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Soulmate vs. Life Partner: Who Are You With?

To be loved is an ideal which we all strive to achieve in our lives. This holds especially true on the official once-yearly day of love and adoration. But the person you choose to spend Valentine's Day with (not to mention, all the other days of the year!) can make a world of a difference.

The difference lies in whether that person is your soul mate, your heart's other half, or just a life partner, a person who lacks the components to make you a truly compatible couple. Wouldn't you like to find out who you're with? After all, there's no avoiding the inevitable question we each ask ourselves in a relationship: Is this the person I was bound by destiny to share my life with? Or did I settle too quickly into a relationship with a person who will never be my heart's other half?

As the American writer Richard Bach said, "A soulmate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks. When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we are; we can be loved for who we are and not for who we're pretending to be. Each unveils the best part of the other. No matter what else goes wrong around us, with that one person we're safe in our own paradise."

Indeed, you can love many people throughout your life, but a soulmate… you feel something different for them. It's not so much love as it is fulfillment: you literally feel complete now that the person is in your life. Sure, love accompanies fulfillment, but fulfillment goes much deeper than love. When you have someone in your life who fulfills you, you feel entirely whole, healed, intact, like nothing is missing from the puzzle. Your soulmate lacks nothing, they have every aspect needed to mold perfectly to you.

Finding a love interest is easy. If you're a woman, just walk around the block twice and chances are you'll find several love interests in the form of overly excited construction workers, gas station owners, and the elderly men playing Bacchi in the neighborhood park. Anyone can find a person to have a physical relationship with, or some sort of a flirty friendship, or even a love infatuation. But how many of us can say they've found their soul mate? One in a million. But you can, and should, find yours.


Different Loves

Love, too, is dominated by one of life's greatest lessons: trial and error. We try and fail and try again in all aspects of life, until we hopefully succeed our task. Love is no different. Just as a baby adorably falls down many times before finally learning to walk, we also symbolically "fall down" and must pick ourselves up again in everything we try to do. We date our high school sweetheart at 15 and, although we know this probably won't be the person we will marry and spend the rest of our lives with, we give love its first try. From there, we experience an avalanche of emotions, relationships, and dating partners until we finally find ourselves staring into the eyes of the one we think is Mr. or Mrs. Right some years later. In my career as a psychologist, I've seen it all: I've had patients who have married their childhood love whom they've known since the age of six, and have stayed blissfully married forever. On the other extreme, I've counseled patients who are in their years of retirement and have never married, either because they feel like they've never met the right person or have struggled with commitment issues their entire lives. Most of us fall somewhere within the middle of these two opposites, meaning that we've been through several relationships before finding who you believe to be the perfect pair to your heart. Whether you're currently married, in a relationship, or contemplating entering a relationship with someone, it is crucial that you know who this person is to you and what effect they will have on your life. Are they your soulmate or partner? I repeat that there is a world of a difference.

I hear it all the time in my practice: I love my husband and he's such a good person and great father to our children. But I just feel in my heart he's not my soulmate. Of course, we all want in our hearts to be with our soulmate, and when we enter a new relationship we often question: is this it? Is this the one?


My Own Soulmate Story

I'd love to share with you my own soulmate story, so as to demonstrate the sometimes extraordinary circumstances under which the Divine brings people into our lives who were destined to be there. Before I came to America in my early 20's from Romania, although I always knew I was intuitive, I used to consult with my own intuitive. A stout woman with messy brown hair and glasses, Marusia would look at me straight in the eye and tell me exactly what I didn't want to hear: "No, my dear, the guy you like now isn't the one for you. He's not your soulmate. You will move over an ocean and there you will meet your soulmate." At the time being a young woman, it was devastating to me to hear that my own highschool sweetheart wasn't the one for me. We all know how it is: when we're in love, or think we're in love, the last thing we want to hear is that the person is not right for us. So I was stubbornly determined not to believe Marusia.

A few years later things changed rather suddenly in my life: my father passed away and I was invited to come to America on a singing contract all within the same week. I stood by my father's grave with a tear-stained face, wondering how I could ever leave the country the very next day to go perform in America. Suddenly, I saw my father's spirit, youthful and handsome, standing behind his own grave. He said to me, "Don't cry, my daughter, don't cry for me." I was astonished that he had chosen to show himself to me at that very moment. I asked my father why he left me, but soon found out he had come to deliver a very different sort of message to me. "You will leave this country for your new home tomorrow," he said smiling, "and there you will meet your soulmate. Look, look behind my grave, there is his name." I curiously peered behind my father's place of rest to the next grave over. It was an empty grave reserved for a man named "Virgil." "Virgil?" I asked my father's spirit...but he had vanished.

