Call me a stick in the mud, but part of my skepticism disagrees with the concept of True Love/Soul Mates. It is all a fantasy, a wish. I hope this discussion will either help me feel better about feeling this way, or change my mind. Go for it.

 

Tags: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=IeZMIgheZro

Views: 233

Replies to This Discussion

Good topic! I am inclined to agree with you, Brenda. I don't doubt (though it has unfortunately never happened to ME) that two people can be so in sync with each other, so right for each other, and make each other so happy that they would experience their love as something singular, special, and un-reproduceable, but of course they each might also have found someone else who would also have made them feel that way. I suppose this state of affairs is hard to come by (judging from my own experiences that is), and so I suppose that this fact (if it is a fact) would make it seem as if they each really did find the one single person on the face of the planet who could produce such an effect. I would suppose even further that there might even have been couples who have existed at some time or another who really were the best possible matches for each other from the pool of all possible mates. It is not beyond possibility that at least one such couple (or maybe many more than one) have actually found each other and made a wildly successful relationship out of it (or even that some others have found each other but their relationship was destroyed by misfortune of some sort). But even for those most fortunate couples, one could not say that they were "soul mates" or had found their only "true" love without appeal to some sort of divine providence. They might very well have found real love with someone else. Meanwhile, the rest of us just have to make do with what we have, or more precisely, what we haven't got.
I think of true love and soul mates as being two entirely different things.  I don't think there is one person out there for us... I am sure I could have found happiness with many people (not at the same time, mind you... only because I have a bit of a jealous streak).  I did however, fall in love with a wonderful man and we've been living together for 23 years (18 of those married).  He is my "true love", as he's my best friend and I still smile when I see him, and find him smart, funny, sexy and all that.  He's the first person I want to talk to when I am excited and happy, and also when I am sad and need a lift.  Our love is true because we make it so... "soul mates" to me implies that someone else made it so.  Could I have found "true love" with someone else?  I'm almost certain I could have.  I think the idea that there is one person on this planet that is meant for me is crazy.

My college students all believe that everyone has a soul mate, one person who is absolutely the one you are meant to be with.  Damned lucky, I think, that so many of them go to the same high school.  What are the odds? 

I agree that the concept of romantic love is a fantasy. 
there are lots of people who don't believe in gods but do believe in other such silly things. they're technically atheist, but they are being inconsistent in their thinking. to be consitent, you must question everything. i questioned the idea of monogamy and found it had no basis in reality.

I agree. If we each have one special soulmate, what are the odds of finding them among the billions of people on Earth, not to mention throughout history? (Unless you believe in a God to arrange such a meeting for you - then it seems inevitable!) The fact that people find "true love" generally with someone in their own high school, college, home town, or even country suggests that each of us has many such compatible mates bouncing around out there. I think what makes a romantic bond special is time spent together building up a history of shared experience. That history makes each relationship unique and special.

Studies show that relationships go through phases. The "magical" romantic physical attraction that characterizes the beginning of a relationship naturally wears off over time. Then it takes devotion, commitment, communication - effort! - to keep a relationship happy and healthy and rewarding for both parties. Love is a verb! True love is something you do, not something that just happens to you.

that, i disagree with, "effort" implies forcing something to be a certain way. you can't force emotions, you have to let them develop, and they do change, you'll never feel exactly the same way about someone forever.
"effort" implies forcing something to be a certain way.
No, it doesn't. Effort means consciously working toward a certain end. In the case of maintaining a long-term relationship, effort means tending to your partner's needs. This could be as simple as doing your share of the chores, spending time together on "date night," remembering an anniversary, avoiding infidelity, etc. Those things don't happen by magic, and when they don't happen, the relationship suffers. Sure you can't force emotions, but you do have to put in the effort to continually earn your partner's love, respect, and devotion; your partner won't "force" those emotions on your behalf if you continually neglect the relationship. And if it feels effortless to you to tend to these relationship needs, then you are a better person than I! Sometimes you have to honor your obligations even when you aren't "feeling the love." Living with any other human 24/7 is a challenge, no matter how naturally compatible you are. Oh, and P.S. - it becomes ten times the challenge when kids are involved!

you tend to their needs because you want to, not because you're trying to "work towards a certain end" or "maintain a long-term relationship". feelings are about the present and the present only, the idea of "obligation" makes the whole thing seem dishonest.

