Soul Mate in the Making

What is a Soul Mate?

There are many variations of the definition of soul mate, but most agree that a soul mate is a person you are drawn to, is perfectly suited for you and who gets you.  Some believe this happens immediately when they meet someone.  However, this past week I heard an interview on television with a matchmaker who says that soul mates are not found; they are made.  I wanted to explore that topic.

In our lives, we meet many people.  Sometimes we meet someone and we have that instant connection.  It feels like we have known them forever when, in fact, we have never met them before.  I have known people who have entered into relationships with someone like this, only to find out later he or she was not at all the person they thought.  I have known others who have entered into relationships like this and it was everything they dreamed of.  So what is it exactly that is different about each of these scenarios?

To start, let’s get one thing straight: sexual attraction and physical attraction alone do not make a soul mate.  Since I have never really bought into this soul mate thing, when I heard the discussion on a soul mate being made, I was intrigued.  Could it be possible that all these years, I was under the impression that a soul mate already existed in the world and it involved some chance encounter to meet him?  Isn’t that what we are taught from childhood fairy tales?   Oh, how we buy into those fables and wish in our hearts this is how the world worked!

Can a Soul Mate be Made?

The thought of a soul mate being made had never occurred to me until I heard this discussion.  Is it possible that we are missing out on potential soul mates because we are going about it all the wrong way?  When I got to thinking, it occurred to me that this may be the key to finding our soul mates.  There are a few key elements that define soul mate and could be developed over time.

1. You Get Each Other

Some people have this experience as soon as they meet someone, and yet in others this develops over time.  This is especially true if we are meeting people online.  We are complete strangers and it does take time to develop this part of a relationship.  As a relationship starts to develop, we either get and like what the other person is about, or we start to not like things about them.  Either way, it takes time to actually get to really know and understand another person.   The more you talk and understand each other the more you start to think and act similarly.   If we are in a relationship and we get each other, like each other and find out we really are in sync with each other, could we be on our way to being soul mates?  Maybe, but there are many other elements to relationships.

2. The Relationship is Intense

Intensity could manifest itself several ways, but usually intensity will prevail in most aspects of the relationship.  An intense sexual relationship is many times part of it, but not the whole enchilada.  Discussions can be intense, as well as the total connection to the other person.  This can be in both good and bad times, so be cognizant of arguments and note that even if intense, soul mates will be focused on resolving the conflict and have the relationship in the forefront of importance.  The intensity of the good should far exceed the intensity of the bad in the relationship.

3. You Feel Connected, Whether Near or Far, Together or Apart

This is where I can see a soul mate being made.  As you grow in the relationship, the level of connection can either increase or not.  If it increases, you develop a connection that cannot be matched by any other in your life.  You can feel totally connected to that person no matter where they are, and you know they are also connected to you.  So as we grow in a relationship, is it possible that if we nurture it the right way, we can develop this soul mate connection?  I think so!  Both parties must be actively striving for the same thing, though.  If they are, this connection can be developed.  This can be so intense that you cannot imagine life without him (or her).

Conclusion

The way we meet people today is far different from the way we met people decades ago.  Today, many resort to online dating – and that means we are meeting complete strangers.  That means that connections in common are not already present, but need to be developed over time by getting to know each other.  We can still find our soul mates in the cyber world, but we need to put more time and effort into it, and not count those out who we do not have an immediate connection to – after all, you do not know each other yet!  Take some time to allow something to develop.  If you do this, it can go either way, but at least you will know you did not pass up on your soul mate.  If you do not take the time, he or she could be walking right out of your life never to return, and you may not even recognize it!

Online Dating Opening Lines

There is no doubt about it – first impressions count and they make a lasting impression!  Here is where so many men (I can only write what I know and I have no idea what other women write) mess up.  On top of the need for a certain level of attraction, there is also the need for a certain level of intelligence and creativity.

A great profile is wonderful, but it is only the starting point.  How you communicate with potential dates says more about who you actually are than anything you write in your profile.  I will be addressing some of the biggest turn-offs I come across and explain why they make negative impressions.  I seriously believe men should take a course in Online Dating 101 because more than half of the first contacts I receive fall into one or more of these categories (and they either get a no reply or a negative reply from me).

