Monday, February 14, 2005

Finding your soulmate


One thing I was able to do this week was watch a movie on late night TV. The movie was "The Hunt for Red October", which was interesting, but more interesting were the ads.

The thing that caught my attention was the barrage of ads for eHarmony.com. There was also a bunch of ads for HappyMarriage.com on another channel. The two services appear to be absolutely identical, but run by different companies.

Both of these sites claim to help you find a partner for marriage using a "personality profile" that allows a computer program to home in on a highly compatible mate. They both claim that they will help you find the "the right person" and "the love of your life." HappyMarriage.com claims that, "Our matches are informed by a deep understanding of how and why relationships succeed."

eHarmony.com claims even more:eHarmony.com is also enamored with the word soulmate.

Now if you think about this, you will realize that there are (at least) three potential problems with these sevices, one involving space, one involving branding and the other involving time. Here they are:
  1. What if "the right person" for you and "the love of your life" actually lives in India and has signed up on a site such as Shaadi.com? Obviously you are never going to find your soulmate.

  2. What if "the love of your life" happens to have signed up on eHarmony.com while you are on HappyMarriage.com? Obviously you are never going to find your soulmate.

  3. Most insidious, however, is the following scenario. Let's say you sign up on eHarmony.com. It finds a suitable match for you, introduces you, you hit it off with your new partner and get married. But then, six months later, the computer happens to see that a new person has signed up who is the ABSOLUTELY PERFECT MATCH FOR YOU. This is the best match the computer has ever seen -- a match made in heaven! This is your SOULMATE!
Now what? Is the computer going to destroy your marriage so that you can hook up with the love of your life -- your true soulmate? Or is the computer going to let you live the rest of your life in a substandard marriage? What a mess! What would Isaac Asimov and I, Robot do with this?

It's when you think about it in these terms that you realize that everyone who is dating or married is in a substandard relationship. There is no way that you did a search that looked: a) across the entire planet, and b) across a large swath of time at every single potential partner, and that you then c) had the opportunity to meet the ABSOLUTELY PERFECT MATCH FOR YOU because you both happened to be disentangled and in the same hemisphere at the same time. It is impossible. Someone would have to create a single, unified, gigantic, global eHarmony.com that includes a detailed profile on every person on the planet (single or married). And then that site would have to have the authority to destroy existing relationships in order for people to actually connect with their "true soulmates".

Since that is never going to happen, the whole notion of a soulmate is nonsense. It also seems like eHarmony.com and HappyMarriage.com need to put huge disclaimers on their ads...

This upifting Valentines day message is brought to you by "The Hunt for Red October", eHarmony.com and HappyMarriage.com!


Comments:
I find it weird that our culture continues to promote empirically untenable beliefs about man/woman relationships. It should be clear to anyone who isn't hypnotized by our culture's romantic brainwashing that men and women don't get along all that well. Evolutionary psychology provides additional support with its claim that men and women are pursuing conflicting reproductive strategies. And we all know that the sperm and the egg, around which all this coupling behavior has evolved, don't care whether the biological machines which push the two types of cells into proximity like each other or not.
 
eHarmony.com is not perfect. Accept that. Assume, however, that it is VERY good at finding a compatible person.

It means that anyone who has been married more than 5 years can do MUCH better by abandoning the marriage and starting over using eHarmony technology. Marriages made the old-fashioned way usually are substandard when compared to eHarmony technology.
 
A good HSW article that compliments this is How Love Works.
 
I was just thinking about this after seeing a movie on TV. The whole concept of a soul mate is deeply flawed unless it has some universal laws all to itself.

If your soul mate is killed before you meet them does the status pass to somebody else instantly (like Buffy TVS) or do you have to wait for another to be reborn? Assuming that you can have more than one. If not, then you have just been screwed by fate and if you are looking for your soul mate you will never know you don't have one.

Is there an age limit? Does the age of your soul mate correlate to your own? Does the soul mate status become active at a certain age? If not your soul mate could have just been born or be 98 years old. In which case the death question above becomes an instant problem. If you're an adult and they have just been born then you have to hang around for about 20 years. If you're still a kid then the whole concept is probably not something you are thinking about.

Location. What if your soul mate is born and lives on a remote island removed from modern civilization that you have no chance of ever visiting? Fate is just kicking you down instantly.

Population. There are obviously not enough people to evenly match up with everyone. Does that mean certain people have a dual-status soul mate tag? Are certain people not allocated another half purely based on numbers?
 
i think the idea of a "soulmate" is stupid. do people honestly believe that, in a world of over 6 billion people, there is ONLY ONE other person out there that's perfect for them? and what exactly does "perfect" mean? someone exactly like you? someone exactly the opposite of you? it's an impossible concept to define.

i think most people can make relationships work with the majority of other people around them. which isn't to say that you shouldn't attempt to find someone you truly and deeply love; but certainly don't leave it up to a computer.
 
