Before you were born, your soul was divided in two; one half was put into a male body, and another into a female body. The unification of your soul, through the unification of you and your partner, is the pathway to your connection with all of creation, and even Gd, Himself.
But in today’s age of online dating sites and hook-up apps, believing that somewhere, out there, exists your “soulmate”, may feel a bit outdated. Or even an impossibility. Yet many of us believe it to be true, and spend our years searching for our chosen partner.
Adding to the confusion, is that the common concept of soulmate differs for men and women. While having a soulmate may seem intuitive and feel nourishing for women, for many men, it seems a bit foreign. And, there are good reasons for this as the reasons for marriage and relationships for men and women differ, vastly.
The idea of a soulmate fits well with a woman’s emotional, spiritual, and physical needs throughout her life. For a young woman in search of a life-partner, the belief in a soulmate gives her hope that she will find the right man to commit to who love her, and with whom she can share her entire life with.
For a woman ready to have children, the belief in a soulmate gives her the security and stability of a partner who can provide for and protect her and their offspring. Having a single, responsible, committed man by her side ensures that she will be taken care of and have a partner raising their children.
As the relationship matures, and hardships encroach on her youthful, romantic fantasy, her belief in a soulmate pushes away the nagging belief that “maybe she could have done better”. It quells her hypergamous nature, and enforces her commitment to the man she chose. This has the effect of keeping the family together, ensuring a stronger upbringing for her children and greater emotional and financial stability.
As the turmoil of life subsides and she moves into her golden-years, she benefits from her efforts to “make it work” and enjoys the relationship with her life-long spouse, knowing that the investment she made was for their future, together as a couple, destined to spend eternity together.
For men, applying this same gynocentric concept of soulmate is disingenuous. From an evolutionary psychology perspective, men are designed to spread their seed to as many willing females as possible — soulmates need not apply. From a cultural/historical perspective, polygamy was the norm, revealing a man’s capacity to be in loving, responsible, committed relationship with multiple women at once. Alternatively, with no biological clock ticking away, men have the freedom of being childless — guilt free. The traditional concept of a soulmate actually runs counter to a man’s biological imperative as well as his innate intuition.
So how does the belief in a soulmate benefit and apply to men? From a strength-based-perspective, the belief that the universe has dished up your perfect partner — your other half — and served her to you on a silver platter creates a closed-loop paradigm where you can overcome your greatest obstacles and reach your greatest potential. Recognizing that your partner is “the one” for you ensures that you will give your relationship everything you have got, from your deepest of places, to make it work. Your soulmate is more than just a great partner, your other half. Through bonding with your wife — taking care of her, providing for her, and being there for her, in all it’s forms, she becomes the vehicle through which you achieve true self-actualization, the height of your human potential.
When G-d gifted Adam with Eve, she certainly was a handful. Adam chose to join Eve in exile (hence he ate the fruit) rather than stay with G-d because he realized that only through his relationship with Eve would he become a better, more perfect, Adam. He needed her to become more than what he was, or ever would be, alone.
And this only works when you recognize that the woman you are with — given all her weaknesses and flaws, given all the multitude of difficulties — is exactly who you need to be with, in order for you to become the best you. She is more than your partner, lover and friend. She is the other half of your soul, inserted in a female body, with whom you can connect with on the highest level. But only when (and if) you create a great relationship, in your physical forms. This means the highest levels of communication, love, connection and partnership, all requiring unending commitment, loyalty and effort. The greater your physical connection, the greater your emotional and spiritual union, the greater you both become as individuals and as a couple.
The union between man and woman, the coming together of a single soul split between two bodies, is the embodiment of the ultimate unity for all of humankind. This is the gift of your soulmate. May G-d bless you that you find your other half, immediately.