What is a soulmate? The 8 different types and 15 signs you’ve found one

Some connections feel destined to be.

It’s almost like meeting this person was written in the stars and the heavens aligned to make it happen.

These powerful unions in this life are our soulmates.

This comprehensive guide will tell you everything you need to know about soulmates — what defines this special relationship, the different types of soulmates, and the signs you’ve found yours.

What is a soulmate?

A soulmate is someone that we have a deep feeling of affinity and connection to. They “get us” and we “get them”, almost like we are cut from the same energetic cloth.

Although many people think of soulmates as romantic partnerships, they can appear in many forms.

They often feel familiar to us, almost like we have known them before in another space and time.

All soulmate relationships are here to teach us something important on our journey through life.

They hold up a mirror for us to go deeper within ourselves to expand and evolve.

Soulmates are never chance or accidental meetings, instead, they are viewed as predestined soul contracts.

“There are no accidental meetings between souls.”

— Sheila Burke

  • A 2021 YouGov poll of 15000 Americans found most believe in soulmates.
  • 60% of people believe in soulmates.
  • 23% of people do not believe in soulmates.
  • 18% of people do not know if they believe in soulmates.
  • More women (64%) than men (55%) believe in soulmates.
  • Married people are more likely to believe in soulmates than single people.

The different types of soulmates

1) Romantic soulmates

The romantic soulmate is often the first we think of when it comes to soulmates.

As a lover, this soulmate brings with them one of the most passionate experiences of your life. The chemistry will likely be off the chart.

As a partner, you will meet on intellectual, emotional, and spiritual levels like never before.

“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”

— Dr. Seuss

2) Lifelong soulmates

Lifelong soulmates are the strong partnerships that stay with us throughout our lives.

They can appear in many different guises — as childhood friends, best friends, business partners, or even family members.

They are people you know your entire life and who love and support you like no other.

“What greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel that they are joined for life … to strengthen each other … to be at one with each other in silent, unspeakable memories.”

— George Eliot

3) Teacher soulmates

To a certain extent, we learn from all soulmates in some way or another, but especially so with teacher soulmates.

They may be a valued mentor or healer in your life, who you meet with divine timing. They could be an inspirational professor from school who encourages you to go on to greatness.

They may even be a total stranger whose wise words reach you exactly when you need them most, to change the course of your life forever.

4) Past life soulmates

Many religious traditions speak of past lives and reincarnation, believing that we enter into the endless circle of life that continues to flow.

If you are someone who believes in this too, when you meet a stranger yet feel a familiarity like you already know them — they could be a past life soulmate.

These are soulmates who already recognize each other from their paths crossing in another life before meeting in this one.

“I seem to have loved you in numberless forms, numberless times…In life after life, in age after age, forever.”

— Rabindranath Tagore

5) Karmic soulmates

Karmic soulmates are sometimes referred to as wrecking ball soulmate relationships, and for good reason, as they can be tumultuous.

They are here to challenge you and inspire you to question your view of the world. Whilst this can be confronting, it is always for your highest good.

This type of soulmate often presents itself as a romantic relationship, as nothing tends to shake up your world quite like love.

“A soul mate is the one person whose love is powerful enough to motivate you to meet your soul, to do the emotional work of self-discovery, of awakening.”

— Kenny Loggins

6) Friendship soulmates

You’re at a party, you meet someone, and within the first few minutes, you just know this is your new bestie.

You click straight away, you vibe, and are on each other’s wavelength. There’s no polite chit-chat, you dive straight into the deep and meaningful.

The friendship soulmate is someone that you can always turn to, tell anything to and never get bored of.

“Our soulmate is the one who makes life come to life.”

— Richard Bach

7) Soul contracts

Soul contract or crossing soulmates are often like ships that pass in the night.

Your souls have created a contract before entering this life to meet at a certain time and place, for some particular reason. That reason may not even be apparent at the time but the lesson becomes clear later.

Whether they be friends, lovers, colleagues, teachers, etc. they bring with them powerful experiences that lead to greater insights and awakenings.

8) Soulmate family

Your soulmate family can be members of your own biological family with who you feel a truly deep affinity.

Not all of us feel like we “belong” to our biological family, so this type of soulmate also appears in our chosen family — aka our tribe.

These are the people who get us, support us and feel like our support network. You are made from the same essence.

“Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.”

