One hears a lot from young people about their search for their soul mate. It is a search for the perfect partner.
It reminds me of the title of one of my books: The Ideal Executive: Why You Cannot Be One and What to Do About It (1) By the same token, you cannot be an ideal soul mate.
Because of change. There is nothing perfect in this world. As the situation changes, what fit the conditions of one moment might not apply moments later; What felt like perfect yesterday might feel lousy today.
Does this mean we should abandon the endless search for that perfect mate which we brand as our “soul mate?”
Not at all!
For a sustainable soul mate, search for one not as an input but as an output.
Let me explain.
A soul mate is supposed to be someone who is a perfect match. Someone with whom you will not have any conflict. Someone who understands you, and whom you understand fully and effortlessly. But if such a unicorn existed, and he or she is so perfect, then they need no one else to be with. What do they need you for? They are perfect, are they not?
Instead, we need a complementary not- so- perfect spouse so that together we might be perfect to fulfill the needs of a family.
But, there is a catch.
Since we are different and no one is perfect, there is going to be conflict.
When is this conflict constructive? When there is mutual trust and respect. Trust means there is faith you two have common interests. Respect means there is faith you two can learn from your differences.
I suggest a soul mate is someone who is not perfect but someone whom you trust and respect. Someone who shares your interests and from whom you can learn. Through Mutual Trust & Respect, you grow together and over time, you are better than who you were when the relationship started.
Do not look for a perfect soul mate who does not need you. Look for a person you are attracted to, whom you respect and trust, from whom you can learn, and who is willing to learn from you. Over time, that person will develop to be your soul mate.
Think of the soul mate as an output, not as an input.
A soul mate is a person who wants to develop to become one.
Soul mates are not found. They are developed, as long as there is, to start with, Mutual Trust and Respect.
Ichak Kalderon Adizes
Founder of Adizes Institute Worldwide