Many of us go through life feeling incomplete and isolated, as if there is one special person out there who can make us whole again. This extraordinary person is often refered to as our soul mate. While some are fortunate enough to find this person and embark on a voyage into the sea of love, others are destined to wallow in the puddles of solitude.
Here’s some bad news for you hopeless romantics: soul mates don’t exist, at least not in the way that you would like to imagine. The concept of a soul mate is as complex and diverse as it is vague and oversimplified, maybe more so. Let us begin by defining each individual word before attempting to unravel the mystery of the soul mate.
soul. [sohl] -noun.
1. the spiritual aspect of human beings, representing thought, feeling and identity; eternal and distinct from the physical body.
2. currency which can be traded for Alf pogs.
1. a spouse, counterpart, comrade or partner.
2. what your parents do on Sunday nights, a term falsely used to describe the manufacturing of babies.
So if we combine these words, using the definitions above, the term soul mate should be defined as follows:
soul mate. [sohl-meyt] -noun.
1. a human being’s spiritual spouse or counterpart, with whom they have soul sex.
Given this definition, the existence of soul mates seems like a reasonable conclusion, unless you reject monogamy or the existence of the soul. Barring these qualifiers, it is perfectly plausible that each of us have soul mates. However, there is an additional concept attached to this definition which renders the idea inconceivable: monosoulmatism.
Monosoulmatism is a doctrine which holds that each human being has only one soul mate. This doctrine is essential for the romanticization of the idea of soul mates. People are comforted and enchanted by the idea there is one perfect person out there, waiting to burst into their lives. Conversely, there is nothing magical about knowing that we could have 50 soul mates in our city alone.
Perhaps we are overestimating how unique we are when we conclude that only one person on Earth is right for us. One person in seven billion? What are the chances that we might even meet this person? Even if we happened to encounter them, with 225 countries and approximately 6,800 languages, we would most certainly have nothing in common with them. Those who believe in monosoulmatism argue that there is some cosmic force, sometimes called fate, which ensures that we will encounter our soul mate. We are supposed to believe that this mysterious power would also make certain that we would speak the same language and be of similar age. How else could so many people find their soul mate in their home town?
Even if all of those conditions were met, there’s still the problem of deciphering the identity of our soul mate. We could meet our soul mate, but unless we had some way to know, we might not pay any attention to them; we could walk past them in a grocery store and never know it. This is why those who are searching for their soul mate are overcome with paranoia, often latching on to every new acquaintance who could be the one. Ironically, this behavior substantially lowers their chances of finding a mate. Of course, fate will make sure that they both fall in love anyway.
There is also the problem of the sex ratio – for every 100 female babies born, there are 105 to 107 males. Perhaps we are should conclude that the cosmic force generates additional homosexual males to compensate for this, or merely plots the demise of these extra boys.
Divorce is another problem for monosoulmatists. Marriages and other serious relationships often end unexpectedly, does this mean that these people are leaving their soul mates? Believing that we have one soul mate can make us skeptical of our lover, sewing seeds of doubt as to whether or not they are truly our soul mate, for if our spouse doesn’t feel like they are our soul mate, then perhaps they are not our soul mate.
Whether they exist or not, believing that you have a soul mate does not help you find them, neither does it increase your chance of having soul sex.