Almost everyone believes that the best thing about getting into marriage is that there is a union of soul mates. The idea in question is whether being soul mates remains to be a word by destiny or fate, or a word brought about by choice. But what is the idea of being soul mates? Is it the perfect compatibility of couples? There are no explicit definitions for the term. But one can always relate it to the kind of bond couples have. Often, it is also related to how couples last. If they are soul mates, people would assume that their unions will never part. They are expected to be bound forever.
This is, of course, a romantic perspective, and there have been changes in ideas through the decades. According to the selected reading, research and reason were used to find if soul mates retained its definition or how far the changes are. It was found out that there are discrepancies. In the first article Who Wants to Marry a Soul Mate? by Barbara Dafoe Whitehead and David Popenoe, there was a large scale survey to establish the perceptions of the population regarding the matter. The research showed that yes, young adults would prefer to get married to their soul mates.
But that is simply looking at the over view. It is important to find from this survey how the population in America during the 21st century define the term. There are evidences that showed a significant decline in the number of marriages through the past decades in American history. Statistics also show that there had been significant changes on how relationships progress before it reaches a matrimonial union between couples. There have been more cohabiting or live-in partnerships and sexual relationships without commitment.
According to the article, these changes are indeed brought about by the desire of the population to find the most compatible partner for them. They are looking for what has been coined as Super Relationships. It is no longer simply being together legally. It is more about the emotional bond and spiritual experience that people do get married today. Individuals want to have someone to whom they could easily express their feelings to. It is also about intimacy. Divorce has become a point of risk and fears for the generation that progress during the rampant rate of divorce in the country.
Through the years, the destructive result of divorce can be observed and the mentioned generation would rather not encounter that in their relationships so they would rather be with the most compatible person so that their relationships can really surpass a lifetime. According to the same article, marriages can be related to the following aspects: economic stability, religious beliefs and social affairs. These aspects have had strong influences towards the receding number of marriages in the country. This may have also brought about the new definition and soul mates and married unions.
Today, young adults have taken the idea that they should be able to be economically stable as individuals. In the recent past, this would have meant being free from the dependence and security having parents around gives. However, today, this already means investing in an individual’s education and career growth. The article mentioned that this brought about why individuals are really looking for their soul mates. By having independence because of the attained education and career development, individuals would rather look for their soul mates because they no longer needed a partner who could support them economically.
They would be able to support that aspect of the relationship for themselves. But what one cannot give himself or herself is the kind of companionship only soul mates could give an individual. In relation to their religious beliefs, it is no longer important if the individuals involved in the relationship have the same religion. According to the article, their research showed that it is no longer about how religion becomes the foundation of their union. It is now about the spirituality the couple experiences when together. Spirituality is not compared to religion as it relates itself to a higher sense of being together.
The article also shared that marriages should no longer be a public institution. This means that the public no longer have a say in the relationship of the couple. The government cannot intervene in the decisions by the couple. Their involvement, according to their survey, should only be in cases of divorce. Otherwise, whatever goes on within the bounds of the couple, other people cannot be involved until necessary. The survey also showed that women strongly believe that it would be beneficial to the country if divorce rates are lower. Individuals who grew up through high divorce rates would most likely prefer to find a soul mate.
According to the source, this is important so that they can find elements to balance the loss of divorce with emotional support, security and comfort. Individuals are given chances of finding greater personal reward when they find and stay with a soul mate. On the other hand, the article also shared how this can affect child rearing. Since individuals are after finding their soul mates, the shift from couplehood to parenthood might be difficult. Since they are after a more spiritual kind of partnership with a person, they might not have been able to consider children into their agendas.
As a possible result, children might feel the negative implications of these, and become the downfall of the couple. The other article is by John Armstrong. In the article The Perfect Union, he described what compatibility is, or should be. The article established that one of the biggest misconceptions about having soul mates is that there is the “right” person for every individual. Being in love was related to how a person becomes attached to the wrong person. So in this light, individuals try to find the person with the greatest similarities with them. This does not enhance their relationship. Instead, it makes it rather fragile.
The idea of a soul mate, according to Armstrong, becomes the creation of the individual. This means that a person can set of criteria, and he or she could find a person who fits that description best. With this, the partner is no longer a soul mate but a convenience because he or she fits the set criteria. In this regard, the article mentioned that the idea of compatibility is not given satisfaction. This means that the criteria set is not always completely met. There would be difficulty in this area as well. The criteria is becomes an absolute that there simply is no person that could fit that criteria.
Disappointment will be inevitable because a prospective partner will always fall short of a certain criteria. The article also mentioned that it is not true that love is made easy when the right person comes around. The fact is that the person who they feel fits the criteria does not assure that there will be love between them. Since the criteria is a mere creation of the imagination, how the feelings and attitude of the other is not always involved. Another problem with finding their ideal partner, the source mentioned, is that the individuals failed to recognize that there will be changes in priorities in the course of their relationship.
The idea of having children may be influenced by the presence of the other in their lives. The article emphasized that it is about lowering certain demands, growing with others, and adjusting priorities so it becomes a shared interest and not a personal objective. Compatibility does not precede love. It could be the incompatibility that brings love. In this light, the definition of soul mate could mean both the compatibility and incompatibility of couples. But it is not longer the idea of predestined fate. It has become a choice over the nature in a relationship.
With this in mind, perhaps it is more advisable to marry a soul mate, given that the abovementioned points from both articles are taken into one’s consideration. Love should not be based on ideas of fate and destiny. Instead, it should involve how the relationship would work even through the child rearing stage of their union. Moreover, individuals should take note that compatibility should not be the basis of one’s criteria of the perfect partner. It is not about finding the perfect match, but finding how the imperfections of each individual can make them a rather perfect couple.
Romantic ideas are acceptable, but it should not be the driving force in finding a partner. One does not always know what he or she wants from a partner. To set that in a form of a criterion is asking for disaster. There are a lot of things one could be unconscious about themselves. It is suggested that people take this kind of soul mate model incorporated into their lives. Not only does it aim to carefully find the ideal partner for one, in all aspects of the word, but it also helps these individuals from the feared heartache that they might experience through their relationship.
Furthermore, this kind of soul mate model can also be highly beneficial for the next generation. The reasons behind this claim is that the trends will most likely influence the next generations, the same with how divorce rates brought about this trend in the generation that followed it. It could be the careful selection of partners, but it has become the process that surpasses ideals, and made them a reality. As the first article shared, the number of marriages has declined in the country, but they are more stable than what was expected of them.