Do you think everyone has their better half? That soulmates are able to stand among the billions of people on this planet? If so, you might be brought up in what researchers call fate beliefs. These are beliefs that people are meant to be compatible or not. And whether a relationship works or not is determined from the start.
beliefs of fate
If you believe in soulmates, you are definitely not alone. Fate beliefs are all around us and form the basis of some of the best romantic plots. Think of all the lovers we grew up reading or watching TV with. I’m sure you can name five soul mate movies right now.
Believe in soulmates is inspiring, and finding the person you believe to be your soulmate could make you feel like the star of a Hollywood romance. But these beliefs also have implications for how relationships develop over time. People who believe in soulmates tend to be happier in their relationships at first – they wouldn’t bother to get into a relationship if they didn’t think the person might be “the right one”. And those who form highly satisfying relationships tend to stay in the relationship longer. But when the relationship isn’t as satisfying from the start, they’re quick to end it (and are more ready to “ghost”). People who believe in fate are looking for fireworks, not a slow simmer.
However, when problems arise, things can get difficult – every relationship takes workbut people who truly believe in fate may be less likely to get the job done, viewing problems in the relationship as a sign that the relationship is not “meant to be.” The problem may be finding out that your partner isn’t as much of a nature lover as you are, or arguing for the first time about which family to visit on vacation. Maybe thehoneymoon stage has dissipated and the relationship isn’t as fun as it used to be. People who have beliefs about fate are more likely to ignore or deny the problem and disengage from the relationship, rather than trying to solve the problem.
Fate beliefs aren’t the only beliefs people have about relationships. The researchers also discuss the growth beliefs. While fate beliefs refer to beliefs about the initial impressions of the relationship (knowing early whether you are meant to be together or not), growth beliefs refer to people’s beliefs about the meaning of problems in relationships. People who believe in growth view problems as something that can be overcome. They believe that even less than ideal relationships can grow and grow stronger if people work for them. People with stronger growth beliefs are more likely to persist in a relationship even if at first it is not very satisfying, to turn friendships into relationships and solve problems when they arise. Growth beliefs help people stay engaged even when faced with challenges. relationship problems.
The beliefs of fate and growth are independent of each other, meaning you can have one, both, or none. They say that people who believe in soul mates and don’t see problems as something they can overcome have an “assessment” perspective. Those who don’t believe in soul mates and see problems as something that can be solved have a “cultivation” perspective. However, people can also believe in fate and view problems as solvable, and such people are considered “optimists”. Not believing in fate or the ability to solve problems is seen as a “hopeless” prospect. These last two perspectives have received much less attention from scholars.
Researchers studying these beliefs are quick to point out that they are not inherently good or bad. Having strong beliefs about fate can be problematic when it keeps people from working through problems in a relationship that has a lot of potential, but it can also make a relationship feel special and unique when the relationship is working. Having strong beliefs about growth can encourage problems solving and promote commitment in the face of conflict, but it can also encourage people to stay in toxic relationships due to the lingering belief that the relationship will succeed if you keep working on it.
Recognizing that our beliefs shape how we enter into, maintain, and end relationships is important, regardless of those beliefs.