Many people are entranced by the idea of a soulmate: someone with whom they can connect on countless levels and share sincere, intense joy and love.
So many films and books have been based on soulmate connections, and there are numerous sites and quizzes out there that claim to help people find theirs.
But what is a soulmate? And is there only “the right one” for each individual on the planet?
What is a soulmate?
The definition of a soulmate is a person who is ideally suited to you as a companion, be that romantic or platonic. This is a person you’ll connect with on many different levels: you’ll share interests and values, and you might feel as though you’ve known one another forever, even if you’ve just met.
Some people find soulmates who end up being the loves of their lives until the day they die. Others might have temporary soulmates who enrich their lives and help them grow before they part ways.
You might hear stories from folks about how they had passionate love affairs with soulmates they met at Burning Man or Glastonbury—people who kindled fires in them and changed the course of their lives forever (usually for the better).
Ultimately, a soulmate is someone who feels “right” to you, even if you can’t explain why. The two of you will impact one another’s lives in many ways, and even if you’re not together forever, the positive influence you’ll have on one another will do wonders for your personal growth and development.
Common signs that you’ve found a soulmate:
- You feel like you recognize this person from somewhere, but can’t figure out where
- The two of you are comfortable together immediately, as though you’ve known one another for years
- You either have numerous things in common, or your interests complement one another’s (and you’re interested in learning more about each other’s passions)
- If this is a romantic connection, you’re able to sleep comfortably beside each other: quite simply, you feel perfectly safe and secure while vulnerable
- The two of you look out for and take care of one another instinctively
- You “just know” what the other person needs at any given time, even if they don’t express said need
- You encourage one another’s goals with sincere enthusiasm
- Respect and courtesy are cornerstones of your relationship
- You rarely fight or argue, and if you do, you forgive one another quickly
- The two of you seem to have a knack for giving gifts that you just know will be adored and appreciated
- Communication is clear and easy between you
- The two of you have each other’s backs: you’re loyal and protective of one another
- You don’t just respect each other’s alone time—you encourage it
- There’s little to no jealousy or possessiveness: you’re secure in your relationship, however it unfolds
- If you’re platonic friends, you make a point of staying in touch on a regular basis
- You’re comfortable in silence together, without feeling any need to “fill it up” with empty conversation, music, etc.
- There’s immense respect between you, even if you disagree
- You seem able to sense each other’s emotions, and might even appear to have a telepathic connection at times (e.g. finishing each other’s sentences, or just “knowing” what the other needs)
- You accept and celebrate each other rather than trying to change anything about one another to suit your own personal preferences
- Your priorities are based on one another’s happiness and fulfillment, rather than selfish desires: quite simply, both of you feel that the other person’s happiness is top priority.
How can you tell if your soulmate connection is real?
This is a tough one, especially since we’re often blinded by strong emotions at the beginning of a relationship.
Countless people feel a strong draw to another person and immediately think that it’s a soulmate or twin flame bond, when it’s a pheromonal response and temporary smittening.
We’ve all been there: we’ve met someone and had intense chemistry with them immediately, and might have been completely entranced by how they look (or move, or speak, or think, etc.) This infatuation may have led us to convince ourselves that they were THE ONE, and we started to daydream all about how this was a sacred, soul-deep connection the likes of which nobody has ever experienced in the history of humanity.
Later, we find out that they misrepresented themselves, or tailored their actions and responses to us in order to become the person they thought we wanted at the time.
Many people play the “soulmate” angle in order to get close to someone they want. Depending on how unbalanced they are, they might even stalk the person for a while ahead of time, getting to know their interests and preferences so they can morph into that person’s ideal. To them, they’re just playing a role in order to get laid, and they’ll move on to the next person of interest as soon as that hunger has been sated.
Meanwhile, the person they’ve been playing usually ends up wondering what the hell just happened. They thought they had a sacred connection with this amazing person, but there was no personal growth or development that’s usually associated with a soulmate bond.
In fact, the opposite might even happen: they end up so traumatized by the game-playing and betrayal that they wall themselves off. As a result, if and when they do meet a real soulmate, they might not allow that person to get close to them as a means of self-preservation.
Be careful if and when you meet someone and they start talking about soulmates and twin flames too early. While this might in fact be the case, there’s also a strong possibility that they’re just manipulating you to get you into bed.
The best way to test this to see if it’s an actual soulmate connection (and not just an unhinged narcissist looking for their next target) is to take things slowly.
A real soulmate will take the time to get to know you. They’ll respect your boundaries and place your peace and wellbeing ahead of their own personal desires. If the person you’re getting to know gets irritable or pushy because things are “taking too long,” that’s a solid indicator that they’re a cubic zirconia, not a diamond.
What’s the difference between a twin flame and a soulmate?
You’ll know the difference between a twin flame and a soulmate because one is difficult, and one feels harmonious.
Twin flame relationships generally involve a great deal of personal growth and development. It’s almost always a romantic connection, and the two of you will challenge one another on numerous levels. It’ll be a tumultuous pairing with highly charged emotions rearing up on a regular basis. In fact, the two of you might split up and get back together several times over.
You can’t live with them and you don’t want to live without them, but you’ll only be able to handle one another for so long before you both throw in the towel.
In contrast, soulmate relationships are incredibly easy: rather like slipping into a favorite outfit you thought you’d lost years ago, but still fits you like a glove. You won’t fight much because you don’t have anything to fight about. There’s instant understanding and respect, and the emphasis is on supporting each other while you grow together, rather than being antagonistic catalysts for explosive change.
