Reader Question - What do you mean by living a soulmate lifestyle? How/where do I start? How will I know if I'm doing things right? Why can't I just be who I am and find someone who will accept me the way I am? I don't want to change! I am exactly who I want to be.
Congratulations for being exactly who you want to be! But here’s the real question - is it getting you what you really want? If the answer is “no” you have three choices – make some changes in yourself, accept the current situation, or make some changes in what you are looking for. Only you know which is right for you.
Though the phrases are often used interchangeably, there is a subtle yet profound difference between these mindsets:
- I am who I want to be
- I am who I am meant to be
- I like who I am
- I don't want to change
Like anything else in life, each of these mindsets has consequences.
Liking who you are and being (or are becoming) who you believe you are meant to be imply a deep inner contentment that is strong enough and big enough to embrace ongoing growth, the elixir of life. People who genuinely like themselves and believe they are being who they are meant to be tend to enjoy learning and often feel a keen sense of purpose. Humans have a deep need for purpose. A satisfying life is built on the foundation of living on purpose, even if you are not entirely sure what that purpose is.
People who like themselves and feel that they are being who they are meant to be have a strong yet flexible sense of self that isn’t threatened by growth and change. That essential quality enables them to blend harmoniously with another person, meshing their individual habits and preferences into something that works for both. A good illustration is the Venn diagram – two individuals, whole in and of themselves, choosing to share common ground while respecting the individuality of each. This is critical for a happy healthy relationship.
Being who you want to be can go one of two ways. On both cases, it reflects a strong sense of self. The question becomes whether it is done in a way that is respectful of self and others, or selfish without regard for the feelings and needs of others.
Being unwilling to change rarely means you like who you are and are content. Instead, it indicates entrenched stagnation, selfishness, fear, and a bit of laziness. You may find someone to be with for a while, but the likelihood is that he/she will outgrow you and move on, often quickly. Being unwilling to change prevents you from creating a relationship that satisfies you or works for both of you. Instead, your relationships can best be described as two people sort of in the same place at the same time, but never quite become a couple.
It is natural to want someone to accept you just as you are. And there is wisdom in not becoming a chameleon, bending yourself to the expectations of another simply to be in a realtionship. However, an unwillingness to adjust to new circumstances means not giving your beloved the same respect you are requiring for yourself. Instead, you are asking her/him to do all the changing so you don’t have to. Instead of the gentle natural blending that occurs in healthy long-term relationships, this relationship becomes all one-sided with the person who doesn’t want to change demanding that their partner adapt while declining to adapt themselves. Without a strong central core, the relationship becomes lopsided and weak – and doesn’t last.
Growth and change are the building blocks of life. When a baby is born, we naturally assume it will grow and change physically, emotionally, and intellectually. Babies who are not nurtured emotionally and don’t grow physically suffer from a syndrome called “failure to thrive.” They often die. Wonder why we think that process stops when we reach adulthood?
Who You Are vs. How You Are
Before you go into panic that you will need to change everything about yourself, there’s an important caveat to mention. This is not about changing the essence of who you are. Who you are is a beautiful divine creation, your soul. This is about tweaking the habits and beliefs, some of them not at all helpful, you have picked up along the way in this life. “How you are” is a mish-mash of life clutter. The trick is knowing the difference.
Most of us have used the excuse “That’s just the way I am” when we’re actually talking about a habit or belief. From the day we are born, habits and beliefs are imposed and imprinted. We literally can’t remember being without some of them. They feel like a part of us and we sometimes cherish them, especially the “bad” ones that are so delicious. They have come to feel like who we are, yet each and every one came from outside us – a parent, a friend, a teacher, an enemy, TV, advertising, a colleague.
If a habit or belief is getting in the way of what you want, you have two choices – replace it with something better or accept the current consequences. The choice is yours. No one else is doing this to you. You are the Master of your outcomes.
Do you genuinely like yourself or are you just resistant to change?
The key to connecting with your romantic partner rests in understanding the difference. The world is full of people who don’t particularly like themselves, who are vaguely aware they have a bunch of unattractive or unsatisfying habits and hope finding a soulmate will make them feel better and fill up all their empty spaces so they don’t have to change. Is that you?
Am I doing it right?
As for knowing whether or not you are doing it “right,” just look at the results you are getting. If you like them, you are doing what is right for you. If you don’t, some tweaking is in order.
