What is a Soulmate?
People who believe in romantic destiny (soul mates) primarily look for positive emotional reactions and initial compatibility with a partner. They believe people either "click" and are meant to be, or they don't and should move on. As a result, those beliefs tend drive soul mate searchers to be intensely passionate and satisfied with partners at first, particularly while things are compatible. However, when problems inevitably arise, believers in soul mates often don't cope well and leave the relationship instead. In other words, a belief that soul mates should be ideally compatible motivates individuals to just give up when a relationship isn't perfect. They simply look elsewhere for their "true" match. As a result, their relationships tend to be intense but short, often with a higher number of quick romances and one-night stands.
People who believe in romantic growth (cultivation) primarily look for someone who will work and grow with them, resolving conflicts as they arise. They believe that relationships can evolve with hard work and compromise, even in difficult situations. As a result, they tend to be less passionate and satisfied with partners at first. A romantic growth individual doesn't have the same intense, euphoric response to partner connections. However, when problems arise, they are motivated to solve them and stay committed to their partner. As a result, their relationships tend to be longer and more satisfying over time. Rather than rejecting a partner for minor disagreements, they work together, evolve, and grow a satisfying relationship.
Knee, C. R. (1998). Implicit theories of relationships.
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