->''"'Follow your heart.' Ha! – Sometimes the heart sends confusing messages. Contemplation, counseling, friends, and readings can help us sort our true convictions from the false ones, though we flat-out disagree with the advice sometimes. Yet even THAT may tell us a lot. We usually need help sorting it out. But there’s always a lesson!"''
-->-- '''Mary Rose''', ''Beware the False Soulmate'' (UsefulNotes/{{California}} [[{{UsefulNotes/Psychology}} Psychics]] {{Blog}})

A FalseSoulmate is a person who someone has a deep romantic LoveInterest for, but the relationship is for some reason not meant to be, perhaps because of the Love Interest not sharing the same feelings, incompatibility, or misjudgment of character and/or the relationship ends up being a failure or catastrophe because the Love Interest's personality or behavior has changed in a negative way (e.g. the Love Interest may be unfaithful, a user, a criminal, mentally unstable, or a drug-addict). This may stem from PuppyLove or personality traits that the Love Interest either had or had more of when they were younger.


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Athrun Zala and Cagalli Yula Athha went down this path in ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEEDDestiny''. In ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEED SEED]]'', they ended as the [[BetaCouple Beta Couple]] to Kira and Lacus. In ''Destiny'', they eventually grew apart due to Athrun getting involved with ZAFT again, Cagalli's position in the Orb government (and the stress involved), her ArrangedMarriage to Yuna Roma Seiran, and differing views on [[PuppetMaster Chairman Durrandal's]] real goals and motivations.
** While there seemed to be a bit of hope for the two reconciling near the end of ''Destiny'', WordOfGod has stated that they're "just friends now".

* Marvel has been attempting to do this with ComicBook/SpiderMan and ComicBook/MaryJaneWatson for several years, with several writers and editors trying to insist that they were not right for one another, or that they weren't the most important relationships the pair ever had, or that Mary Jane was just one in a long line of love interest.

[[folder:Film -- Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Shrek}}'': Played straight when Princess Fiona believes Shrek is her True Love because he rescued her. Cue hysterical laughter from Donkey and Shrek. Shrek solely rescued her for Lord Farquaad so he could get his swamp back. Subverted when [[spoiler:Shrek really is her True Love, as evidenced when they kiss and she turns into an ogre]].
* ''WesternAnimation/MonstersVsAliens'': Derek to Susan. He is a vain weatherman who is more interested in furthering his career than in his fiancée's needs, and after Susan spends the first half trying to win her freedom and return to him, he rejects her because he isn't interested in having a wife who overshadows him, [[AttackOfThe50FootWhatever in more ways]] [[ActionGirl than one]].
* In ''Disney/{{Frozen}}'', [[spoiler:Anna is convinced that Hans is her true love, but he turns out to be a scumbag who was just using her to gain the throne]].

[[folder:Film -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/{{Sleeping with the Enemy}}'': Martin is a wealthy investment counselor who's charmingly handsome on the outside, but [[LoveMakesYouCrazy his true colors]] don't show until after he and Laura are already married in the beginning.
* ''Film/MrsDoubtfire'': Daniel and Miranda Hillard divorce and never get back together.
* ''Film/ForrestGump'': Jenny to Forrest. [[SubvertedTrope Eventually subverted]] when Jenny brings herself to realize that Forrest is the only one who has always been there for her throughout her life, and they get married.
* ''Film/{{Wolf}}'': Charlotte Randall to Will Randall. He separates from her after he discovers she's been cheating on him, but before she gets killed [[spoiler: by Stewart Swinton, whom she's been having the affairs with]].
* ''{{Film/Stardust}}'': Victoria to Tristan. She's a spoilt and geniunely stuck-up brat who is sweet to Tristan more out of pity than any strong feelings toward him, even though he wants to propose and spend the rest of his life with her. He later falls for [[spoiler: (the "star") Yvaine]] instead, who actually loves him in return, once he realizes this.
* ''Film/{{Enchanted}}'': Towards the end, TrueLovesKiss indicates that the couples [[spoiler: Prince Edward/Giselle and Robert/Nancy]] aren't meant to be with each other, but that [[spoiler: Prince Edward/Nancy and Robert/Giselle]] are.
* Jasper for Iris in ''Film/TheHoliday''.
* ''Film/LettersToJuliet'' has Victor and Sophie. Being a bit of a CloudCuckooLander, Victor unintentionally neglects Sophie throughout the whole movie. It wasn't that neither of them didn't love each other but ''both'' sides didn't see the other's presence as a necessity. Not to mention they have differences that didn't make their relationship work (Sophie didn't share Victor's passion for cooking and Victor didn't appreciate Sophie's passion for writing as much).
* ''Film/TeenBeachMovie'': Mack and Brady end up trapped in movie [[TrappedInTVLand Wet Side Story]]. By coincidence, Mack is where Lela, the female lead, should be when she met her boyfriend Tanner; and vice-versa with Brady and Tanner. As a result, he and Lela believe wrongly that, respectively, Mack and Brady are their soulmates. The latter two spend the rest of the movie trying to put them back in the right path.

