A soulmate is a person with whom we feel an intense connection – where both people experience a magnetic pull to one another. They can be romantic or platonic. Whether or not you believe in soulmates, it’s well worth looking at the people you connect with on a deep level, as it can give you insight into yourself, your relationships, and your purpose. These are the ten most common types of soulmates you will encounter on your journey and how to recognize them when you meet them. (Estimated reading time: 12 minutes)
“A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake.“– Elizabeth Gilbert
A couple of years ago, I wrote a post titled “4 Signs of a Soul Connection.” To say that I was blown away by the response from people who read it is an understatement. The article quickly became viral, and comments poured in from readers who shared their own soulmate stories.
I was touched by how many people were willing to open their hearts to our community, but I was also struck by the intensity of the longing we all have to find that one true love. Despite our casual dating culture, deep down, we still want to feel loved and that we matter.
But is the longing to find a soulmate intensified by society and the media? It’s a consistent theme in novels, rom-coms, podcasts, and talk shows. We’re all wired to love a great love story because we can vicariously feel the same sentiments (and dopamine rush!) as the characters.
The caveat is that these portrayals of soulmate love are often idealistic and give us false expectations. While the initial connection might seem magical, with sparks flying everywhere, relationships take on a different quality after the honeymoon phase. This negatively impacts our understanding of soulmates. Consequently, I’ve realized we don’t need to limit our definition.
We are all different – with different wants, needs, and desires. You can define a soulmate based on what it looks and feels like. They don’t always have to make your heart race and mesmerize you with their gaze. They could elicit a feeling of calm and a sense that “you’ve found your home.” They might even drive you up the wall (in a good way) because they reveal wounds you need to heal to get to the next level.
Besides personalizing our soulmate experiences, there’s another perspective shift that can serve us. After reflecting on the people who played a significant role in my life, I realized that soulmate connections do not need to be romantic. Some of my most profound bonds are with my mentors, friends, and artists who inspire me. I’m sure you have people who make you feel the same.
Even so, many people are skeptical about soul connections and view it as a romantic buzzword concocted by New Agers to fuel delusional fantasies. Whether or not you believe in the metaphysical aspect of soulmates and that we’re pre-destined to meet them, it’s well worth looking at the people you connect with on a deep level as it can give you insight into yourself, your relationships, and your purpose.
By knowing the different types of soulmates you can encounter on your journey, you can appreciate how certain people are pivotal in carving your path to great enlightenment and joy, opening up exciting possibilities in life and relationships.
What is a soulmate, and why are they important?
A soulmate is a person with whom we feel an intense connection – where both people experience a magnetic pull to one another. It’s a special bond that feels significant, deep, and makes us come alive. Unlike their portrayal in pop culture, soulmates don’t make us needy and dependent. Instead, they encourage us (directly or indirectly) to be our best, even if that involves the discomfort of growth.
The New Age movement adds a spiritual element to the soulmate and types of soulmates theory, claiming that we’ve experienced many lives together, and our souls have agreed to reunite again to fulfill a common mission to our life purposes. These soul connections transcend the physical earth plane, so the pull we feel is inexplicable and profound.
Between these two perspectives, the meaning of soulmates is nuanced and subjective. The truth is that we’re all linked on a soul level. We belong to a common humanity and, therefore, are plugged into the collective spiritual consciousness. That’s why we can have many soulmates in a lifetime.
Regardless of how you explain a soul connection, it’s clear that these individuals are placed on our paths to teach us important lessons and are the catalysts for our development. In fact, a tell-tale sign of a soulmate is that they are instrumental in our evolution and transformation.
As tempting as it is to romanticize our types of soulmates, they will often challenge us to become aware of what’s not working for us so that we can create a different reality. This can be challenging, just like birthing a child. Soulmates are like midwives facilitating the birth of a new version of us.
How soul connections are explained by science
You might think that soul connections aren’t real, and that they are the glorious stuff of fiction.
Your concerns are valid. The laws of attraction are complicated, and avoiding the delusion of an idealistic view of soulmates is smart. But a skeptical, calculative, and overly-cerebral outlook isn’t healthy either. Both can hold you back from experiencing wonderful and lasting connections. Balance is essential.
