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by Drs. Evelyn and Paul Moschetta 

Why? Why do so many couples who start off feeling like soul mates end up as roommates? Here’s the answer: they are trying to have an “in love” passionate heart-to-heart relationship from a self-centered survival mindset that is incapable of giving it to them. 

Whenever you take on any kind of challenge, be it a relationship, a new job, losing weight, or learning something completely new, your mental attitude or state of mind is an important factor in determining your ultimate success. In fact in everything you do, your thoughts and feelings and the actions you take all flow from your particular, personal state of mind. And your state of mind is reflected in the voice you hear inside your head. 

This inner voice directs the choices you make, the reactions you have, the desires you pursue, and the fears you run from. It dictates your likes and dislikes, your beliefs, hopes and dreams, and all that you see as possible for yourself between birth and death. 

It’s a pretty safe bet that most of the time the inner voice you hear belongs to your ego and its survival mentality. The most important thing you have to know about this mindset is this: Creating a passionate, in love soul mate relationship is not possible when you’re operating from a survival mentality. 

If you’ve grown up in a culture that reinforces your ego’s need for instant gratification and rewards a “win at all costs” attitude, then it’s a strong likelihood that a survival mentality is your main operating system. This ego oriented “me first” way of looking at the world has been inserted into your consciousness long before you had anything to say about it. All of us emerge from childhood with an image of ourselves as a separate individual with particular characteristics. Unfortunately, many people, for a variety of reasons, have an image of themselves that has huge holes in it. We see ourselves as either falling short in one way or another or, conversely, as uniquely superior and special. The difference here is minimal while the result is the same: a fragile, easily manipulated sense of personal identity. 

This state of affairs is exploited by a non-stop media that has tremendous conditioning power. Self worth gets equated with the size of your paycheck, house, or car, and how well you match up with the latest over-glamorized pictures of beauty and success. It’s no wonder that, on the one hand, we have so many over-developed egos running around, and on the other hand, an epidemic of depression and anxiety. 

Most likely you think of ego-dominated people as being insensitive, bossy, and arrogant. But this is only one end of the spectrum. At the other end are individuals who are self-absorbed in a different way. They are generally more passive, lack confidence, and always want to please. In between these two extremes there are many variations, but the basic theme is the same—men and women who operate out of survival-oriented mindsets, wanting to be happy, but instead creating problems for themselves and everyone with whom they come into contact. 

The challenge you personally face is seeing how and when your own survival-oriented ego is at work. It is easy to critique others, looking within is the real challenge. Remember, you will not be able to hold up your end of a soul mate relationship if you are operating with a survival mentality. 

In every part of your life, from work and career issues to family and love relationships, a survival mentality causes conflict of one kind or another. Why? Because a survival mentality has self interest as its primary concern. In a world where nearly everyone is pushing to maximize his own particular self interest, conflict is inevitable. Just check the news headlines and you will glimpse this mindset being played out in different ways on a global scale. There is not much you can do to intervene at this level. What you can do is limit the influence of a survival mentality in your own life. The more you know about how this mindset operates in you and in your relationship, the better able you’ll be to break out of it and stop being just roommates.

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