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The Soul Mate Myth: There is No One

Rollo Tomassi's new book The Rational Male takes a bite out of a sacred cow.

by
Helen Smith

Bio

October 16, 2013 - 4:00 pm

shutterstock_90072919

Rollo Tomassi’s new book The Rational Male is very detailed with tiny print making it hard to read more than a chapter at a time. He really needs an index but that said, the information he lays out is informative and necessary for men to know as they enter the dating world or even if they have been in it for years. I was reading over Chapter I on “The Soul Mate Myth” and his thoughts on society’s obsession with it make sense. He defines ONEitis as:

“An unhealthy romantic obsession with a single person. Usually accompanied by unreciprocated affection and completely unrealistic idealization of the said person.”

Tomassi writes about how ONEitis can paralyze you and even lead to depression or suicide (thanks to commenter rayc2 for pointing out this link). If we believe that there is only one person out there for us, then it makes sense that to lose that person is upsetting to some and can be devastating to others, especially to a someone with emotional problems such as depression or a personality disorder. It is important to have some perspective. As Tomassi states:

“The definition of Power is not financial success, status or influence over others, but the degree to which we have control over our own lives. Subscribing to the soul-mate mythology necessitates that we recognize powerlessness in this arena of our lives.”

Not bad advice.

******

Shutterstock / Bruce Rolff

Helen Smith is a psychologist specializing in forensic issues in Knoxville, Tennessee, and blogs at Dr. Helen.

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All Comments   (7)
All Comments   (7)
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“An unhealthy romantic obsession with a single person. Usually accompanied by unreciprocated affection and completely unrealistic idealization of the said person.”

There's a term for that: Limmerance, particularly the unrequited type.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Thanks for the props. I'd also suggest reading this post too:
http://therationalmale.com/2012/10/29/the-soul-mate-myth/
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
A long, long time ago -- well before that hallowed time when "the music used to make me smile" -- a wise man told me something that put forever to rest the notion of The One Special Someone:

"Love isn't something you feel," he said. "It's something you do."

Incidentally, that wise man wore a cassock and a Roman collar. Give that a moment's thought.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Yes, I remember my father saying the same thing once. He's right, of course, but it's easier to 'do' if you're with the right person.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Agreed. Two people can *become* soul-mates, but they have to work at it.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Just remember; if your partner is "one in a million", there are fifteen more just like him or her in Los Angeles. And NOBODY dates a million - or even a thousand - people before picking "the one" for you.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Divorced 25 years and loving it!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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