Science proves that a part of the magic of soulmates in a romantic context is pure primal attraction. We’re instinctively drawn to people who we think will be good mates. The spark we experience is caused by a cocktail of hormones our brains release, like dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin.
In platonic types of soulmates connections, we’re also driven by the forces of social exchange theory, a sociological concept that people weigh the potential pros and cons of relationships. People instinctively want to maximize the pros and minimize the cons, so they are drawn to those who fit these criteria.
For example, if you were at a party, would you spend time with the person who gives off a good vibe and has interesting things to share or the snob who makes everything about them? Based on the social exchange theory, you would choose the first person because they add to your life.
If this person goes on to become a close friend, you may label them a soul connection. This is natural as human brains are wired to identify special individuals, singling them out from a crowd and focusing on them. For bond-loving creatures like us, this is a treat. “Only from the heart can you touch the sky,” the Sufi poet Rumi wrote.
The bottom line is that chemistry, psychology, and compatibility are the building blocks of any relationship we consider profound and significant. These bonds are often labeled as soulmate connections.
10 types of soulmates and their purpose in your life
Soulmates come in all shapes and forms. These are the ten most common types of soulmates you will encounter on your journey and how to recognize them when you meet them.
1. Soul partners
Soul partners are not limited to romantic connections. They can be friends, relatives, family members, acquaintances, and even colleagues. They stand out because they help you with your life purpose in some capacity. Their contributions to your self-actualization can be minor or significant.
Soul partners provide emotional, professional, or other forms of support that aid you in accomplishing your calling in life. None of us can achieve our soul plan alone, and soul partners are placed on our journeys to gain mastery and open doors of opportunities.
For example, an actor being offered the role of a lifetime by a director who recognizes their talent will credit their successful career to them for giving them their big break. A soul partner could also be a fertility expert who gives the right direction and medication to a woman who wants to conceive a child and achieve her lifelong dream of becoming a mother.
2. Romantic soul mates
The term ‘soulmate’ is commonly associated with romantic soulmate connections. These are your husbands, wives, significant lovers, and partners with whom you share an established connection.
Out of all the types of soulmates, romantic soulmates are most likely the type you spend the rest of your life with or a significant amount of time. Either way, you’ll discover a lot about how you express and receive love, the patterns in your relationship dynamics, and your romantic tendencies. When romantic soulmates partner up, they’re essentially entering a classroom together where they both play the role of teacher and student.
Unlike karmic connections, romantic soulmates have unconditional love for each other and tend to resolve conflict without much pain and discord. To achieve this kind of connection, we must be committed to working on ourselves so we can contribute to this healthy and nourishing dynamic.
3. Twin flames
A twin flame is an intense connection in which each person sees a part of themselves in the other. They often share the same passions, traits, and insecurities. Some people believe that twin flames are one soul split into two bodies.
While twin flames are like soulmates in that they don’t have to be romantic, there is one thing that makes them distinct. We can have multiple soulmates in a lifetime but only one twin flame. Twin flame connections are more intense and require deep and constant spiritual work.
It’s important to note that you don’t need to find your twin flame to feel whole and complete. Twin flames are the mirrors that give us insight into our wounds and accentuate our strengths.
Trying to make a person fit into the twin flame mold defeats the purpose of their existence, which is to be vehicles for our enlightenment.
4. Soul families/tribes
Your soul family is your tribe. They are your “chosen family” with whom you share common goals and who share the same energy and vibration with you. They can include your family members and relatives, but they could be anyone with whom you share the same vision, like fighting for equal rights, saving the environment, or creating a non-profit to help kids in impoverished neighborhoods have better access to education.
Sometimes, our soul family can mirror the challenges that we’re facing, like grieving the loss of someone who passed away from cancer or overcoming an addiction. In such cases, it might cause you to start foundations to raise awareness about cancer or start a recovery center for people with addictions.
Soul tribes are the companions you need to realize and fulfill your purpose and do something in the world that has impact and meaning. They are the Robins to your Batman, offering you their strength, resourcefulness, and support when you need it.
