Monday, September 20, 2010

Soul Mates

The notion of a soul mate has been on my mind recently. As a romance writer and a somewhat spiritual minded person, I've believed in this concept. It's a perfect fit for classic romance where true love triumphs as the two pieces of one soul are reunited despite all potential conflicts and obstacles. Sounds gorgeous, huh? And full of hope.

Then, I had a brand new thought. How does this fit with all the other combinations of love? Many of my stories involve menage relationships, three people uniting to build their lives together. My characters fall just as deeply in love with one another as in any other duo relationship. Can they not all be soul mates with one another? And how tragic is it to not find a soul mate which everyone deserves? The person who fits.

So I decided to take these jumbled thoughts and put out a call for help to the other experts in this field, romance readers and writers. What do you think about soul mates? Do they exist? What happens when we do not find them, or find them and cannot keep them? I'm collecting ideas, because I think I want to write about this more explicitly in one of my next projects.

I still believe, but I'd like to hear from you.


Wynter Daniels said...

Hmm. Actual soul mates? I don't know that I believe there's only one out there for each person, but I do believe that fate often brings people together for a reason, like puzzle pieces floating around in the cosmic mash looking for that perfect fit.

Katie Reus said...

I'm with Wynter on this one. I believe in soul mates but not necessarily in the romantic sense. I think my sister/best friend and I are soul mates in a way. Even if we weren't related I think we'd have become best friends b/c I think our souls are connected. Maybe that's b/c I can't imagine my life without her, I don't know. But soul mates as in two (or more) lovers created only for each other? I'm a total romantic but I don't really believe that love is limited like that.

Cara Bristol said...

I'm a pragmatic person, rather than a spiritual one, so I have to say that I don't believe in soul mates. We are the sum of our values, experiences, beliefs, backgrounds, family history, actions, etc. that make us likely to be attracted to certain types of people and them to us. It goes for both lovers and friends. (On the negative side of this, it's why some women keep repeating mistakes and get involved with all the wrong men).

People who believe in soul mates seem to assume that they will MEET their soul mate. But what happens if you live Kentucky and your soul mate lives in Switzerland and you never meet? Or you don't meet your soul male until you're 69? Or you meet him/her at 25 and he/she dies in traffic accident at 30? Are you destined to never love again?

As a romantic notion, it's a nice idea and makes for good fiction. There's something captivating about the notion of finding someone who is absolutely perfect for you and being irresistibly drawn to that person. Depending on how deep of a soul mate the person is, it would almost be a paranormal romance.

Michelle Polaris said...

Thanks for chiming in guys. I like the idea of puzzle pieces fitting together. I do believe, aside from the issue of soul mates, that we meet people to help us learn certain lessons. Perhaps that's the direction I'll go in with my writing instead of the more limited soul mate theory. I do believe certain people reappear in your life over time. And as much as I am a very practical person who evaluates family patterns and understands repeating choices based on psychosocial issues, I'm not always sure my analytical, practical side has steered me right in life. Thanks again everyone for the thoughts.

Cara McKenna said...

I'm with the majority on this one. At the risk of sounding predictably glib, I think the idea of soul mates is another byproduct of our fairytale-fixated popular Western consciousness.

Personally, I believe we all have the potential to connect on that gut-brain-loins-spirit level with multiple people. Sometimes those relationships overlap, which can be terribly difficult to navigate and leave us racked with guilt if the One True Love myth is so ingrained.

I also believe mated souls can drift apart, and that people can have more than one great love in their lifetime. Just because you don't follow through on the "until death" bit of the vows doesn't mean the people you've fallen utterly in love with (or formed a deep friendship bond with, which later faded as life evolved you) doesn't mean those relationships were less, or failures, or trial runs.

My old broken record again: I think we as modern humans put way too much stock in permanence, labeling all the wonderful people we experience en route to finding the last wonderful person we'll commit to as road bumps, instead of destinations in themselves.

Jina Bacarr said...

Maybe that's one reason why vampires are so popular, Michelle...they have all eternity to find their soul mate.

Michelle Polaris said...

I too agree about the mistake to fixate on the permanent. People do drift in and out of our lives and connect on many levels. Sometimes that feels like a painful process, but it is probably more true to how we or our souls best grow and develop.

Michelle Polaris said...

Jina--good point about the vampires. It seems linked to our fascination with the permanent and eternal, the part of us that wants all the answers and the perfect path forever. No matter how unrealistic it is.

Dalton Diaz said...

I agree with everything said, but I do have one observation to throw in. Everyone knows that one couple, or perhaps 2 or 3, who stand out as a couple from everyone else. This couple is so well-connected that people around them can feel it, too.

I've known people married over 50 years who still have it. Makes you wonder.

Anonymous said...

What a pragmatic group! :) I don't believe in a soul mate either. I know that when a person is happy, that person wants the state of happiness to stay forever. However, even for vampires, forever doesn't mean lack of personal growth. Who we are will change over time. "Soul mates" sound like the couple doesn't have to work on their relationship which, of course, is not true at all (even for eternal creatures, I would think).