081: The Soulmate Myth

Podcast Guest: Jason Carroll

080: Navigating Faith Crisis in Marriage

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In this Episode

In this eye-opening episode, hosts Dave Schramm and Liz Hale talk with Dr. Jason Carroll to debunk the soulmate myth. They explore the impact of soulmate thinking on relationships and discuss how lasting connections are forged through intentional effort and growth. Drawing on the report "The Soulmate Trap," the conversation highlights the importance of virtues, responsible behaviors, and shared life goals over predestined destiny beliefs.

Time Markers

00:00 – Introduction to today’s podcast

0:38 – Who is Dr. Jason Carroll.

02:00 - Release of "The Soulmate Trap" report and concept

04:38 - The soulmate myth in marriage therapy.

05:25 – What undermines commitment, choice.

07:12 - Dangers in young dating.

08:09 - Soulmate belief trapping in unhealthy relationships.

09:43 - The importance of intentional relationship effort.

10:06 - Personal virtues, intentional effort in partnerships.

14:41 - Inquiry about high vs. low connection couples.

14:50 - Relational connectivity research discussion.

19:09 - Commercial break and return to discussion.

20:24 - Virtues and responsible actions in relationships.

22:26 - Advice for the rising generation.

27:37 - Mature vs. immature love and happiness.

28:09 - Happiness pursuit paradox discussion.

31:08 - Meaningful vs. fleeting happiness.

32:09 - Real happiness from shared experiences.

34:37 - Discussing monotony and excitement in marriage.

35:15 - Dr. Carroll's resources at Wheatley Institute.

37:55 - Key to stronger marriage: intentional effort.

40:09 - Discussion on relationship advice for youth.

40:22 – Dr. Carroll’s takeaway of the day.

41:53 - Liz's takeaway of the day.

42:15 - Dave's takeaway of the day.


Insights and Invites



We need to actively mentor the younger generation within our spheres of influence, like in family and in work spaces. Think about how we can collectively restore the confidence and the sense of agency and choice. By sharing the realities of a genuine relationship—its challenges and its rewards—we can help restore the younger generation's confidence in and aspiration for enduring, loving marriages.


Mature love in healthy relationships is characterized by outward focus and contribution, whereas immature love fixates inwardly on personal needs and disappointments. With mature love and immature love, there is always a choice.


The focus is not so much on happiness, but on meaningfulness. All parts of our relationships, the highs and the lows, that’s why we're here. That's what gives us meaning. And I love the idea of the growth belief versus the destiny belief.

About Jason Carroll:

Jason S. Carroll is an internationally recognized expert on flourishing marriages and readiness for marriage among young adults. He currently serves as the Director of the Family Initiative at the Wheatley Institute at Brigham Young University, and he is also a Senior Fellow of the Institute for Family Studies. He has also been a faculty member in BYU’s School of Family for the last 23 years. In 2014, Dr. Carroll received the Berscheid-Hatfield Award for Distinguished Mid-Career Achievement, a biennial award given for distinguished scientific achievement by the International Association for Relationship Research (IARR). This award was given to him primarily to acknowledge his significant theoretical contributions to the field of marriage studies. Dr. Carroll is best known professionally for his development of the “Developmental Model of Marital Competence,” the widely used “Marital Horizon Theory” of young adult readiness for marriage, and “Sexual Restraint Theory” which has been used to demonstrate the benefits to couples who wait until they are married to begin their sexual relationship. Most recently, Dr. Carroll has received recognition for his new “STRIVE-4 Model of Virtue” that provides a comprehensive model to organize and guide a mature science of virtue.

Jason Carroll Link: 


Beyond the Myth of Marital Happiness by Blaine J. Fowers

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