This stuff is not impossible; its very easy. If you and I both like the same things in a list of things then we are a match. If we disagree 49% of the time then we're not a match. What makes it hard is the fact that people change their minds all the time. Accurately predicting this change in human behavior requires more science.
 
It seems that the original meaning of soulmate has mutated into "someone with whom you share a deep understanding and/or connection". If you look at it that way, there is such a thing -- it's just not limited to one person on the whole planet. Naturally, not everyone wants one.
 
great ruminations :) LOL
 
I've used the word "soulmate" to describe my second wife. But I've always thought of the word embodying a certain threshold of suitability as your mate and also the reciprocal choice you make in each other. A soul mate is someone you don't just physically and socially mate with, but someone who you spiritually mate with, if I can borrow that term for my secular view of things.

anonymous said:
'It seems that the original meaning of soulmate has mutated into "someone with whom you share a deep understanding and/or connection". If you look at it that way, there is such a thing'

If soulmate means something along the lines of somehow having one and only one perfect mate in the world, somehow determined at birth, then you'd have to be a nut to believe it.


My first wife was a close friend and mother of my first child. I married her when I was quite young and for the wrong reasons. That experience made me think hard about getting married again.

I have a profound connection and devotion to my second wife and I pursued her restlessly, but before I could marry her, I had to decide whether it was possible for me to find someone more perfect.

As you point out, with the limited information I have(we lived with each other only five years before deciding to marry), it's most probable that there is a more perfect match for me out there somewhere - quite likely in China. If I met this more perfect person, could I stand the temptation to change "soul mates"? But this is not really a problem.


There might be value in mating with most compatible person currently available to you, but relationships increase in value over time and over shared experiences. So if your current mate is 99% as "good" a match for you as a prospective new mate, the value of your shared history factors into the total equation making it a great mistake to jump ship.

Because life is too short. Now if you could live forever...
 
What about gay soulmates?

Gay Marriage: The Arguments and the Motives
 
eHarmony calls their test "scientific", but they refuse to publish their findings in peer reviewed journals. Only True.com does that.
 
I believe some of us may have many soulmates while others few. To imply only one seems to say God is taunting me with something I can never find. We all enter a relationship and change, characteristics and traits once dsireable are now annoying. In the end achieving compatability and happiness is the ultimate goal. However todays soulmate may not be tomorows as both people have tendencies to change and usually in different ways.
 
I am so glad to see you post this. I found your blog while I was doing research in Google. I am the author of a book of true soul mate stories PLUS am a syndicated relationship columnist. Now that I've given you my credentials, I would like to say this. While eHarmony and the others MAY be able to find you a companion soul mate and it MAY or MAY NOT work, the only true way to find our soul mates lies within ourselves and no computer or dating service can compare. I have written extensively on this subject which you can find on my website at www.dorothythompson.net. It was like a breath of fresh air when I read your post in your blog. There is another website you might want to check out..can't remember the name but it had Tamara in it and she totally blows all these so-called soul mate experts out of the water. Thank you for your post. I couldn't have put it better. ;o)
 
Oops, one more thing. Id said: "If your soul mate is killed before you meet them does the status pass to somebody else instantly (like Buffy TVS) or do you have to wait for another to be reborn? Assuming that you can have more than one. If not, then you have just been screwed by fate and if you are looking for your soul mate you will never know you don't have one."

My twin soul died four years ago. The same year and same week the Trade Centers went down. Even today, I still know he is my twin soul. I have found my companion soul mate and am very happy, but he is not my twin soul. I lead a very happy, productive life with my companion soul mate so I feel I'm not missing out on happiness or anything else. I believe we only have one twin soul and if that person does die, you will reunite with them in the next realm. Meanwhile, enjoy life in this realm with your karmic and companion soul mates for they are just as important. ;o)
 
Hi, first time I've posted in a blog...
 
Hi, first time I've posted in a blog.

I have been married for 15 years. About a year ago, I met someone when I began to volunteer at an organization with whom I felt an instant spark, a certain "something" that was undeniable and felt by him and those around us as well. It was strange. The person who introduced us said, "oh you already know each other?" It was that apparent.

Anyway, for the last year, I've gotten really involved with the group (as he is as well) and have spent a lot of time with this person. Over time, we have become the best of friends, and could finish each other's sentences practically from the time we met. I feel that I have met my best friend, my soulmate, and someone that I could love and be happy with for the rest of my life.

He says he felt the same thing when we met and feels the same way now. Most of our time lately has been spent resisting consummating the relationship. We are both married. We both have children. We both feel that we love our spouses but that we shared more between us right from the get-go than we've ever had with our spouses.

I can say with certainty that if things keep going the way they are, I will be faced with the choice of doing something that could endanger my long-term relationship with my husband.

