Whether you believe in soulmates or not, it's certainly not a new idea, dating back more than 2,500 years. The term comes from legends that say we all originate as a single soul that was split into two long ago. The two souls then attempt to reunite over the course of multiple lifetimes. Of course, the concept of soulmates is statistically unlikely—author D.H. Sawyer says the chances of finding your one true love are 1 in 2.45 billion—but that doesn't stop many couples from believing.
Whether you believe or remain skeptical, real men and women from all over the world have experienced what they call true love. Here are 10 signs to help you tell if you're one of them.
1. "It was easy."
PR professional Lia Giachino says "it was easy" when she found the one. There was no playing games or having to pretend to be someone else. "He even took me out on REAL dates!" Giachino says.
2. He showed "unwavering love and devotion."
Former singleton and blogger Treva Brandon Scharf had "all but given up on love" when she met her soulmate at 51. After years of dating, Brandon Scharf says she "finally gets" what makes someone a candidate for a soulmate: unwavering love and devotion, fearlessness, and shared goals.
3. "When he first kissed me, the world stood still."
Physical chemistry isn't the only thing required for a lasting relationship, but it's certainly important. Author Lisa Mattson recently celebrated her tenth anniversary with her husband but still remembers their first kiss like it was yesterday. Mattson writes that "the world stood still" and her "whole body tingled." Fortunately, their connection hasn't diminished a decade later.
4. "He inspires me."
PR professional Destin Judy's soulmate Henry "inspires her" in a way she's never experienced before. Judy is inspired both by Henry's knowledge of art and his "capability of love," which allows her to be her authentic self.
5. "We are comfortable farting around one another."
"Unconditional acceptance and encouragement" are sure signs of a compatible mate, says psychologist and author Dr. Ethan Gregory. This includes sharing parts of our body and minds "without fear of rejection or recourse," like having open talks about aspirations or shamelessly passing gas.
6. "Everyone else disappeared for a time."
Wellness and sustainability expert Zoe Helene remembers the moment she met her soulmate Chris. She was immediately captivated by his energy. By the time Helene returned to her hotel, Chris had emailed to tell her the "feeling was mutual." While it was two years before Chris and Zoe married, she felt they "blended naturally" even on their first date.
7. "I was so besotted by him."
Blogger Surabhi Surendra had given up on finding her soulmate when her marriage was arranged in her native India. In fact, she was convinced that soulmates couldn't come from arranged marriages. However, Surendra felt an immediate connection when she talked to her husband-to-be on the phone for the first time.
8. "He accepted me."
Some people define true love as complete acceptance, shortcomings and all. Author Carrie Aulenbacher was previously afraid to open up. She knew she'd found the one when her partner really listened to her talk about her fears and revealed that he felt the same way. According to Aulenbacher, this sense of acceptance was the first sign that she'd found her soulmate.
9. "He was strong, brutally honest, and bursting with passion."
Author Kathleen Cremonesi didn't believe in true love until she met her husband Stefano 25 years ago. At the time, Stefano was working as the elephant keeper in an Italian circus. Cremonesi writes that "he treated those 4-ton animals with such tenderness, it was as if they were bunnies." This gentleness, combined with Stefano's strength, honesty, and passion, allowed her to trust him.
10. "He's strong when I am weak."
A mentally abusive relationship caused author and artist Alycia Christine to "swear off dating for good." She turned to her religion and trusted that she'd find her soulmate when the time was right. A year after this decision, Christine met Matthew, who is a perfect fit. Not only is he a perfect complement to her, he "respects her as a person and as a woman."
Do you believe in soulmates? Why or why not?