Who are soul mates

What Is a Soulmate—and How to Know if You've Found Yours

The idea of meeting your soulmate is the glorious stuff of rom-coms—and apparently real-life, everyday people, too.

What Is a Soulmate

According to Dr. Michael Tobin, a soulmate is someone who you feel deeply connected to, but not in a dependent or needy way. The guiding principle in a relationship between soulmates is that needs are equally met because a soulmate relationship should challenge you to move from selfishness to giving.

“It’s the realization that this person who shares your life is a part of yourself,” says family and marital psychologist Dr. Michael Tobin. “A soulmate is an individual that has a lasting impact on your life. Your soulmate is your fellow traveler on the journey of life—you need one another to grow beyond the limitations of your individual selves.”

Meet the Expert

Dr. Michael Tobin is a family and marital psychologist with over 40 years of experience. He is the author of a memoir, Riding the Edge: My Love Song to Deborah and founder of WholeFamily. com.

How to Know You've Met Your Soulmate

If you’re wondering if you’ve met your soulmate—or are currently with your unique flame, Dr. Tobin has optimistic news for you: “I believe everyone could discover their soulmate. However, to find your soulmate, you must first understand that humans are not meant to be alone and that the purpose of a relationship is not merely to get our individual needs met—but rather as a challenge to grow—and to help our partners reach their potential.”

As for when you might meet your particular person, Dr. Tobin says that there isn’t a perfect age or life stage for discovering your soulmate—and that is exciting news. “I know a 74-year-old woman who reconnected with her high school flame after a 56-year separation. She calls him her soulmate. They were meant to be together during the later years of their lives.”

You might be wondering if you met your soulmate on a vacation, subway stop, or that time in the rain when a stranger invited you to share an umbrella—but didn’t realize it at the time. According to Dr. Tobin, yes, this is possible. “Everything in life is about timing. I believe it’s a matter of self-knowledge. When you understand that a relationship is not about control or the simple need of fulfillment but is essential to our psychological and spiritual development, then you’re open to the possibility of meeting your soulmate.”

If you’re curious about what to do if you feel like you’ve experienced a ships-in-the-night experience, Dr. Tobin suggests embracing it because it may actually have been what he says is known as a “soul crossing.” He explains that this is a brief encounter with someone who crosses our path and has a lasting impact on the direction we choose in life.

Knowing or understanding the signs you met your soulmate is interesting in itself because there isn’t just one generic type of soulmate out there. Most people equate the term “soulmate” with romantic love. Ahead, the types of soulmates that exist and how to know if you’ve found one.

Types of Soulmates

Not all soulmates are the stuff of life-long romance. Here are six different kinds to look out for in your own life.

Romantic Soulmates 

“Romantic soulmates ignite one another’s passion throughout their time together,” explains Dr. Tobin. “They have the capacity to bring one another to heights of physical and emotional pleasure.” However, we’ve all experienced breakups, even if we were with someone who hit the hot and heavy marks. “Passion can be a brief flame that burns hot and then extinguishes. For those rare romantic soulmates, the flame burns continuously because they’re both committed to keeping the fire lit throughout their time together.”

Soul Partners

Has it been years since you connected with a friend from elementary school, but when you do, you just click? “A soul partner is that person who you haven’t seen in years, and when you reunite, feel like time and separation have no bearing on the depth of the connection,” explains Dr. Tobin.

Karmic Soulmates 

You know you’ve met a karmic soulmate when you’re in sync about common purposes. “You’re both here together to make a difference in the world, and your skills complement one another—you’re ideal partners to fulfill a shared mission.” This kind of relationship doesn’t require love or intimacy and instead relies on putting your best selves forward to achieve something that matters.

Companion Soulmates

This is the yin to your yang, the peanut butter to your jelly—you get it. “Friends are an essential part of our lifetime journey, and those of the soulmate type help us laugh when we’re in pain, nurture us when we’re suffering, flow with us when we’re riding high, challenge us to be real, love us with our warts, and never abandon us in anger. And we do the same with them.”