— Emily Bronte

15 signs you’ve found your soulmate

1) You feel it on an intuitive level

Gut feelings are powerful and offer us clear insights that we cannot gain from thinking alone.

In fact, far from being mystical, intuition is scientifically recognized as unconscious information we use to guide us through life.

That’s why one of the biggest signs you’ve met a soulmate is that you just feel it to your core.

2) You feel understood

Thanks to the strength of bond when you meet a soulmate, you will likely just feel seen in a way that doesn’t happen very often (if at all).

It’s like they understand you without needing to explain or try too hard. Our soulmates get us, and this intensifies and hastens the bond we share.

3) You accept them at their best and their worst

Our soulmates aren’t perfect little angels that have fallen from heaven.

They will still have habits or traits that can annoy you. They will still mess up or make mistakes.

But when the soulmate’s love is true, you will both accept each other at your best and worst, without fear or judgment.

4) You feel deep empathy towards one another

Empathy is an important factor in all very close relationships, and especially with soulmates.

It helps you to understand how each other are feeling so that you can respond appropriately to situations.

5) You feel a strong chemistry

Chemistry is one of those strange undefinable qualities that you either feel or you don’t.

It could be seen as the rush of feel-good hormones that flood your body whenever you meet someone who excites you and lights you up.

It symbolizes intense energy between you which is a clear characteristic of a soulmate meeting.

6) You work through your problems

In a world where disposable relationships have become easier than ever before, one of the signs of a soulmate relationship is that you are prepared to stick around when things get tough.

Soulmates don’t give up on each other at the first sign of trouble, they stay around and work through their challenges as a team.

7) You let your guard down

To have an intimate relationship vulnerability is crucial.

But let’s face it, vulnerability is not easy and many of us have our guards up in order to protect ourselves. This is especially true when we have experienced heartbreak in the past.

Often it takes a special person and a special connection for us to lay ourselves bare to another and let those walls come down.

8) They support your growth

Soulmates don’t only enter our lives to bring more fun, love, and good times. This soul contract is ultimately about the deeper things.

That means your soulmate, in whatever form they arrive, will actively support your growth and development as a person.

They will encourage you, lift you up and offer practical help so you can reach your goals.

9) Everything seems to fall into place

There’s no denying that timing is important in life.

Meeting the right person at the wrong time will always be problematic. But when you meet a soulmate, you will always make it work, no matter what obstacles seem to stand in your way.

Things that have proved a challenge in previous connections won’t seem like such a big deal anymore.

Working out the practicalities to make your relationship work is easier when you both want it more than anything else.

10) You don’t need to speak to connect

Awkward silences are only awkward when we don’t feel truly comfortable around another person.

Whilst nerves are normal in the start of any budding relationship, as time goes on you will be comfortable in each other’s presence without even needing to speak.

That’s because your souls are meeting on more levels than simply words.

11) You respect one another’s difference

Soulmates may share things in common that unites them, but they are two separate souls with different backgrounds, beliefs, and opinions.

True soulmates will always honor, respect, and even value these differences between them.

12) Your values align

Surface differences, even amongst soulmates, are very common but underneath you will share the same deeper values.

When it comes to the things that matter most to you like how you approach life, how you treat other people, and the overall direction you are heading — you will align.

13) You can communicate honestly

Your soulmate will likely know you inside and out, but they will never be able to read your mind, which is why healthy communication is still going to be a huge part of your relationship.

You will be able to approach communication with honesty, openness, patience, and understanding. Even when you disagree or fight, you will want to resolve things and keep the lines of communication open between you.

14) You compromise

Even when the most stubborn of souls meets their soulmate, they may be shocked to notice how much they begin to compromise.

Whenever we do not want to lose something important to us, we soon realize that at times bending is better than breaking. That means in order to keep your soulmate close you will be prepared to meet in the middle.

15) You admit when you are wrong

Saying sorry isn’t always easy, no one likes to be wrong.

But when you meet your soulmate, you will know that forgiveness, letting go, and moving forwards after problems are vital to nourish your bond together.

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The 6 different stages of a soulmate relationship

1) A desire for love

Until you truly want love in your life, it will usually remain elusive.

For example, research has shown that the receptivity and readiness of partners for a committed relationship is a big factor in whether it is successful.

Timing is important, and welcoming love into our lives always begins as an internal process.

2) First meeting

It usually becomes apparent very early on that this is a special relationship, perhaps even from the very first time you meet.

You may sense an instant connection, effortless ease in each other’s presence, and a strong urge to be around one another.

