Dear Dr. Date,For …

Dear Dr. Date,
For the past three years, my girlfriend and I have maintained a strong, healthy and loving relationship. Of course, our relationship has not been without troubled times, but we have always managed to work through them, growing stronger each time. But this troubled time might have a different outcome, which is why I am seeking your advice.
Recently, my girlfriend has had a relatively sudden change of heart regarding her feelings toward me and our relationship. Although she convincingly says she loves me and that I am a terrific person, she does not believe that I am her soul mate. As a result, she is contemplating ending our otherwise wonderful relationship. In contrast, I firmly believe we are meant to be together. So I have three questions. First, what exactly is a soul mate? Second, why do women seem to believe in them so strongly? And finally, is there anything I can do to convince her that her soul mate is, in fact, me?
— Troubled Soul

The idea is that somewhere out in the world there exists a perfect match for your soul. The connection you have with your soul mate can transcend societal boundaries of age, class, race and even species. In theory, it’s a great way to convince lonely, depressed people that there is indeed someone out there especially for them. It’s true, too. The problem is that there isn’t just one, but hundreds or thousands or more. And, as is the case with the Prince Charming Complex, too many people think they’ll meet someone and BAM! they’ll be deeply in love in 10 minutes. What you end up with is people waiting for their soul mate to knock on their door.
I’m unaware of the actual origins of the term “soul mate,” but Richard Bach’s 1986 book, “A Bridge Across Forever,” seems to have gotten many people in our generation using it. I find that the movie “Harold and Maude” more aptly describes a relationship between two soul mates. Rent it.
Don’t bother trying to convince your sweetheart you are her soul mate; it won’t work. I did find some books for you, though.
“Soul Dating to Soul Mating: On the Path Toward Spiritual Partnership”;
“How to Find Mr. or Ms. Right: A Practical Guide to Finding a Soul Mate”;
“Caution Soul Mate Ahead!: Spiritual Love in the Physical Dimension”; and,
“Soul Mates: Healing and Honoring Self for Attracting, Recognizing and Actualizing the Right Mate.”
I also found a unisex fragrance named Soulmates, which is composed of “fresh sandalwood, crispy greens, rich lavender and warm earthy spices.”