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What People Really Want in a Soul Mate According to Research

Aly Walansky is a freelance writer and editor based in New York City. She lives with her two Shorkie-Tzus, Scarlette and Max, and a display of pink polka-dot-themed home decor -- not to mention a selection of flavored vodka. Check out he...

A new poll by Monmouth University sheds light on what we want most in a life partner

With Valentine’s Day a day away, those of us without a mate may be giving lot of thought to finding “the one.” But what does that phrase even mean? A new poll of 800 adults conducted by Monmouth University in New Jersey sheds light on people's beliefs about soul mates. A few intriguing takeaways: Tons of people believe in soul mates; most people would rather be with someone similar to themselves than different; and most would rather be with someone level-headed than super-emotional.

According to the poll, a staggering two-thirds of us do believe in soul mates, and that goes for both sexes, though women were slightly likelier to believe. Also, more people in relationships believed in such a perfect mate than those of us who were single (who are perhaps a touch more jaded).

"Though romantic, believing in soul mates isn't necessarily ideal for your relationship," Dr. Gary Lewandowski, professor and chair of psychology at Monmouth University, wrote in the study. "The research indicates that those who believe in soul mates and destiny, are actually more likely to break up. On the other hand, those who believe that relationships grow over time have more stable relationships and are better at dealing with conflict."

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It turns out that people aren’t looking for someone to balance out their personality, but rather someone who is a lot like them and is able to make rational decisions (66 percent of people want a partner who can make decisions with their head, not their gut).

Fifty-two percent said their soul mate should be similar to them personality-wise — but not too similar. Nine percent wanted someone who is of identical mind (but wouldn’t that be kind of boring?). And ultimately, 83 percent of people are looking for a best friend.

That is something we can get behind.

More: How to Avoid Disappointment on Valentine's Day

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