Psychologist shares 6 signs you've found your soulmate (but our experts say there’s a problem for parents)

 Happy couple.
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A couples and family psychologist has revealed the six signs that show whether or not you're with the 'right' person - but what do our experts think of the list?

In a world where 'ghosting' has sadly become a popular term for those looking for love, it can feel like the soulmate ideals we once looked up to have, well, become ghosts. But that may not be the worst thing. For one, research has shown that 'soulmate thinking' could be standing in the way of a lasting marriage for many couples and it's led one expert to call for a re-defining of the term.

Gregory Matos, a board-certified couples and family psychologist, believes we should be thinking of a 'soulmate' as someone who you are sharing a 'highly compatible, secure, and healthy long-term relationship' with, not as someone we've just met who we believe to be 'the one' from the get-go.

But why ditch such a romantic notion? Writing in PsychologyToday, Matos says that the idea of a soulmate can lead many people to stay in abusive and toxic relationships or, on the other end of the spectrum, cause people to jump out of partnerships with great potential because they think the 'right' person may be elsewhere.

Instead, Matos wants people to rethink what the 'right' person looks like. He says, "What if your soulmate was someone highly compatible with you, that what was 'meant to be' was to find that level of compatibility? Why not someone who also made a consistent effort? "Let 'meant to be' mean a healthy, long-term love with someone you’re highly compatible with."

So how do you know if you've met that 'right' person who you are 'highly compatible' with? Sharing his best-case scenario of high compatibility, Matos revealed his list of six signs that proves you've found your soulmate - and they're not about matching traits or qualifications, but the way you feel when you're with them.

6 signs you're with the 'right' person

  • You experience a high degree of consistent emotional connection.

  • You have fun together and enjoy similar activities or adventures.

  • You crave each other sexually.

  • You experience pleasure together in silence.

  • You accept your partner as they are and experience acceptance from them.

  • You and your partner feel chosen.

But, after analysing the signs, Jessi Gholami, a licensed PCIT therapist, clinical social worker, and senior editor of Start Here Parents, told us here at Goodto.com that there's a glaring problem, or several, with the list, especially for couples with kids.

"The article does outline several positive qualities that can indicate compatibility and a healthy long-term relationship," she admits before adding, "But it's so important not to hold these as an unrealistic ideal or checklists of perfection.

"Relationships go through natural ebbs and flows, especially when dealing with the demands of modern day parenthood. As busy parents, it may not always feel like you have an intense 'emotional connection' or are consistently 'craving each other sexually'."

Instead of taking that to mean you're not with the 'right' person, Gholami says to focus on Matos's more general ideas of a healthy relationship. She explains, "The key is having an overall foundation of mutual love, respect, and commitment that can persevere through the inevitable stressors and changes that come with jobs, finances, household duties, and raising children together; The sleepless nights, the tantrums, the endless juggling of schedules and responsibilities.

"When you're in the thick of parenthood, simply maintaining that bedrock of partnership and care for one another is what's most important. It's wise to keep realistic expectations and not get caught up in chasing a 'Hollywoodized' version of romance. As parents, qualities like dependability, teamwork, and the ability to grow together are arguably more important than checking off every box on a list."

Dr Martha, a clinical psychologist and the author of How to Be the Grown-Up: Why Good Parenting Starts with You, agrees with Gholami, adding that the third sign, 'You crave each other sexually,' is particularly misleading for many.

"This ‘sign’ of a highly compatible relationship is a misleading myth that may be harmful for some," she told us here at GoodTo.com. "Our society holds strong myths around sexual desire that can impact on couples’ satisfaction when there is no problem in their sexual relationship, the problem lies within the perceived societal expectations placed on couples.

"It’s not the frequency or the ‘craving’ of sex that keeps long-term couples together. It’s how pleasurable sex is between them, how satisfied they are with the quality of sex they are having. And this is really important if you are in a long-term relationship, particularly if you are a parent because desire shrinks with familiarity and it decreases further with tiredness and time pressure. So keeping ‘desire’ high is an impossible task that can leave some couples feeling incompatible when they’re just experiencing a normal couple process."

Navigating relationships after starting a family can be difficult. Life can sweep you up and learning how to explain the mental load of that to your partner is hard but necessary. You may find yourself feeling disconnected from your partner after having a baby, which is completely normal, but when you're ready there are plenty of ways to connect with your partner after your kids have gone to bed including one simple habit that could get your sex life back on track after having a baby.