Furthermore, twin flame pairings are often uncomfortable because they embody traits we naturally dislike in ourselves. This is because we generally prefer to avoid or turn away from traits we’re embarrassed by or don’t want to acknowledge.
Are soulmate relationships always easy?
Not always, no. In fact, we covered this topic quite extensively in our article on how soulmate relationships aren’t always as good as you might expect. In fact, some soulmate relationships can turn you inside-out, or shake up your life in ways you can’t even imagine.
Quite often, soulmates turn up in each other’s lives when some type of change is needed. Maybe someone needs to be pushed out of a rut they’ve been stuck in for a while, so one of their temporary soulmates steps in to be a button-pusher for positive change. They might get along wonderfully, and the change that unfolds will be in their best interest, but they’ll still resist it and fight it tooth and nail.
Most people stay in situations that no longer serve them for much longer than they should, because they’re comfortable in those circumstances. They’re miserable and they know that change must happen, but at least they know what they’re dealing with where they are. Change involves a lot of unknown variables which can be scary for most people.
As you can imagine, this may cause people to be prickly and resentful toward those who force them to change, even if that change is beneficial. It’s not unusual for these kinds of pairings to be quite tumultuous, whether they’re platonic or romantic.
Arguments are likely to arise, and these people might cut each other out of their lives and then return to one another over and over again until the necessary lesson is learned, or there’s forward momentum in the change department.
Can you have more than one soulmate?
Absolutely, yes. Furthermore, you can have more than one soulmate at the same time.
We are all marvelously multifaceted individuals with eclectic tastes, preferences, values, etc. As such, we may bond with different people with whom we connect via several of those facets.
You may have a romantic soulmate at the same time that you have a platonic best friend soulmate whom you feel you’ve known forever. Or, you may have ended a soulmate relationship for a variety of reasons and then found another one with whom your current self connects better.
Are you familiar with “bristle” type building blocks? Unlike Legos (which generally only snap together on two sides), these building blocks have comb-like interlocking bristles on multiple facets. Because of this, you can connect several different pieces to one hub at the same time. It’s a perfect way to illustrate how we can connect with multiple people at once without any overlap or uncomfortable tension.
I “clicked” with a friend’s housemate the first time I met her, and we’ve spoken daily for the past 22 years. That same instant rapport happened the moment I met my current partner: something simply connected in the right way, and we’ve been together ever since. These connections are different, but equal in strength. I would lay down my life for either of them, without hesitation.
Parents who have multiple children know that they connect with each kid in their own way, and love each one of them dearly. They might adore one child because they’re so similar to themselves, and another for being a sweet-yet-mischievous genius who challenges them. The rapport will be different with each one, but that doesn’t mean the love and care aren’t equal.
Basically, loving one doesn’t mean loving another less, but is rather like lighting multiple candles from a single flame: all end up glowing equally, even if those candles are all different shapes and sizes. That’s how it can be with soulmates—whether you have them at the same time or concurrently, you can love and connect with both of them without being depleted, or feeling that you’re betraying your care for one because of your feelings for the other.
Note that having multiple soulmates doesn’t necessarily mean having multiple sexual partners, either. While some people may be polyamorous or have open relationships so they can connect with their soulmates that way, others may be wholly platonic. Or they’ll have one intimate partner and a few platonic, soul-deep friendships. This might be difficult to explain to people who have never experienced these almost metaphysical connections with someone, but those who “grok” you will understand completely.
What happens when a soulmate relationship ends?
Some relationships (be they romantic or platonic) will last until we draw our final breaths, while others will reach their natural end after a particular period of time.
Quite often, people try to cling to a soulmate even after the connection has run its course. This usually causes bad feelings all round and can even sour the personal growth that has happened on both sides.
Think of it rather like an outfit that you’re absolutely in love with. You adore this outfit and it fits you like a glove for a while, but then your body changes. Maybe you have a growth spurt, or you gain a bunch of muscle, or your shoulders or hips widen. All of a sudden, the outfit that made you feel amazing is now cutting off circulation to your extremities. It’s tearing at the seams and pinching you in atrocious places, making it downright uncomfortable to wear.
You may still cling to it because it was your go-to comfort (and joy) outfit for a while, but you’re very aware that you haven’t just outgrown it, it’s simply not right for you anymore.
Others cling to soulmate relationships that they’ve outgrown because they’re jealous. They had such an incredible connection with this person (or these people) that they don’t want to let go of them. They’re terrified that others will have just as good a relationship with their soulmate as they did (or worse, a better one!), so they dig in and hold on for dear life.
The end result of a situation like this is the unravelling of a whole lot of soul growth.
A person who acts this way may have made huge strides in their personal development, but the thought of losing their connection makes them dig their heels in and fight the inevitable change. The internal peace they’ve cultivated falls apart, and their newly discovered self-confidence crumbles too. They might think that there’s something wrong with them, otherwise their soulmate would be with them forever. Or worse, that what they had wasn’t “real.”
As a result, they might start to second-guess all the good things they’ve experienced. Suddenly, instead of appreciating their soulmate as a catalyst for personal development, they might label them as “toxic” or “manipulators,” even if that couldn’t be further from the truth. They’re just so hurt and scared at the thought of this falling apart that they’re throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
The best thing to do in a situation like this is to learn how to separate the experience from the person. Be able to withdraw and look at everything that unfolded from a place of emotional neutrality. Appreciate what you two had and the positive ways that you influenced one another, and let them go with blessings for their continued happiness.
A new path is ready to unfold in front of you. Take a deep breath, step forward, and open your heart for another soulmate to appear when you’re ready for them.