It’s a compelling question. And I think the answers are relevant to all of us, whether we’re not yet married or even if we’ve found our soul mate.
How do you find a soul mate?
Your soul mate isn’t someone outside of yourself. Sure, they’re an independent person but at the same time he or she is the other half of your true self. You were separated at birth. So when you’re looking for this person, you’ve got to do so as if you’re looking for a lost object ‘cos that’s just what this other person is…a “lost part” of your being. If you lost your grandma’s sapphire necklace or the key to the safe, you’d get out there and look for it, not wait for it to come to you.
And you’d keep at it ‘till you found it. King Solomon says, “The person who’s found a wife has found good.” Intrinsic to marriage is the notion of finding. So get in to a proactive headspace because seeking and finding is the point of departure.
Another thing to remember is that as you search, you have to look beyond what you first see. Before you checked in to this earthly plane of existence, in your spiritual source, you and your soul mate were radiant, clear, focused. But down here things are different. Life has a way of covering us with soot. There are a whole host of pressures that over time diminish the glow of the soul as it was on high. As a result, when you finally find your other half, you may not recognize them! The process of “finding” is about stuff that’s more than skin deep and you have to be willing to go to that place in order to discover who that person actually is.
Next, ask the right questions. Targeted questions are powerful mediums for detecting solutions in all arenas of life and none the less here. There are many but one key one is this, “Is this person’s vision in alignment with my vision?” Another way of saying that is, “Whom do you want to be married to when you’re 64? Eighty four?” Then work backwards. Marriage isn’t a one night stand.
And remember that the other person is not your “lollipop.” What do I mean by that? They don’t exist to make you feel good, to solve your problems…to serve you in any way. Marriage is much bigger than a means to physical and psychological gratification. Look for the person who can help you build a life, a home, help you create a space where life is lived as it’s meant to be and where the two of you can actualize the purpose for which you were created. Stop looking for the body and start looking for the person.
How do you know it is your soul mate?
As I said, if you live from the outside-in you may not. Practice living from the inside-out.
If you can do that then it’s like recognizing yourself! You know intuitively when you connect with someone else. Our sages say marriage involves the knowing of the heart. It could make total sense on paper to marry someone but because this is not a business deal you have to move beyond just the intellectual knowing.
At the same time, and I know it’s very not PC to say this, settling is not a dirty word! Before you jump, don’t get me wrong. You do have to have feelings but today we’re holding out for deep romantic love. Hollywood has hijacked our hearts. We want a relationship and partner that doesn’t really exist. If you want to “get” who someone else is and if they’re right for you, you first have to divest yourself of your preconceptions and delusions. Otherwise they’ll blind you from what’s right in front of you. Sure, you need a spark. But don’t nix a guy ‘cos he laughs too loud or a gal ‘cos she’s not a size 0. Real people don’t come Photoshopped! When you rid yourself of your rules, expectations and preconceptions you’ll discover an entire world you haven’t noticed. And be much more open to knowing who someone else actually is and if they’re for you.
Is there a GPS-method?
Biblical matches were made at watering holes. Isaac (through Eliezer) and Rebecca; Jacob and Rachel; Moses and Tzippora all met at wells. Today folks meet at watering holes too but now they’re the local bar.
The Torah GPS brings more lasting results. The well represents both the wisdom of Torah and the fact that you have to dig within in order to access the life giving waters you desire.
I’d say most importantly, don’t get into a relationship. Get into a marriage. Isaac married Rebecca “and then he loved her.” Today we “fall in love,” “get in to a relationship” and only then try figure out if we should get married! It’s much better to do it the other way round. Be real focused and clarify if this is the person for you. If yes, don’t wait. Get married.
Part of what that necessitates is, “Stay out of bed.” Sex is just too powerful. If you’re in a sexual relationship, it’ll blind you as to whether this is the right person for you. If you wait you’ll be forced to figure out the answer. And if the answer is, “No, you’re not mine,” then you’ll be able to get out and move on instead of spending months trying to extricate yourself from a painful dynamic.
In our culture, the power base has shifted. In a more modest era, women held the power. When it was the exception to not be a virgin, women had more say. Now that it’s the exception to be a virgin, men have the power. Getting in to bed is like throwing your GPS over the balcony of a rooftop. You don’t share a bank account, the keys to your car or your medical records – so why your body?! If you keep the focus on building a life rather than on feeding your ego or your body you have a much greater chance of actually creating the life you want.
Thanks to Mark Pearlman for prompting me to put this down in writing. Mark runs JInsider and writes a column for The Jewish Week. He sent me these questions in anticipation of Valentine’s Day and sparked off a whole bunch of thoughts. I’d love to hear yours! So go ahead and comment below.