The term "soulmate" is in the lexicon of virtually everyone in the United States. It is a nonsense term that belongs in the annals of poetry and sentimental song lyrics, while others consider it a relationship goal. What many fail to acknowledge, though, is that soulmates are not relegated to romantic relationships, and plenty of close friendships embody the traits typically associated with soulmate relationships, including an unbreakable, irreversible bond.
What A Best Friend Is
The term "best friend" is bandied about with reckless abandon in elementary school, junior high, and even high school but often loses some of its lusters as people reach adulthood. While the term itself might not be used so readily or flippantly as an adult, the concept remains the same and usually follows people into adulthood. A best friend is a friend who sticks beside you through thick and thin, who sees you and loves you for who you are, and who is never afraid to call you out on your mistakes and encourage you to get back up when you've fallen. A best friend is someone you would happily spend the rest of your time with, even if all you do together is to sit in silence.
A best friend can take on many shapes and sizes. A best friend can be a romantic partner or a childhood friend. A best friend can be an almost stranger with whom you share an intense and unexpected connection upon meeting. A best friend can also be a cousin, a coworker, a sibling, or another cherished family member, whose friendship trumps or enhances the other relationships they fall into. Best friends are, essentially, the friends with whom you trust yourself, your hopes, vulnerabilities, and fears, and can have powerful positive effects in your life.
Soulmates: A Definition
Far from definitively being a romantic relationship, a soulmate relationship is one in which both parties feel an almost supernatural connection with one another. Soulmates feel like two halves of a single puzzle. This isn't to say that either party is not complete without the other, but instead that each party feels more complete and more at home when they are together. Plenty of best friend relationships fit this criterion. Best friend relationships involve two people who truly love and cherish one another and value each other as deep, whole, complex human beings.
A soulmate differs from a traditional or common relationship in that both people feel a special affinity for the other as if they have known each other their entire lives, even if they've only just met. Most people describe this connection as an immediate "click," in that they "just click" with their soulmate, without a lot of effort or stress. Soulmate relationships are not easy to maintain; just like any other relationship, you must work at a relationship with your soulmate and give it time, space, and maintenance. Unlike many other relationships, though, the desire to maintain and work on your soulmate relationship may come easily.
Quotes For Friendship
True friendship is not impossible to find, but it is certainly not commonplace; far too many people are wrapped up in their own day-to-day too much to be able to truly love and care for another person without ulterior motives or a superficial interest. Fortunately, many people who had gone before and experienced true, deep, and lasting friendships have shared their experiences and offered others words to demonstrate that they are not alone in how they feel about their friend or partner.
"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one.'" -C.S. Lewis
One of the most amazing aspects of a friendship involving soulmates is the wonderful feeling of not being alone in the world. Friends who are soulmates can recognize traits in one another that others might not recognize and very often bond over discovering in one another feelings or experiences that they previously felt alone in.
"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born." - Anais Nin, in "The Diary of Anais Nin, Volume 1"
Friendship does far more than offering a support system: true friendship reveals to people parts of themselves that they may have kept hidden or may not have previously recognized. Friends provide a source of growth, improvement, and healing, all of which are necessary to progress and pursue health and your highest, best self.
When Romance and Friendship Intersect
"A single rose can be my garden… a single friend, my world." -Leo Buscaglia
When your best friend is also your romantic partner and soulmate, they can seem like your entire world, wrapped up in a single human being. Although some people feel as though they must have numerous friends to feel safe, loved, or fulfilled, for some, a single rose is enough to constitute a garden, and a single good, close, trustworthy friend is more than enough.
"A friend knows the song in my heart and sings it to me when my memory fails." -Donna Roberts
A friend who is also a romantic partner recognizes something in you that many other people will not; deep, close friends see beauty, value, and worth in their friends that others might not be privy to.
When Friendship Brings Growth
"Don't make friends who are comfortable to be with. Make friends who will force you to lever yourself up." -Thomas J. Watson
Friendship is about far more than having someone to lean on when you are having a difficult day or having someone to go places with; the best friendships are those that challenge you to grow, improve, and learn. A best friend is not a "yes man," who encourages you to stay stuck in old habits, old patterns, and old routines. A best friend is someone who sees you and loves you where you are while simultaneously seeing the kind of person you are capable of being and encouraging you to reach for those heights.
"Sometimes, being a friend means mastering the art of timing. There is a time for silence. A time to let go and allow people to hurl themselves into their destiny. And a time to prepare to pick up the pieces when it's all over." -Gloria Naylor.
Friendship does not mean sticking around only for the good parts of life and disappearing when a friend is going through a difficult time. Instead, a good friend offers advice, hopes for the best, and sticks around when everything falls apart. Friendships such as these are often the difference between unbearable loss and the ability to heal.
When Connection is Undeniable
"In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit." -Albert Schweitzer
Soulmate friendships are often at their most valuable when one or both of you are in the trenches, and connection and recovery seem impossible. A best friend who seems to function like your other half and who always has your best interest at heart is not going to sit idly by while you hurl yourself into the abyss; this type of friend encourages you, embraces you, and shines a light on the parts of you that are strong, courageous, beautiful, and profound so that you can see yourself a little bit better. Friendships hold a mirror up to you-both so that you can see what needs to be worked on and what shines the brightest.
"A friend is a person with whom I may be sincere. Before him, I may think aloud. I am arrived at last in the presence of a man so real and equal, that I may drop even those undermost garments of dissimulation, courtesy, and second thought, which men never put off, and may deal with him with the simplicity and wholeness with which one chemical atom meets another." -Ralph Waldo Emerson, in "Essays: First Series"
As Emerson suggests, one of the greatest and most significant marks of a wonderful friend is the ability to be wholly emotionally naked in the presence of one another, without fear or pretense. These types of connections are empowering and rare and can change lives.
Best Friends And Soulmates
Your best friend may very well be your soulmate. Although many people consider the term "soulmate" to be relegated entirely to romantic relationships, friendships can also be worthy of the word. Having a friend with whom you can entrust the deepest parts of you and the most intimate details of yourself and your life offer immense amounts of security, safety, and comfort, and being that kind of friend to someone else offers a source of fulfillment and purpose that little else can compare to.
When you find someone who is your best friend and your soulmate-whether that relationship evolves into romance or remains firmly within the realm of friendship, a few other relationships can compare. Finding this type of relationship can feel impossible and certainly does not happen every day, but virtually everyone can connect with someone in a very real and profound way. If you've found this type of connection difficult or have never experienced a deep or meaningful relationship, it may be helpful to visit with a therapist to determine whether or not mental health needs are coming into play. Anxiety, depression, and personality disorders can negatively impact your ability to connect with people, as an unhealed trauma. Speaking with a mental health professional can help alleviate some of these issues and improve your ability to connect and develop close relationships.