A few days later I had just finished singing my heart out during one of my concerts in New York. The manager of the concert approached me backstage and said, "Hey Carmen, there's someone here who said he'd like to meet you, can I bring him in?" I responded to her that it would be fine, and in walked the most handsome man I had ever laid my eyes on. I was fixated, there was something about him which completely captivated me. Strong, tall, with thick black hair and eyebrows, the man quickly extended a hand and said: "It's a pleasure to meet you, my name is Virgil." I sat down on the first chair in sight. Visions of past lives flooded my mind: Egypt, hundreds of years ago, Virgil and I together in traditional Middle Eastern garments. But then a very disturbing vision came to my memory: Virgil had been stabbed in his heart in that past life, and I saw myself holding him to my chest as he took his last breaths.

Needless to say, from the moment we met, Virgil and I were inseparable. He asked me to marry him days later and as crazy and against logic as it might have seemed, I happily accepted. There was just something about Virgil that never made me doubt the purpose of his presence in my life: we felt like we already knew each other from somewhere, we got along effortlessly, our numerology matched perfectly, and we both shared the same mentality. We felt we were each other's missing pieces. This is not to say we didn't argue or experience typical hardships of life, but we always acknowledged what was most important at the end of the day, and that was having each other in our lives. Virgil and I solidified our soulmate relationship for 27 years, until his death from lung cancer tore us apart. Just as in our prior life in Egypt together, the glorious symmetry of the universe repeating itself as it never fails to do, I held Virgil tightly to my chest as he took his last breaths. My soulmate had passed away.

Needless to say, the average relationship is not this dramatic, but soulmates do tend to have a more intense relationship than ordinary couples. But why would we choose to settle in the first place with someone whom we know is not our perfect fit?


Why Do We Settle?

There are a plethora of reasons as to why we settle into a relationship which we know is less than ideal for us or for a person we know isn't our destined partner. This can happen for financial reasons, having children together, family influence, social status, or, more often than not, we simply don't want to have to go through the hassle of breaking up, having to feel sad, going through a healing process, and then start dating all kinds of "interesting" creatures all over again before we finally find one decent person. We figure: "Hey I've come this far, why would I want to go through all of that again and start at square one?" Most people have a very real, subconscious fear of being ALONE. Even the word itself is dreaded: alone. No one wants to be without a date on Valentine's Day or without anyone special to buy gifts for on Christmas. So it's only natural that we pair up in this world, and unless you're an alien, you're biologically designed to fall in love with other human beings. But some of us just fall in love too quickly and think "this is it!" Is it really? We often lose our logic when it comes to love.

Having the experience that I do as a psychologist, I know true soulmate-love tales are far and few. Many people are with their partner because they have chosen to settle, without ever really trying to find out whether that person actually is their soulmate or not. Maybe that's because we fear the answer. Sometimes we were meant to be with someone for several years to close out a karmic chapter from a prior life. Other times we were meant to have children with the person but not necessarily last with them for the rest of our life. Other times we're just plain confused, because we love the person and hate the person the next second, and this melting pot of emotions doesn't allow us to see our predestined path.

No matter which category you fit into, there are several indications which clearly outline a soulmate bond, or lack of, between you and your partner. As we go through this list, think about your partner or potential partner and ask yourself how many of the soulmate criteria does he or she fit.


