I was one of those people who believed with everything in me that the day I met my soul mate the world would click! We would look into each other's eyes from across the room, communicate telepathically and it would feel magical (like in the movies and romance novels). He would then walk up to me (our eyes locked in a soulful gaze), take my hand and we would waltz into the beautiful sunset where we would live happily ever after - no arguments, no disagreements etc. That's how it should be -- one man, one woman, one soulful look and Utopia. If I met my soul mate and messed up, or if I married my soul mate and my soul mate died, that's it for me. Bye-bye love. Hello "love-less" for the remaining days on earth!

No wonder I struggled with acute commitment phobia.

So what changed?

My beliefs about soul mate love and soul-connections.

I had over the years acquired so many limiting and distorted beliefs about man-woman love, relationships and soul mate connections that made it impossible to experience the kind of love my soul longed for. Like most women, I read any and every women's magazine I got my hands on. I bought books on dating and attracting the opposite sex, and every idea I read I tested it. I can't recall how many "ideal man" lists I wrote, pictures of "ideal male looks" I cut out and how many affirmations I recited.

The problem wasn't that God/Universe couldn't deliver quickly or deliver at all, the problem was that I just wasn't in that place where I was ready. I know that now. I've also been very blessed to have been allowed to be part of other people's (men and women) soul journeys and seen first hand the mental blocks and limiting beliefs they had to overcome to get to that place where they were ready for a soul mate connection and love -- and it happened.

Hopefully you'll recognize some of these limiting beliefs in your own soul's journey and do something about it.

1. A soul mate is a missing half of our soul

The danger in believing in the concept of the other perfect half is that we are setting ourselves up for a dose of heavy disillusion as we go from one person to another looking for that perfect fit. Many men and women are not even willing to work on a relationship with lots of potential because according to them if it needs work, it's not the perfect fit.

There is no one person who fits us "perfectly" like a missing half. The nature of soul, spirit or love is that it does not have quantifiable, countable parts as matter does. In other words, it's not possible to have half a soul. Your soul is your own complete WHOLE desiring another WHOLE with whom to flow freely in love, joy, truth, intimacy and ecstasy and grow and develop in consciousness.

2. A soul mate is a magical person

Many surprises (not pleasant ones) await people who believe in a "magical" man/woman; men and women who live in a fantasy world. A majority find themselves obsessed with trying to create "a magical" man/woman out of their dates or partners.

A soul mate is a real breathing, talking, walking human being with faults, weaknesses and sometimes really annoying habits. Someone in a real everyday world where people get up in the morning, go to work and pay bills; someone who is loyal and willing to learn and grow with us behind closed doors; someone who loves us enough to kick us in the butt when we're screwing up; someone who shares our deepest longings and shares our life compass - we are a better human being just for having him/her in our life.

3. A soul mate encounter is all up to fate

A rigid belief in pre-destiny and a limited understanding of what if it's meant to be, it'll be really means encourages a reactive rather than proactive approach to life, to dating, love and relationships in general. It promotes the egotistical whim of "entitlement" where those who believe in it think that God/the universe/the opposite sex owe them love, rather than where the quality of love they receive is comparable to that of the love they give.

Many feel powerless to do anything and sit there waiting for whatever fate brings to their doorsteps. Others have one lousy first (and only) date after another because they don't want to invest the time or effort understanding and learning how to be an interesting and interested partner. They are looking for a ready-made soul mate and a ready-made life.

4. Soul mate relationships are forever

This belief perpetuates the notion that love is in "short supply". When you happen on it, grab it quick (no wasting time getting to know the person) and own it (even if the other person is not happy or fulfilled). And once you've stamped your name on it, you're set up for happily ever after.

If souls grow, we hope they grow together, but sometimes they grow apart. Our relations follow the flow of nature. Some soul mates are there for a lifetime others only for as long as our soul journey needs them. When the teaching (and lessons) we need from a particular person is complete, the person may disappear from our lives. But just because it did not last forever or because the other person dies and you are single again does not mean that the connection you had was not a soul mate connection.

You can love again. You can experience that soul mate connection again. By allowing yourself to open your heart to love again, you are not taking away anything from the soul-connection you had before.

The bottom line is soul mates make a dramatic and profound impact on each other's lives, outlook and inner being, even if their time together is brief.

So how can you tell if a person is your soul mate or not?

You know you're with a soul mate when you are both doing your soul work - expanding, healing and evolving as enlightened loving souls. Some of the work can be painful and full of conflict (even toxic at times), but as your two souls grow together, you feel more and more in love and more at peace within and with each other.

In other words, a soul mate connection is so deep that the other person's personal growth and level of love, passion and intensity often mirror your own. If you have a deep understanding of who you really are, why you are who you are, what your soul desires now and in the future (doing your own inner work), and if you are honest and real with yourself, much of what the other person says, does and even desires reminds you of something very familiar; someone you've met before; someone who has always been there with you from the very beginning - YOU (the soul you)!

Author's Bio: 

About the Author: Christine Akiteng is an internationally renowned Dating Confidence/Relationships Coach who has devoted her life to the blending of indispensable age-old wisdom with modern realities into a prescription for passion, vitality, balance and effortlessness. Her thought-provoking message of conscious intentionality offers singles new, realistic and stimulating insights to rediscovering the mysteries and eternal beauty of men - women sexual relationships.

Christine's main website: http://www.torontosnumber1datedoctor.com