Dedicated to Seaxwulf
I have always been drawn to the story of Aristophanes, that when man was first created he was created with two different sides of either male/male, male/female, female/female, but man angered the gods and so the gods split everyone in half scattering their two different sides across the world so all men and women felt incomplete and spent their lives searching to find their other half in order to feel whole again.
In this day and age ideas relating to the soul mate have been romanticized, and the term has become synonymous with ones spouse/lover/significant other. The idea has emerged that the soul mate is the person of whom one wishes to engage in a romantic relationship with. Now we use the term "other half" or "better half" to describe our spouses or significant others.
But I do not believe that soul mate is necessarily one and the same with love mate. But rather I believe these are two distinctly different relationships and that ones soul mate need not necessarily be the same person of whom one seeks to become physically intimate/romantic with.
The Celts have a very beautiful concept called Anam Cara which literally translates to "Soul Friend." In the Celtic traditional it is believed that the soul hovered around the body like a halo and when two souls flowed together the Anam Cara was awakened and a special bond of which it was believed could not be broken by time itself or even death was formed. The Anam Cara was the person who would help you grow and help you realize who it is you where meant to become. It is a relationship of which there is no judgement, and unconditional support.
Seaxwulf enlightened me to another similar German concept called Seelsorger. To quote him:
"It roughly translates as "soul worrier." But that's clumsy. It means more like "caretaker of the soul," and is like a confidant. The Seelsorger is the one to whom you entrust your worrisome secrets and in turn (s)he gives you advice and helps you rationalise them. The Seelsorger prays with and for you. Kind of like the Catholics and their "spiritual directors."
Many cultures since some of the earliest days of man have had these concepts of the soul mate, just conceptualized in different ways. And being that in many of these traditions marriage was not something of which was done out of love, but rather down for politically and economic reasons, I believe the traditional belief in the soul mate was rather a more platonic bond, but one that was very deep and emotionally intimate. And one that could offer many fruitful awards and can be a very beautiful and unique relationship.