January 31, 2018

The Difference between Soulmates, Twin Flames, Karmic Relationships & Life Partners.

I am the sort of person who thinks that everyone is my soulmate.

Here’s my love life, summed up: meet a man, feel an intense connection, decide that he is definitely my soulmate, break up in due time, decide that pheromones got the best of me, swear that I will never refer to a future partner as my soulmate with such surety, and instead, opt for logic and a slower-paced courtship.

When we’re in love with love, it can feel like everyone we meet is a possible soulmate; until it’s over, that is. Tomorrow, the partner we gushed over today is just another lesson learned. And there are so many terms to describe the various kinds of intense connections, from soulmate to twin flame.

What’s the difference? And how do know how to categorize our current partner?

Here are the characteristics of each type of relationship:

Karmic Relationship

Often, the person with whom we are in a karmic relationship can also be a soulmate, however, the very word “karmic” or “karma” connotes that there is some debt to settle, or something to pay back, as if we’ve lived out lifetimes of drama together.

Our souls get caught in loops, playing out the same negative patterns lifetime after lifetime. The quickest way to get out of this loop is to forgive the person and shift our energies so that we no longer resonate with them.

Here’s a real world example: A codependent may be caught in a karmic loop with a narcissist, and for lifetimes, they fall into the same romantic drama, until one day, the codependent learns how to love him or herself, chooses to forgive the narcissist, and makes a higher vibrating choice, opting for someone who is emotionally healthy and can reciprocate real love. We are stuck in karmic relationships until we learn our lessons and transcend them.

Twin Flame

This sort of relationship has a similar feel as the karmic relationship, however, it has a unique quality about it, which is that there is one “runner” and one “chaser.” Oftentimes, twin flames meet when they are not ready for love, and both partners push and pull; even the chaser (the person who pledges willingness to commit) is not ready to be in a relationship. Twin flames play like cat and mouse; the highs are passionate and intense, and the lows are gut-wrenching. A twin flame will bring out the worst in us so that we learn, grow, and transmute our fears. Being in a relationship with a twin flame can bring about dark nights of the soul; we can feel like we’re going crazy or losing ourselves. It will require both partners to walk through fire.

Life Partner

This sort of relationship is easy and practical. We share similar interests and goals, and rather than having a blustery relationship that can elicit the best or worst from us, a life partner feels logical, like a sure bet.

We save for a house. We have kids. We have a 401K, and we take trips. This doesn’t lead to much growth of our souls, because we’re not being challenged, but that’s okay because what a life partner does bring us is a feeling of contentment—we have someone who can truly support us and provide emotional stability.


The unique quality that a soulmate possesses is that he or she will bring out the best in us; a soulmate will elicit our highest self, or the best version of ourselves. We will step into our authentic power, embrace and transmute our fears, and be challenged (in a positive way)—leading to the ultimate evolution of our consciousness.

Being with a soulmate will quicken our spiritual progress, as it will require us to learn unconditional love, forgiveness, self-love, and patience. When we meet our soulmate, we can often experience resistance, as it will mean the death of our ego (the fearful thoughts to which we cling that separate us from others), and will ask us to choose love over fear.

We meet our soulmates when we are receptive to love and transformation, and often, at the most joyful times of our lives. We can have more than one soulmate, and the length of our relationships can vary, but regardless of the amount of time we spend with our soulmate, when we part, we will feel forever changed.


It is only when I truly started to love myself that I stopped manifesting dramatic relationships filled with emotional reticence and fear. The more peace we feel within ourselves, the more peaceful relationship we will attract. Our relationship patterns only shift when we shift.


Author: Jessie Leon 
Image: Jane Rahman/Flickr 
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Copy Editor: Nicole Cameron
Social Editor: Nicole Cameron

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