The One-Liner

These guys send you one word or thought and call it an “email”.  “Hi” and “Hello” does not make an email, nor does it warrant a response from any woman with a brain.  What this says about you is that you are lazy and want to leave all the thought up to the woman you send this nonsense to.  You are refusing to use your brain, or acknowledge that she actually wrote a profile.  You are leaving the whole conversation up to her because you are plain old lazy.  I delete every one of these so-called emails.  Intelligent women want to date someone who has a brain and can think of something intelligent to say to them.  They have no time for this nonsense, which should have ended back in high school.  We want to know that a man that says he wants to get to know us, actually used his brain and thought about who we are based on what we wrote in our profiles.

The Question One-Liner

Here’s another one that requires no brain power: “How are you?”  Any variation of this one is exactly the same as the basic one-liner.  It is thoughtless and a desperate show of throwing something out there and seeing if it sticks.  Really guys, we are much smarter than this.  Do you really want someone who sees you as desperate and unable to think for yourself?  Another variation of this is: “What are you doing this evening?”  Wow, really?  I find this one to be an invasion of my privacy.  I am usually inclined to make up something sensational, just to get a rise out of the guy for kicks, but then he may think I am actually interested.  We don’t really have time for this.  Plain and simple – it is none of your business what we are doing, or who with, unless you know us and are our significant other!

The Looks Comments

“You’re pretty”, “You’re beautiful”, “I love your smile” and all variations of comments on looks are among the most annoying conversation starters.  Guys, really, we want to know you want to know us, not sleep with us.  While you may be thinking of the latter, you need to be smart and keep the looks part under wraps until later.  When you start a conversation like this, many of us think you only have one thing in mind.  Plus, we doubt very much you even took the time to read out profiles.  We want to know you want to truly know us as human beings, not just sleep with us!  When you start out like this, many of us will run the other direction.  While we all like compliments and we all like to know we are desired, we want to know there are REAL reasons you want to go out with us.

Using Text Abbreviations When Communicating

Honestly, do you know how to spell and write a complete sentence?  We want to know you do!  We do not have the time to decode every email you send us.  Make it simple and spell things out, and use complete sentences!  We want to know you have a firm grasp of the English language!  I, for one, delete all messages that are not written out in English.  If you cannot take the time to write a complete sentence, why should we waste our time decoding and trying to figure out what on earth you are saying?

Sending (or asking for) Personal Email Information or Phone Numbers on First Contact

Dating sites were established to be a platform where we are able to meet people to date, while keeping our personal information private – the key word being private!  These sites gather and retain information about their members.  Others may differ on this view, but I never ever give out my personal information to guys on dating sites.  Think of it this way – do we really want all these strangers to have our phone numbers and personal email addresses?  We do not know you!  Plus, women are asked by every Tom, Dick, and Harry for their number on dating sites.  If we gave out our numbers to all who want them, there would be hundreds of strangers out there with our personal information.

Also, as I addressed previously, these men could be scam artists.  It is never okay to request someone’s personal information up front on a dating site.  Men, if you really want to know us, you will pay for a 30 day membership and get to know us.  If we are not worth that to you, why should we provide you our personal information?  We all need to be smart when dating online.  Being courteous and respectful includes not pushing for someone’s personal information.  After all, the dating site already does provide a platform for communication.

In conclusion, I would love to hear some other definite “No” emails you have received in your online dating experiences!  Please feel free to comment on what you have experienced!

Single, Divorced, or Other

  One of the mistakes people make with their online dating profile is they do not properly classify themselves. You may ask what the big deal is if you are not attached and honestly looking for someone.  Again, I must revisit the honesty aspect of dating.  You need to be totally honest if you are to find someone who is right for you.  If a prospective date feels you are not being totally honest, you will either lose their interest or their respect.  If someone is looking to have a long term relationship, this is one area that you cannot compromise in your search.  While all of this should go without saying, we have all seen our share is information on profiles that is either not true, embellished, or downright fabricated.

SINGLE

You are only single if you have NEVER been married.  Period.  There is no discussion or “but if’s” that should be taking place here.  Single is single.  There are many reasons this may be important to others who view your profile.  One reason is that some people, for religious reasons, are not comfortable dating someone who has been divorced.  This may be hugely important to them!  Another reason this may be important to someone is if someone has children, they will more than likely be looking for someone who fits into their children’s life also.  They will consider maturity level and lifestyle, and never being married does come into play many times.  One last reason I want to address here for a single status being of importance is that if you are over a certain age (for example 40, just for my example’s purpose) and you have never been married, there are certain things that a potential date will be considering:  1) What is wrong with this person? 2) Does this person have a commitment problem?  3) Is he a womanizer? or 4) What other issues are going on with this person that prevent them from having been married by this age?  While some of this thought process may not seem fair, there are very valid reasons to think about each of these questions.

