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Soulmates; are They Real or Make Believe?
Just imagine this with me for a second. You are a beautiful young lady wearing a bright blue, floor length, ball gown so big you can barely fit through the door. Everything about you is the definition of glamorous. The layers of makeup on your face looks like it took hours, and your hair is done up in a bun that seems too perfect to be real. A glow seems to radiate off of you and all your gorgeousness that everyone notices, and then you notice him. You seem drawn to this handsome man, and he obviously checks off every box on your “dream man” list. He seems to feel the same way about you, like he can’t possibly keep his feet from moving towards you. As soon as he gets close enough to hold your hands he does, and you just know he’s different than any other man you’ve ever met. You know that he is the one you want to spend the rest of your life with. Perhaps you could even call him your soulmate.
I’m sure this fantasy is one belonging to many young ladies, but the question is, how realistic is this dream? Is there really a soulmate waiting for you? This question doesn’t have an easy answer, and I’m not the only person that thinks that. Forty percent of people I asked this question answered either both yes and no, or are undecided on the subject. Thirty six percent said they believe in soulmates, and twenty four percent said they do not believe in soulmates. This subject is so divided, but I think that we can find a real answer to my question by looking at the history and the science behind the theory of soulmates.
The idea of a soulmate was first introduced by a Greek philosopher named Plato. He claimed that Zeus split every human in half because the Gods thought humans with both sets of reproductive organs held too much power (DeBrabander). Now humans reside on earth, simply wandering around trying to find the other half to ourselves. If you ask me, this beginning is pretty sad considering how beautiful the concept is. This idea of a soulmate never really died out, The Bible even mentions them. Mark 10 7-8 says, “A man shall… hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” No this doesn't come straight out and say man will find their soulmate, but it seems to reference Plato's theory that we started our lives binded to another person. Shakespeare also wrote a play about soulmates called, Romeo and Juliet. It is essentially a story of a couple falling in love and deciding, after a series of unfortunate events, that they’d rather be dead together than to be alive separately. Some of the most prominent ancient literature seems to point towards soulmates existing, but what does modern science have to say about the subject?
The chance of soulmates existing from a science and mathematical point of view are very slim. Randall Munroe, a man who worked for NASA, looked at the numbers and he came to the conclusion that it would be nearly impossible to find your soulmate if there is only one person for you. He said if, “you lock eyes with an average of a few dozen new strangers each day [and] 10 percent of them are close to your age, that’s around 50,000 people in a lifetime. Given that you have 500,000,000 potential soul mates, it means you’ll only find true love in one lifetime out of 10,000” (Popova). There really is no way that even if soulmates do exist you’ll find yours in any way close to the dream scenario I described before.
Of course we can always assume that there is a divine being, such as a God of sorts, that will make sure we find our other half, but even that theory has its problems. The biggest of these problems being, relationships take a lot of work and people are lazy. Let’s be real here, no one is going to marry a person that they don’t believe to be their soulmate, so why do so many marriages end in divorce? In 2018, there were 782,038 divorces in America alone (FastStats - Marriage and Divorce). Why is this number so ridiculously high? Well when asked why they got in a divorse, the ex-couples most common response was simply that they had fallen out of love (How Common is Divorce and What are the Reasons?). If these people had truly found the other half of their own being as Plato proposed hundreds of years ago, they could not have fallen out of love. That would be like you falling out of love with your leg, that idea is ridiculous! Therefore, simply because of this fact, soulmates can’t exist.
As much as everyone wants the beautiful fantasy of finding the absolute perfect person for you to be true, it’s never going to happen. You may feel like you’ve found your soulmate, but you’ve really just found one more person that you might be able to spend the rest of your life with. They were never really fused to you, and Zues never had to separate them from you. You did not find your other half, you’ve found a man you are compatible with and I think that is even more beautiful. If you put in the necessary effort to this relationship then you can be so happy that you’d rather be dead with them than alive without them like Romeo and Juliet decided. But perhaps the most beautiful part of this fact is that, if by chance this relationship does not work out, you did not throw away your only chance to marry the person that feels perfect for you. There will always be another man that can make you happy, that you can love. The takeaway from all this is that no soulmates don’t exist, but that means you have the potential to make anyone the perfect person for you.
DeBrabander, F. (2020, May 07). What Plato can teach you about finding a soulmate. Retrieved November 03, 2020, from theconversation.com/what-plato-can-teach-you-about-finding-a-soulmate-72715
FastStats - Marriage and Divorce. (2020, May 04). Retrieved November 04, 2020, from cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/marriage-divorce.htm
How Common is Divorce and What are the Reasons? (n.d.). Retrieved November 04, 2020, from yourdivorcequestions.org/how-common-is-divorce/
Popova, M. (2015, September 18). The Actual Algebra of Finding Your Soul Mate. Retrieved November 03, 2020, from brainpickings.org/2014/09/02/the-science-of-soul-mates-xkcd/
Shakespeare, W., & Garrick, D. (n.d). Romeo and Juliet. London: Cornmarket Press
Widtsoe, J. A. (n.d). The Bible. London: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, British Mission Office.