To me, I really feel like I have met a person that might be a better choice for me, longterm, than what I have now. I am faced with...try to pursue my soulmate, potentially lose EVERYTHING, or, possibly gain everything I have ever wanted.

I feel that I have met my soulmate, whatever that is, someone that I connect with in a way that I've never known. I also feel that it was come by honestly, through true friendship, getting to know one another, and appreciating the person for who he is and not some imagined quality. I feel in my heart of hearts that now, at this time in mine and his life, that we are perfect for each other, as perfect as you can be and still be different...

So, do I risk it all, or do I discourage this and keep what I have? If this is as rare and beautiful as I think it might be, maybe when I am 80 I will look back and regret...

So do I believe in soulmates? Yes, I do. But I also believe that you can meet your soulmate and never get to be with them. I think this kind of thing probably happens a lot. It is tearing my heart out at the moment, his as well, and the question of "is there such a thing as soulmates" to me has been answered...yes, there is such a thing, but that doesn't help me much right now.

Our biggest concern is that we can keep being friends, keep the relationship, no matter what. I don't know if that's going to be possible. I think that if I make the choice to NOT pursue things, we will have to end everything. I don't think we can continue to spend time together and NOT do something about our feelings. To me that is the saddest, saddest thing.

Thanks for the opportunity to share. Obviously this is something I can't tell anyone else. I'd appreciate your thoughts on this matter.
 
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we have a soul mate and also soul companions who have part of many of our lives. these souls will enter into our lives when they are required. some will be a constant part of our life some will only stay a while. we choose a life to learn karmic lessons too advance our soul. our soul companions and our soul mates will change slightly throughout our many lives as our souls advance at different rates and new souls will be required to teach us new lessons. worrying that one true soul mate may never appear in a life to bring us that greatest of loves should not be a concern, as it is possible they were not ment to be part of this life. I guarentee you will meet them again some time when all will become clear again. if the joys of spending time with the opposite sex is what you require all we need do is ask for it and it will be given. the main thing to remember is to look out for our lessons and learn them when they are given to us as we are all capable of fuckin up even if it was ment to be. and it's just as easy to fuck up a relationship with our soul mate as it is any other relationship. we are all on a path to perfection and we will all get there eventually so have fun along the way.
 
if you are ment to meet your soul mate then you will. it may be a total stranger or it may be someone who comes back into your life. it will almost always be when your not expecting it. but remember if you are ment to meet them you will. so keep your eyes open. its also not a bad thing to try out lots of people along the way as life is more rewarding when we share.
 
Anastasia, I agree with you. I think there are thousands, if not millions of people that are compatible with any given person. One can think of each of those people as their soulmate.
 
To your statement "Someone would have to create a single, unified, gigantic, global eHarmony.com that includes a detailed profile on every person on the planet (single or married)." Someone did! According to Quantum theory it is called a creative field of harmony and is a unified field of intelligence that everyone participates in, also termed the collective unconscious by Carl Jung. If you want a thorough explanation of the spiritual terrain of soulmate relationships read the new book Divine Complement. It even has a couple of stories of soulmates who met on the online.
 
Question: I wonder what people are saying about me?

Answer: Some people have good things to say about you. Some people have bad things to say about you. Most people have nothing to say about you.
 
Hello,
According to Native American Medicine....We are the combination of our
Mental
Physical
Emotional
Spiritual
and
Sexual
energy states...each one of these areas has both an Energy level and an Activity level.
In other words someone can be in Mensa and also be a couch potato mentally...High IQ but sit around watching reality shows...High Energy/low activity
The combination of these 5 area's Energy and Activity is called your Orende...it is never fixed or stagnant...it changes....week to week, month to month..season to season....the explantion for the "love at first sight", "soulmate" thing is that you meet someone that shares a very close overall Orende to your own....BUT, in relationships there is often, usually a not very conscious "battle" to control, possess....and one person very, very often begins to drain, consume the other's orende...draining them.....nagging, jelousy "Oh, your going to the gym....(sigh) well, have fun....draining you as you atempt to do some activity that restores your drained reserves...finding the other's "Buttons" and knowing just when to Push them when they are off balance...(this causes a lot of Karma....whether you believe the idea or not) thinking that keeping the other drained and dependant increases one's "security" emotionally, financially, or otherwise...
When the Orende is quite close you both experience a "Merging"...as the time goes by and one or the other becomes drained...either nagging, etc. or losing your focus in the present and projecting into the future for long range goals, plans...the Orende levels become more unequal...at first the Merging feeling slides slowing into a, "Yea, this is ok, kinda miss the early skyrockets feeling, but hey, this is the real world and things like that don't last...just an unreasonable expectation... a mostly neutral feeling...
And as the canabalism progresses it becomes repulsion...."What did I ever see in YOU..."
And a real good one....,"You're not the (Man/Woman) I married...(early on)
after they have consumed your life force and drained you dry...they blame you, for what they did......However you are responsible for going along with the whole deal ever if it was a slow sinking quicksand...
Ideally if two people get together, they need to be aware/awake to what you provide for yourself...emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually, and not Attaching too dependantly or seeking a co-dependant relationship with anyone else...but this is not taught in Western society...and careers, and child care and/or childsupport drain most people from their early idealistic concepts of self, etc.
The way around this is HONEST open-hearted communication...a weekly "talking stick" ceremony where you turn off cell phones..tv's...etc. and "stop time" for each other...you hold a stick and when one holds it the other is not allowed to speak a word...until it is their time and the process it reversed...and you "speak the unspeakable" or what you really feel, what your expectations are and communicate...many times you can See your unresolved "Stuff" as you speak it and can find what you are resonsible to provide for yourself and what the other can provide for you....
this is what works for me, I am not asking anyone to "believe" anything or agree with me at all.
A-ho....Fort Worth, TX
 
