Are Soulmates Real? The Danger Of Leaving Love To Fate

Updated April 2, 2024by Regain Editorial Team

The notion of soulmates may be a romantic one. Believing that the person you've chosen to spend your life with (or the person you hope to find someday) is the only person for you might seem wonderful. In such a scenario, the two of you aren’t merely compatible personalities, but long-separated souls, overjoyed at the prospect of being able to reunite and spend another life together. Although the idea of finding your soulmate might seem like a beautiful prospect, it could do more harm than good.

Looking for a soulmate?

What is a soulmate?

In concept, a soulmate is someone who is designed or destined to be with you. Some people believe a person can have several different soulmates, some of whom are better than others, while others believe in the idea of a single soulmate. A soulmate is usually considered a romantic partner rather than a friendly or familial partner. With as many people as there are on the planet, the likelihood of coming into contact with that one person designed especially for you is quite low. Thus, most people who believe in soulmates also believe that the universe or some other force is at work to bring the couple together.

Where did soulmates originate?

Soulmates have several reported points of origin. Thus, the most common origin story comes from ancient Greece where two-headed beings were said to be split in two by Zeus to make sure that the beings would not overpower him. According to the story, they were left wandering the earth forever, desperate to reunite with their other half. While most people don't subscribe to this idea of soulmates, many people continue to believe that one perfect person was made specifically for them. This belief may persist regardless of religious beliefs or cultural background.

The dangers of believing in soulmates

Although the idea of soulmates is often associated with romance, hope, and faith, it can be problematic for relationships. Believing that you are destined to be with someone can change how you look at your potential partner and the way you handle conflict and disappointment. Here’s how:

1) You are more likely to experience relationship dissatisfaction

People who believe in soulmates are more likely to experience relationship dissatisfaction because every instance of conflict feels like a failure. If you come into a relationship recognizing that the two of you will have differences of opinion and real conflicts, you can navigate your relationship more easily because not as much is at stake. Perhaps pain or difficulty in a standard relationship does not bear the same weight as pain and difficulty in a relationship you believe you are destined for.

Getty/MoMo Productions

2) You may assign intense significance to every relationship

Some relationships may start with a little spark of interest and quickly peter out after only a handful of dates or a couple of interactions. Typically, this is not problematic. The two of you can simply say your goodbyes, move on, and search for a better match. However, if you believe in soulmates, you might believe that every spark or connection is an indication that you’ve met your soulmate. 

3) You may be more likely to write people off

People may associate soulmates with some powerful, magnificent story of how the two met and use this as proof that they are destined to be together. If you meet someone in a boring way like in the middle of a grocery store aisle, for instance, you might not be willing to overlook your seemingly meager start. Writing people off in this way can limit your ability to see people for who they are and get to know them better.

4) You may not work at your relationship

If you believe that the two of you are meant to be, you may be less likely to work hard at your relationship. You may feel like you don't have to put as much effort in since your relationship was written in the stars. Although it may initially seem romantic, viewing your relationship as a given does not provide much incentive to grow together. Conversely, viewing your relationship as a partnership that requires work, effort, and commitment may motivate you to work harder.  

5) You might stay in an unhealthy relationship

If you are in a relationship marked by abuse or toxic behavior, you may feel stuck in the relationship. Specifically, you might feel that you cannot leave your relationship or partner behind because the two of you are destined to be together. If you feel as though you cannot leave someone who is causing you extreme pain or placing you in danger, it could be time to leave behind the notion of soulmates in favor of a healthier, more compassionate mindset.

The danger of fate

Believing that your life and decisions are not yours but are, instead, a series of events set into motion by someone outside of yourself effectively strips you of your power. This idea can make you feel as though you are a servant to the whims of fate or chance. While this might seem like a romantic idea, it may not be the healthiest one. It may be better to recognize that you are in control of your decisions and responsible for your actions. This realization can empower you to craft the life you want to live. 

Giving up your autonomy can be problematic because it can create unhealthy codependent tendencies within relationships. It can also make both partners feel resentful, burdened, and frustrated when the relationship is not as smooth sailing as you might expect with soulmates. You could also feel as though you cannot reach out for help since your life is not something to cultivate, care for, and enrich but is instead left up to chance and fate. What initially seems romantic can become a breeding ground for pressure, pain, and resentment.

Healthy alternatives to soulmates

While believing in literal soulmates might be problematic, there is nothing wrong with believing that a person is uniquely suited to be in a relationship with you. These are people with whom you are extremely compatible, share common interests with, and seem to fit into your life perfectly. Believing in compatibility and connection can be less harmful to the relationship than a belief in soulmates.

Having high standards is another healthy alternative to soulmates. Having high standards means knowing what you want from a relationship and a partner and not deviating from those wants and needs. This, too, often gets confused with believing in soulmates, as people who espouse a belief in soulmates may feel as though only a destined match will be able to love, cherish, and respect them in the way they hope for and deserve. Consider that it does not require a soulmate to cultivate a strong, healthy bond. You may just need mutual love, respect, and commitment.

People who believe in soulmates are likely to attract other people who believe in soul mates, and the same is true of individuals seeking a healthy, mature, and stable attachment. If you are in search of a strong relationship that will stand the tests of time and trials, and you are willing to put in the work, you may naturally attract and encourage these types of connections in your life.  Similarly, if you have unresolved trauma or desire an unhealthy form of attachment, you may also attract these things in a partner. The way you present yourself to the world and the type of treatment you accept and encourage can help determine whether you enter into a strong and healthy romantic partnership.

Looking for a soulmate?

Replace unhealthy thought patterns in online therapy

In some cases, finding yourself in a healthy bond is not simply a matter of making sure that you keep your standards high and know what you want, but it can be a matter of seeking out healing and improving unhealthy or destructive habits. If you find that you consistently draw in unhealthy relationships and seem unable to find the love and connection you want, consider reaching out to a mental health professional. A licensed therapist like those at Regain can help you work through any unresolved trauma, unhealthy habits, or familial or cultural patterning that could be holding you back. 

If you’re having trouble finding love, with a soulmate or otherwise, it can be challenging to reach out to a therapist for help. You might feel embarrassed about your troubles with dating, for example, or you could just be nervous about talking to a stranger about your love life. Online therapy could be a better alternative for you. Many people feel more at ease in a web-based setting as opposed to a clinical environment like a therapist’s office. 

Online therapy is also just as effective as traditional office-based counseling. A comprehensive meta-analysis reviewed nearly 10,000 individual cases spanning various populations and mental health challenges. Researchers determined that people experienced similar outcomes, whether they attended therapy online or in person. 


Soulmates might not be real, but loving, respectful relationships certainly are, and the work it takes to get there is worth the fight. You don’t have to navigate the dating world on your own, though. Regain can help—talk to a trained relationship counselor today. 

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