Kindred Soulmates

You know you’ve found a kindred soulmate when you pretty much agree on all of the small and big stuff. “You love the same things; laugh at the same jokes; agree and disagree with love and affection; compete with gusto but without bitterness or jealousy. These people share the same journey toward truth and love,” Dr. Tobin says.

Soul Contracts

This is an interesting type of soulmate because it’s when two people are bound by a common commitment to speak the truth, be emotionally open with one another, own up to deceits, and be authentic. A soul contract might look like a married couple, where one spouse cheated, but they stay together, not for the kids or appearances but because there’s a deep law of attraction within pulling them together for their lifetime.

Signs You've Found Your Soulmate

The signs you’ve met your soulmate are kind of infinite and can overlap with the different kinds of soulmates you encounter in your lifetime. Dr. Tobin believes an important truth about relationships is that you have to create love and nurture soulmate connections. “Love isn’t delivered to us because we believe we deserve it. We must work at being loving and then we’ll receive love in return.”

They Give You a Sense of Calm and Storm

He also says that a sense of both calm and storm is an indicator light. “Sometimes a soulmate is here to shake us out of complacency, to challenge us to think and to act differently, to grow beyond our comfort zones. This is never smooth and peaceful. Yet with that same soulmate, there are and will be moments of exquisite connection, serenity, and harmony.”

You Feel One Another's Pain

Another sign you’ve met your match is the way you react to their pain. “It’s hard to imagine soulmates who don’t bleed with one another, who don’t feel one another’s pain, who are absent of empathy and compassion,” Dr. Tobin says.

As a final note, “Soulmates may be like two strands of spaghetti entangled in such a way that they don’t know where one begins and the other ends,” says Dr. Tobin. And at the same time, some soulmate relationships serve their purpose and expire. The good news is we may all experience a soulmate connection at some point in our life.

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Soulmate: 12 Types & How To Recognize Them

Two people who are soulmates feel they are linked on a soul level in a significant or extraordinary way.

It's the sense that your link transcends the earth plane—transcending the practical details of your relationship, like being co-workers or lovers—and that something much more brought you together or is at play.

You might feel you have known each other in a past life or that your souls agreed before this life to meet up now.

"When I hear someone use the word 'soul mate,' it often seems to connote exclusivity," Tess Whitehurst, spiritual teacher and bestselling author, tells mbg. Whitehurst feels we have many soul mates. And as we're all part of a common humanity or spiritual consciousness, we're actually all linked on a soul level.

How do you recognize a soul mate? Let's look at different types—remembering there can certainly be overlap. Someone could be your soul mate in many different ways.

Definition: Soulmate

A soulmate is when two people feel they are linked on a soul level in a significant or extraordinary way.


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Soul partners

There are certain souls you agreed to partner with in this lifetime—the most common type of soul mate. You might have agreed to be best friends, in-laws, raise children together, or open a business together. A soul partnership could be with someone you know intimately for your whole life, like a beloved sibling, or it can be with someone you barely know for a short time—like an influential person in your industry who offers you a big break in your career.

Soul partners are specifically designed to help support you in this life emotionally, professionally, or in any other way you require to accomplish and experience what your soul planned to do here on earth.

None of us can do this life alone, and soul partnerships remind us how beautifully, masterfully, and intricately our lives are woven together.


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Soul ties

When you feel a soul tie, it's simply the sense that another soul is in your life for a reason. For example, if your life is very busy yet you meet a new potential friend or potential business partner, the sense that you have a soul tie to this person could inspire you to make room in your life for the relationship.

Perhaps you're not in the market for a pet, but when a friend says they need to give up their pet because they have to move overseas unexpectedly, your clairsentient, or feeling, psychic pathway might give you the feeling that you have a soul tie with this animal and bringing it into your home is the right thing to do for both of you. You might think of soul ties as the ties that bind, like the Bruce Springsteen song!


Past-life soul mates

Many Eastern religions and philosophies discuss the concept of past lives. I can always tell when a client has met someone they knew well in a past life by the way they describe the connection. If the connection is manifesting as a romance, they might say, "I've never felt this way before!"

When two souls have shared a significant past life together (or perhaps several), if they meet again in this life they may be inexplicably drawn to each other—and the sexual chemistry can be off the charts.