3) The bliss stage

Meeting a soulmate can sometimes feel like a whirlwind that sweeps in and progresses very quickly.

In romantic relationships, this is characterized by falling in love and the subsequent honeymoon phase.

You are enjoying the rush of positive emotions and soul expansion that this deeper union with one another brings.

“In all the world, there is no heart for me like yours. In all the world, there is no love for you like mine.”

— Maya Angelou

4) Going deeper

At some stage, you will start to get to know one another on an even deeper level. The initial buzz and exhilaration of your connection may start to fade slightly.

With passing time, you could also begin to discover things about each other that make you question the relationship.

The more “real” it gets, the more vulnerable and triggering it can become — potentially bringing discomfort too.

5) Withdrawal or avoidance

Not all soulmates will experience this stage of the soulmate relationship, but for many, it is an inevitable hurdle they must face.

The unexpected arrival of problems or challenges within the relationship may lead one or both of you to doubt the validity of your soulmate relationship.

You may wonder if they really are your soulmate after all, and attempt to run away from the intensity of what you are feeling, or engage in sabotaging behaviors.

6) Acceptance

If you are able to stay open and are prepared to learn from the lessons that your soulmate relationship brings, you will eventually reach an acceptance.

From this place, you can rise above problematic thoughts, emotions, or behaviors that your soulmate connection may create. You are ready to fully embrace the growth opportunity of your soulmate union.

Do soulmates always end up together?

Soul connections will always be fulfilled as they are predestined to meet. But whether that means you will always end up together is another matter.

Different types of soulmate relationships may last for different amounts of time — some only days, some for years, and others an entire lifetime.

On the level of the soul, our unions may be eternal, but in the realm of human relationships, your connection will always be finite (even if it is only separated by death).

Some soulmates may enter your life forever, others may come and go once they have spiritually served their purpose.

Just because something doesn’t last forever does not mean it has not been valuable or a true soulmate connection.

Attachment is a human condition, not one of the soul. The soul does not fear losing another as they know that consciousness and love are eternal. They cannot be “lost”, they can only change form.

Can soulmates turn toxic?

Even soulmate relationships can turn sour.

The word soulmate signifies a deep and intense bond. But that does not mean it is a “perfect” relationship.

Neither is it a Hollywood version of love that we have been sold — perhaps illustrated perfectly by Tom Cruise’s declaration to Renée Zellweger in the film Jerry Maguire of “You complete me.”

The danger is that an overly romanticized view of love as being effortless if you find “the one” can lead to relationship breakdowns due to unhealthy beliefs and habits.

Research has highlighted a potentially darker side to believing in soulmates when we cannot learn to manage our expectations.

Even a “match made in heaven” will always experience relationship conflict.

According to study author Spike W.S. Lee, believing that a soulmate relationship is somehow the finished product and requires no work is detrimental:

“Our findings corroborate prior research showing that people who implicitly think of relationships as perfect unity between soulmates have worse relationships than people who implicitly think of relationships as a journey of growing and working things out.”

In another study, researcher Raymond Knee also noted that the way we approach soulmate connections is very important to whether they turn toxic or not.

He found that “growth beliefs” within a relationship lead to a more successful long-term partnership compared to so-called “destiny beliefs” which tend to be more fixed.

Essentially people who believe in soulmates are more likely to break up, give up, or have difficult relationships if their belief creates a fixed attitude within the relationship.

An unhealthy idea that soulmate unions should be perfect can lead to:

  • Passionate and intense, yet short-lived relationships.
  • Disillusionment and frustration over relationship challenges.
  • Imposing “deal breakers” or unfair demands on partners.
  • Moving on rather than trying to fix relationship problems.
  • Believing love should be instant.

On the other hand, people who have a growth attitude towards relationships tend to:

  • Take longer to commit but stay together longer.
  • Look to find solutions and compromise in the relationship.
  • Respond better to relationship challenges.
  • Believe relationships take effort and you grow to fit together.
  • Believe love is built.

The research highlights that soulmates are not fairytale relationships and should never be seen as such. Even soulmates are mortal forms of love and will still encounter difficulties and challenges.

Soulmate unions may turn toxic if you refuse to accept the inevitable shadow side of human nature.

“Soul mates are muses. The people in your life you despise, disrespect, and desire the most.”

— Coco J. Ginger

The uncomfortable side of a soulmate connection is not evidence that this person is not “the one” for you.

