I Think I Just Met My Soulmate. How Can I Know If It’s Real?

family having a camp fire

First let me say, I am in no way shape or form a “creeper” or some sort of “sick-o”, and I have no desire to be with a woman that’s 30 years younger than me. I was married for 20 years then our marriage ended quite suddenly. I am very content being single and I’m not or at least thought I wasn’t, looking for another. My kids keep my life full enough.

With that said, I have to ask you about something that happened last night at a campfire with some friends and family. I happened to be sitting by a 19-year old girl (I’m pushing 50) that I know through family and friends. We’ve always been able to talk like a dad would to a daughter, just about this and that, or anything that might come up.

We were looking at each other while discussing the way the sparks were floating up in the air, when suddenly something happened that has never happened to me with any woman in my life. The same thing happened to her, at the same time. I was looking into her eyes talking, when, and this is going to sound really stupid, the rest of the activities and people around us…like…disappeared. There were no other noises but me talking. Ok, this is really going to sound like I’ve lost my mind because I don’t quite know how to explain it…then…it was like I was “in her mind” or somehow “connected” to her. Her eyes got big, as did mine, and I was so freaked out that I quickly turned my head and looked at the fire.

Here is how the conversation then went…she spoke first:

Her: Wow !!!! What was that?

Me: I have no idea

Her: My God, that was weird. Ha ha… We just had a “moment”. Ha ha…

Me: I know, I felt it too, that’s why I turned away…it like freaked me out. So you felt that too?

Her: Yeah, it’s like…I just looked into your soul.

Then we both got up and joined the rest of the party.

Evan, what the hell happened there?? It kept me up all last night, woke me this morning…it was so heavy on my mind. I was married for 20 years and had other serious relationships prior to that and I NEVER felt anything like that with any of them. Is that supposed to happen before you get married? Is it common? Maybe that’s why my marriage failed. LOL.

Please don’t misunderstand what I’m asking here. I have no desires to be with this girl…that’s what she is, a girl. But now I’m wondering…have I missed out on something all my life? Does this happen to other people? Is the term “Soul Mate” real? Is it possible to find someone to connect with like that (who’s not 30 years younger)? If so, I’d put myself back into the market and search the ends of the earth to have a feeling like that again. Even though it only lasted about 3-4 seconds, it was the most…I can’t even name the feeling…”fulfilling”??? feeling I’ve ever experienced.

Any insight from you on what happened last night would be most welcome.


What’s with these May-December romances? That’s 3 letters in a row!

I appreciate your mostly self-aware email, Brian, because it illustrates that the deception of passion knows no boundaries. Men and women, young and old, get caught up in a feeling and then want to chase that feeling to the end of the earth.

Chemistry is a real thing. Except instead of viewing it as a “feeling, I’d encourage you to view it as a junior high school science class. It’s literally CHEMISTRY. Dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, pheromones — all of these chemicals course through your brain when you have a moment like you had. It’s the same chemicals that stimulate the pleasure centers in your brain that get activated when you do drugs. I’m no drug expert, but meth, cocaine, ecstasy… the reason these are pleasurable is because of the surplus of these hormones staying in your synapses for longer. Yes, drugs are an artificial high, but what a high!

Men and women, young and old, get caught up in a feeling and then want to chase that feeling to the end of the earth.

For some reason — probably because it’s natural — we don’t think of the physical/chemical part of things when it comes to chemistry. We just get caught up in the drama and fantasy of what that feeling meant. Instead of the accurate, but disappointing, view that it meant that your brain was flooded with hormones, you came to the conclusion that this MOMENT you experienced was emblematic of something more.

Could this have been the soulmate connection you were looking for your whole life?

Sorry to say, but probably not. That doesn’t diminish that wonderful feeling of connectedness you had, but whatever meaning this moment had for you is not in any way a reflection of anything deeper.

It was just a magic moment.

If you want to experience it again, here’s all you have to do:

Find a willing partner and stare into his/her eyes for two minutes straight, without laughing.

Could this have been the soulmate connection you were looking for your whole life? Sorry to say, but probably not.

Doesn’t matter who it is, you will have some form of that feeling again — a deep intimacy that you never experience with strangers simply because you don’t allow yourself to.