What people are feeling is the built-up energy over other lifetimes together—and a soul recognition. Although you can have a soul recognition with any type of soul mate, the past-life ones (whether you were at odds or best friends in a past life) are extremely powerful. According to Brian Weiss, M.D., psychiatrist and past-life regression expert, two souls could agree to reincarnate and navigate toward each other after spending 1,000 earth years apart—which is quite romantic!

Yet just because you had a significant past life with someone and are feeling all the feelings, it doesn't necessarily mean you are supposed to partner, romantically or otherwise, in this lifetime. Judge the relationship by who you both are today and how you treat each other now.

If you suspect a past-life connection with a current lover, try to bring more healing to the situation, even if you break up. This might look like releasing them with love, wishing them well yet out of your life. Often when souls come back together in this lifetime they are looking to heal something or do better this time around.

RELATED: The Science Of Past Life Memories, From A 20-Year Expert


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Karmic soul mates

Karmic soul mates are sometimes called "wrecking ball soul mates." But instead of thinking of karma as good or bad—or a system of punishment and reward—think of it as merely a neutral energy of cause and effect.

The earth plane is very much a dimension of cause and effect. We create karma with other people all the time, through small and significant interactions. Every interaction with another person creates energy that can turn into karma. This isn't anything to fear but something to be mindful of.

Karmic relationships may come into our lives as change agents who facilitate—through positive, negative, or neutral interactions—opportunities or invitations to improve our karma (how we operate in our lives and the world) so we can grow and evolve. Keep in mind that the soul craves new experiences, growth, and evolution.


Romantic soul mates

After giving thousands of intuitive readings to clients all over the world, there are a few things I know for sure, as Oprah would say. One is that when we enter a significant romantic relationship or fall in love, there's a possibility we'll partner with this person.

What's not only possible but definite is that we are being given the opportunity to heal, learn, and grow because of the relationship. Even in the happiest or healthiest relationships, romantic soul mates can tend to tap dance on your biggest wounds or challenge you in uncomfortable ways. When two souls enter a romantic relationship, they're also entering a classroom together.

I've had many clients who met their ideal partner and said, "I feel like I've been waiting my whole life to meet this person." It's always worth the wait! Find ways to fall in love with life, work on believing a great romantic relationship is possible for you, and get help to heal those romantic wounds from the past.

RELATED: 45 Small Ways To Be More Romantic In Your Relationships


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Twin flames

This popular term describes an intense soul connection, and some people believe twin flames are actually one soul that was split into two bodies.

According to the theory, twin flames can love, challenge, teach, and heal each other in a unique, powerful way. Yet Whitehurst cautions against feeling like you need another person to complete you. Just remember there can be a shadow side of trying to fit people into a certain category in your life, including a spiritual category.

While some believe the twin flame is the ultimate romantic experience, remember, every relationship you enter with another person—romantic or otherwise—has the potential to help you achieve more enlightenment. 

RELATED: Soul Mate vs. Twin Flame: What's The Difference?


Companion soul mates, aka soul mate friends

Not all soul mates are romantic ones. Your companion soul mates—aka soul mate friends—can be equally important in your life. If you think of earthly life as a temporary journey for the soul, as some spiritual people do, you'll want to have interesting, supportive companions for the trip—just like any character in an epic story or legend picks up companions along the way.

Think of them as spiritual sidekicks, people who seemed destined to be in your path so you both, in turn, can give each other love and encouragement when needed to keep going on your earthly odyssey. Don't underestimate the importance of soul mate friends.

Whether they are in your life for the long haul or just a few months, soul companions are necessary nourishment. Just like the human body needs food and water, the soul requires companion soul mates.

RELATED: The 8 Types Of Friends You Need + 5 Types To Avoid


Soul families and soul groups

Large groups of souls can be linked in soul families. This can show up as actual family members in this lifetime, like a cousin who is not only part of your earthly family but also your soul family, or as people working toward common goals who never meet, like activists around the globe working for a similar cause or spiritual seekers working to bring more love and awareness to the planet. Sometimes one soul will incarnate to try to help heal something in the family line, like a pattern of addiction, abuse, or disease.


