By Danielle Braff
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Do you only have 1 soulmate in the universe or will you connect deeply with multiple people over your lifetime? Danielle Braff takes a look at various thoughts on the subject.
Lisa Elkins knew the minute she met Ron Elkins during a middle-of-the-night coffee break in college that she’d spend the rest of her life with him. She was 18 and he was 20.
Today, the two architects, who have been married for 18 years, share a home and a company together, working just 5 feet away from each other in an Illinois suburb.
“I think you can make things work with different people, but I think there’s a really special connection that makes one significantly more right than anyone else,” she said.
An overwhelming majority of Americans believe in the idea of soul mates. Psychologists and relationship experts, however, dispute the idea of a soul mate, saying that multiple people can match each other romantically.
This can have a positive or negative interpretation.
For instance, if you could love multiple people, it may be easier to back out of a bad relationship, but at the same time, it also can offer an excuse to have an affair.
“The idea of a soul mate often results in a sense of security, if they are my soul mate, then I am theirs, and they could never leave me since they can’t find another soul mate,” said Ramani Durvasula, professor of psychology at California State University in Los Angeles. “It’s likely a false sense of security but a sense of security nonetheless.”
The soul mate idea is also a fairly romantic notion, says relationship expert Gary Lewandowski Jr.
“In reality, there are likely several people with whom any one individual could be compatible,” said Lewandowski, a professor and chairman in the psychology department at Monmouth University in New Jersey. “We see evidence of this when people have multiple high-quality relationships over time.”