Soul mates — everyone wants one or thinks they have one or need one. But I say we’re thinking about them all wrong.
I believe there are three different types of soul mates — two that are romantic and one that’s non-romantic.
The first kind of soul mate is the one that helps us grow. The one that drives us nuts. The one we fight with and the one that pushes our buttons. It’s the kind of soul mate we’re never supposed to end up with. It’s the kind that just helps us get from point A to point B and develop as a person.
The second kind of soul mate is the forever kind. The one that makes you want to be a better person, to feel secure and not insecure. The one where one plus one equals three. This is the kind you see in movies.
The third kind of soul mate is the one most of us don’t recognize — the platonic soul mate, the friend we’ve had forever who always calls at just the right time. It’s the friend we could lose touch with for years but could pick things up at the drop of a dime. They’re abundant in all of our lives.
Here’s the twist: We’ve all had the first kind. And we have plenty of the third kind. But there’s a rub with the second kind: Finding it won’t fulfill you, but once you become fulfilled, you’ll probably find that second kind.
If you’re not happy with yourself, you’ll never be happy in a relationship. Every successful relationship starts with you. You can’t rely on someone else to make you happy. Finding a great spouse or partner or soul mate is just the icing on the cake, but you’re responsible for the cake.
And how do you know if you’re stuck with the first kind? Listen to your gut. Always, always, always listen to your gut. If you think there’s something off in your relationship, that there’s something not quite right, then you’re probably onto something. Whenever I’ve gone against my gut, it’s been a disaster. Listen to your gut, it’s always right.
Reprinted and edited from WELLTH: How I Learned to Build a Life, Not a Résumé. Copyright © 2016 by Jason Wachob. Published by Harmony Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
Jason Wachob is the founder and CEO of mindbodygreen.com and author of Wellth: How I Learned to Build a Life, Not a Resume. He has been featured in the New York Times, Entrepreneur, Fast Company and Vogue. He has a BA in history from Columbia University, where he played varsity basketball for four years. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram @JasonWachob.