11 Things You Feel For Your Soulmate That You'll Never Feel For a Life Partner

  • 1.) It's Something Inside:
    Describing how a soulmate makes you feel versus just a partner you get along with is difficult. And it's more of something you feel. To put it in the form of an example, it is wanting to grab your partner and just hug them infinitely even during your worst fight.
  • 2.) Flashbacks:
    If your partner is your soulmate, chances are he or she has been present in your lives past. Soulmates often choose to come back together during the same lifetime and try to scope each other out in the big world. You might suddenly and briefly experience flashbacks of your soulmate, like the one I did when I met Virgil. You might even feel an odd sense of déjà vu, as if the moment in time you're spending with your significant other has already taken place, a long time ago, perhaps in a different setting. Don't dismiss flashbacks or feelings of déjà vu, try to hold onto the moment and imagine it further: what is this fleeting flashback of? Is my déjà vu coming from a past life?
  • 3.) You Just "Get" Each Other:
    Ever met two people who finished each other's sentences? Some people will call that spending too much time together, but I call it a soulmate connection. You might experience this with your best friend or your mother, but it is the telltale sign of a soulmate when you experience it with your partner.
  • 4.) You Fall in Love With Their Flaws:
    No relationship will be perfect, even soulmate relationships will have their ups and downs. But that bond will be much harder to break. You have to learn to work with each other's flaws. Soulmates have an easier time of accepting, even learning to love, each other's imperfections. Your relationship is more likely to be a soulmate match if you both love each other exactly as you are, both the great and awful tendencies we all have. As we said before, a soulmate will never play up your flaws and play down your best features.
  • 5.) It's Intense:
    A soulmate relationship may be more intense than normal relationships, in both good and sometimes bad ways. The most important thing is that, even during the bad, you are focused on getting over the problem and can see beyond the negative moment.
  • 6.) You Two Against the World:
    Soulmates often see their relationship as "us against the world." They feel so linked to their partner that they are ready and willing to take on any feat of life with a smile on their face, so long as they have their soulmate by their side. Soulmate relationships are not based upon one person doing all the work or having a biased relationship. They are founded on compromise and unity above all else.
  • 7.) You're Mentally Inseparable:
    Soulmates often have a mental connection similar to twins. They can pick up the phone to call each other at the exact same time. Though life may keep you apart at times, if you are soulmates, your minds are always in tune with vibrating at the same frequency.
  • 8.) You Feel Secure & Protected:
    Regardless of the gender of your partner, he or she should always make you feel secure and protected. This means that if you're a man, yes, your woman should make you feel protected, too! Not just the other way around. Your soulmate will make you feel like you're ever-protected by a guardian angel who stands up for you no matter what. A person who plays on your insecurities, whether consciously or subconsciously, is not your soulmate. Many people make us feel uncomfortable with ourselves or with them, and this may purely be a personality mismatch, not something done intentionally. If you're the type of woman who feels very self-conscious of the way she looks, yet your partner always draws your attention to your weakest physical points, then that might not be your soulmate. And again, it might not be done intentionally, but as we said might be a character trait which simply doesn't match yours. You should also pay attention to lifestyle choices that can't seem to be improved. If your partner is a dedicated party animal who stays out all hours of the night, while you prefer to curl up with a good movie, there's bound to be a clash sooner or later (or a trip to the hospital due to liver damage). These are very practical tips, but it is essential that you and your soulmate share the same mindset and always play up each other's security. The few times I watched the Kardashians on TV, I saw clearly that Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries relationship just wasn't a fit, and certainly not a soulmate relationship. She was a sensitive, mind-mannered girl while he came across as an unfiltered, somewhat obnoxious man. They would inevitably bring out the worst in each other.
  • 9.) Your Numbers Adds Up:
    Do your numbers add up? This is as true as any other compatibility test you could do. As a rule of thumb, the more numbers you have in common, the more you are compatible. Also, the more numbers your partner has which you are missing from your life code, the better. To calculate your compatibility, simply add up the numbers in your birthday. You will have one number for the month, one for the day, and one for the year. If you add these three figures, you get your life path number. Do the same for your partner. How many numbers coincide? How many numbers from 1 to 9 are you missing that your partner has in their own life code? For example, you might be born in March, which is a three, but your partner might be born on the day of a 12, which is also a three. You have the number three in common. Or, let's say when you add up the month, day, and year, together you get the number 8, and your partner is also a number 8 in his or her life path. There is no coincidence between numbers, timing, and the people we meet in our lives! For learn much more about how to calculate your numbers and others' numbers, I recommend buying my book, Decoding Your Destiny.
  • 10.) You Can't Imagine Your Life Without Them:
    A soulmate is not someone you can walk away from that easily. A soulmate is someone you can't imagine losing from your life. It is not someone you can envision yourself divorcing and being okay without. A soulmate is someone you believe is worth sticking with and fighting for. I'll never forget when I told Hillary Clinton that she would not divorce from Bill right after the Monica Lewinsky incident. She looked at me as if she didn't believe me, but wanted to. But they never let go of each other in the end.
  • 11.) You Look Each Other in the Eye:
    Soulmates have a tendency to look into each other's eyes when speaking more often than ordinary couples. It comes naturally from the deep-seated connection between them. Looking into a person's eyes when you speak to them is a sign of a high level of comfort and confidence in that person.

Whether you're designed by the universe to be soulmates or just two people who have settled for each other's strengths and weaknesses, the decision is yours. You can remain in or change any relationship you desire, that's the beauty of free will. If you feel your partner is not your soulmate, you can choose to continue to be together and make the best out of your relationship, or you can choose to walk away and continue your search for your better half. To have found your soulmate is one of the precious treasures in life. If you feel your partner is your soulmate, I wish you both endless days of joy and laughter, and countless nights of gazing into each other's eyes, unraveling the mysteries of the universe one star at a time.

With Love,
Dr. Carmen Harra


Dr. Carmen Harra

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