well, that is a subject close to my heart or maybe to everyone who believes in souls and love
it's incredibly complicated and difficult to understand the concept of a soulmate, but let me try and pen down of what I have been able to gather though there are conflicting beliefs about soulmates all over the place and someone who is new to the word can get terribly confused
a soulmate is a mate in the spiritual world, they have spent usually more than one lifetimes on earth with you. it's not usually that the soulmate relationship is necessarily a romantic one...a soulmate could appear in relationships like son, daughter, brother, sister or close friend...but mostly is since a romantic relationsip offers the maximum opportunity for spiritual growth amongst the souls of similar levels of maturity. the purpose for a soulmate in your life is to help you grow spiritually, by challeging you and your values or sometimes by becoming a mirror to your own shortcomings...they are our eternal partners who are not there to judge but hold our hands and help us move to the next level while we help them at the same time
one may find one or even more than one soulmate in one lifetime and sometimes its not all rosy with them and yet, they complete you in many ways. have you ever been in that space where as soon as you saw or met someone, you recognised a connection...when you talked to the person that connection or the comfort seemed to be too good to believe...life does give you opportunities to meet your soulmates and sometimes in very odd sitautions and then its left to both the souls involved to recognise the connection and get closer.
i just read it somewhere that a woman asked a therapist while her past life regression that I met my soulmate, but I have 3 kids now and he has 2...so if my soul was to decide when to meet him why did it make this choice...well, the answer is that it isn't a coincidence that you met your soulmate late in life...it may well be that your soul took this decision because it had lessons to learn through the suffering involved in this challenge. souls are wiser and they are looking at the bigger picture. when a life is planned before birth, the soul is aware of the fact that their love or connection with their soulmate is eternal so its only a role playing they will be doing to experience different emotions and learn new lessons in the school of earth but when we come to earth, the momories of why that deciosion was taken are lost, yet, the lessons still need to be learnt
usually you might have shared multiple lifetimes with your soulmate and the comfort, familiarity and completeness of your relationship will make you see through this. unknowingly, every soul longs to be united with it's soulmate on earth because that gives it immense strength and support to go on in life and achieve what its meant to achieve...people who are more sensitive to their souls might feel the incompleteness till they are reunited with their soulmates on earth, yet some may fail to recognise them or have enough conviction to build up relationships that will keep them close forever...in such cases, mostly there are our guides or guardian angels who are guiding us by putting thoughts in our mind, by helping us through our inner voice but it again depends on our mind, body and soul relationship to judge what is to be believed because life is always about choices
if its any consolation, if your life's plan includes meeting your soulmate in this incarnation, you will know when you see him/her...just listen to your heart