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Time To Think Twice About Your Future "Soul Mate"

Rebecca Buddingh |
October 4, 2010 | 12:35 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Creative Commons
Creative Commons
Bad news for people who think life and love really do resemble “The Notebook.” 

In an article published in September in Social Science Research, leaders of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia released startling new statistics about the success rate of soul mate marriages. 

W. Bradford Wilcox, the director of the National Marriage Project, and his team of researchers found that couples who claimed to be soul mates were 150 percent more likely to get a divorce. 

The researchers surveyed more than 1400 married men and women in Louisiana (the study results did not indicate who these respondents were or how they were chosen) from 1998-2004 and found that couples who had “normal” pre-marital relationships (with the correct balance of affection for one another and understanding of the institution of marriage) were happier in the long run. 

According to Wilcox, soul mate marriages begin well because of “intense emotional and personal connections.” 

However, when the intensity drops and the couple become less enamored with each other, they often find that they lack similarities and are not in the marriage for the metaphorical long haul. 

Couples who understand that their commitment to one another is lifelong and maintain their involvement with other social groups have a better chance of success, Wilcox said

However, researchers at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York, released poll results this summer that reported that 66% of Americans still believe in the concept of soul mates. 

Those most likely to believe in soul mates were Southerners, people earning less than $50,000 annually, people between the ages of 18 and 29, and women. (Any surprises there?) 

So, is there any chance these marriage statistics will resonate in the minds of the believers? Will this 66 percent of people lose their faith in the “magic” of love? 

Probably not. 

As much as the evidence proves otherwise, these people likely just want to believe in the power of a timeless romance like that of The Notebook's Noah and Allie.

And what scientist would shatter that dream? 

To reach staff reporter Rebecca Buddingh, click here



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