction between the two is mutual and the level of intimacy that exist. This knowledge enables them to decide when to approach the other. In this higher state of mind relationship between individuals, soul mates are formed. He further argues that this is premeditated process which occurs naturally in the minds of those people who are soul mates.
Soul Mates and Spirituality
According to Todeschi (30), it is in the natural make up of every human being to have a longing for companionship. This longing may be understood as either a directive from God or a desire to have a union with another person. In this regard, Moore (15) argues that this longing is based on two ideas that interrelate. First, human beings are assumed to exist on earth for the purpose of growth and development, a fact than is known to all. It therefore follows that relationships with a certain individual is more important for growth and development. This principle works in a spiritual way to influence the choice of a partner. The impact of this choice is mostly manifested in a marriage relationship. Todeschi (30) indicates that unions directed through this principle of shared life purposes are fruitful since the soul mates assist each other to grow.
Another principle suggests that people are reincarnated. According to this principle, human beings have been on earth several times and thus have had close and personal relationships with particular people. These people are their soul mates. Thibodeau (19) suggests that attraction of soul mates therefore is influenced by memory of patterns which may be conscious or subconscious. Additionally, Thibodeau (19) argues that it is possible for some people to be attracted to their soul mates because they have had a relationship with that person in the past. However, Green (28) counteracts this assertion by arguing that such will mean that soul mates have had several relationships with other partners during incarnations.
In investigating the nature of spiritual soul mates, Webster (60) observes that souls have no gender. He notes that when a soul is reincarnated into a physical form, it has the choice of either becoming male or female. According to him, upon this selection of gender of a soul, a condition prevails which helps in balancing or complementing the characters that will be needed in a relationship with the other partner. However, this does not indicate that spiritual growth is impossible during a physical life of a soul that is not married but rather that a soul that finds its soul mate has a greater potential to grow and develop. Webster (56) says that in ancient prehistory, like the times of Atlantis, more than 12,000 years ago, a soul was said to incarnate to reflex the qualities of both male and female. However, Todeschi (30) does not indicate the form which physical body took in these cases.
What Influences Soul Mates?
According to Copage (50), every member of a soul mate must seek to know the factors that raise a spiritual partnership beyond an ordinary relationship. They must then recognize that their role as soul mates is to support each other on their path to discover themselves and develop. Soul mates should also synchronize their goals and decide that what they are looking for in each other is not simply a physical and emotional support but also a spiritual support. This indicates that soul mates should be able to support each other in their mutual quest for becoming better human beings. Copage (50) notes that all goals set in a relationship will dictate the direction taken in that union. For instance, if the goal of one soul mate is to obtain financial security, such a relationship will not be able to have long term satisfaction. On the other hand, if the goal is growth and development of mind, spirit, and body then fulfillment can be achieved.
Todeschi (30) argues that soul mates strive to be what they want their partners to be. This helps in avoiding unrealistic expectations from the other soul mate thus improve personal growth and development. Todeschi (30) says that a person who wants a stable partner as a soul mate should seek to be stable themselves first. In this regard, the beauty of perception is revealed when one is able to see all his or her qualities, both good and bad, as reflected in their soul mates. Be complete in yourself, and you will see completion in your partner.
Furthermore, soul mates should forget their past relationships. Green (10) notes that the images and feelings that arise in one’s memory is an indication of how one view the current relationship with a soul mate. The two soul mates should embrace the culture of learning and forgiving. Green (10) suggests that no matter how bad a past relationship was, it should be able to act as a lesson to better growth in a relationship.
From the above discussion it is evident that the idea of soul mates is difficult to be understood in the contemporary world where people are continuously finding it hard to forge lasting relationships. In its original conceptualization, this idea can prevent people from having happy relationships with their partners as well as from finding joy in relationships. For women and men who are not yet married or have not found their partners, this idea can influence men not to make any commitment to someone who probably would compliment them well.
Women are equally likely to become choosy in their search for a partner than they are already. For instance, they will start wondering if that drunkard and loud snoring man is actually their soul mate. Men on the other hand will be thinking that their soul mates must be a shiny princess who is still waiting for them somewhere in the world. Thus, a belief in a soul mate may create a distortion and very high expectations which probably may not be met easily. Soul mates are not likely the superstars in the movies or sports but may be the normal man or woman next door who is treated with total indifference and is disliked for no reason.