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Do I Have a Soulmate?

The truth is there is a soulmate for you, but it may not be who you expect – it is Jesus! God made you for Himself. Our ultimate relationship is with God, not with another human being, even our spouse.

Of course, the romantic vision of having a soulmate, which comes from movies, romance novels, and love stories sells the idea that there is one person in the world, who is made for us. But, this is more an idea from culture, not Christianity. Our one and only soul-mate is God. Does that mean we could marry anybody and have it work out? No. What it means is that God is not a Divine matchmaker who has a plan and that if we don’t get the plan just right, we are thwarting His will. We aren’t that powerful.

There are a further problems with believing that God made us for one person in the world. The first problem is the question some have about whether the person they are married to, or planning on marrying, is the “one”. This can lead to doubt about the relationship, a feeling of never being fulfilled, and ultimately it can lead to serious problems in the relationship. A second problem is the idea that we are destined to be with one other person. This would be a cosmic swipe at the gift of free-will. It is as if we mess up fate if we don’t choose the right person or never find them. Ultimately, this idea of a soul-mate is dangerous and un-Christian.

But, there is another, better, way of thinking about having a spouse to partner with. It is found in the understanding of what marriage does to us. While souls are not fused in marriage, spouses do become “one flesh” with each other and our bonded together, through a Sacramental / covenantal relationship, which is sealed by God’s grace. This bond lasts until death and nothing can break it. This is the Christian way of understanding a mutual and exclusive relationship.

Furthermore, love is always a choice, it isn’t something we fall into and out of. Love is not something that merely “happens” to us. This respect of free-will and the ability of each of us to choose love is more consonant with Christian understanding of relationships. Marriage isn’t just about romance and it isn’t about fate at all. It is about love, freely chosen, and being bound together (with God) into the union of man and wife. This is for the good of the spouses, the raising of children, and ultimately it is a call from God.

Finally, we have to build on the reality that there is no perfect human relationship. Thus, marriage is more about commitment and work than it is about perfect compatibility. Since there is no perfect person for you, it means you must realize that marriage is about 2 imperfect people choosing to love each other despite their imperfections and growing closer to God and one another through the process of maturing in love.

A reader once offered the following verse, which seems to counter that there are in fact soulmates. It says:

“Do not be afraid, for she was destined for you from eternity.” -Tobit 6:18

The theology depicted in this verse might seem to be saying God has a soulmate for us. But, I believe it is saying “the one” you are supposed to be married to is the one you choose to marry. It could also be seen as coming from God’s perspective, and because God knows all, He knows who you will marry. The Catechism says:

“To God, all moments of time are present in their immediacy. When therefore he establishes his eternal plan of “predestination”, he includes in it each person’s free response to his grace: “In this city, in fact, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.” For the sake of accomplishing his plan of salvation, God permitted the acts that flowed from their blindness.” – CCC, 600

So, God would always know who we were going to freely choose to marry and that could be seen from our end as destiny. Rather, it is an affirmation that it is our choice, even though God knows it.

I think this quote sums it up well:

“Nearly all marriages, even happy ones, are mistakes: in the sense that almost certainly (in a more perfect world, or even with a little more care in this very imperfect one) both partners might be found more suitable mates. But the real soul-mate is the one you are actually married to.”
-J.R.R. Tolkien

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Written by Michael Uwa

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