Readers reply: are soulmates a real thing?

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Are soulmates a real thing? Michaela McKinley, Macclesfield

Send new questions to nq@theguardian.com.

Readers reply

Yes, soulmates exist.

My husband dropped dead suddenly in my arms just before Christmas last year. We had been together for almost 57 years and, despite having busy, demanding jobs, during our marriage, as well as bringing up a family, we had never doubted that we were soulmates.

There was never anyone else for either of us. We thought alike, enjoyed the same things, anticipated what the other person was thinking … almost to the extent of telepathy. Our love was deep and enduring. Without him, I am a rudderless ship.

Friends and family tell me I am strong and that I am coping well, but they don’t understand the emptiness I feel inside. It is not loneliness (I have lots of friends to fill my days with), but a sense of having lost a huge part of myself. My soul. He was my reason for living. My soulmate. Anonymous

Yes – but don’t wait too long for yours to arrive.

I feel I have to agree that soulmates exist, having met mine at the age of 18 and being head-over-heels in love with her still today, 42 years later. They say marriage is hard work, and that if you don’t put in that hard work you can grow apart and the relationship dies. I believe that, too, but not based on my own experience, more on that of friends and colleagues I have talked to over the years. Life with my soulmate has generally been so easy and natural that it has required no work at all.

A friend once said I love my wife like I breathe – that it is so natural and automatic that I don’t know I am doing this. She also said that is a little dangerous. This proved to be true and for a while (after 10 years together) I started to take our love for granted, which caused us to have a break while we re-evaluated. But it was obvious we were meant to be together, so we got back together, kept an eye on the power balance and have been happy together ever since. We just love spending time together and, now that we are retired, we can do that every day. So, I do think of my wife as my soulmate and cannot believe I would have been as happy with anyone else.

And yet a number of random coincidences brought us together. If they had not happened in the way they did, we would never have met. I have been blessed with a number of close female friends over the years, who have had a series of unsuccessful relationships on their way to finding Mr Right – and have never found him.

I think it was always hard and against the odds to find that perfect partner. In the modern world, especially if you don’t meet “the One” early in life and end up in the dating game, it is even harder. So, it is much healthier to admit that, chances are, your soulmate is out there, but you will never meet. It is better to accept that your prime relationship is unlikely to provide everything you need and to build up your independence so that your prime relationship with your non-soulmate doesn’t have to be perfect to succeed.

But a few of you will be as lucky as me – just be careful you don’t start taking it for granted. Steve Richards

I think I have several soulmates – all of the wonderful people in my life with whom I connect on an emotional and spiritual level.

A soulmate is not just defined by romantic love, but by whatever connection or intimacy your soul craves from another; when you can both laugh and cry together, support and challenge each other, spend time apart but continue to come together again. How gorgeous to be able to experience such comfort and joy in life – not just with a partner, but with friends and family and even pets.

I’m lucky enough to have more soulmates than I can count on one hand. Aine Ruth

I believe both in soulmates and twin flames.

A soulmate is someone who is unconditionally in your life for as long as you are both alive and well. You may argue or disagree at times, but you’re deeply bound together across anything life throws at you. You have a deep connection and secure friendship. And you can have that in a best friendship or a family member or in a partnership with your lover.

But there are also twin flames, which is what my partner and I are. It’s different from soulmates – and you go through different hardships even before you can be together.

My best friend; she is my soulmate. We will be each other’s always, for ever. My partner is my twin flame and we will always be that, because no matter how far apart we are or try to be, we are always drawn together. Jocelyn Hofstede

I prefer “kindred spirits”, à la Anne of Green Gables. A kindred spirit may be a friend, a child, a partner. When we’ve met one, it’s rare and to be treasured. For mates, I think, for most of us, there are hundreds of people we could be quite happy with, attracted to and love. Some of these are just closer to the heart and our essence, really getting us and us getting them. quiettess

I was watching a reality TV show, Below Deck, and one of the girls said that the guy she was dating was her soulmate. Someone else pointed out they had only been dating for five weeks and she said: ‘Yeah, he’s my soulmate for now.’ MariefromON

No – and the concept is a dangerous one, giving rise to unrealistic expectations. Rafiq Mahmood

I don’t know a single person who claims to have found theirs – and I know lots of very happily married people. Partners can share views, aspirations, preferences, but whether couples really can be joined as two parts of a compass, as in Donne’s poem, is unlikely outside romantic verse and Hollywood films. boutondor

Not in the traditional sense. It is extremely beguiling to imagine that the one with whom we have found happiness was destined all along to be our companion, but this is not the case. In fact, you would have been satisfied, in one way or another, with all manner of potential partners. My own husband is fantastic, but I can’t pretend he was the only one for me. If, after three dates, he or I had died in a fiery disaster, the other would have moved on, wondered what would have been and then found someone else. The resulting marriage would have been just as happy, but very different – infuriating in other ways.

Perhaps my husband is my soulmate in a different sense. We were not matched by the stars, merely by circumstance, but we have grown together so that now we fit better than we would with any other. Anyone else now, after nearly 20 years, would be awkward and impossible – not getting the jokes, wanting to sleep on my side of the bed.

Are my worn slippers soulmates for my feet? They don’t fit anyone else as well as they fit me. GarethEdwards666

Lovely and true-feeling answer. Soulmates are made, not found. (PS Your slippers? Solemates.) klbklyn