Why Your Quest For Your 'Soulmate' Or 'Twin Flame' May Never Work Out

Your dreams and elaborate visions of your perfect partner might lead you astray from true love.

By Jourdan Travers, LCSW | August 26, 2023

Amid the swirl of romantic ideals that permeate modern culture, the notion of soulmates and love at first sight have long captured our imaginations, but do they hold water in the real world of relationships?

The idea of a perfect, destined partner who completes us and fulfills our deepest emotional needs is undeniably alluring. However, while the search for a soulmate is often fueled by genuine desires for love and connection, there are crucial reasons why you need to look beyond these flat representations of love.

Here are three reasons why you should pause your pursuit of soulmates and focus on a more grounded approach to love.

1. The Influence Of Media Myths

While the idea of soulmates enamors us, this belief can lead to dysfunctional relationship patterns. Often, our perception of soulmates or "true love" might stem from heavyconsumption of mass media which tends to paint unrealistic depictions of relationships.

Research suggests that these media portrayals shape people's expectations and beliefs about love, romance, and relationships, creating a one-dimensional image of love, which is unable to capture the contours of reality. Consequently, people may develop overly optimistic or idealized notions of what relationships should be like.

For instance, people holding onto unrealistic expectations may assume that partners in love should effortlessly understand each other's desires and needs without any explicit communication. This assumption ignores the fact that no one can fully comprehend another person's inner world without effective communication. Such expectations, if left unchecked in the long run, can lead to dissatisfaction and challenges in real-life relationships.

Instead of relying on the idea of a soulmate, one must prioritize open and honest communication, allowing their connection to evolve naturally through transparent and uncensored sharing of thoughts and feelings.

2. The Illusion Of Love At First Sight

The concept of "love at first sight" is a pop culture staple, but a study published in American Journal of Family Therapy reveals it may hold little truth. This romanticized portrayal, while intense, might wrongly suggest that love is solely rooted in instantaneous immediate sparks, discrediting the love and emotional connection most romantic relationships build over time.

A study published in Personal Relationships explains that experiences of love at first sight were not notably marked by heightened passion, intimacy, or commitment. Instead, a crucial factor influencing the recognition of love at first sight was found to be physical attraction. In essence, individuals were more inclined to characterize a particular moment as love at first sight when a compelling initial physical attraction was experienced.

Therefore, although the idea of instantly falling in love is captivating, research urges us to recognize that genuine love is shaped by deeper, more meaningful interactions. While initial attraction is appealing, lasting relationships demand more than a fleeting spark. Consider the idea of "love at second sight," to look beyond first impressions. Let relationships unfold gradually for better understanding and compatibility of your personalities and values.

3. The Perils Of Romantic Destiny Beliefs

The belief in romantic destiny, or the idea that we are cosmically fated to be with a specific person, can give rise to the "arrival fallacy"— the misguided belief that once we find the perfect partner, all our troubles will vanish and we will experience everlasting happiness.

This soulmate belief mirrors the assumption that obtaining a particular job, financial independence, or relocating to an idyllic place guarantees lasting fulfillment, despite life's challenges.

Yet, research underscores that faith in "relationship destiny"— i.e., the conviction that two people are meant for each other (or not)— does not necessarily ensure successful long-term relationships.

A study published in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology indicates that the belief in romantic destiny significantly shapes how individuals approach relationships. It influences initial satisfaction, coping strategies, and even decisions to end relationships.

The study reveals three key insights:

  1. Believers in romantic destiny accentuate early connections as indicators of a destined partnership, valuing the spark and sense of being "meant for each other." This emphasis on initial satisfaction can lead to swift commitments, as they believe a strong initial bond predicts a lasting partnership.
  2. Those holding this belief tend to evade conflicts, aiming to preserve the relationship's perceived predestined nature. This avoidance strategy might hinder open communication and resolution.
  3. Moreover, these individuals may feel compelled to terminate relationships that don't align with their sense of being "meant to be," fearing it obstructs them from finding a genuine soulmate.

The "if it's meant to be, it will work out" mindset could hinder active pursuit, necessary efforts and compromises which are vital for healthy partnerships.


To find genuine, lasting love, approach romance with a realistic mindset. Instead of chasing a perfect cosmic match, aim to find a partner who shares the same values, interests, goals, beliefs and philosophies of life as yours. The fulfillment of love comes not from an external force but from within.