Alicia Goluszka | The DePaulia
A soulmate is defined as a person whom one has a strong affinity, shared values and tastes and often a romantic bond, according to Dictionary.com.
Funnily enough, it’s definition such as those that cause people to lose sight of a connection they have with someone outside of romance. You could be sitting on the couch with your cousin, best friend, your pet, perhaps, and feel as connected with and share a level of intimacy with them that surely makes them your soulmate.
Intimacy simply means being close in familiarity or friendship.
Tim Cole, a communication studies professor at DePaul, explains that these connections are important and needed in all different forms.
“You can have intimacy without romance, right,” he said. “And intimacy is defined as someone who knows you, cares about you, understands you and makes you feel understood. So, intimacy is critical. Important.”
The importance of these connections can come in many different forms for people and the feeling of understanding is deep and personable.
“… Research shows it’s really important to have quality connections over quantity,” Cole said. “And so it’s really important to have one or two people in your life who really understand you, get you, value you, make you feel loved, respected.”
Take your pet, for example. Many are service dogs or comfort pets because people are able to connect with them and their mood improves immensely when their pet is present. It may not be a person, but a pet can very easily give you a form of intimacy.
DePaul sophomore Jillian Owens feels bonded with her service dog Bodhisattva or “Bodhi” for short. Owens feels constantly looked after and feels her well-being is better when he’s around.
“I believe a soulmate can be anyone or any being that looks at you like you put the sun in the sky,” she said. “Which is how my service dog in training looks at me.”
Another common form of intimacy can be found through a best friend. The long phone calls, sleepovers, facetime dates, the feeling of absolute certainty that you are understood and loved. You laugh until you can’t breathe, with tears streaming down your face. Your mind feels at ease when they are around and you’re free to be yourself. A bond with a friend is unbeatable.
DePaul senior Amanda Stocchetti has found a soulmate through her best friend Sarah. She referees to them as kindred spirits.
“I feel like sometimes she and I share a brain because we have the same thoughts and reactions on things,” she said. “There have been so many times we say the exact same thing at the exact same time. When I have a bad day I don’t have to explain to her why I’m upset, I can just say I’m upset and she gets it. We talk for hours.”
The possibilities for a strong connection can be somewhat endless. Some are even built right into your family. Think of that one cousin who’s become your favorite person in life and makes every family reunion better. Or maybe an aunt that everyone says you’re just alike.
Melyssa Guzman, a senior at DePaul, says her mother is her soulmate and that their personalities compliment each other well.
“My relationship with my mom is probably the most important relationship I have because I am an only child and we don’t have much family besides each other,” she said. “I don’t know how I would survive without her, she has made me more independent and responsible.”
A soulmate is a special connection that can be held between two people through any type of relationship. They can also come at different stages in life. You may find one when you’re five and one again at 25.
It doesn’t matter when it happens; what matters is it’s a bond that is unremarkable.