On Soulmates and Unconditional Love

I don’t believe in the concept of “soulmates,” and believe it to be an inherently self-defeating concept and unreachable standard. I think about how many people have multiple happy marriages in their lives and how many people agonize over not finding “the One.” I believe you’re lucky to find someone who aligns with your values and your personality, and who understands how to engage in healthy conflict. The idea of “soulmates” seems metaphysical and borne of religion. You can go your entire life wondering if your partner is “the One,” constantly comparing them to an abstract you hold in your head, without appreciating them for who they are and how they complement your life. Not feeling as though you’ve met your “soulmate”, you’re bound to feel like a failure.

I also don’t believe in unconditional love except for possibly the love a parent has for their child. No other kind of love is pure and unselfish. And often even parental love is at least partly based on selfishness. The closest concept to unconditional love that exists is what mental health professionals call “unconditional positive regard”, which involves a therapist supporting a patient/client without judgment, no matter what they are told by the patient/client. However, even this is conditional, based on the patient/client’s ability to pay the therapist.

I’m not sure I even believe in love. “Love” seems to describe a feeling, an abstract concept, a checmical reaction. Often commitment, respect, affection, and exclusivity (in the case of a romantic monogamous relationship) are present; however, these aspects can also be present without any pretense of love being involved.

Does anybody else agree or have a different perspective they’d like to share?

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