Are soulmates real?
Soulmate: a term sometimes used to designate someone with whom one has a feeling of deep and natural affinity, friendship, love ... (Courtesy of the define function of Google)
If we use the above definition as a primer for this analysis, the answer would be yes, soulmates do exist. The notion of the "soulmate", as defined above, is based on the evaluation of the relationship between two people. If the evaluator senses these feelings of friendship, love and intimacy, then boom! the soulmate satisfies the definition and our job is done.This is a very general definition, with no limitations on time and intensity of these feelings. The definition also asks for no reciprocity of these feelings, which means that I could see person B as my soulmate, and person B could be perfectly apathetic to me.
However, other definitions of the term "soulmate" appear, as obviously, if this was a simple define and extrapolate problem, you wouldn't have requested our interpretations. Wikipedia mentions the concept of "soulmate" in other domains. "Followers of the New Age religion believe that souls are literally made and/or fated to be the mates of each other, or to play certain other important roles in each other's lives". The first thing that came to my mind was where on Earth did people pull this out of? The explanations were as follows:
"According to theories popularized by Theosophy and in a modified form by Edgar Cayce, God created androgynous souls, equally male and female. The souls split into separate genders later, perhaps because they incurred karma while playing around on the earth, or "separation from God". Over countless reincarnations, each half seeks the other. When all karmic debt is purged, the two will fuse back together and return to the ultimate."
Aristophanes from Ancient Greece deduced a similar thing:
"Humans originally were combined of four arms, four legs, and a single head made of two faces, but Zeus feared their power and split them all in half, condemning them to spending their lives searching for the other half to complete them".
The above two definitions of soulmate have religious roots, and involves a searching process and "correct" answers, as opposed to the unreligously confined and an any-size-fit (as long as love and friendship is involved) first definition. However, all three definitions are similar in the fact that the personality compatibility factor is at question; for the split up of the godly avatar results in two muggles with the exact personality, and the first general definition just requires you to be the judge of soulmate capability.
Thus, it is a question of which definition of "soulmate" you subscribe to. If you are religiously attached to any of the above beliefs, then I guess there's no question; soulmates do exist. Personally, I would like to think that people have some kind of control over their destiny. Thus, we choose our own partners and friends and there are no right friends to make, or partners to mate with. Personality is a very multi-faceted entity, and with each person having their own personality snow flake, it is virtually impossible to find the "perfect" puzzle. But this is only my take on it.