5. Companion soulmates
Companion soulmates or soulmate friends are the supportive individuals you meet. Like the heroes in an epic journey, we find companions along the way who stand by our sides. They offer comfort when we’re in pain, help us laugh when we’re down, cheer us on when we succeed, challenge us to be real when we’re off-kilter, love us despite our flaws, and stay loyal during rough patches in the friendship – and we offer the same to them.
Think of your companion soulmates as your spiritual sidekicks. Whether they’re in your life for a season or a lifetime, they are there to nourish you with their presence and keep you going on your Earthly quest.
6. Kindred Soulmates
Kindred spirits are simply people who really “get you.” You have common interests and similar viewpoints, making you gravitate towards one another. The saying, “birds of a feather flock together,” characterizes a kindred soulmate’s bond.
You know you’ve found a kindred soulmate when you like the same things, laugh at the same jokes, participate in healthy competition with ease, and have debates while respecting the other person’s opinion. A companion soulmate could also be a kindred soulmate, but not necessarily.
For example, you could find kindred spirituals in your place of worship because you share the same beliefs or in a conference where you meet people with the same views on cultural and social issues.
7. Karmic soul mates
A karmic soulmate comes into our lives as an agent of change and to resolve karma. While we may label the effects as good or bad, karmic relationships have neutral energy (what goes around comes around). Our interactions with them are invitations or opportunities to improve how we function to evolve and grow spiritually. Whether they do it consciously or not, their presence can teach us life lessons and heal past traumas.
Karmic relationships are the least pleasant among all types of soulmates and are often called “wrecking ball soulmates.” But they play a critical role in identifying areas of improvement and making us aware of our shadow traits– all essential in making us whole.
8. Soul teachers
Soul teachers bring the knowledge and wisdom we need at the right time in our journeys. These are the ‘Yodas’ that are meant to impart information and challenge us to help us learn and grow. As their soul students, we trust what they have to share with us and use it to level up.
Your soul teachers might include a college professor who encourages you to develop specific strengths and pursue a certain career path or a counselor who gives you the coping tools and advice you need to overcome mental health challenges that are getting in the way of you living your best life.
Soul teachers enter our lives to provide the extra support and guidance we need during life transitions and moments of struggle when we need perspectives, insights, and skill sets to rise to the challenges on our path.
9. Soul contracts
Soul contracts are agreements you make on a soul level to fulfill a shared commitment and do certain things in your lifetime. You’ll know you have a soul contract when you feel drawn to something or someone and can’t let go. If you do, your intuition nudges you back to it.
For instance, you might have a soul contract to launch a specific product that can change lives or to take care of an ailing parent. When you’re bound by a soul contract, you’re compelled to speak the truth, own up to your mistakes, and operate from a place of integrity and authenticity.
A soul contract can be renegotiated if it’s hurting you. If you’re living with a toxic partner, you can choose to leave or to shift to a healthier dynamic.
Mostly, soul contracts give us the fortitude and inspiration to see them through, even if they become challenging. Someone with a soul contract to start a business will be internally equipped to deal with the inevitable ups and downs of entrepreneurship.
10. Past-life soul mates
Many philosophies and religions embrace the idea of past lives. Those who believe that we have lived lives prior to our current one recognize the significance of past-life soulmates – individuals with whom we shared a connection in a past life. When we meet a past-life soulmate in this life, we feel an inexplicable sense of familiarity, known as soul recognition, and are pulled in their direction.
There might also be an intensity early in the connection because of the built-up energy from other lifetimes together, whether you were friends or rivals. Brian Weiss, M.D., psychiatrist and past-life regression expert, states that two souls could agree to reincarnate and find each other after spending 1000 Earth years apart.
Yet, past lives with someone do not mean you will be with them your entire life. Once you have completed what you agreed to meet again for, you can let them go with love, wish them well, and move on.
Whether you believe in the different types of soulmates or not, it’s essential to have loving and supportive people in your life who bring out the best in you. People with whom you can share experiences of love, joy, wisdom, and growth. The quest to realize your dreams can only be actualized when you have the right people in your life. They are the Earth-bound messengers who give you the wings you need to soar to great heights.
All my best on your journey,
Questions for you: Which of the ten types of soulmates do you have in your life right now? How do you add to each other’s lives?
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