Do couples that believe in the concept of soul mates have a higher chance of survival than those that don’t? According to the Washington Times, an article in Social Science Research shows that these ultra passionate, “destined” relationships are actually at a higher risk of failure due to the difficulty of keeping up with the intensity of such a coupling. A relationship that does last, according to a professor of sociology at the University of Virginia, W. Bradford Wilcox, is one in which there is strong attention and affection (similar to soul mate couples), but also a realistic approach toward love and commitment.

Despite its worldwide acceptance, the prevalence of the concept of soul mates differs by region and age. Marist College researchers found that, of a pool of 530 respondents, the South carried the highest number of “soul mate searching” men and women. They also found that 73 percent of people 18 to 29 believe in soul mates, rather than 62 percent of those 60 or older.

It seems that as the years pass, the more mature we become, the more rationally we think, and soon the idea of soul mates appears less and less plausible.

Though interesting, this research is hardly surprising. A relationship based on unrealistic expectations is likely going to end in disappointment. A healthy amount of passion plus a healthy dose of realism are vital for worthwhile, long-lasting relationships.

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