CORE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN ROOMMATES AND SOULMATE S PART 1
The core differences between roommates and soul mates can be seen in how partners treat one another from day to day. The attitudes and behaviors they demonstrate shape how it feels to be together. Our work with couples tells us that there are six core ways that soul mates are different from roommates:
1. Soul mates are best friends and faithful, enthusiastic lovers. These simple words express volumes. Think of what it means to be a best friend: complete trust, loyalty, no judging—someone who is supportive, encouraging, and sincerely wants to see you happy and content.
Lovers, as we use the term, share all of this as well as a thrilling sexual attraction that is passionate and completely faithful. This kind of sexual passion does not burn out with time. The commonly-held belief that sex, even in relatively good relationships, eventually gets boring is not true for soul mates.
Roommates have stopped being best friends and lovers and instead behave more like battling siblings. They unfortunately have lost much of what initially attracted them to one another. The good things that once drew them together—the funny, charming, interesting, and inspiring traits that made them special to one another have dropped out of sight. They are hurt, confused, and stuck in survival mode with little understanding of how they got there. Sex, when it happens, feels more like an obligation or a tension reliever rather than a loving and intimate embrace.
2. Soul mates trust one another completely. In fact, they share a level of trust that is best described as unquestioned. This kind of trust influences every aspect of their relating—from communication to sex, from money matters to in-laws, from sharing responsibilities and time alone to friends and hobbies.
Unquestioned trust creates and continually reinforces a climate of fairness and a gut-level feeling of safety and security that makes personal disagreements and life’s everyday hassles much easier to get over. This kind of trust is impossible when your ego is running the show.
The trust between roommates has been damaged and needs repairing. The most common trust problem has to do with infidelity, but trust can also be damaged by feeling controlled, abandoned, or neglected. Trust is also damaged when threatened with or actually being the victim of verbal or physical abuse.
Unresolved trust issues often spread from one area of a relationship to another, because mistrust tends to deepen the longer it lasts. Most issues of damaged trust can be repaired and improved greatly, but couples rarely can do this kind of healing on their own. Trust issues are also far too sensitive and important to risk that they will heal with just the passage of time.
3. Soul mates talk easily and openly with one another. Very little is left unsaid in a strong healthy intimate relationship. Because trust is high and judgments are rare, sharing one’s thoughts and feelings becomes less risky than anticipated. The result is that soul mates have a range of conversation that goes beyond the mundane, custodial details of everyday life. They share their inner selves—their hopes, fears, dreams, frustrations, and self doubts, as well as their victories.