* ''Literature/TheGreatGatsby'' has one of the more famous examples. Gatsby pines after Daisy for years, and is sure that if he can build a fortune and win her love, they'll live happily ever after. The fact that she's married doesn't dissuade him, and he never seems to notice how shallow, careless and self-involved she is. [[ItWasHisSled Things don't work out in the end.]]
* ''Literature/{{Edenborn}}'' has Deuce, who invokes [[RuleOfRomantic every trope in the book]] in his long-distance romance of Penny. He succeeds, but later realizes she's massively unstable and manipulative.
* ''Literature/TheMemoryWars'' has Laura. Nathan spends time in the first book trying to maintain and save their relationship, but [[spoiler: it falls apart when she reveals that she is pregnant with his best friend's child]].
* Callista and Luke in ''Literature/StarWarsLegends''. There's a period where it seems like they're deeply in love, and Luke is doing everything he can to help her, but then she decides to leave him to figure out what's going on with her Force connection.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Surprisingly, the main character Ted was this to his fiance Stella in ''Series/HowIMetYourMother''. In Robin's own words, Ted was "disappearing into someone else's life". Stella would later apologize to Ted for leaving him on the day of their wedding and explained that while she did love and care for Ted because he helped her believe in romance again, she was always in love with Tony.
** One of the major criticisms for the series finale is [[spoiler:The Mother being this for Ted.]] It probably wasn't intentional but most fans took it that way.
* [[spoiler: Ward]] is this to [[spoiler: Skye]] during the first season of ''Series/AgentsOfSHIELD'': he's [[spoiler: a HYDRA agent]] who has been faking almost his entire personality since they met. When she finds out the truth, she's completely repulsed, and events in the second season, [[spoiler: namely her shooting him]], plus WordOfGod from the actor indicate that the ship is totally sunk.
* [[Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer Buffy]] and [[Series/{{Angel}} Angel]] to a lot of fans, despite the insistence of Buffy's actress. They barely knew each other in the first two seasons, Angel lost his soul and went on to emotionally and mentally torture Buffy until she had to kill him, he came back, they danced around each other until they pointlessly got back together, Angel then broke up with her because he knew it wouldn't last, he left town, they pined after each other until they found other love interests who held their attention (Cordelia for Angel, Spike for Buffy) and even ''then'' they felt for some convoluted reason that they still belonged together, despite character development driving them apart. Their relationship should ''not'' be the definition of soulmates.
* Peyton for Mac on ''{{Series/CSI NY}}''. They were fairly serious in season 3 and 4, although Mac still struggled with losing his wife. But she eventually leaves him with a [[DearJohn Dear Mac]] letter. When she returns for an ep in season 6, she explains that she knew that she couldn't give up her ties to her home and family in London, and didn't want to force him to choose between her and his life in New York.
* Stefan and Elena from "{{Series/The Vampire Diaries}}" were originally the certain endgame of the show in the first two seasons. There has been a dramatic shift to from Stefan and Elena to Damon and Elena becoming the series's endgame ever since the season 2 finale. Damon and Elena are certainly the fan-preffered ship.
* {{Series/Galavant}}: Galavant and Madalena, as she dumps him, like five minutes after the show started. But [[HeartbrokenBadass Galavant]] himself won't realize that Isabella is his true soulmate before the sixth episode.
** Madalena was maybe this to King Richard, as well, as it turns out that she deceives him and Richard sings [[AntiLoveSong "Maybe you're not the worst thing ever"]] to her right in the episode two.[[spoiler: In season two, Richard's actual soulmate turns out to be Roberta.]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Bentley and Penelope are revealed to be this in ''VideoGame/SlyCooperThievesInTime''. They got together in the third game because they're both techno geniuses, but their moralities are polar opposites; Bentley is NeutralGood who uses his skills to help his friends out with heists and improve the lives of others if possible, while Penelope is revealed to be NeutralEvil who would [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness betray anyone who outlived their usefulness]] and is OnlyInItForTheMoney. They suffer a nasty break-up in the end.