Why do some people persist in their quest for the ideal partner? Hannah Miller met Sam, a friend of her sister’s, at a group visit to a theme park when she was ten years old. Her sister teased her, saying she and Sam were going to get married, as he held her hand on the scariest rides. “It’s a bit embarrassing, but I did fall head over heels that day,” says Miller, 45, from Birmingham, UK. “I went on the school bus on Monday and told all my friends about the older boy who held my hand.”

She didn’t see the boy from the theme park again until she was 18, but things moved rapidly once she did. Sam told Hannah he was falling in love with her a few weeks later, and the two married soon before her 20th birthday. “Commitment felt like it came easily – this was it, we were meant to be together, so why wait,” she says. “We knew that there was no reason not to get married because we were soulmates.”

According to a survey conducted in 2021, a staggering percentage of people believe in soulmates; the concept of “The One” also exists in many other civilizations. There are various reasons why people believe their ideal partner is out there, and the idea has only grown in popularity over the last 50 years. Experts feel that whether or not we believe in soulmates is influenced by our particular circumstances and psychology, but individuals trying to meet a pre-destined spouse may be setting themselves up for failure from the start.