I've been wrestling with this concept for some time now, trying to figure out just what that whole idea actually means.
The Soul Mate idea is entrenched in New Age philosophy and beyond. Even people from traditional christian backgrounds accept some kind of possibility that there is a person that is our complete and ideal "match" out there.
I think... and I have to qualify this by saying I'm not really sure yet... but a Soul Mate doesn't have to be someone you marry or are romantically involved with, although that seems to be the goal of most people - to meet and marry their Soul Mate.
I don't think of my husband as my Soul Mate though. We love each other very much. We're good friends and we have a lot of things in common (16 + years of marriage to each other notwithstanding ;)), but as far as that connection thing between hearts/minds/emotion/souls... *shakes head* Nah! We are more your pragmatically married types I guess! ;)
I might go so far as to say that I'm not even sure the whole Soul Mate thing even exists if it's all just about the whole perfect match thing! Ugh! The idea that there is just one other soul in the world right now who is your perfect other half? Pretty limiting in my book! And not really that much fun when you think about it.
I mean you'd have to believe in Fate and Destiny and all manner of other pre-determinate philosophies in order to accept that you'd find "The One" in your lifetime! Being single could take on a whole new perspective if that were the case and airlines would be FULL all the time with single people scouring the world looking for "The One", their perfect match, their Soul Mate!
Ouch! How sad and sorry are we if we put all our energies into that kind of search, when there are lovely people (like my husband) living practically right next door and with whom we can spend many happy years enjoying the company thereof. :)
But if perchance that a Soul mate is someone with whom you can share your mind and your heart on a level beyond romance and sex and all that - a meeting of hearts so intimately tuned into each other and connected? Then hmmm? Perhaps, I could go with that idea. :) So a Soul Mate could be your best friend, your sister, your brother, your Mum even! And yes! Even your husband or your wife. :)
And if this is the case, then perhaps we have more than one Soul Mate surrounding us! Perhaps it is such that we are actually surrounded by Soul Mates; people with whom we can easily connect on a deeply intimate and loving level whether we are also romantically involved with them or not!
So maybe a Soul Mate is really someone who fills your life with love and laughter, joy and wisdom, dignity and respect, incredible delight and incredible intimacy of thought and emotion - then that person is just as much your "match" in life as anyone else you love deeply.
Now that is COOL! :)
For me though... the jury is still "out" on this concept and I'll no doubt spend many more hours wondering about this theme. It fascinates me.