 

also, i don't see the connection between having a sexual relationship with a person and living with them or raising children with them, these things can all be done separately. the religious idea of the family unit is not the only way to exist anymore than the idea of a soul mate is the only way to feel for someone.

Sounds like another good discussion brewing... Something like, "what is the ideal family structure and do worthwhile relationships require effort to maintain." I imagine it will be lively :-)

awesome feedback, much appreciated. makes me feel better about how I feel, but also a kick in the butt to take responsibility for it my feelings as well. this is much more effective (and cheaper) than marriage counselling ;)

I think we all probably agree on what a soul mate is... the idea that one person is destined for another, which I think we all agree is hogwash.  But perhaps we should define what "true love" is, as I think my idea might not be the same as others. 

 

I equate true with being real.  To me, a true love does not imply that there is only one person out there that I will fall in love with, but rather that once I do, it will be enjoyable because it was based on a good mixture of attraction, compatibility, and so on.  Though, quite honestly, I never before considered using the term "true love" to describe my relationship, I do think it fits.  And if, for some reason, I separate from or divorce my spouse, I don't think that takes away from the "true love" we had while together. 

 

Well said GBM Harper.  Though, through my own experience, that "magical romantic physical attraction that characterizes the beginning of a relationship" does not necessarily wear off, but rather ebbs and flows.  There are times when we will be more in sync with our lovers, and times when we feel more distant.  Waiting out and talking through those times when we are not in sync is beneficial, at least if your desire is to have a long term relationship. 

 

I don't think "true love" is anything magical.  I think it is the result of two people who fall in love working together to make a relationship last.  I've just recently passed the threshold of living with my husband for more years than I lived without him.  We are opposites in many ways, but we both value the same things.  By being opposites, we both bring something interesting and novel to the other in a conversation, but because we have many of the same ideals, we have enough to rally together.

RSS

Support Atheist Nexus

Donate Today

Donate

 

Help Nexus When You Buy From Amazon

Amazon

MJ

Latest Activity

Warren Jappe commented on Steve Shives's video
24 minutes ago
Warren Jappe posted a video

It's good to be anti-Islam

...but not anti-Muslim. Christians burned alive, beheaded, crucified and tortured to death http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/christians-are-being-bur...
39 minutes ago
Pat replied to Raj's discussion Bible: all laws must be obeyed
42 minutes ago
Pat replied to Polaroidxxx's discussion Atheist Confetti
51 minutes ago
John Jubinsky added a discussion to the group ORIGINS: UNIVERSE, LIFE, HUMANKIND, AND DARWIN
1 hour ago
sk8eycat replied to Steph S.'s discussion Noah movie religious controversy
1 hour ago
Sentient Biped replied to Raj's discussion Bible: all laws must be obeyed
2 hours ago
Loren Miller replied to Polaroidxxx's discussion Atheist Confetti
3 hours ago
Steve Shives posted a video

Chapters Eleven and Twelve - An Atheist Reads Simply Christian

The examination of N.T. Wright's Simply Christian continues with a look at Chapter Eleven: Worship, and Chapter Twelve: Prayer.
3 hours ago
booklover replied to James M. Martin's discussion World Wrestling's Steve Austin on Why Same Sex Couples Should be Allowed to Marry
3 hours ago
Michael Penn replied to James M. Martin's discussion World Wrestling's Steve Austin on Why Same Sex Couples Should be Allowed to Marry
3 hours ago
booklover replied to Steph S.'s discussion Noah movie religious controversy
4 hours ago

© 2014   Atheist Nexus. All rights reserved. Admin: Richard Haynes.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service