Q: Do you think there is such a thing as soul mates? If so how do you know if you have found yours? How do you know if someone is right for you in the long run?
A: So, listen to this answer to the soul mate question—not the way it will sound. Listen with a different attitude than the everyday attitude. Because the answer will sound, in the beginning, ‘cute’. It will sound aphoristic, like a nice spiritual aphorism, like a nice saying—like a nice idea that warms the heart but does not really have any substance. Do not listen that way. Listen as if this is the absolute final answer to this question; listen as if no other answer is possible. This is the absolute truth; listen to it from that vantage point:
Everybody on this planet is your soul mate.
This is not a nice spiritual saying, this is the absolute truth. I absolutely guarantee you that if we locked you in a house, for not a long time (three months tops) with a complete stranger—who if we showed you the stranger you would say: “I want nothing to do with that person, that’s not my type, I do not care for people like him or her.” If your initial judgments were all negative, it doesn’t matter. If we locked you in a house and told you that’s it!—you’re stuck with this person for the next three months, and you cannot ignore the other person, you cannot sit in your room and pretend they are not there. You have to relate normally. And soul mates, of course, is talking about intimacy. So and you have to be intimate with that person no matter who they are, no matter where they come from, no matter how they look, no matter what their personality is like.
You will emerge after ninety days loving that person deeply. You will emerge having washed away all your initial judgments, and you will deeply care about that person. There is nobody that you cannot be deeply in love with, and even feel as a “soul mate”. That’s the real answer. That is the absolute and final answer. But you can hear it as, “Oh, isn’t that nice. I believe that. Too bad everybody doesn’t believe that. What a nice world it would be if everybody did believe that!”
But I’m not talking about what anybody believes. I am telling you this is the absolute truth. I am telling you that this is the only answer to that question.
No, there is no soul mate. Everybody is a soul mate. On the practical, romantic level, it means there are millions, hundreds of millions of people that you could fall madly, romantically, in love with, and have the kind of life people are dreaming about when they say ‘soul mate’—millions!—millions of people you would be dramatically compatible with, romantically happy with—if you’re willing, if you’re not living your neurosis—if you are not screening things out because of no good reason other than these are your habits, or what you’ve been taught, or what you’ve been told.
If you have not recognized that it is possible to love everybody, then that’s your job: to recognize that, whatever it takes. That does not mean you have to hang out with them. It does not mean you have to go to lunch. It does not mean you have to have them over to your house. It just means you have to have the capacity to see that they are no different than anyone else and your love should not be artificially needlessly withheld.
So is there such a thing as soul mate? In the way the question is meant—no. There is not one special person. There are endless special people, millions that would fit with you romantically, very compatibly and happily. And beyond that, you should develop the capacity to love anyone who crosses your path, whether you want to spend time with them or not. You are not required to. You are not required to relate to them.
You should however, have the capacity to not close your heart to them.