We set red flags in the dating world to avoid re-experiencing a very bad relationship, but sometimes we don’t notice how many flags we put up. Some of us may be setting impossible obstacles for our current or future relationships. Take a moment to reflect on who you would consider an ideal partner.
We’ve heard the term “soulmate” thrown around from time to time. Why is finding a soulmate so important? Maybe we want to find someone we truly get along with. Or, maybe we don’t want to be like our parents so we set goals that inhibit any familiar behavior.
A Soulmate is the depiction that a person may perfectly fit our needs and wants. Although the current world population is 7.5 billion, we put all our energy in finding the one perfect person. Because our energy is focused on finding a specific person, we may not take the time to notice the people around us.
The Soulmate Complex
Complexity is a term used in psychoanalysis to refer to a group of emotionally significant ideas that are repressed and cause conflict leading to abnormal mental states or behavior .
The soulmate complex refers to an individuals quest to find the “perfect person” without truly recognizing it. In regards to that, there are two sides to the soulmate complex. The first regarding an issue when dating, and the second is involved in the long-term relationship.
If you took a communications class you’re probably familiar with a diagram known as the Stages of Interpersonal Relationships. Here it is for reference:
Let’s look at the first stage. Contact. This stage is setup for brief introductions and harmless flirting. Also, recognize after each stage there are clear exits.
Someone trying to find a perfect match may choose to exit during the contact or involvement stage. Why is this?
If there is a slight hint of a red flag at the beginning of the relationship they flee without working through the problem. Although relationships are built on working through issues together, the soulmate seeker may avoid confrontation (I will get back to this soon).
The Long-Term Relationship
If we believe we are with a soulmate then we may assume this person is perfect. Which also translates to “My partner knows everything I want and need because he/she is the one” This is absolutely not true. Even the most mature couple cannot read each others minds, they must communicate effectively. Couples that are blinded by the soulmate complex believe that communication is more of a recommendation rather then a necessity. These couples undergo even more stress than a regular relationship. Situations where one partner does not meet the others needs can create an urge to avoid confrontation.
A person with a soulmate complex may leave a relationship without trying to work through the issue. This is considered dysfunctional because the problem is not trying to be resolved, instead its completely avoided. When in reality we may be rejecting partners that are compatible and responsive to our needs, but we fear confronting the issue or wasting time.
How to Break The Cycle
Write down your red flags and deal breakers.
See if there’s a pattern. Are you afraid of someone with these traits because they remind you of a bad relationship? Is there a way to communicate with your future partner about why this trait may make you uncomfortable.
Here’s an example:
he/she shouldn’t text or call more than twice a day = fear of neediness
he/she shouldn’t expose personal information until x months = fear of responsibility or commitment
he/she should come from a nice family = fear of dysfunction
he/she should not have friends of the opposite sex = fear of abandonment
Now look at your list. What are you afraid of? How can you overcome that fear?
Understand that people are not perfect and their motives may be explained in time. Most people don’t expose personal information until a few months into a relationship. (The intimacy stage)
Look at yourself. Are you perfect? Recognize that people deserve to be given a chance. If the red flag pertains to abuse than you have the right to leave. But if the red flag is “He/she doesn’t clean their dishes right after using them” look at what you’re actually afraid of.
If you think you have a tendency to over judge a partner read my other article I want you but I don’t need you.