Kindred spirits

Kindred spirits aren't always soul mates, but they can certainly be. Kindred spirits are simply people who really understand you. You might feel a kindred spirit is someone who shares the same spiritual beliefs you have or agrees with you about cultural issues to the point you could finish each other's sentences.

A kindred spirit might also be someone who has had a similar life experience to yours—like you are both elementary school teachers, both have newborn babies, and are both married to working artists. It's incredibly peaceful to be with another soul who just gets it, or you.


Soul contracts

Intuitive and spiritual teacher Robert Ohotto describes soul contracts as agreements you made on a soul level to do certain things in this lifetime. You might have a soul contract to mentor a certain child or write a certain book. These contracts can be renegotiated, so if you're in a toxic situation, leave or change the dynamic to a healthier one. Yet feeling you have a soul contract to do something challenging, like start your own business, can give you the inspiration and stamina to make it through the difficult moments of that journey. Knowing if you have a soul contract around something or someone in your life is all about learning to follow your intuition.


Soul teachers

A healer or mentor can come into your life via divine timing because they're a soul mate teacher. It could be the college professor who encourages you to go after a certain major or career path or the counselor or naturopath who teaches you how to better manage your anxiety.

Sometimes a soul mate might show up to teach you by challenging you to do something different from what they recommend, teaching you the value of thinking for yourself. Soul mate teachers are very special, sacred relationships, and each of us has been in both roles—student and teacher—whether we realized it at the time or not.


Soul crossings

Have you ever heard the cliché "ships that pass in the night"? It's a phrase used to describe someone who comes into your life but the timing and circumstances are not conducive to a long-term relationship. This phenomenon can happen with friends or lovers or colleagues, when for a short amount of time you are thrown together and share amazing experiences and awakenings.

Even if someone doesn't stay in your life long—like a freelancer who works at your company for nine months whom you become close to until they move to the other side of the country or a lover you meet on a retreat and four months later they tragically pass—it's still a soul mate.

In the case of the friend, you two might always treasure your time together and the lessons you learned, but your lives are too busy to keep up the friendship in a significant way.

In the case of the lover who passed, you might think of this person fondly for the rest of your life or even consider them a spirit guide. Soul crossings teach us not to judge the importance or depth of a soulmate by the length of the relationship.

Are there kindred spirits? How do you know if this person is right for you?

Do you believe in the existence of kindred spirits? How to understand that you met the right person? Sadhguru debunks the concept of soul mates and tells how you can find the "right" life partner.

ArticleDec 7, 2021

Are there soul mates?

Sadhguru: The body needs a partner. Perhaps your mind needs a partner if it is underdeveloped. If your emotions have not become all-encompassing, they need a partner. But at least your soul must be free from this craving! nine0010

When people say "soul" they mean something beyond the physical. If there is something beyond the physical, does he need a mate? Finding a partner is all about finding someone to meet your needs. These may be physical, psychological, emotional or work needs. But the need for a partner arises only when there is some feeling of incompleteness. Whatever you call soul, at least it must be whole.

There is an idea that somewhere there is your soul mate, that God created another person especially for you. But these days it feels like he creates a new person for you every 2 years. It is obvious that God makes too many mistakes in creating a "soul mate" for you! There is no such thing. nine0010

The soul does not need a partner. Also, there is no perfect person for you.

If you consider yourself to be ideal, that God has chosen you and created another ideal person somewhere else, then you are heading towards disaster.

Soul mates and love

Why do people seek relationships? This may be for physiological reasons. We call it sexy and it can be quite beautiful. This may be for psychological reasons. We call it friendship, and it can also be beautiful. It may be for emotional reasons. We call it love, and according to fairy tales, this is the sweetest experience. Sure, physical compatibility, friendship, and love can make life great, but if you're honest with yourself, you can't deny the anxiety that comes with such an arrangement. It is more reasonable to see that relations exist only in limitations and certain conditions. The advantage of being realistic is that if you run into limitations tomorrow, you will find a mature way to deal with them. If you use terms like "soul mate" or claim that your relationship is "made in heaven," then disappointment is inevitable. nine0010

When you have too many romantic illusions, even if you are married to the most wonderful person, it is sure to lead to failure, because you cannot deceive yourself forever. If you want to live intelligently and joyfully, it is important to remember that marriage is by the will of man, not in heaven. Marriage can be a very enjoyable experience, as long as you know it's not over.