I know it sounds crazy, but you can actually INDUCE those feelings and chemicals by being real, authentic, vulnerable and connected — to ANYONE who is willing to play along.

Try it. You’ll see. And maybe you won’t be so seduced by the meaning of such moments in the future.

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  1. 1

    I have been self-deceived by that “feeling” more than once.   I don’t trust it. But I’ve probably gone too far the other way so I’ve detatched from it. I know that it come from a place of fear.   I don’t know if I can overcome that. One becomes comfortable, even if it may not be an ideal situation. At least I realize that much.

  2. 2

    Been there as well.   It’s really hard to dismiss those “magic moments,”   they are soooo consuming .   I had one about six years ago with a recently divorced man, I thought it was a real connection, but the way I could tell it wasn’t is that it never went anywhere.   I have run into him on occasion and all is good, conversation, a little flirting, but like Evan says, men do what they want and if he wanted to see me, he would ask.     

  3. 3

    I agree with what Evan says about chemistry.   It is like a drug.   I’ve had really intense chemistry with at least two men in my life where I acted like an addict…I threw away reason and being rational to be around them.   I wanted the fix, the attention, the “pretty” words in order to feel the high.   And what a high it was…but the lows became too unbearable and ultimately, like any addict, I had to cut out the addiction cold turkey.   

    1. 3.1

      Yes, i agree completely. I’m starting to learn that’s what it is. A high! When you make the decision to cut the relationship cold turkey, one goes through emotional withdrawl. It’s bizarre

      Joy, I agree with you completely. You definitely have to cut the relationship cold turkey. One actually goes through emotional withdrawls.  


  4. 4

    I can actually *make* this happen with my boyfriend and it’s intoxicating! I do it on purpose when and everything around us slips away.  
    I agree, it’s a magical feeling, find someone you’re truly compatible with and try it.  

    1. 4.1
      Mel Summers

      sounds fantastic, can you give us some tips, how do you communicate that feeling so he picks up the vibe

  5. 5

    Even if she were remotely age appropriate, you don’t know if she’s a soulmate; truly knowing a person takes time. Yep, on occasion, I meet someone I am really attracted to, can really mesh with. However, I understand there is a 99.9% chance the dude is attached, lives too far away, is not interested. The last time I fell for someone here I was attracted to, he would up pursuing me while keeping a hidden rship with an out of towner. I understand I am operating on hormones, isolation, loneliness, lack of companionship which I hate. Then reason kicks in. Is companionship lacking in your life? Do you need to expand your horizons, get out more, maybe even move elsewhere?  

    1. 5.1

      Indeed, there are many people we can be attracted to and share a special moment, a mutual flirtation, etc. This attraction/moment/chemistry/flirtation doesn’t mean “destined to be together.” I think once you realize that there are plenty of people you can spend your life with, you stop believing in things like soulmates. I have a boyfriend that I love very much but I’ve met men since him I know I could easily spend time with, even married men. Obviously I wouldn’t act on it but we will have multiple chances in our lives to meet people and enjoy time with them. Belief that there is only one and the stars are aligned or whatever, just seems silly to me.

      1. 5.1.1

        This.   There’s no such thing as a soulmate.

  6. 6

    I felt that soul connection the first time I looked into my newborn’s eyes.   Of course it was just one big oxytocin rush (and perhaps relief that labor was over !) but man, what a rush !     I see why and how mother nature intoxicates with that potent drug !

    1. 6.1

      Ok, the mommy thing, yes!!! Lol!!  

  7. 7
    Karmic Equation

    I’ve never had a magic moment where I believed I found my soulmate. I’ve had magic moments where I was crazily attracted at first sight. However, that wasn’t my trigger to start fantasizing about forever with the guy, but rather my cue to start being more analytical about him. “Why do I like him? What about him do I exactly like? What’s different about him than other men? Is he a good guy? Do other people like him? etc., etc.” — Automatically flipping on the analytical switch counteracts the chemical rush and I stay very rational.

  8. 8

    Ahh, the deception of passion has happened to me twice in my adult life. Both times it took about 5 seconds flat and the feeling was mutual. It was wonderful and awful at the same time. Trouble is that level of high can’t and doesn’t last. Both times I had to end up walking away as it was too intense and quite scary with emotions and feelings being so out of control.  
    Like the OP it just happened, one minute you are just minding your own business and then you lock eyes with someone and that passion or chemistry hits like a ton of bricks.  
    My advice, RUN.   