Do not mistake me here, there are many, many wonderful people out there who are single and have never been married for a multitude of reason, including they just haven’t found the right one yet.  However, I am suggesting that for some, there is a lot more to it than that.  So if you find someone who has never been married and is over 40, dig deep to find out everything you can.  This does NOT suggest there is anything wrong with them – they may just not have found YOU yet!  I am only saying to tread with caution!

DIVORCED

Again, divorced is divorced!!  PERIOD.  This also should be a no-brainer, but for some it is a whole discussion.  Divorced means you have gone through the whole time period of a legal separation, as required by your state, and been granted a divorce by the state.  Divorced never, ever means you are separated.  IF YOU ARE SEPARATED, YOU ARE NOT DIVORCED – no question about it!  On almost every dating site, there is a category for separated – use it!  While some may think this is no big deal because they WILL BE divorced, it is a HUGE deal to others who are looking and sincerely want to find that right one and get married.  Separated means you are not available to get married, maybe not for a very long time.  You should not be misleading someone who really wants that in their life.  It is just not right to lead someone into a relationship that cannot be what they are looking for.  Some may argue that if the two parties have a great relationship then there is nothing wrong with it.  I disagree.  While you may have a great relationship with each other, you are still preventing that person from living out their life hopes and dreams of marriage, or you are asking them to wait until you are available.  If you are willing to be this unfair to someone now, how do you expect them to think this would ever change?  There is just nothing right about lying about your real availability when dating.  It hurt others and breaks hearts, and there is no acceptable excuse for it.

OTHER

Another kind of man (or women) we find is the one who is already in a relationship, but not married.  Yes, unfortunately, they are out there trolling the dating sites.  They will act in a similar manner to the married men.  They will be secretive about where they live, come to your neighborhood for a date (of course, they will say if is for your convenience), they may avoid phone calls while on the date, but they will always be charming.  They are trying to woo you into being their side thing.  If you are seeing any red flags, or even question marks along the way, get their last name and google them.  Check out Facebook tagged pictures (many are public).  There are so many things you can find out online without paying for a background check.  Property searches are public records – I once found out a man was married by the property search (the document included his wife’s name).  Be diligent if you are serious about marriage in your future.  There are many fabrications on dating profiles.  Unfortunately, it is a buyer beware marketplace.

There are great people to meet online, but you need to be smart about it!  Do not give up hope if you run into these characters, for you surely will.  Just know that for each of these characters, there are also well-meaning wonderful men online.  Enjoy those you meet and appreciate the experience.  As we get older, the gems are harder to find, but keep looking – he is out there.  He may find you if you keep the right attitude about your search and enjoy the moments instead of being discouraged.  Seriously, have fun with it!  Life is an adventure – enjoy the ride!

Time to Move on

You have taken my advice and given him a chance.  You have taken the time to actually get to know him better than the surface knowledge gained on the first few dates.  He is a great guy with a lot going for him.  However, you are still not feeling it.  You enjoy hanging out and have a good time, but you are just not looking forward to those times the way you feel you should be.  It happens!  Sometimes we meet great people along the way that are just not the right ones for us, for whatever reason.  That is a good case scenario.

On the other hand, we also do meet those who riddle us with one disappointment after another, leaving us wondering whether there really are any good men out there,  Trust that there are!  You do not want to become bitter and negative in your search because that will attract the wrong men to you.  Stay positive and know that Mr. Maybe is out there – you just have not met him yet!

As we go through the process of finding our Mr. Maybe, there will more than likely be many disappointments along the way.  Do not allow that to deter you.  However, do take time after each one to reflect on what initially attracted you to him, what it was that made you question it, if you missed anything earlier on, and what you can do to improve the situation next time.   Seriously, take time for you – especially if things started out really well and turned into heartbreak and disappointment.  You need time to heal your heart and your mind in order to attract the right one.  You also need to understand what happened and know how to do things better next time.  In our quest for love, so few of us take the time to reflect when we need.  Time seems short, and it is.  But if you jump back in and make the same mistakes again and again, you are wasting more time than it would have taken to reflect on the situation – and you cause yourself more heartache and aggravation.

If you find there are some things that need to improve and you really like the person, you may want to have a discussion and work through those things.  However, if the problem is larger than that and you do not see the situation improving, or if there is something that has been recurring, then you will probably be best served by moving on.   Many women stay with men and think things will improve.  If a man leaves you disappointed again and again, and it is a recurring theme – he will surely continue acting in that manner and you will be left feeling alone and empty.  The point is to find the right man, not the one who is okay for now.  Be good to yourself, demand to be treated as you should be treated, and do not settle for less than that.  Stick to your guns.  If you compromise what you deserve, it may end up being a lifetime commitment to that compromise.  You deserve better than that!

