Probably the greatest myth of romantic love is that somewhere, out there in the amorous ether, is our missing other half – our soulmate.
This entertaining new video based on my book How Should We Live? Great Ideas from the Past for Everyday Life – which is released in paperback in the US this week – explores how the idea of the soulmate emerged out of the history of love, and how we should think about it today. Are we raising our expectations too high in our search for romance, hoping that a single person can provide us with all the love we need – being not only our best friend, but also our lifelong companion and the best sex we ever had? And who invented the term ‘soulmate’ in 1822?
The new video is something of a companion piece to my article on the Six Varieties of Love known to the Ancient Greeks.
If you haven’t read it, How Should We Live? (titled The Wonderbox in the UK) explores the lessons we can learn from history about the art of living, and looks at topics ranging from love and work to creativity, travel and death. It’s inspired by a wonderful quote from Goethe: ‘He who cannot draw on three thousand years is living from hand to mouth’.
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