Book Review: Turn Your Mate Into Your Soulmate

Do you believe in soulmates?

Even if the answer’s no, if you’re a woman who’s married – or in a serious relationship – you ought to read Arielle Ford’s latest book, Turn Your Mate Into Your Soulmate.

Ford married her soulmate at 44, and thought that “happily ever after” would come much more easily than it did. Unfortunately, Ford found that even soulmate relationships take work. So she applied the same dedication that she put towards her business to her relationships. Her secrets to a happy marriage are in Turn Your Mate Into Your Soulmate, out December 29.

If you balk at the term soulmate, don’t worry! Ford’s definition of a soulmate is a refreshing change of pace from the generally loaded term. For one thing, Ford’s book focuses on your spouse, but she believes that you can have soulmates of all kinds – both romantic and platonic. She also recognizes that soulmate relationships can end, which takes a lot of the pressure off reading a book like this. According to Ford, sometimes soulmate relationships end when you’ve learned all the karmic lessons you can from each other.

That might sound a little too new age for you. And as a single skeptic, there were moments when I didn’t quite buy Ford’s stories regarding, say, destiny or past lives or the importance of astrological charts.

Luckily, Ford’s new-agey beliefs are presented alongside research from some of the best relationship experts around, with names and studies you might recognize like John Gottman or the 36 questions that went viral last year. Ford also has a perspective that’s as grounded as it is hopeful. For example, Ford cites research that even the happiest relationship has at least 9 irreconcilable differences – but they don’t have to ruin your relationship. She also talks about how to communicate with your man in a way he’ll understand, as well as both the importance of taking care of your own emotional well-being and looking at your partner’s flaws from the right perspective.

Still, there are certain comments Ford makes that turned off the feminist in me, like this one in the chapter “Understanding Men,”  where she discusses how men crave respect more than sex:

Simply put, your man wants to hear about all the things he is doing ‘right’ and all the ways he is making you happy. He feels very respected when you acknowledge him in front of friends and family, and you get extra bonus points too.

Granted, this phrase is in a chapter about how women can communicate with men in a way they’ll understand – and the book is geared towards women who are trying to improve their relationships with their husbands. Still, the above comment struck me as vaguely sexist. Why shouldn’t a man try to understand his wife, just as much as she tries to understand him?

Ford will likely say that there’s plenty men can do – but this book is geared towards the women, not the men. And indeed she places a lot of stock on the individual’s role in the relationship, saying:

By taking personal responsibility for your own happiness and making space for your partner to be who and what he is, magic can and often does happen. The blame-shame game has no space to breathe when personal responsibility is in the room.

Here’s the thing: I’m all for personal responsibility and doing what it takes to make your marriage work. And Ford’s book certainly emphasizes the importance of working with and communicating with your partners. But there were moments when I worried that perhaps Ford inadvertently perpetuated the notion that it’s the woman’s job to fix the relationship.

Luckily, most of Turn Your Mate Into Your Soulmate is about changing your personal relationship with the love of your life and love itself. And that’s why I liked it – because many of the relationship tips will help even single people in non-romantic relationships, and because they’re things you can work on on your own, too.

So if you’re a married woman, this is a great book to add to your holiday wish list. But even single women can learn a thing or two, too. At the very least, you’ll find hope – that the right person will come along, and that you’ll know how to be happy with him when he does.

Intrigued? Check out our interview with Arielle Ford, and pre-order the book here!

Written by Sasha Graffagna

Do you believe in soulmates?

Even if the answer’s no, if you’re a woman who’s married – or in a serious relationship – you ought to read Arielle Ford’s latest book, Turn Your Mate Into Your Soulmate.

Ford married her soulmate at 44, and thought that “happily ever after” would come much more easily than it did. Unfortunately, Ford found that even soulmate relationships take work. So she applied the same dedication that she put towards her business to her relationships. Her secrets to a happy marriage are in Turn Your Mate Into Your Soulmate, out December 29.

If you balk at the term soulmate, don’t worry! Ford’s definition of a soulmate is a refreshing change of pace from the generally loaded term. For one thing, Ford’s book focuses on your spouse, but she believes that you can have soulmates of all kinds – both romantic and platonic. She also recognizes that soulmate relationships can end, which takes a lot of the pressure off reading a book like this. According to Ford, sometimes soulmate relationships end when you’ve learned all the karmic lessons you can from each other.

That might sound a little too new age for you. And as a single skeptic, there were moments when I didn’t quite buy Ford’s stories regarding, say, destiny or past lives or the importance of astrological charts.

Luckily, Ford’s new-agey beliefs are presented alongside research from some of the best relationship experts around, with names and studies you might recognize like John Gottman or the 36 questions that went viral last year. Ford also has a perspective that’s as grounded as it is hopeful. For example, Ford cites research that even the happiest relationship has at least 9 irreconcilable differences – but they don’t have to ruin your relationship. She also talks about how to communicate with your man in a way he’ll understand, as well as both the importance of taking care of your own emotional well-being and looking at your partner’s flaws from the right perspective.

Still, there are certain comments Ford makes that turned off the feminist in me, like this one in the chapter “Understanding Men,”  where she discusses how men crave respect more than sex:

Simply put, your man wants to hear about all the things he is doing ‘right’ and all the ways he is making you happy. He feels very respected when you acknowledge him in front of friends and family, and you get extra bonus points too.

Granted, this phrase is in a chapter about how women can communicate with men in a way they’ll understand – and the book is geared towards women who are trying to improve their relationships with their husbands. Still, the above comment struck me as vaguely sexist. Why shouldn’t a man try to understand his wife, just as much as she tries to understand him?

Ford will likely say that there’s plenty men can do – but this book is geared towards the women, not the men. And indeed she places a lot of stock on the individual’s role in the relationship, saying:

By taking personal responsibility for your own happiness and making space for your partner to be who and what he is, magic can and often does happen. The blame-shame game has no space to breathe when personal responsibility is in the room.

Here’s the thing: I’m all for personal responsibility and doing what it takes to make your marriage work. And Ford’s book certainly emphasizes the importance of working with and communicating with your partners. But there were moments when I worried that perhaps Ford inadvertently perpetuated the notion that it’s the woman’s job to fix the relationship.

Luckily, most of Turn Your Mate Into Your Soulmate is about changing your personal relationship with the love of your life and love itself. And that’s why I liked it – because many of the relationship tips will help even single people in non-romantic relationships, and because they’re things you can work on on your own, too.

So if you’re a married woman, this is a great book to add to your holiday wish list. But even single women can learn a thing or two, too. At the very least, you’ll find hope – that the right person will come along, and that you’ll know how to be happy with him when he does.

Intrigued? Check out our interview with Arielle Ford, and pre-order the book here!

Written by Sasha Graffagna

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