The Online Dating Dilemma

  While I am on the subject of online dating, I want to address a few things.  First, maneuvering through these online sites, can be frustrating, disappointing, and cause one to lose your faith in the opposite sex.  Sometimes people place their own expectations on others and when others do not respond in the way they think they should, they make assumptions about them that could be very far from the truth.

For instance, I was recently contacted by a man I had been communicating with awhile back.  Apparently, both of our lives got busy and we stopped communicating.  He recently sent me a message asking how I have been, which I answered honestly saying that I have been extremely busy and have not been on the site much.   The response I got actually shocked me, since all I was doing was giving an honest answer to his question.  What I got back bordered on intimidation and verbal abuse – especially since this man doesn’t know me.  I was called a “broad” (who even uses that word these days?) and told that he thinks that is a problem and he is sure that is why I am single (and then he used some other derogatory language).   Pardon me for being honest!

What I have found on these sites is that men think you should be at their beck and call.  They are busy and try to “fit” you into their busy schedules.  After all, aren’t their jobs what defines them (please excuse the slight bit of sarcasm)?  However, the minute we, as women,  are busy and have to schedule dates for when we are available, it seems to be a problem.  Since I have an extremely busy life, there are many times I have to schedule dates weeks out.  It is not that I don’t want to meet them (I DO!), but I keep my calendar full.

Ladies, we all know men will not cancel plans they have to meet you – especially if they met you online and do not know what to expect when they do meet you.  Why on earth would we do that for them?  I don’t!  If I have plans, they will have to work with me on a time that works for BOTH of us.  You should not be canceling your plans to meet someone you do not know and may never hear from again – plain and simple.  They would not do it for you.  What I find extremely annoying is that in our hearts, we know this (and so do they).  However, in practice, there are many times when women will cancel their plans to meet a man.  How many times has this left you disappointed?  What did you miss out on that you had on your calendar with friends?  Your friends have been there for you and will be going forward.  This man you have never met has no track record with you yet.

So what if you really want to meet a man you have been chatting with online but are too busy to fit him in for a few weeks?  I say schedule him when you are free.  More than likely, he will try to pressure you into changing some plans to accommodate him and meet sooner – don’t!  Here is why- this sets the precedent for the whole relationship!  If he can bully you into catering to him now, he will definitely think it is okay to do it going forward.  Your time and your life is no less important than his – ever!!!  If he is a decent man, he will get this simple concept and work with you on meeting at a time that works for both of you.  If he balks at the fact that you are busy or asks you if you are always this busy, he may not be the one for you.  You want a man who respects your time as much as he does his own.

I was also recently communicating with another man who asked me since I am so busy, why I would be on a dating site.  My reply?  I am on a dating site BECAUSE I am busy AND if I wait until a time when I am not busy, I could be dead first!  It is true, if you think about it.  Today, our lives are so busy we barely have time to come up for air.  Who is not busy?  While it is absolutely necessary to make time in our lives to develop a relationship, we want to make sure we divvy out that time to the right man – not everyone who demands our attention.  Believe me, if I meet the right one, he will have my time and attention.  Until then, no man has the right to demand my time (or yours).  I get tired of the double standard that still exists where we are expected to cater to their time – what about our time?  There are many, many decent men out there who are wonderful, understanding and respectful – these are the ones we want!  Not the ones who think we are not as valuable as they think they are.  We owe it to ourselves to make sure we ask for the same respect they demand.  We want to make sure we find the gems and not the stones.  Keep your standards high, but realistic.

Non-Negotiables: Our Must-Haves

While we should have many things we will compromise on, there are also many things that we do not want to, or should not compromise on.  These things are the core of who we are as individuals.  These items are non-negotiable, we must have them in our Mr. Maybe.  These items range anywhere from core value items to lifestyle items.  While everyone will have a different set of items, it is important to understand exactly what yours are, which is why I say you must start with you before you bring another into the picture.

Today, our society is very diverse and we should accept everyone for who they are.  However, that doesn’t mean everyone is a good match as a significant other.  There are some very fundamental differences that could cause serious issues in relationships, and could cause a lot of pain and heartache if not properly thought out and looked at totally honestly.  We may think some things are not a problem if we meet someone who we really connect with, only to find out later this very thing is a major source of conflict in the relationship.

