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Don't Look for Your Soul Mate

If you look for a soul mate, you are likely to find a ... that leaves you ... and alone soon after it begins. Instead, look for a partner and a best friend to whom you are ...

If you look for a soul mate, you are likely to find a relationship that leaves you bewildered and alone soon after it begins. Instead, look for a partner and a best friend to whom you are attracted.

I hear it over and over again; "We were so compatible...we fell in love at first sight...we committed to each other right way...we had so much in common…it is as if we have known each other all of our lives...etc." Yet the relationship fell apart, my soul mate's behavior radically changed. What happened?

What happens when you look for a soul mate? You look for someone with whom you can feel at home, right away. You look for someone who will understand you and give you what you want and need, right away. You look for an extraordinary sense of recognition, connection and attraction.

Instead, what you find is someone who is willing to melt with you, to let go of boundaries that define the self. You find someone who is willing for a time to be for you whomever and
whatever you want. And you melt with him or her, let go of your own boundaries, become for him or her what is wanted or needed. Then the two of you feel like soul mates. But this can only go on for a time, and often a short time -- about 6 weeks to 3 months, sometimes even less.

Eventually, both of you regain a sense of self, a sense of personal boundaries, needs and wants, distinctly different from one another. Your "soul mate" may not meet your needs and give you attention as readily as he or she once did. You realize you may not be as compatible as you thought you were. You find out things about each other you cannot accept. One or both people pull away, often without communicating to the other the true reasons for the distance. Eventually the relationship ends.

If you want to avoid having this kind of experience altogether, look for a person who has the capacity to become you partner and best friend, to whom you are attracted. The key words here being "partner" and "best friend" and "attracted." As in someone you can partner with to build a life, someone who will support, encourage and cheer you on, to whom you are attracted. All three of these qualities must be present for you to have the kind of relationship you dream of.

Then, once you find him or her, follow five suggestions below to build a relationship:

1. Don't melt into the other person, but instead be strongly yourself.

The more you are yourself, the stronger your bond with the other person has a chance of becoming. That is if each of you -- being yourselves -- enjoys being with the other.

2. Don't try to be nice and don't give just to be loved or liked. Just be.

In a long-term relationship, one that hopefully will last for the rest of your life, you want to just be and have that be enough, have that be appreciated. So just be in the beginning -- it will either be good enough, maybe even extraordinary, or not.

3. Don't rely on each other too much.

Don't need each other to fix life, emotional or financial problems. Emotions and loyalties get confused when new partners try to save each other. Keep the relationship clean and be
together because you want to, not because you need to.

4. Slow way down.

Take the relationship very slow. Savor each milestone: the first time you hold hands, the first kiss, the first afternoon spent together. Don't rush in search of the holy grail of
"relationships." If you end up together, these "firsts" will only happen once. If you don't end up together, you are more likely to end the relationship sooner and more cleanly if you
have not rushed in headfirst.

5. Build a friendship.

Building a good friendship takes time, effort, risk, communication, compassion, honesty. Do it - it is this friendship that will serve as a foundation of your relationship.

Now doesn't this sound better than the cycle of finding love and then losing it again?

Your Relationship Coach,
Rinatta Paries

(c) Rinatta Paries, 1998-2002. Do you know how to attract your ideal mate? Do you know how to build a fulfilling relationship, or how to reinvent yours to meet your needs? Relationship Coach Rinatta Paries can teach you the skills and techniques to attract and sustain long-term, healthy partnerships. Visit where you'll find quizzes, classesFree Web Content, advice and a free weekly ezine. Become a "true love magnet(tm)!"

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