People often groan or roll their eyes at the idea of soulmates. Understandably so; it’s far-fetched to believe that there’s only one “perfect” match out there for each of us.
But not everyone who believes in soulmates thinks of them in these terms. A soulmate could be a romantic partner or even a friend, relative or teacher with whom you have a deep, powerful and often instantaneous connection. You could encounter multiple soulmates throughout your lifetime.
Another common misconception is that soulmate relationships are always smooth sailing when, in fact, they can be rather choppy at times. But even the rough patches teach you important lessons and help you both grow.
“Your soulmate is there to be your greatest teacher: the one who challenges you, drives you crazy, stirs your deepest passions and ignites your deepest triggers,” matchmaker Kailen Rosenbergtold HuffPost. “The soulmate is the one who challenges the truth of the lessons you have to learn regarding your own value, what you want and, most importantly, don’t want in life when it comes to love.”
So what does it feel like ― physically, emotionally and spiritually ― when you connect with a soulmate? We asked people who encountered theirs to describe the experience.
You get an overwhelming sense of calm and peace.
“For me, when I connected with Randy, it was an instant feeling of rightness. It wasn’t a rush of crazy emotions or hormones, but more a feeling of overwhelming calmness and peace. Like that feeling you get when you open the front door to your home after a long, rough trip and you step in and just feel right at home. It’s comfortable, it’s peaceful, it feels good and all you can think about is how happy you are to be there. I guess to sum it up it felt like being at home the minute we met. I think that’s why I’m comfortable and safe wherever we go, as long as we’re together. He’s my home.” ―Ashley Durham
You suddenly can’t imagine what your life was like before you met.
“When I connected with my soulmate it just felt natural. Like a house settling into the ground or like the final piece to a puzzle. It was almost like I didn’t understand how I ever lived my life without him by my side.” ― Alyson G.
It feels like you’ve known each other far longer than you have.
“I suffer from anxiety so small talk with strangers is never easy for me, but when my soulmate introduced himself on our college campus, I didn’t feel any of my usual nerves. I instantly felt comfortable when he shook my hand. I felt safe as he walked alongside me, asking questions. I felt like I could talk to him about any thoughts that popped into my head. Even though we barely knew each other, I felt more at ease around him than around certain friends and family I have known my entire life. Our connection was instantaneous. Entirely natural.” ― Holly Riordan
You have a gut feeling that this is your person.
“When I met my husband, I finally realized what love songs were about — I felt a profound love and connection on a completely different level, as though a portion of my heart became open like never before, even at the age of 35! Within two weeks of knowing each other, we felt compelled to bring another life into the world, so by three weeks of knowing one another, we consciously chose to conceive, and by four weeks of dating, I was purposefully pregnant. Every step along the way felt ‘right’ in the most intuitive and spiritual sense of the word, and we now have an incredible daughter together.
Yet, the compelling connection that brought us together has since evolved more into reality than romance. I believe that soulmates are the ones who invite you to grow like never before: sometimes it’s through love; sometimes it’s through challenges. Our relationship has covered both, and now, the greatest soul love we could give to each other now is total freedom. That, too, feels exceptionally right.” ― Judy Tsuei
With this person by your side, you feel like you can tackle anything.
“No one expects to find their soulmate in seventh grade but I did. I met a boy who became my best friend and then soulmate at 14. Having that much of a connection with someone so young was incredibly intense. I was irrevocably in love with this amazing boy who grew into the best man I’ve ever known. When he holds my hand I can survive the worst pain and still find tremendous beauty in the world just by looking into his eyes. He is my flashlight in the dark. My heat in the cold. The burn of love and desire in my chest even when life is hard. My yearn for him never weakens, it only grows stronger. We have been married for 18 years now and in some ways we get to still be those two young kids together. Adulting is hard even at 37, but it’s so much more fun with your soulmate forever by your side.” ― Jenelle M.
The feelings are intense and all-consuming.
“Connecting with my soulmate was a revelation. Before we met, I thought all relationships meant changing to fit better together. Then I met my soulmate and I realized that what I was calling love was like calling a puddle the ocean. There’s many different kinds and degrees of love. The love we have is soul consuming. With that kind of love, there is no need for compromise. You are naturally the other’s perfect partner.” ― Jenica Wynne
The relationship just feels undoubtedly right.
“I used to think a soulmate was someone ‘destined’ for me based upon factors such as an intense emotional connection or sexual chemistry. I dated someone for almost a decade, on and off, who I described with such terminology. We couldn’t build a future together but we couldn’t stop crossing paths. We never stopped loving each other but we did agree that love wasn’t enough. Because of our history, I was convinced love would find a way ― that we would find our way. We never received our resolution; he passed away two years ago.
But in his absence and the grieving process, new understandings are coming to life. As I move forward with a new partner, I am redefining the term ‘soulmate.’ I don’t believe anymore in a soulmate who jolts me out of my skin or tugs at that part of me that wants what cannot be. My widowed grandmother shared her wisdom with me recently, explaining that her love for her husband was proportionate to how right it felt when he was home. I am convinced that love is this feeling of rightness.” ― Sarah Ann LaFleur
You feel safe in each other’s company.
“It felt like an invisible magnetic field was happening between us. It wasn’t love at first sight, we developed a friendship first but we wanted to spend a lot of time together. Everything flowed so easily between us, we got along wonderfully and I felt very safe and at ease in his presence. Within a month we were dating and a week after falling in love I knew I would spend the rest of my lives with him.” ― Amanda Oleander
Your deep attraction to one another goes way beyond the physical.
“When I first met my soulmate, I wasn’t immediately attracted to him physically. Not that he wasn’t good looking, he just wasn’t my ‘type,’ but an intuitive knowing prodded me to at least explore the connection. On our first date, I felt like I’d known him forever — our energies just blended effortlessly, as if we’d been lifelong friends. When he’d walk away, I remember thinking that I wasn’t sure if I’d recognize him when he came back because I couldn’t remember what he looked liked — his essence being what attracted me, not his physicality. We connected on a spiritual level that transcended the physical body, as if we were having our relationship on another dimension as well as here on earth.” ― Christy Jacobs
Responses have been lightly edited for clarity and length.