One of my best friends -- I love her dearly -- finds her new soul mate about every other week.
The guys cycle through so quickly that we have compound nicknames for them: Hipster Soul Mate, Mustache Soul Mate, etc. She always ends up going 0 to 100 real quick, and gets deeply emotionally invested in these guys.
However, her insta-love is usually based on indicators that, as has been proven with previous soul mates, are not telling of how the relationship will go.
Now I am in no way a relationship expert, but I've been through this enough times with my friends to know there are a few false-positive indicators for soul mates.
1. You discover on your first date that you have, like, so many things in common!
Oh my God, you're into the same band/TV show/kombucha bar! And, you're both wearing Toms! It's meant to be!
I'm going to make a generalization here and say most of the things you talk about on your first date are too superficial to mean anything.
So what if you both love Broods? Aside from having impeccable taste, that means what? That you can go to a concert together once a year? You can make each other mixtapes?
There are more important things to have in common like values, views on money and a vision of where your relationship is headed.
2. But, I have that butterfly feeling!
Listen, butterflies f*cking lie. I know that sounds bitter, but it is just a temporary feeling, like sadness or a chocolate craving or the desire to take a bath in Jell-O (anyone else? no?).
Even worse, butterflies are potentially a feeling based off your history or a familiar scenario, which can steer you wrong. For example, say your last serious ex didn't show a lot of interest at first, so when your date does the same thing, the butterflies appear by association.
Sure, having butterflies is a nice feeling, and I definitely enjoy them, but be cognizant of their cause and be sure you're seeing the relationship with a clear head.
3. But, the sex is so hot!
My friends and I call this being dick-matized. We've all done it (I've already written about my experience being blinded by beauty), but sex is just sex. You cannot spend an entire relationship just going at it like rabbits.
Eventually, you're going to have to talk to each other and assess what's going on. Don't get me wrong; get you some while the getting's good, but don't confuse a hookup with a soul mate.
4. But, the stars/Chinese zodiac/my kind-of-psychic cousin say we're MEANT TO BE!
I can't even pretend like I don't have fun looking at star compatibility; I totally feel more optimistic if I find out my date is a Libra. Sometimes astrology has indeed described my relationship and its problems to a "T."
But, it's meant to provide suggestions, not rules, and obviously cannot account for individuality. Even astrology says completely opposite signs can still make it work with enough love, work and communication. Further proof: My parents, an Aries and a Virgo, have been married forever.
5. But, we can talk forever! Our phone bill is, like, 1 million dollars.
Again, I'm not saying this is a bad thing necessarily (except that phone bill), but it does matter what you're talking about.
I can talk forever about how Rob Thomas novels shaped my adolescence or how my cat is the most adorable creature on the planet, but neither of those things necessarily tell you anything about me -- especially if you aren't listening.
Are you talking about the important things when you need to, or do you superficially gloss over them?
6. But, everyone says we are cute!
Who gives a sh*t about what everyone says? They are not the ones in the relationship -- you are. You need to make a decision about whether you're getting treated well, not the people who say you make a beautiful couple.
If the opposite is true and they are warning you away, pay attention and hear them out - they might see something you're too dick-matized to notice. But again, you're the one making the decision.
7. But, we're going to take things slow/We're so in love we've decided to become surgically attached at the hip, effective immediately!
I'm a big fan of letting people live their own lives. Everyone loves saying “I told you so” when a short but intense relationship goes up in flames, but that just seems so negative.
Move at the pace that is right for your relationship; moving slow and moving quickly can end the same way, so you might as well do what feels right.
However, I will reference an Atlantic article highlighting intention in relationships, which claims that waiting over a year before a proposal decreases your chance of divorce.
8. But, he sends me flowers every day/bought me a Bentley/sliced off his ear and brought it to me! That means he cares!
Grand gestures can be romantic OR they can be creepy. Is this happening because he f*cked up? Is it because you told her no and she wants a yes? Does the gesture make you uncomfortable on some level?
When I broke up with my ex because he cheated on me, he showed up at my job to say he was sorry. It wasn't sweet; I wasn't ready for it, and his gesture was more about him getting what he wanted than me.
Also, in case, this needs to be said: Material possessions do not equal love. There are not enough flowers or Bentleys in the world to make it okay for someone to purposefully hurt you.
So you've made it through this list and still think you're soul mates? Fantastic! Good luck to you!
Want to argue that there is absolutely no way someone could be your soul mate unless he or she is an Aries who also likes RJD2? Sure, tweet me @theduckiest because I definitely have some questions for you, as well.
I believe love is a crazy, unpredictable thing, and while you try to prepare and be logical, sometimes it just happens -- you might as well enjoy it!