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TheRockies.Life Staff

Want To Find Love? Stop Looking For Your Soulmate

New research from The University of Alberta explains how to build real love from the ground up - just in time for Valentine's Day

If there’s ever a time that inspires people to ponder the elusive quest for true love, it’s Valentine’s Day.

At its well-meaning heart, Valentine’s Day is simply another day to show all those you care for and how much you love them. 

But it’s not all chocolate puffs and roses for everyone.

If you aren’t happily coupled up when the “big day” rolls around every year, the ideals behind what should be a lighthearted holiday can get a little lost in a cloud of pink heart-shaped confetti.

Finding a “soulmate” is theoretically the most dreamy, romantic ideal out there. 

But it can become less of a dream and more of a downer the longer it takes to find “the one.”

Sorting through eight billion people? That’s a task and a half.

Jamie Street | Unsplash
Jamie Street | Unsplash

A Pipe Dream?

Luckily, Adam Galovan, a family scientist at the University of Alberta, says the idea of “finding your soulmate” is one pipedream he’s quite happy to burst.

His research shows the concept of finding “the one” may be more of a hindrance than a help in building meaningful relationships.

“A person can be so fearful of choosing the ‘wrong’ partner that they date a lot and never commit to anyone, never go deeper for a richer relationship,” Galovan notes.

“On the flip side, if things aren’t going well in a relationship and you have a ‘soulmate’ mentality, you might believe you simply chose the wrong person. That can be used as an excuse to not work as hard on a relationship and call it quits.”

Dating culture commonly embraces “destiny” beliefs —the idea that if a relationship is “meant to be,” things will naturally go well.

The report Galovan co-authored, titled “The Soulmate Trap,” studied 615 couples across the US and Canada.

It challenges the myth of having a one and only love.

Daniel Schwarz | Unsplash
Daniel Schwarz | Unsplash

Soulmates Are Not Found

“It all shows that soulmates are not found; they are made,” he says. “You find a person and then put in the work so they become your ‘soulmate.’”

While simply “finding a person” can still be daunting, realizing neither you nor your potential partner need to be “perfect” for each other can take the pressure off while you search.

The study showed that the biggest factor in realizing a real romantic partner is, like most things, based on the work you’re willing to put into it.

“Most people could be happy with a number of potential partners,” said Galovan. 

“Start by finding someone you seem to get along with, then see how the relationship develops. You make someone your soulmate through the effort you both put into nurturing the relationship.” 

Essentially, you just need someone willing to try and grow with you, and then you must reciprocate that. 

You get out what you put in.

You can read the rest of the helpful science the study found about building a healthy relationship here.

But focusing on the idea that the primary factor needed to find lasting love is just getting to know someone and putting in effort – here are a few Valentine’s Day singles events happening across the province.

Brian Kyed | Unsplash
Brian Kyed | Unsplash

Meet People in Person

There are lots of options to help.

If these suggestions aren’t to your taste, searching for social or dating events on sites like Meetup or Eventbrite can yield a plethora of options to meet locals and form relationships of all kinds!

As Galovan explained, sometimes all it takes to meet new potential partners is to stop searching and start enjoying yourself instead.

“Getting out of the soulmate mentality gives you more optimism that there are other opportunities out there to find happiness with someone.”

With all this love in the air, it can be intuitive to contemplate finding “your person.”

But the real heart of Valentine’s Day is just about showing appreciation, whether for friends or family, a partner, or towards yourself.

Focus on that, and the real spirit of the holiday will shine through. Happy Valentines!

Mayur Gala | Unsplash
Mayur Gala | Unsplash

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