Is there such a thing as “soul mates”?

young woman

Photo illustration by Christina Smith

The short answer is no, not really. Even though you may feel especially connected to someone of the opposite sex right now, the true bond between a man and woman comes only after they’ve committed to marry one another and decided to work at it. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, has said, “I don’t believe there is only one right person for you. I think I fell in love with my wife, Harriet, from the first moment I saw her. Nevertheless, … I don’t believe she was my one chance at happiness in this life, nor was I hers. …

“… Once you commit to being married, your spouse becomes your soul mate, and it is your duty and responsibility to work every day to keep it that way” (“The Reflection in the Water” [Church Educational System fireside for young adults, Nov. 1, 2009]).

Though you may have strong feelings for someone, as a teenager you’re not in a position to marry, so wondering if someone is your “soul mate” doesn’t make much sense—and it shouldn’t be the focus of your adult courtship, either. In your youth, focus on building good friendships with many people. It’s natural to feel especially close to someone because they have interests or personality traits that appeal to you, but be careful not to let yourself get carried away by your feelings. Review the guidelines in the “Dating” section of For the Strength of Youth ([2011], 4–5), and pray and ponder about the purpose behind them.

At what point do you end a friendship with someone who has clearly chosen a path you don’t agree with?

For the Strength of Youth says, “As you seek to be a friend to others, do not compromise your standards. If your friends urge you to do things that are wrong, be the one to stand for the right, even if you stand alone. You may need to find other friends who will support you in keeping the commandments. Seek the guidance of the Holy Ghost as you make these choices” ([2011], 16–17).

In a broad sense, we never really end a friendship. People should always feel that they can come to us for help and kindness when they need it. But we might need to stop spending time with people whose choices have taken them so far from the path of righteousness that they are constantly a bad influence and refuse to receive any good influence from us or anyone else. Through prayer, scripture study, and counseling with parents and leaders, you can be guided by the Holy Ghost in your decisions about your friends.