With so much seemingly riding on who your life partner might be, it's natural to want to predict how and when they'll enter your life. And although this isn't possible, there are some little insights you can get to help you make more sense of your journey. If you're looking to
meet your soulmate, perhaps you can start by examining the things that affect whether they'll come into your life soon, or a bit further down the road.
What, exactly, is affecting when you'll meet your soulmate, may be less apparent to you. "People do tend to misjudge when they will meet their soulmate," licensed mental health counselor
GinaMarie Guarino, tells Bustle. "This can be due to a number of things. For example, people tend to try hard to make certain things happen at a certain time. [... In reality,] there are several factors that will affect how and when a person meets their forever partner. Interests, social skills, and even where they live will affect who they come into contact with, and how they interact with those people." Because you may be thinking more about narrowing down your dealbreakers in a relationship, or figuring out which dating app to use, you may miss out on some of the self-reflection that will give you more of a hint about where you are on the track to love.
Instead, it may be worthwhile to examine your perspectives and priorities to get a more clear sense of things. Here are seven surprising things that can affect when you meet your soulmate, according to experts.
1 Whether You're Happy On Your Own
While this may be a frustrating point, it's worth listening to therapists on this one. As much as it may surprise you, the cliché about the right one coming along as soon as you don't need them may actually be true.
"The most important factor that affects how a person meets their soulmate is their relationship with themselves," Guarino says. "Not having a good relationship with yourself prevents you from being able to develop healthy relationships with others, even your soulmate." Once you're able to
accept yourself on your own, then you'll be able to open yourself up to potential life partners. 2 Whether You Live In A Big City
Some of the things that affect when you'll meet your soulmate are more practical than others. One of these factors is where you live.
"Where you live plays a big factor in when [or] if you meet a life partner," licensed therapist
Dr. Jameson Mercier, tells Bustle. "For example, living and dating in New York City is different from living and dating in Tuskegee, Alabama." What this means for you depends on whether you depend on the statistics of meeting someone in a big city, or the community energy of a small town. Still, it's something worth considering. 3 Whether You're Open-Minded Enough Alexander Ishchenko/Shutterstock
While it's important
to mature enough before meeting your soulmate, you may surprisingly be going in the wrong direction when it comes to finding a soulmate. Instead of adding to a growing list of dealbreakers, it's worthwhile to become more open-minded than before to meet your soulmate.
"Many single clients of mine often think that they will find their soulmate by getting more and more picky when it comes to dating people,"
David Bennett, certified counselor and relationship expert, tells Bustle. "While it's important to stick to core values, the reality is that if you're going to find a soulmate, you may need to open up a little in other ways." So, instead of pre-screening all dates with a checklist, try approaching things with more of an open mind. 4 Having A Strong Friend Group Dmytro Zinkevych/Shutterstock
While you may not fall in love with someone you already know, your social circle is likely still influencing how close you are to meeting your soulmate.
"Even though online dating is becoming increasingly common,
research shows most people still meet their partners through friends," Bennett says. "So, having a good and strong friend group will likely have an impact on when you meet your life partner." Plus, you'll have the added benefit of a support network to get you through the eventual bumps in the road on the way to your long-term partner. 5 Whether You're Overworked
Another more practical factor that affects when you'll meet your soulmate is how many hours you work. While prioritizing work is completely worthwhile, it's likely that the years you're doing this won't be the years you're forming a long-term love connection.
This is especially true if you struggle with
overwork. "If all you do is work and sleep, then you have drastically reduced the chances of meeting other potential partners," Dr. Mercier says. Perhaps this is another reason to focus on work-life balance more. 6 Whether You've Dealt With Any Childhood Trauma ESB Professional/Shutterstock
It may be surprising that something that happened in your childhood can affect your adult love life, but it's actually quite common. While having dealt with childhood trauma doesn't make you any less deserving of love, it is important to work through some of these issues before settling down.
"I believe when we have repressed or unresolved childhood trauma, we tend to recreate the same types of patterns and dynamics in our relationships," licensed psychologist
Sue Sexton, tells Bustle. While dealing with these coping mechanisms is important regardless of your relationship status, seeking help for them is another good way to get yourself in the best shape to get into a truly healthy, long-term relationship. 7 Whether You're Forcing A Specific Time Frame
If you've got a timeline in your mind about when you need to meet your soulmate by, you may only be making things harder for yourself. Like a list of dealbreakers, this artificial constraint may push you to settle down in a relationship that's not quite right.
"Needing to be engaged by 30, or have kids by 28, puts pressure on a person to find someone, which can take away from love taking its natural course," Guarino says. Being committed to a certain goal may prevent you from having an open enough mind to keep exploring your options.
A lot of these factors that play into when you may meet your soulmate are interconnected. Largely, therapists suggest that meeting your soulmate is most likely to happen when you're happiest and most comfortable with yourself and your social environment. You deserve love, but you also deserve to feel content with who you are on your own.