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Heart and soul(mates)

Making the case for – or against – the existence of “the one”

With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, The Dalhousie Gazette took to the streets to find out how many people in Halifax believe in soulmates.  

“He’s my soulmate, my teammate and my other half,” Halifax resident Jackie Turner said of her husband. “I can’t imagine getting through all of the things we’ve been through without him.”

Turner and her husband, Kyle Aucoin both believe in soulmates without a doubt. In fact, they believe they’ve already found their soulmates in each other.  

“A soulmate is easy, fun to be around and you can do anything together,” said Aucoin. “Jackie is all of that and more.”  

Studying the soul

According to a study done in a Marist poll, 73 per cent of Americans believe “the one” is waiting for them. Most Canadians appear to share the same idea. Similarly, 75 per cent of Canadians believe their “one” is out there, according to a study by Match.com. 

However, not everyone is so sure about the existence of soulmates. Some are hesitant to the concept, enjoying the concept and wishing it to be true. Others remain skeptical, completely against the romanticized idea altogether.   

“I don’t know if ‘soulmate’ is the right word, but I think I believe that there are definitely people out there that you can have an instant connection with, like physically, emotionally, mentally,” said Taylor Cusack. “I think the idea of soulmates is really romantic and it’s great and reassuring to hear that people believe.” 

Nick Caps, a friend of Cusack’s, scoffed at the concept. While being open to the idea of love, he refuses to be contained to only one single chance at true love.  

“No, I don’t believe in soulmates. There are too many people in the world,” said Caps. “The idea that there is only one person out there for you seems kind of fabricated.” 

study from the Vanier Institute of the Family appears to back up Caps’ point of view. It states four in every 10 first-marriages will end in divorce. This would leave people who believe in “the one” out of luck –– or saddled to their first marriage with high stakes. That said, there are people who, although believers of soulmates, think that an individual can have multiple in one lifetime. 

 More than one “one” 

“I think that there are just some people that you feel differently for, where as soon as you met the person you just vibed in a way that could be likened to a soulmate,” said Aziza Bayoumi. “I don’t think you can have one soulmate, I believe that you can have many. I’ve had both platonic friends and romantic relationships with a similar feeling of connection.” 

As reported in Psychology Today, researcher Raymond Knee found people have one of two beliefs when it concerns relationships: destiny beliefs or growth beliefs. The first is someone believing they’re destined to be with a specific person; the second is when a relationship progresses slowly and the couple puts in an effort to fit and grow together.  

The people who believe in destiny are those who pursue relationships after an initial click, rather than a gradual attraction. When problems arose in these relationships, they are more willing to make things work over ending things altogether.  

For armchair researchers, there’s also comfort in the idea that soulmates don’t have to be of the romantic sense at all. Believing one is destined to encounter and immediately connect with someone doesn’t have to stay exclusive to one type of relationship. It can be true of all of them.   

“I believe in soulmates but I don’t necessarily believe they have to be romantic,” said Chris Snook. “I think the real problem is the thought that soulmates can only be concerning a romantic relationship.”  

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Isabel Buckmaster

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