The Surprising Sign That Someone Is Actually Your Soulmate, From Experts
When you hear "soulmate," do you think of a picture-perfect relationship with no problems or difficulties?
According to relationship experts, when you meet a soulmate, being triggered and pushed to grow might actually be a big part of the equation.
Why you should expect your soulmate to trigger you
One of the biggest signs you've met a soulmate is feeling like you're being pushed toward growth, according to psychotherapist Annette Nuñez, M.S., Ph.D. "What I always tell clients is if that soul is in your life, they're there to teach you a lesson," she recently told mindbodygreen. "They're there to teach you something about [your] life. There's a takeaway from that."
Relationships are not static because we are not static—and that includes in soulmate connections. We are always growing, evolving, and transforming, and the best relationships will push us in the direction of growth for our betterment. And vice versa—we can unknowingly trigger others, pushing them to grow as well.
When you start to identify your emotional triggers (often through being triggered by your soulmate), this is how you start to work beyond them. As couples' therapist Shelly Bullard, MFT, previously wrote for mindbodygreen, "To personally evolve means to grow through the things that challenge us the most. Our souls long to do this, [and] our soulmates are the people that give us the opportunity to do so by triggering our issues so we can become conscious of them and create a different reality."
While it's not always easy, it's an incredibly rewarding process of learning, unlearning, and learning some more. So in that sense, soulmates actually do come into our lives to teach us something and encourage our growth.
(And remember, soulmates can be romantic, but they can also be friends, family, teachers—and you can have more than one.)
How to work through it
According to Bullard, what makes a soulmate connection is the fact that you're able to move beyond the issues that get triggered in the relationship by choosing love instead.
As Bullard previously told mbg, conscious couples value growth because they know this is the secret to keeping a relationship alive. "Even though growth is scary (because it takes us into the unknown), the couple is willing to strive toward expansion," she explains. "Because of this, the relationship maintains a natural feeling of aliveness, and love between the couple does, too."
So, if you find you're in a stage with your soulmate where you're frequently triggering each other, don't be afraid to lean into it. Get curious, and you'll start to unpack (and unlearn) the very things that keep causing issues in your relationship.
"I encourage you to be very honest with yourself about your triggers and how you react to them," suggests psychology expert Margaret Paul, Ph.D., in her breakdown of emotional triggers. "Even if this approach feels harsh initially," she adds, "it will help you learn to be more compassionate with yourself. Thinking honestly about your triggers is the only way to eventually heal them."
Similarly, Bullard writes, willingness to look at your past and current issues within a relationship—and face those underlying belief systems—is the path to a new relationship reality. "Dysfunctional patterns will dissolve," she explains, "but only when we take responsibility for them first."
None of this is to say that we should remain in turbulent or unhappy relationships indefinitely, by the way; to the contrary, the point is that we either heal the relationship and move toward healthier ways of relating to each other, or we take the lessons we were meant to learn and walk away from the relationship stronger and wiser.
If you thought you would never be triggered by your soulmate, this news should come as a welcome relief. Soulmate relationships can be triggering, yes—but without them, we wouldn't have the catalyst that growth and expansion require in relationships.
Sarah Regan is a Spirituality & Relationships Editor, a registered yoga instructor, and an avid astrologer and tarot reader. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from State University of New York at Oswego, and lives in Buffalo, New York.