The success of such relationships will depend on the degree of maturity and sensitivity with which we approach them. I am not cynical about love. Love is one of the most beautiful qualities that a person is capable of. Some cultures suppressed love, while others tried to export it to heaven. But love comes from this planet, and it is deeply human. Why deny it? nine0010

Love doesn't need an object. Love is just a quality. If the person you love is not with you, you can still love him. If the people you love cease to exist, you still love them. This means that you use the people around you as a mere stimulus to express this innate quality. If you bring enough awareness to your discriminating intelligence, you will see that love is the only way you can exist. Love is not something you make. Love is who you are. Love is just life striving towards itself. In essence, it is the desire to become all-encompassing and limitless. nine0010

Only when love becomes all-encompassing do you touch the infinite. It is then that you realize a simple truth: the soul does not need a mate. And never needed.

How do you know that you have chosen the right person?

In fact, certain karmic connections can attract people to each other. But this does not mean that it will be an ideal relationship. There is no “same” person on this planet. But if you put your heart into something, it can become wonderful. "Is this right?" There are no right things. If you think you've found the "right" person, you'll soon be disappointed. If you understand that you have your stupidities, and they have theirs, then by fitting one to the other, you will be able to maintain a relationship. nine0010

It is important to understand that relationships are formed to meet different needs. But when you go to a person with many needs, you are like a beggar, and a beggar cannot choose. If you really want to make a choice, then the most important thing is to make YOURSELF so that your experience of life is enjoyable in itself. In this case, if you are a truly wonderful person, everything will work out for the best. All the best things will happen to you in your career, marriage, and relationships, because you made yourself that way. nine0010

Instead of trying to fix the other person, work on yourself instead. Make yourself so wonderful that everyone wants to be with you. Then you will have a choice.

You won't find the perfect person. But if you show a deep sense of involvement, then something wonderful can happen. And it won't happen because the other person is beautiful. Even if you choose the last idiot, it doesn't matter. Your involvement will make this relationship the most wonderful. You can choose the smartest person in the universe, but that can be disastrous. Don't think in terms of "made for each other". In fact, you are choosing the opposite. But after a while, you want them to be just like you. This is a serious mistake. If another person like you lived with you, how would you handle yourself? Be glad that other people are different from you. It is wonderful that there is no one else like you on this planet. Do not look for your likeness in another person. nine0010


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Soul mates and soulmates - do they really exist, and if so, how to find them? nine0001


Someone believes, someone does not, but this is an eternal topic of debate: do each of us have a soul mate? Or is everyone supposed to have a lot of second halves? Or are soulmates, spouses, singles, soulmates, soul mates just fantasies of incorrigible romantics?

According to the phraseological dictionary of the Russian literary language, a kindred spirit is "a person close in spirit, in convictions." The New Oxford American Dictionary defines a soulmate as “a person who is ideally suited to another as a close friend or romantic partner.” nine0010

In such meanings, kindred spirits certainly exist and you have probably met them. Perhaps you even had a chance to experience that very unity of hearts, about which thousands of novels have been written and hundreds of melodramas have been filmed. And you, most likely, expected that in life "delight and rapture" would last longer than the final credits. But, unfortunately, something went wrong.

If you believe in the concept of soulmates, the conclusion is obvious: you just chose the wrong person and you need to keep looking until you meet the one who was destined for you. But, as practice shows, partings are painful, and you are in no hurry to look for a replacement for a partner, albeit one unworthy of the title of half. You are tormented by doubts and conjectures: maybe all these are fairy tales for the naive, but in reality there are no narrowed-mummers and kindred souls? And who even came up with this love myth that inspires so much hope? nine0010

Where did the myth about the second half come from

The ancient Greek sage Plato raised the topic of halves in the philosophical treatise "Feast", written in 385-80 BC. One of Plato's interlocutors, the comedian Aristophanes, in response to a request for a commendable speech to the god of love Eros, says that the first people were androgynous, that is, both men and women. They had four arms and legs, two opposite faces, two pairs of ears, and two sets of sex organs. nine0010

Since the androgynes were very strong and frightened the gods with their power, Zeus ordered Apollo to cut each one in two and scatter the halves around the world. Over time, people took on a normal appearance, but the memory of an inextricable connection gave rise to a desire in them to look for each other to restore their former fullness. If the separated halves meet each other, then they are covered by “an amazing feeling of affection, closeness and love,” concludes the author of the first famous comedies.

