Sunday, 16 February 2014

Searching for a Soulmate

As you will be well aware, Valentine’s Day was last week, and whether you are single or in a relationship, you can admire many words that can be associated with February 14th.

Onme such word you may hear or use is ‘soulmate’. The idea of a soul (abstract noun) having a ‘mate’ may seem strange, so where did it come from?

Well, it may be older than you think. Despite the term being popular throughout the twentieth century, the term originates from Plato’s Symposium, written between 385 – 380 BC. In Symposium, two dialogists discuss love; Aristophanes tells Socrates that human beings used to have four arms, four legs, and two faces and were happy and complete. But Zeus was jealous and split them in two with his thunderbolt and the lovers spent their lives searching for their other half.

Thus, the ides of finding ‘the other half’ has been with us ever since. Indeed, Samuel Taylor-Coleridge in 1822 wrote ‘To be happy in married life…you must have a soul-mate’. So a very old word with quite romantic beginnings.

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