    1. 8.1

      Katt you describe exactly what I went through on one occasion.   The emotions felt out of control and it was scary.   I have no desire to control others but I do always want to be in control of myself.   I think that’s part of why I’ve buried that part of myself.  

  9. 9

    Are you all sure that what he has experienced is passion/chemistry?
    I would think that at the age of 50, a man must have experienced passion/chemistry several times, like we all do?
    I personally know what chemistry is, but I always know very well that it is a physical/material reaction, and my soul has nothing to do with it.   Don’t you?
    With regards to the soul, I have a male friend that I used to work with for a few years, with whom I have zero physical attraction, but who thinks like me, and feels like me, and has the same opinion of people, places, tasks, etc. We used to share a room with him at work for several years, and he is honestly the most pleasant human being I have met, working with him was like working with myself in an external form, true bliss. He is the closest idea I have of a soul mate. But that’s the soul, not the body.
    May be I have missed something too, and at the age of 50, I will finally discover it with a 19 year old boy. Damn.

    1. 9.1

      Thanks for pointing that out.   Ironic that what most of call this deep soul connection is nothing more than a physiological sexual response and nothing more.
      Don’t get me wrong, I   think sexual attraction feels GREAT, and I wouldn’t want to have a relationship without that feeling to some degree.   (a small degree preferably), but without an emotional and intellectual connection as well, it won’t last, and will turn sour eventually.

    2. 9.2
      Peter 51


      I was 54 before I ever experienced it.   I am extremely glad, in hindsight, that it broke up quickly.   It was mutual but she had been there before.   It was a very painful breakup.   She was close to me in age.   My presnt, much cooler relationship, has a big age gap, as established readers will know.

    3. 9.3

      Yes kiki I know exactly what that feeling is…it’s so subtle but you actually come to a realization through time. How I realized my coworker was my twin soul was through a natural curiosity not interested in but just noticing the little things like identical vernacular or color blocking. He seems to get all my odd jokes and perks up or gets quiet when I’m around or when my name comes up. Well, I began noticing this subconscious love surfacing becoming strong with actualization. The funny thing was I never seen him as sexy or cute just always curious and calm around him. After several years it hit me hard one day and I was enlightened and completely in love with this man with reasons from A to Z. I thank you for sharing your experience. You just never know what is something so sharing about it helps.

  10. 10

    Not sure if attraction and chemistry is the same as a soulmate connection. The former is fleeting but the latter remains.   The former is like an addiction,   exhilarating, exciting, but ultimately dangerous.   The latter is warm, comforting, solid, trusting, like a drink of water for your soul or a ray of sunshine.   I have experienced both and they are nothing alike.   I think one can only tell the difference if one has had an actual soulmate connection though.   As for how many soulmates, I think for some there can be many, for others only one, depends on what level you will deem a soulmate.   My husband has been my one and only soulmate and even though the initial craziness has worn off the soulmate connection remains.   We know each other like we have been together all our lives and have been connected since before conscious memory.   I can’t imagine that can exist with another person, but that’s me.   My husband is the type of man who can only date and love one person at a time though so in that we are very similar in our devotion.

    1. 10.1


      Would you mind explaining that more. When it started, how you knew etc

    2. 10.2

      Marie – I know you are right and I agree. I have had both – and they are very different. But, interesting how you said one is fleeting and the other isn’t. I am currently in a situation where I have this connection with a man and it’s driving me a bit nuts. It started about 6 mos. ago. I have never been able to totally forget about him. Then recently I was asked out by this guy – he’s going to cook for me and plan a fun day for tomorrow – and i got the intense attraction guy finally a bit out of my head. Then, first thing this morning I go to college and the first person I see is the intense attraction man – who holds my gaze with the most intense fire of passion ever – and I feel like I can’t breathe anymore! It reignited/triggered it all up again where I just can’t handle it. So when you say it’s fleeting…what about my situation? It’s just as strong now ..stronger…6 mos later…and it feels like torture! I believe life is short and to take chances, but I am terrified. I contacted my intense attraction man and I’m supposed to “talk” to him in the morning. I don’t know what I am doing or what I will say!!! I just want something to either happen or move on…

  11. 11
    Dina Strange

    Connection doesn’t have to be sexual. It can be spiritual. Perhaps that’s how you connected, spiritually, and perhaps you both indeed saw each others souls.

