This is a question that I've been asked many times before. Well, I'll be damned if I know! I've tried to ask myself this question several times, and I've always come up empty-handed.
I've done all sorts of things and followed all kinds of concepts about the kind of person I would end up spending the rest of my life with, what she would be like, and how I would know that she's the one. Asking too many questions all at the same time, however, I've managed to find none of the answers to any of the questions. To make matters worse, I've always considered these things from the high-chair of "moi". This obviously means that the questions that I originally asked must now be rewritten to reflect the person who wishes to include me in her life as well. I'd like to think that I'm very much sought after, but thank God I'm not naive enough to believe it. Ha ha ha ha ha ha!
The fact of the matter is, I believe that a soul mate is like a piece of wood from which you carve your finest wooden figurine. You find a piece of wood that you think will provide you with stunning results, you treat it with love and respect as you gently remove the chips and pieces that don't fit, and finally, you have a "voila" moment. There it is. The most beautiful thing you've ever helped bring into existence! [For those of you going, "Oh my God! He means to imply that a fair maiden is but an object that doth be moulded by a most hideous and grossly inadequate male aesthetic sense!" or some such nonsense, please desist. You obviously missed the part about this, having and being a soul mate, being a two-way street.]
You may believe in fate. Or you may choose to shape your own destiny. You may believe in love at first sight, and matches being made in heaven. Or you may end up searching for "the one" your whole life. There is a lot to be said for having a soul mate; someone out there who's so right for you it leaves you in a constant state of awe. But, I believe that it takes a little effort and a lot of patience and understanding for two people to make a life together. As you find your piece of wood and get ready to shape it, be willing to be shaped in turn. It's beautiful. :-D