At times, life can start to feel like an ongoing checklist of thresholds to reach, goals to meet, and benchmarks to hit—and finding your “soul mate” is often one of those.
For psychiatrist Anna Yusim, M.D., the lists of “shoulds” ran her life until she found spirituality, which became an important part of finding her soul mate.
“I was going to medical school, being a good student. I was in a relationship. I had lots of friends. I was a good daughter,” she told us during a recent mbg podcast. “You know, all those things—the shoulds. But there is something missing […], and I didn’t even know it because I was trying so hard to do all these things that were expected of me.”
In her practice, Yusim often sees patients who seem to have it all together but are struggling when it comes to finding the ever elusive soul mate they so desire. While there’s no foolproof set of steps to meet a romantic partner, Yusim has found that there are some things to know that can help you find your perfect match.
Drawing on her own experiences, Yusim has found that one of the most important parts of finding a soul mate is learning more about yourself. Recognizing how others reflect you, and that you may be attracting people who mimic your behaviors (even the not-so-good ones) may help you end those behaviors. “We drive into our lives who we are,” she said. “I kept drawing these emotionally unavailable men because a part of me was emotionally unavailable.”
Looking back, Yusim thinks that maybe part of the delay in meeting her soul mate had to do with how much she still had to learn. She retrospectively realized she needed “to go through this process” in order to be ready when she did encounter a possible soul mate. Going hand in hand with embracing the learning moments on the journey is being open to those moments and to growth but also to connection.
“The problems are in being able to connect deeply to another person and have the kind of life that they want with that person,” explained Yusim. “And these are also people who are super, super motivated because they’re so career focused. They’re doing so well in their careers. But this is the part of their life that they just can’t surrender.”
Surrendering to that element of the unknown, and to waiting for what will happen but not pursuing actionable items to make it happen, can be challenging. But that acceptance is essential to finding what you are looking for.
“There’s an element of surrender that you need in order to truly find the right person for you,” said Yusim.
While we may traditionally think of our soul mate as the one romantic partner we’re meant to find, it’s likely we actually have more than one soul mate that we encounter over our lives and that they each serve their own unique purpose.