  12. 12
    London lass

    Call me cynical, but I would be more inclined to believe the OP experienced a soul connection- rather than just good old lust-   if the person he was connecting to wasn’t a presumably hot 19 year old girl 😉  

  13. 13

    yes I have to admit I am one of those who ´d look guys (and sometimes girls) deep into their eyes for long, very long. Luckily I have very nice big brown eyes so people almost never look away. So I have the soul-mate-connection anytime anywhere I want to. Though it ´s recommendable not to let it happen with everyone, some people tend to overthink it and never let go!  

  14. 14

    ” . . . you can actually INDUCE those feelings and chemicals by being real, authentic, vulnerable and connected — to ANYONE who is willing to play along.”
    Whoa.   Am I the only one  that thinks this fact (and I  agree that  it is a fact) . . . has got to have more profound consequences than we typically realize (?)
    What if (for example . . .) the personal  cultivation of this capacity were  a lot more important in ultimately  finding true Love . . .  than a lot of the other  stuff that typically passes for important in this blog (?)

    1. 14.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Honestly, Malcolm, if you and I stared into each other’s eyes for 2 minutes, you’d be pretty freaked out at how “close” you’d feel to me – simply because NOBODY EVER DOES THIS.

      1. 14.1.1

        Well, there are eyegazing parties (google-able)  specifically to do it . . . and it’s also a  technique used in several spiritual traditions.    I like  your blog most when  it’s emphasizing how we can change ourselves  (attitudes, behavior, understanding, etc.) to improve our relationship chances.   Generally speaking, I  probably think we  can do that a lot more comprehensively than you think we can . . .

        1. Julia

          I took an acting class in college, which was a great experience period, I had to pair up with a classmate and stare into their eyes for the entire class. I lucked out and got the cute guy, I had a boyfriend so I never acted on it but it was a pretty great experience. Ever since, I’ve been able to hold eye contact with anyone I speak to. Its a great way to seem approachable and likable. It always amazes me how many people feel vulnerable or uncomfortable at the mere thought of it.

      2. 14.1.2
        Peter 51

        It’s an occupational hazard for interpreters dealing with opposite sex clients.   To convey meaning reliably it is necessary to look each other in the eyes.   This produces emotional arousal.   Pretty young women end up with inappropriately large gifts from middle aged men when the trip ends.

      3. 14.1.3

        I have a habit of looking into people’s eyes everywhere i go…not in a creepy way – i just look and if they make eye contact – great – and smile and walk on…today it seemed maybe i was the one holding it longer..i just was wondering why so many ppl were looking at me..maybe it was me just holding onto the gaze….hard to pay attention to so much at once!

  15. 15

    I’m not really into the concept of soulmates. I think love is a choice.
    I worry that I can’t connect to men. I’m almost 25 and haven’t dated in a few years. I fell madly in love with the wrong person when I was teenager. Our relationship was volatile and he was abusive at times. What I’m experiencing now is the feeling of being too detached to fall in love again. I used to fall in love easily but now I find it hard. I haven’t met a man in a while who I feel both an emotional and physical yearning for.
    Your post made me think though. Maybe I shouldn’t dismiss men who I don’t feel an instant connection to? I think we all have a picture of what love should be and when it doesn’t take the form we expect it to take,   we don’t like it. I’ll work on becoming more connected to men as I’ve realised they want love more than I knew. I’ve genuinely met more men who believe in soulmates than women do.

  16. 16
    Miss M

    With all due respect to the knowledge   you may have you lost me at “chemistry.”

    In one fell swoop you negated the primary factor that supersedes everything: the human spirit. Moreover, you just totally invalidated what this man knows to be truth. He *was* inside her mind in a sense. They were communicating on a very high level as spiritual beings not bodies. It was full of affinty, reality and communication. Its why it felt so great not the dopamine in his noggin.

