Hello Angelicamarie. Thank you for another thought-provoking post, which I cannot pretend is an easy one to respond to.
I have been married for more than 50 years but by your definition(s) of a 'soul-mate', I can safely say that my wife and I fluctuate between the four elements you mention.
1) A connection of minds; - We are both very independent people and think differently about some subjects and are in accord about others. For years we hardly agreed about anything. I felt that this was a very healthy relationship whereby two people could live and work together without necessarily agreeing on everything. It teaches us to respect the fact that other people may have different perspectives to our own. More recently, with the chaotic political fiasco here in Britain, we have come to agree on that topic much more so than in previous years. (who says that politics doesn't work?)
2) A mutual respect; This is a facet which also fluctuates depending on what it is under discussion or what is going on. What I can say, is that we usually have respect for our differences, which enables us to live amicably with each other, despite have different viewpoints.
3) An unconditional love; This depends on how one would define ' LOVE'. I have written several verses on the subject to try to clarify such a ponderous question and I have determined that my own concept of 'love', is not necessarily the same as that percieved by others. It can be summed up in my list of 'AIMS FOR TODAY'. For many personal and social reasons, I have come to the conclusion that emotional 'love' is something that cannot be relied upon in the long-term, so having a practical guide to how one should build a practical, positive and permanent relationship seems to be a much better option.
4) An unconditional understanding: This aspect is linked with my previous comments in that one can have an 'understanding' without necessarily agreeing with the subject matter. There are always conditions placed on the ability and capacity of human understanding in that some are better at it than others. Sometimes it is conditional on the complexity of the subject matter and other times it is conditional on the amount of emotional and social investment we have in whatever is under scrutiny. From a personal relationship perspective, my wife and I may often disagree on subjects but that in no way reflects a lack of 'understanding'. What it does indicate is an unconditional acceptace of people's right to hold a different perspective.
During my life I have met several people (men, women and animals) whom I might loosly describe as 'soul-mates' because we seem to be on the same wavelength in terms of perspectives on life. However, there is no way that I would want to live with these people on a permanent basis as I feel that it could become stifling to my independence to have someone close by all the time who thought along the same lines as I did. The challenges which arise when living with a critic creates the dynamic atmosphere, whereby we are obliged to question and clarify our thinking on many matters which we might otherwise take for granted and assume that we are 'right'. Having someone nearby who can openly and honestly question everything, enables us to be much less complacent that our perspectives are the right or the only ones which are worthwhile.
Sorry to be so long-winded in my reply, but it seems to be a much more complex subject that might at first appear.