In Defense Of “Soul Mates”

dating, marriage, loveIt has been said that:

Real love is not all feelings.

Real love takes work.

Real love requires choosing your beloved on a daily basis. 

These are all statements that I believe to be true. But, can I let you in on a little secret?

I believe in soul mates. And [thankfully], I believe that I married mine.

“I have found Him whom my soul loves.” (Song of Songs 3:4)

It is certainly understandable why so many people want to do away with the notion that those of us called to marriage are predestined to a specific “soul mate.” After all, what if you marry someone who is not your soul mate, and then end up meeting your “true” soul mate five years after the wedding?

For this reason, I did not always believe in soul mates. After all, real love requires work. You are not always going to have that warm and fuzzy feeling about your beloved.

I used to reason that as long as I married someone that I was attracted to, and who understood these things, we would likely have had a pretty good marriage and probably live a happy life together. And that would be just fine.

Then I met Tyler.

To be clear: I do not agree with every part of the common definition of a soul mate. When I say my husband is my soul mate, I do not mean that he is the one who satisfies my heart’s deepest longings or who fulfills my every need. If this is what a soul mate is, then none of us have one, and none of us can be one.

As far as that kind of a soul mate is concerned, I agree with Saint Augustine: “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”

On the other hand, I also do not mean that my husband is my soul mate only because we felt some level of attraction for one another, got married, and now we put a lot of work into our relationship. (Even though all of these are of course true statements.)

When I say my husband is my soul mate, I mean that there is a kind of perfection and a peace to our being together that I cannot fully explain— nor take credit for. I think it can only be explained by the grace of God.

When I say my husband is my soul mate, I mean that I believe that I was meant to marry Tyler Pearson, and not just any guy who happened to share my most deeply held beliefs, had similar interests as me, and was easy on the eyes.

I believe that God led us to one another, and even though we could have chosen not to, I believe that it was God’s plan for us to get married.

I believe that when I prayed for my future husband while I was growing up, I was praying for Tyler. God knew the name of the man who He would call to lovingly lead me to Heaven through the Sacrament of Marriage. God knew, and it was my job to listen to Him and to discern my relationships to find my soul mate: Tyler Pearson.

If I could tell the younger version of myself one thing about finding my husband it would be this:

Yes, true love will require work and it will not always be easy. But your soul mate will be more than just the result of hard work and similar interests. Believing in soul mates does not mean acting contrary to reason; it just means that you leave some room for grace to lead your heart. Listen to what the desires of your heart are telling you. They are going to lead you to a relationship more wonderful than you can imagine.

Mary Pearson is the 23-year-old creator of YoungAndCatholic.net, and author of the book Letters From A Young Catholic.  She holds a Master’s degree in Biblical Theology from John Paul the Great Catholic University in San Diego, CA.  Mary lives in Southern California with her husband, Tyler, and their son, Tyler Jr.
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  • Pax

    this is only logical. IF God has a plan and a ‘vocation’/ calling THEN he has planned/foreseen the specifics. That is not to take anything away from free will , but God’s predestination and fore-knowledge does not take away from free will. There is a mystery in this but the nature of any mystery is ‘both and’ not ‘either or’ because we are creatures make of nothing held firmly in existence by unfathenable power.