There is some truth in Aristophanes' jokes, which is partly repeated in the biblical text about the creation of Eve from Adam's rib. Mutual attraction is by no means a myth, but a reality experienced by millions of people, and perhaps at this very moment. Antique treatises have provided humanity with rich nourishment for conjectures about love ideals, but none of them has instructions on how to find your soul mate. How not to miss the only chance, but to recognize in time that a real soulmate is nearby? nine0010

The myth of halves from the point of view of psychology

It is easy to make a mistake. When we meet someone we really like, it always feels like an amazing coincidence. It's all about hormones, because of which desires and reality are mixed into a blinding cocktail. In psychology, this is called the "halo effect" or "halo effect" - at this stage, we tend to idealize a person, perceiving him as an impeccably kind, intelligent, handsome man with similar interests.

With luck, he (she) will remain so for you. And if not, sooner or later you will yearn for the only one with whom you could completely coincide and at the same time remain yourself - just like in The Notebook. Who could infinitely care for the precious vulnerabilities of your individuality and, of course, with complete reciprocity on your part. Who would rush after you to the ends of the world, and at a meeting would shower you with a rain of red roses. Who would be your refuge and home. Whose kisses would melt you like vanilla gelato in a Tuscan summer. Plus constant unbridled sex - like in Shades of Grey. nine0010

And gradually you will convince yourself that the reason for the difficulties you experience in a relationship is precisely because you have not been diligently looking for this central element of romantic dreams: a soul mate. The right person. Your soul mate. This creature is roaming around somewhere, you still haven't been able to find it. And so you must continue the search, using all the necessary technology and perseverance.

Psychologists, however, are not enthusiastic about the theory of halves. Psychologist Irina Tkacheva, a trauma specialist, explains the reasons for this hostility: “The truth is that instinct does not attract to those who will take care of us and make us happy - not to those who love in an ideal way, but to those who love as we are used to. The installation of how we should be loved arises in childhood, and this pattern is intertwined with a number of problems, traumas, obsessions that prevent the choice of the “ideal mate”. nine0010

We think that we are looking for happiness in love, but in fact we are trying to recreate in relationships those feelings that we knew well in childhood. As adults, we reject mate candidates not because they are wrong, but on the contrary, because they are too right. In the sense that they look somehow too balanced, mature, understanding, reliable, and to us such correctness seems alien and undeserved. And we chase after unstable, unreliable others, not because we believe that life with them will be more harmonious, but out of an unconscious feeling that with such a companion we will return to a reassuringly familiar pattern of disappointments. nine0010

Halves are not born, but become

Love is not a solution to life's problems, as anyone who has been in love can confirm. The candy-bouquet period is a distracting prelude in anticipation of many headaches and heartaches. True love is not always easy and harmonious, but it stands the test of reality. The decisive factor is the ability to recognize that you love and are loved, and favorably accept each other's shortcomings (everyone has them!). By relying on the “made for each other” scenario, you run the risk of being stuck in an eternal search instead of identifying the causes that drive your cravings and interrupt unhealthy patterns. nine0010

“I don’t believe in soulmates in the sense that each of us is destined for someone somewhere in heaven, but I have seen many examples of amazing unity found as a result of deep and lasting love relationships,” sums up the theme of family psychologist Shona Springer . — Couples that are difficult to recognize as classic soulmates are united by a life together, common tasks, experienced hardships and joys — and over the years, side by side, they become each other's irreplaceable partners. So if kindred spirits exist, then this is a completely feasible project and an achievable goal.

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