There are about as many definitions of soul mate as you can imagine. We've been trying to define this term for literally thousands of years to no avail. I will try to cut through the confusion by offering mine.
A soul mate is a person with whom you feel a deep connection that may even defy logic. For example, a soul mate can be a close friend who lives a very different life than yours, yet you pick up the old thread instantly no matter how much time has passed since your last connection. A soul mate can be a friend, lover, family member, or mentor.
In love relationships, the term soul mate includes a sexual connection, often infused with intensity. Many people describe their soul mate as the person who got away and can never be replaced. This idea of only one soul mate (lover) who perfectly matches can be problematic. The reality is that you can connect deeply with many people. With an open viewpoint about love and soul mates, your heart is available to move on and find someone new with whom you can have a very meaningful connection. It will not be like the last one because every relationship is unique, like a fingerprint.
The paradox is that sometimes these very deep and intense soul mate connections are not emotionally healthy because they are not grounded in real life. Couples often describe themselves as soul mates while in the throes of the enchantment stage of love. Those same couples often blast apart later when they re-enter life and discover that they cannot permanently meet each other's every need. Disappointment and hurt follow, and the relationship becomes unstable. A far better goal is to search for a Soul Partner, someone with whom you share life values, goals, visions, and basic compatibilities. With a Soul Partner, you form a real commitment. That becomes your foundation from which to grow, often by triggering one another. But triggering can lead to healing, and Soul Partners are dedicated to helping each other heal and grow.
Learn all about Soul Partnering and how to nurture your connection through powerful, loving communication in my book, Soul Talk.
Nina Atwood is a licensed therapist and nationally known relationship expert with three published self-help books on communication and love. Be Your Own Dating Service: A Step-by-Step Guide to Finding and Keeping Healthy Relationships, Date Lines: Communication From "Hello" to "I Do" and Everything In Between, and Soul Talk: Powerful, Positive Communication for a Loving Partnership. Her expertise is regularly sought by national media, including the Wall Street Journal, Health Magazine, Men's Health, LifeTimeTVOnline, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, and many more. She has appeared on numerous regional television shows and hundreds of radio shows nationally.
Nina's web site, http://www.singlescoach.com is accessed daily by thousands of single men and women seeking leading edge relationship advice. Nina's newest book, Temptations of the Single Girl: The Ten Dating Traps You Must Avoid, is scheduled for release by January 2008.