    I hope he recovers his ability to do that now that its been reduced to mud. He had it. He was spot on. I experience this all the time because I know I am not the chemicals in my body.


  17. 17

    This is so touching, it happened to me as well with a young man 2 years ago.   Beautiful answer

  18. 18
    Marcus Watrick

    Sorry but A few of you sound a bit bitter.   Although it doesn’t happen often there are people who have had this type of connection and have been together 10-20 years.   Granted for this guy it might be a sign that this is the feeling he should feel when it’s the one.   Some believe in soulmates and some don’t, my opinion they exist.   Just because you haven’t found yours yet doesn’t mean it isn’t real.   Hell some believe in the bible and some don’t, same goes for this.   I personally know a couple who fell in love instantly and when you look up soulmates it describes them to a T.   I’m sure there are other cases as well.   Before we can find that person we must first have our own lives/soul on the right path.

  19. 19

    I am dating a man presently and have known him for about 9 months.   Our relationship recently escalated significantly in the last few weeks and it was mostly because we had that deep eye contact and saw into each other’s minds and hearts. We felt that connection.   However, I am not going to lose my head and start planning our wedding because this feeling is relatively new, and for the first 7 months we dated casually and infrequently. I held off sex until just a couple of weeks ago when I was sure I wanted sex with him because I knew he was the only one for me.   I do not yet know for sure if I am the only one for him, but we BOTH felt the connection, and commented on how powerful that feeling was.   He is not yet my boyfriend.   I have not met his family (except for his young son) and only one or two of his friends. WE have little history together.   But, if our relationship ended tomorrow, I would be sad, but happy that for a short time I totally connected with another human being with whom I was also sleeping with.   That has never happened to me before (I am 54 and have been single for 6 years — it didn’t happen with my ex-husband)) and it may never happen again, but I know it’s for real and it does happen. I will carry that memory for the rest of my life, that he was the one who touched my soul. But, I don’t see him as a soulmate yet … that only happens when you’ve known one another for a long while and weathered storms together.   And our time together is still too brief to tell.

  20. 20

    OMG! I have been married for almost 11 years but I realized by the 3rd year that my husband and I were not ‘soulmates” or compatible. I have been very unhappy the past five years but he is such a nice guy and loves the heck out of me so I don’t want to hurt him.

    I am very attractive and get attention from guys all the time. I have turned down so many offers; from guys wanting to have an affair, to old boyfriends or old ex’s wanting to get back with me… But a few weeks ago a guy came into my church with his wife. He instantly remembered me from our teenage years over 20 years ago. We dated or messed around briefly as teenagers and he was hurt when I moved away.. It gets crazier because his mom has been going to my church, we are close and I never knew he was her son..imagine that!

    Ok so him and I have been texting each other, talking on the phone, etc..He just gets me..Out of all the guys I ever dated no one has ever got me like he does…We found we both like to read books; in fact we have read the same books, we both like to help people, we both give so much of ourselves to people and don’t get much back in return, and our birthdays are two days apart!!! We never knew this…When we went out to dinner there was such a connection it was crazy…we kept looking into each other’s eyes and shyly grinning and just breaking out into huge smiles.. We forgot we were in a public place.   

    I am feeling him so much and there is such a crazy connection that I don’t know what to do…We are both in our early 40’s, both married with children, but I can’t stop thinking about him at all…We both can’t…We are in awe at the eery similarities we have, and how we found each other across town, 25 years later….We have both agreed to be friends although we are overwhelmingly attracted to each other…I want to be friends so not to hurt my husband or his wife, but I really, seriously think we are soulmates..I’ve never had this connection before with anyone in my life!  

    1. 20.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      1. This space is not intended for advice. It’s to comment on the original article.
      2. I couldn’t help myself, so I’m going to open and close the conversation on this:
      3. Divorce your husband if you’re unhappy. “Not hurting him” is not a reason to stay married.
      4. Don’t divorce your husband because you of the guy from church. He is, in all statistical likelihood, not your soulmate, but merely a crush. If you leave your husband, do it because you long to have a better relationship. Just don’t convince yourself that your connection with a stranger is necessarily going to last forever. You have no idea if you’d enjoy being married to this guy for 11 years. All you know is that he’s more appealing than your husband.

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