Isshin68,

I agree with the first part of your statement about the Tribal people. The rest of your statement is long winded.
 
What are your major accomplishments?

1) Swam across the American river.
2) Swam across the Rajasthan river.
3) Bathed in the Ganga river and Pacific ocean.
4) Ran one full mile in about 6 and a half minutes when I was 16.
5) Made and lost about 70,000 dollars in just one week, in the stock market back in 1999.
6) Went on a few succesful dates.
7) Got a college education.
8) Saw about 5,000 movies over the last 20 years.
9) Read about 500 books over the last 20 years.
10) Resigned and was fired from a number of jobs.
11) Learned to program the mind to achieve basic goals.
 
Do tigers have a soul?
 
What is your name?

What is your age?

What is your weight?

What is your height?

What is your IQ?

What is your personality type?

What is your diet?

What is marital status?

What is your religion?

What is you nationality?

What is your profession?

What is your race?

What is your net worth?

What is your salary?

What are your goals in life?
 
Matchmaking websites such as EHarmony.come, Naseeb.com are purely provided as sources and mediums to get in touch with people around the globe for many specifics. Now, this does of course NOT guarantee you will find your soul mate depending on your understanding of the type of mate u are looking for. Everyone has a different perspective when it comes to that. Things shouldn't be taken out of proportion when talking about the issue on soul mates, especially through this virtual world of globalization. Neither is there any reason to get all negative about the possibility of finding one, u never know right?

Marshall, your analyses of these websites containing limited profiles and throwing your chances away at finding other potential soul mates on maybe other sites when you realize its too late, is a bit of a narrow minded mentality to me. If a person is actively looking for true love online, naturally speaking, they'd sign up on different websites to increase their chances just to get in "touch". The same goes in real life when the idea of bumping into someone is given up and intensive search becomes an alternative. People may go on blind dates or try speed dating...ALL to get in TOUCH with that special someone out there.

I think its understood that you wont be able to find your soul mate by sitting on the couch and whining about life's unfairness. To actually become involved one has to put his heart and SOUL out there in order to get compatible with a possible mate, and if lucky...a SOUL MATE. Whether thats through Eharmony.com or through Aunt Ida, true love shall have to appear from behind the curtain of destiny that holds us all in awe.

My belief of soul mates is as certain as my own breath; knowing that it continues, but can stop at any time. Some people end up marrying one and some marry the "substitutes"; the hard realties of life. But the ones that are fortunate enough to be able to share life with a mate they know is 'meant to be', will agree that the path leading towards this destination is irrelevant...as long as the hope exists. :)

My sypnosis on Soul Mates can be found on: http://nailasdiary.blogspot.com/
 
Do tigers have a soul? Yes, like all animals including humans.

What are your goals in life? Evolve, Evolution
 
What is your net worth?

1) Less than 10,000 USD
2) 10,000 to 100,000 USD
3) 100,000 to 1,000,000 USD
4) More than 1,000,000 USD

What is your salary?

1) Less than 30,000 USD
2) 30,000 to 100,000 USD
3) 50,000 to 200,000 USD
4) 100,000 to 500,000 USD
5) More than 500,000 USD
 
I don't believe in this thing which everyone describes as a "Soul Mate". The term is far too encompassing as to include anyone which you "think" maybe has a lot in common with you : similar tastes, backgrounds, predilections, inclinations, or what have you. If there were such a thing and I were actually seeking that, a wide variety of people would immediately be eliminated just for the simple fact that they "just weren't right". My perfect "soul mate"? There is no such thing. Married twice. Divorced twice. All because I felt as if they were maybe "the one" when in fact I was just lonely and possibly trying to recapture something from the past. One additional relationship that occurred twice and went bad twice. "Soul Mate"? No. Sorry. I'm not buying the whole idea.
 
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