Soul Mates: A Theory
➢Obviously, the concept of a soul mate as the ‘one true love which exists somewhere in the world’ is wrong… It has to be wrong. We know it’s wrong, quite technically — way too many people make the claim for it to be even remotely accurate. There’s seven billion people in the world. If there is exactly one person who exists as a perfect match to you, there’s a good chance they might speak another language or live thousands of miles away or have been born in a completely different century. You probably matched with Cleopatra. Good luck; she’s in a completely social circle and her brothers are assholes.
Also, she was likely born in a different time period and therefore dead.
— But, it’s not like those who do believe in soul mates happen to believe in what is usually labeled “one-itis.” If anything, the detractors to the concept of a soul mate are often rejecting a caricature of the definition, and those who believe in a soul mate often lack a proper definition. It’s not their fault; it’s a phenomenon that reaches so deep into the human psyche that it may very well be written into our DNA. We didn’t even understand the idea of the subconscious mind until a hundred years ago; why should we imagine that we have full understanding of human relationships at this point either?
Nevertheless, I want to try, starting with the theory that the term ‘soul mate’ has a durable meaning which is emblazoned into our DNA in order to help us recognize the most meaningful form of romantic relationship one can strive towards.
I want to propose one modification. What if we suppose that a “soul mate” isn’t chanced upon, but is the result of intentional relationship building?
Theory — a “soul mate” requires the following:
- Well-negotiated relationship expectations/rules
- Meaningfulness in enforcing those expectations and the masculine/feminine polarity
- Telling the truth, period*
*Note: Obviously this is nuanced. But at least don’t maliciously or selfishly lie or manipulate.
You don’t need to get a lawyer to negotiate the relationship. You DO need to be well-aware of exactly what you expect from your significant other, and what she expects of you. Does this mean you need to sit down and explicitly set out the rules?
…maybe. But it’s not necessary.
You do need to be aware of where you stand with your girl, and where she stands with you. The great danger of a poorly maintained relationships is that the expectations of a relationship can easily be manipulated and changed underneath the noses of the unaware. For men who don’t understand shit tests and luck themselves into relationships, this applies directly.
One way to view shit test is as the woman asking a question of her man. “Can you put me in my place?” “Will you be the man who inspires femininity out of me?” “Are you hard to emotionally shake?” Failure of these shit tests will result in a changing of the expectations as the woman realizes that you’re not the badass she previously thought you to be. As such, a change of relationship expectations is almost universally to the detriment of the man, although the girl is almost never happy about the change either — no woman wants to realize that she can legitimately get away with manipulating the man she’s dating.
Somehow it goes down the same rabbit hole: more negativity and back talk, less sex, and somehow you feel like you’re no longer allowed to be a man and treat her like a woman. The relationship expectations have changed right under your nose — because you let them change. If this is you, then it’s time to renegotiate the terms of the relationship — explicitly, if necessary. It may suck, but the alternative is to sit helpless and emasculated as the relationship slowly slips through your fingers.
Within the context of relationship expectations, the arena of masculine-feminine dynamics emerges. You love being cooked for, and she loves it when her hair gets pulled. For any given person, there is a core subset of things (actions, words, etc) which makes that person feel particularly masculine or feminine. There will be a core group of overlapping items, and a few oddball things. Maybe she really loves it when she’s allowed to go conquer something, and when she’s done you tell her “good girl” and kiss her on the forehead.
Whatever those activities are, investigate them and activate them — but not manipulatively. Do so in the context of the relationship, in order to strengthen and deepen the masculine/feminine polarity which draws the two of you together. The greater the polarity, the stronger the attraction — but also, the more meaningful the relationship. Set relationship goals, and understand the purpose of you being with the person. If you don’t know that, figure it out immediately.
The final rule isn’t one of my own; it’s Jordan Peterson’s. So, I’ll let him describe it, and explain why it’s so damn necessary:
Now of course, he’s talking about marriage. But if you’re in a casual relationship and you have to lie about it, just what are you getting out of it? When you lie, you distort your ability to see the world. Your brain isn’t magic here; you fuck around with the internals to make it say nonsense instead of reality, it’s going to get hard to tell the difference between the two.
Manage your relationship rules. Make the enforcement of your relationship meaningful and fun — increase these, and your relationship will reinforce itself and become rock-solid. Finally, tell the damn truth, at as many levels of meaning as possible.
And watch your relationship skyrocket.