I Love Your Soul: The Power Of Intimate Connections
By Sarah Fader
Updated February 24, 2020
Intimate relationships are ones that can enrich our lives. When you're with someone romantically it can be an exhilarating experience. You're connecting on a deep emotional level. You may have heard the term "soulmate." What it means is an intense, powerful bond that exists between two individuals. It's the feeling of knowing somebody on a deep level where you almost feel as if you can read the other person's mind. When you feel deeply connected to someone, it's a heightened feeling of intimacy, and you may communicate with them on a non-verbal level. You feel attached to this person in a special way, and you might find that you want to spend as much time with them as possible. That is the idea of a soulmate.
What Makes a Soulmate?
Soulmates are extremely special connections. When you feel you have met a soulmate, it's like your life purpose is coming true. A soulmate is someone that you feel comfortable with, and you're surprised to find that you constantly find new things that you overlap with in terms of connection. Human beings are social animals, and we have this drive to find a match. When we feel attracted to somebody, we might wonder if this is our soulmate or twin flame. When you first meet someone special, you go through a honeymoon period where you see all of the good in the person, but you wonder, is this my soulmate, and if so, how do you know?
Online dating sites are places where you could potentially meet your soulmate or the person that you're supposed to spend your life with. The idea behind online dating is that you'll find someone that you're compatible with and weed out the people that you aren't compatible with. Maybe you like to go see movies and you're a film buff, and you want your partner to appreciate movies the same way that you do. Perhaps, you're an adventurous person, and you'd like to go on hikes or travel the world, and it's important to you that your partner wants to be adventurous with you.
There are a lot of different avenues through which you can find your soulmate. According to Michael J Rosenvelt, who is a professor of Sociology at Stanford University, it's indicated that arranged marriages aren't as different as we believe they are from "regular" marriages in Western culture. Americans want to choose who they end up with, and they may indeed gravitate towards their soulmate, but in an arranged marriage, you can still find compatibility with the person. You might think, if you believe in fate or that things are predetermined, that fate is what brings you to be set up with this person in an arranged marriage. People find their soulmates in a ton of different settings and under a multitude of different circumstances, and you never quite know when you'll come across the right person.
Finding a Soulmate
You want to find somebody who you can spend your life with and who you have deep compatibility with, because that is the epitome of what a soulmate is. According to Dr. John Gottman who founded the Gottman institute and established the Gottman theory with his wife Julie Gottman, he believes that the most fundamental aspect of a relationship is how a couple interacts with one another. It's about meaningful interactions, spending quality time with each other, and understanding the other person's needs. This can be a way that you determine if someone is your soulmate; you want to know that the needs of each partner are valued and considered. The Gottman theory is an approach to couples' therapy that focuses on the Sound Relationship House Theory. It breaks it down into an assessment where a couple's relationship is evaluated based on communication and intimacy.
To understand the Sound Relationship House Theory, envision a house. The sides, which are meant to hold the house together, and made of trust and commitment. Held together by trust and commitment, the house contains important parts of a successful romantic relationships. The first level of the house is love maps, then comes shared fondness and evaluation, then comes "turn towards instead of away," then positive perspective, then comes managing conflict, then "make life dreams come true," and at the top of the house is "create shared meaning." If you'd like to better understand this theory, here's a short explanation of each level of the Sound Relationship House
You decide how well you know your partner and their inner workings as well as how they think about the world. That includes what they worry about as well as what they find joy in.
Share Fondness and Admiration
This part is about how much affection the couple shows each other and respect as well.
Turn Toward Instead of Away
This is where the couple talks with each other about their individual needs and helps meet those needs.
The Positive Perspective
Here's where couples can focus on what's positive within their relationship, attempt to solve problems, and mend things if needed.
It's important in this theory to use the word "manage" rather than repair or resolve when it comes to conflict because conflict is a natural part of relationships. It helps people to work through different issues and handle them.
Make Life Dreams Come True
This is where you create an environment within the relationship where you and your partner can talk about each other's hopes and dreams and work towards these goals.
Create Shared Meaning
Here's where you and your partner come to understand your shared vision for what you want in the relationship and in your life and proceed to work toward that shared meaning.
Trust is an integral and foundational part of romantic relationships, hence why it's one of the sides that holds up the house. You need to be able to trust your partner and they must be able to trust you.
Commitment is essential if you want to be with your soulmate for a lifetime because you want to make sure that you picture your life with this person.
The Gottman theory focuses on these aspects to ensure that you have an intimate relationship with your partner where you know each other on a fundamental, intricate level.
When you're with your soulmate, you typically see yourself with them long-term (unless, of course, abuse arises - if this is the case, keep yourself safe and make the appropriate actions to leave the relationship). Obviously, there's conflict in any relationship; it's not going to be happy and easy every day, and conflict does not mean that your partner is not your soul mate. It's about how you communicate about and manage that conflict; this should be done in a healthy way that helps the relationship grow. Soulmates and twin flames are meant to help us grow in our lives. The deep power of intimate connections is that you can learn from one another and put in the effort to overcome difficult situations and come out on the other side.
Friends as Soulmates
Romantic partners aren't the only people that can be your soulmate. Often, people find this deep connection in a friend as well. Do you have a friend that you communicate with in a way that feels like it's almost telepathic? Is there a person that you've been friends with for years and no matter how much time passes, you always feel like you can pick up where you left off and be just as close? Do you picture yourselves connecting with each other forever? Do you always want the best for each other? Whether or not you believe in soulmates, this is a friendship to cherish. Friendship offers a different form of intimacy that we all need.
Being Okay on Your Own
It's okay to have the desire to be with someone, and if you do vie for that, it is nothing to be ashamed of. However, it's also important to learn to be okay on your own. If you feel that you have a tendency toward codependency, this is something to work on. Developing a greater sense of independence will only help you in future relationships. If you don't feel that you're okay on your own, you might want to see a counselor and spend some time away from the pursuit of romance so that you can solidify your sense of self. Remember that you're a powerful, whole person on your own.
Getting Help for Your Relationship
Online therapy is an excellent place to talk through relationship challenges. Sometimes we love our partners, but we feel at a loss for how to fix the problems in our relationships. That's where couples therapy can help. The therapists at BetterHelp are dedicated to helping you understand where your relationship problems come from and helping you work through them. Whether you work with an individual counselor or couples therapist, BetterHelp is an excellent place to establish help for relationship issues. Search the network of trained, licensed mental health professionals and start to learn about yourself and how to build and maintain a healthy relationship. You have the option to work through your individual challenges or talk about couples therapy. Either way, your mental health is important to us at BetterHelp.