To give you an example, I will briefly touch on one that has come up several times in my own life: Religion.  While I am very open-minded, accept and respect all people for what they believe, my Mr. Maybe MUST believe in God, have a relationship with God and attend church.  Since I tend to love all people and accept others as they are, it took me many years to come to this realization.  I have dealt with a lot of heartache because I didn’t honestly look into myself, and tried to fit other people’s belief systems into my life without realizing just how important this was to me.  I spent 10 years of my life trying to make 2 separate relationships work, without realizing they could never work for me.  Had I spent time with myself, as I suggest here, I would have realized just how much this means to me.  While this is only one example of what a non-negotiable could be, it does demonstrate how much time could potentially be spent on a relationship that is going nowhere.  Those are 10 years of my life I will never get back!

Many people with children will have a different set of non-negotiables because there are other people they must think about – their children!  When children are present in a relationship, it is particularly important to consider core values, how you want your children raised and what environment you want them living in.  This is tough!  You not only have you, but you have precious young impressionable lives you need to consider, also.

Another area to consider is lifestyle.  Are you active?  How active are you?  Is it important for your Mr. Maybe to be active, too?  For instance, if you like to participate in activities such as hiking or other outdoor activities and you would like your partner to enjoy them with you, you would not want to consider someone who does not enjoy these activities.  While there are times you may want to do things with friends and apart from each other, if this is a big part of your life, it is also a big part of your life your Mr. Maybe would not be enjoying with you.  Only you can decide how important these things are to you.  Your friends may tell you to compromise if you are not finding the right partner.  However, only YOU can decide if compromising a non-negotiable will make you unhappy and unsatisfied with your relationship.  If it will, then follow what only you can decide for yourself.

The goal for most is to find the right person and to be happy.  This is not something to take lightly.  Your life and future are at stake.  Take the time to make it the one you dream of having, not the one someone else thinks you should have.  Most of all, enjoy the road you travel to find Mr. Maybe.  Just because he may not be for you does not mean he is not a very special person.  Always acknowledge that in the men you meet.  There really are a lot of good ones out there, they just may not be the right one for you.  Keep looking, he is sure to arrive on your doorstep when you least expect it!

Negotiables & What We Will Compromise On

  Today, many people resort to Internet Dating as a means to find people.  Online dating sites offer one way to meet eligible (or at least that is the idea) singles in the age range and geographic area you choose.  Whether we go through the process of meeting our potential Mr. Maybe online, or by other means, a big part of the initial process is determining if he is truly a potential Mr. Maybe.  We already have our list of things we are looking for in a potential mate.  However, this list, whether in our heads or in written form, is not set in stone and we must evaluate each item separately.

Sometimes we think we need things in a partner that are really just wants, and not needs.  What is the most important thing about finding the right one?  Is it happiness?  Is it financial security?  Is it someone to do social activities with?  My point here is that we all have different priorities in our lives regarding the person we want to have in our lives.  Ultimately, we all do want to be happy, so in evaluating what you think you need in a partner, think about if it will make you unhappy if you met the ideal guy and they did not have this thing.  Is it a deal breaker?  Or could you be perfectly happy with him anyway?

An example of this could be you are looking for someone who has a specific type of job, such as white collar over blue collar (or vice versa).  Assuming he is earning at least an okay living, is this really that important if he is everything else you are looking for?  This may be something that is a negotiable item to you.  Were you looking for someone who does not have children at home?  You found the perfect guy, but he has custody of two small children.  Could you love these children and get used to having them in your life, or if this a complete change of lifestyle that you have no desire to make?  If you find someone who is everything you are looking for except for this one thing, you need to take some time with yourself and really understand your true feelings on that matter.  If you could grow to love these children and know in your heart you could handle the commitment of having them in your life and care for them for many years into the future, this item may be negotiable for you, even if it was not ideally what you wanted.

Great men are hard to find.  When we do find them, we do not want to pass over gems because of our own selfishness.  I am not saying  it is not good to want certain things in our man or relationship.  I am simply stating that we need to really evaluate what it is that will bring happiness into our lives.  We need lists as a guideline.  We need initial self evaluation to know ourselves so we know who we are and what makes us happy.  However, sometimes we can place unrealistic expectations on a potential partner, and miss out on the ones who cross our paths due to our “criteria”.  Do we really NEED these things, or is it just something we would like to have but could really live without and be perfectly happy?  Think about this so you do not miss out on your Mr. Maybe!