There are tonnns of theories out there about soul mates. Some people believe you have just one, others believe you can have multiple soul mates (romantic or not), and then there are those who prefer the term "twin flame" – which is similar to a soul mate, but not exactly the same thing.
Regardless of what you believe though, you may be thinking exactly what I'm thinking: Uhhh hello?? Where art thou, soul mate???
Now before you hit me with the cliché "when you know, you know," I recognise it's not possible to literally plan the time and date to meet your match. But the way I see it, you do have two options: You can sit back, relax, and leave it up to fate, or you can be proactive and manifest that shit yourself.
So because I, too, am extremely eager to find the LOML, here's how you can speed up the whole "finding your soul mate" process. Below, your guide to prepping yourself to finding your soul mate:
1. Be yourself (but actually)
FYI: The whole point of a soul mate is that they're someone who is meant to love you for you, so how are you supposed to find them if you're not being yourself? Relationship expert Jasbina Ahluwalia, advises: "Be you unabashedly. Own who you are. If you're not proud of any part of you, empower yourself to improve that part. If you love you, your soul mate will as well."
2. Don't seek perfection
If you keep a strict vision in your head of what your soul mate should be like, you'll probably miss out on the person you're meant to be with. "Your soul mate is usually not who you've envisioned, but an entity of love that co-opts a body that mirrors all of your imperfections in a way that makes you love yourself more," says sexologist Frenchie Davis, host of Libido Talk. "You'll find your soul mate in what you consider your flaws. It will be the person that admires what you're afraid to love about yourself."
3. Take it slow
"When it comes to finding your soul mate, remember that you can't rush things," says dating and relationship expert Laura Bilotta. "It may take a while, but when the timing is right, everything will align," she says.
If you're, like, the most impatient person ever though (hi, it me): "Be patient and stay positive. Take some time to work on yourself, think about what you're looking for and what will make you happy. And if the search for 'the one' is getting exhausting, don't be afraid to take a step back until you're ready to get back into the dating game so that you can put yourself fully into it. You need to enjoy the ride and trust that your soul mate will come along when you're ready for them."
4. Figure yourself out
I don't know who needs to hear this, but finding your soul mate is not as easy as Amazon Prime-ing sex toys to your apartment. Dating coach Stef Safran advises you "invest in all parts of your life." This can look like actively engaging in self care, working out, investing in your interests personally, etc. This way, you can learn more about yourself to find the type of person who would fit best for you.
When you put yourself out there, remember "It's okay to have a series of bad dates, no dates, or even taking a dating hiatus," Safran says. "It's okay to ask for advice and it's also okay not to accept all the advice you receive. Everyone needs to understand that failure is part of how you succeed and that there is nothing wrong with being single and looking."
5. Don't settle
Sure, it's important to be understanding and accepting of other people's flaws, but a soul mate is supposed to be your ~epic love~, meaning you can't rush or force this kind of feeling with any random person you match with on Tinder.
Licensed marriage and family therapist Moe A. Brown says: "I encourage anyone who wants to meet their soul mate to do one simple thing: Stand in the mirror and get to know who you are intimately. Who you are in your highest form is the exact energy signature you are looking for."
6. Look for someone who accepts you for who you are
You can put effort in from your end, but if the other person doesn't reciprocate, not much can be achieved. "Find someone who honours and accepts you as you are, strives to understand you and your perspective and feelings, and is willing to work through your differences with respect and compromise," says relationship expert Anita Chlipala.
Find someone with a commitment to commitment and who is willing to do the work to make the relationship work. A soul mate relationship doesn't just magically existit is intentionally created, she says.
7. Put in the work
And finally, once you've actually put in the work toward finding your soul mate, it's time to put effort into maintaining that relationship. "Relationships thrive when you invest in understanding one another's needs, while also acknowledging that one person cannot fulfill all of your needs – physically, socially, practically, or sexually, says Jess O'Reilly, PhD.
"Becoming soul mates involves open communication that is ongoing and minimizes judgment. You don't have to have everything in common to become soul mates, but if you're both willing to put in a similar amount of effort (time, communication, broadening of comfort zones) to make it work, you might find that this facilitates the process of becoming soul mates."