Clearing out your “house”...making space in your life
If you love your habits and beliefs more than you love the idea of doing what it takes to welcome your soulmate, there is literally no room in your life for anything new, including a new relationship.
If your life is cluttered with your job, your social obligations, your overbooked schedule, your hobbies, or your TV habit, you send out a vibe that you are too busy to nurture a relationship.
If you are looking for a relationship because your packed life still feels empty, you have become an emotional vampire.
If you are empty and needy, you will only attract partners who are also empty and needy.
If you are serious about attracting your romantic soulmate, even if you love yourself to pieces, the best and only place to start is yourself. There truly is not another option.
Stop looking, clean your inner house, and focus on becoming your best self. Who is your Best Self? True to the essence of who you are, willing to jettison some of your old non-helpful habits and beliefs, becoming whole and complete from the inside out.
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. " ~Rumi
What signal am I sending?
As part of your inner cleaning ask yourself this: What kind of woman do I want to attract? Am I attractive to her?
An acquaintance tells the story of going to a local sports bar to watch a game and being hit on by a really cute guy. They chatted and laughed together and were enjoying each other in that bar socializing kind of way. Then she dropped The Bomb. In what seemed to her a natural getting-to-know-you question, she asked, “So what do you like to do when you aren’t here watching a game?” He looked at her stunned, “But I’m always here watching the game. There’s always a game.” She looked back at him equally stunned and said,”Oh, well, then...nice to meet you,” and confessed to thinking “Then why should I be interested in you?”
The signal he inadvertently sent was: (1) I’m empty and need someone or something to fill me up, (2) My life is too full to make room for a relationship, or (3) I love my habits and you will just have to accommodate them. The odds are already against them even if the attraction is there.
Are you are fishing in the best pond?
Think about the places you habitually go and the things you regularly do. Is that where the kind of person you want to meet hangs out? Are those the things he or she does? There may be nothing at all wrong with your habits and hobbies. They may also be unlikely to attract the person you want to share your life with. Which is more important to you?
My own Beloved loves his motorcycles and is comfortable in places bikers hang out. He also knew he was not likely to find the kind of woman he wanted to attract in that environment. Without giving up his love of motorcycles, he began also engaging in some of his other interests like metaphysics and kayaking. He began meeting new people and through them, the two of us eventually connected. He has introduced me to the joy of riding and I have introduced him to a few new interests as well. Blending....
The best, and only, way to meet your romantic life partner is to purposefully work on yourself.
- Make a list of the characteristics, qualities, and habits you want in a soulmate.
- Make a second list of the kinds of characteristics, qualities, and habits the person you have just described would be looking for in their own soulmate.
- Check which of those characteristics, qualities, and habits you already have. Make note of where your current characteristics, qualities, and habits are opposite or incompatible. Be brutally honest.
- Get to work.
The answers you find through this little exercise are the roadmap to your own Best Self. What you crave in a relationship is your match, your complement.
Most people do Step 1. It’s easy to describe the Utopian view of what and who we want. A few do Step 2, seeing from the perspective of their Beloved. Fewer do Step 3, seeing themselves through the eyes of The One they desire to attract. Step 4 often gets ignored or rejected.
The idea is to start getting inside the mindset of this person you want in your life. What are THEY looking for? How can YOU offer more of what they are looking for?
The Giver becomes the Receiver.
If you really don’t want to change anything, why do you want a relationship? Is it to complement you or to fill your empty spaces? Is it because you genuinely want to share life or because you are lonely? Is it because everyone says you should? Regardless of what we learn about soulmates from Hollywood, love songs, and romance novels, soulmates of all kinds are here to teach us about life and love. And that always means growth and change.
When the soul is ready, its mate will appear.
Because you don’t find a soulmate, you become one.
Anne Wade is Teacher, Writer, Mentor, and Coach for courageous women in midlife and beyond who want to disrupt their own status quo and design life on their own terms, even in turbulent times. She has developed the Becoming Found process of going within to find and address the inner barriers we have all inadvertently built up against love, happiness, health, wealth and any other desires of our hearts. Teaching women to unapologetically shine like a superstar and live their legacy is Anne’s mission. You can follow her on her Facebook page “Anne Wade – Becoming found” or join her “Becoming Found” Facebook group.