Soul mates? More like soul fakes

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Illustration by Miles Huffman

There are no soul mates, and there is no ultimate love.

The concept of love is mostly scientific as an evolutionary tool to promote long-term relationships and raise offspring through the neurological release of chemicals like dopamine, pheromones, oxytocin, etc. The bonding that results is natural and tangible.

The idea of a soul mate is romantic but imaginary.

Conceptually it first appeared with Plato’s creation story of humans being born with four arms, four legs and a head with two faces. Divided by the gods, each half would wander forlornly until encountering the other and live in unity and heavenly understanding.

Since then humans have romanticized partners and placed committed relationships on a high pedestal through fairy tales and eventually cinema.

The notion is unrealistic. It only takes one Earth-shattering argument to understand. Or a few years apart in a foreign land.

Love is fragile, love is powerful, but love is not once. Soul mates, too, are not the “missing piece” after a long road of mistakes, but rather, your best possible partner from a certain field of eligibles. It’s almost mathematical.

So logically, although you’ve met Mr. or Mrs. Right already, he or she is only the best candidate in your position. After you’re married, all you’ve done is shut down all other opportunities to find better and better applicants.

That isn’t to say marriage is wasteful. It’s a matter of personal taste. Yet no matter how long or seemingly committed the relationship is, there’s a possibility of finding a better partner for yourself.

Out of seven billion people, the notion of having one soul mate is preposterous. Certainly love is abundant and can be spread generously after sharing intimate or empathetic experiences with someone … anyone.

So if you’re not into polygamy, find someone that makes you laugh, think, work and care harder than anyone else can. And you need a similar worldview. But think of all the other personalities out there to explore,

William Rein can be reached at [email protected] or @toeshd on Twitter.