Why searching for your soulmate is stopping you from finding true love

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Holding onto your romantic ideals could be crushing your real-life romance chances

Growing up on endless Hugh Grant rom-coms, it's no wonder we're all slightly idealistic when it comes to meeting Mr.Right. Secretly, deep down, we're all hoping for a film worthy meet-cute where a handsome stranger accidentally falls into our laps.

But is all this sitting, waiting and wishing stopping you from finding a great guy? In reality, sitting on the sofa imagining a tall handsome stranger isn't actually going to help you get out, start a conversation, make a connection and have your very own happily ever after.

Here are some tips to help you out of the soulmate trap and into the real-life love zone...

1. Soulmates don't exist

You know that film Serendipity when Kate Beckinsdale and John Cusack fight over a glove and then make a date with the universe. Even though they don't exchange numbers, emails or anything they still see each other again in New York and end up falling madly in love. THIS DOESN'T HAPPEN IN REAL LIFE!

If you want to make love happen you have to go out, stay in touch, forge a relationship and not just wait for something to magically happen. Assuming that there is someone out there who is perfectly compatible to you is to buy into a Valentine's Day Hallmark card poem. It is real people, not fantasy characters who satisfy our need for a meaningful relationship.

2. Nobody is perfect

If you get stuck in the ideal that your perfect man is fully equipped with a specific set of characteristics, you'll miss out on opportunities to meet real people. Imaginary lovers are great because you can write all the rules, imagine his looks in detail, give him the perfect personality that completely accepts your obsession with David Attenborough documentaries and Miranda. Waiting for Mr Perfect will only make you miss Mr Wonderful.

3. Romantic relationships are way more exciting

Real life relationships are unpredictable, exciting and full of heart pounding arguments, make-up sex, worry, laughter and romance. Soulmates implies you'll always be happy and blissfully perfect all the time - but that's soooo boring! There's a reason why Rom-Coms always end at the big kiss, because everything after that is so mind-numbingly boring they wouldn't be able to make a film out of it!

4. You don't have to settle for second best

Just because you won't find your imaginary man doesn't mean you have to settle for someone who you're not 100% happy with. Authentic love is based on long term happiness, security and commitment, but you can find this with someone who drives you mad with their untidy nature and love of Arsenal football club.

5. Don't look for an ideal

Stop looking for Mr Perfect and start looking for Mr Long Term. Often it's easier to spend years with someone who has quirks and annoying habits than someone who constantly agrees with everything you say. Where's the fun in that?

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