Instead, it is an opportunity for greater growth and expansion, which is the ultimate purpose for soulmate unions.

As Elizabeth Gilbert put it in her bestselling novel Eat, Pray, Love:

 “A soul mate’s purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life, then introduce you to your spiritual master.”

Soulmates: Harmful “fixed belief” questions about your relationship:

  • Is this my one person?
  • Can I do better?
  • Is this the best I can do?
  • Is this it?

Soulmates: Helpful growth belief questions:

  • Are we a good fit?
  • How can I become a better partner?
  • How can my partner and I get closer?
  • What can I do to make my relationship better?

Are they really my soulmate? Resolving soulmate conflict:

  • Reflect on your own unhelpful beliefs or patterns. Are you expecting too much from your partner? Do you want love to be perfect and without any problems? Do you walk away as soon as the going gets tough?
  • Evaluate your differences. Some relationship conflict arises from minor irritations or differences of opinion. This is natural and to be expected from time to time. But others come from deeper rooted misalignment over fundamental core values. This is more significant. What can you compromise on and what are deal-breakers in your relationship?
  • Be prepared to grow. The fundamental purpose of a soulmate is to help one another expand as people. This will require you to shift your perspectives, beliefs, and attitudes in life if you want to create a healthy relationship. Flexibility and compromise are important aspects of all relationships.

Final thoughts

There’s no doubt that soulmate relationships are special beyond words.

They bring with them a deeper sense of connection, love, and understanding to our lives. The strong bond you feel will lift you up, bring newfound joys and wonderful experiences.

They may also shake you to your core, but rest assured that is also part of their purpose. They arrive into your life to help you become the most expanded version of yourself.

Life is the classroom, and all soulmates we meet are in some way or another our teachers.

Meeting your soulmate does not mean you will have a perfect relationship. It will still take effort and commitment, and cannot always be plain sailing.

Not all soulmates will stay in your life, they may come and go, but that will never take away the value or the memories of the precious time you spend together on this earth.


What’s the difference between a soulmate and a twin flame?

Whilst soulmates are viewed as two separate souls that are destined for some reason to be together, twin flames are seen as one soul that was once divided.

“Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.”

— Aristotle

The concept of twin flames first appeared in Greek legend.

The idea is that twin flames began whole but were split in two, forever destined to spend our lives searching for our “other half”.

How do you know when you’ve met your soulmate?

There are many potential signs that you have met your soulmate.

You may feel like you have known them for ages, even though you just met them. Being around them will likely bring you a sense of peace and comfort as you feel easy in one another’s company.

Your deeper values will align so that you feel on the same page. You may still challenge one another, but there will be underlying respect. You both will want to invest in the relationship and make efforts to be together.

Perhaps the most telling sign of all that you have met your soulmate is that you just feel it. Like an intuitive knowing inside, you will sense that this is something different and special. It will likely come with palpable chemistry between you that hangs in the air whenever you are together.

How many soulmates can you have in a lifetime?

A common misconception about soulmates is that you will have only one during your lifetime. In fact, there is no actual limit.

A soulmate is somebody who is connected to your soul and who you meet in order to awaken and explore different parts of yourself. This supports you to activate and heal in order to progress.

Different types of soulmates may arrive at different stages of your life to help facilitate this.

Even though people often associate meeting their soulmate as meeting “the one” the reality may actually be that you will meet several soulmates. Some may come and go, others may remain in your life for its duration.

What should you do if a soulmate turns toxic?

If your soulmate connection has taken a turn for the worst, you must first work out if both of you in the relationship want to resolve things.

No relationship is without its challenges, but neither should anybody tolerate abusive or truly toxic behavior either. Some soul searching will be required to decide if you wish to stay, followed by an open and honest conversation with your soulmate.

If you do want to try and move forwards together, one or both of you may be required to make some significant changes.

If you decide that it is beyond fixing, you should not be afraid to let your soulmate go. Not all soulmate connections are meant to be in your life forever. When it is time to, letting go can make room for another soulmate to enter your life.

Can your soulmate have another soulmate?

Yes, your soulmate may have had other soulmates in their life too.

It’s natural to feel a little jealous if someone you have a special bond with has experienced a unique bond with someone else —perhaps before even meeting you or a different type of soulmate connection to the one you share.

The concept of attachment is a human phenomenon. The soul does not experience possessiveness. It is concerned with growth, love, and expansion.

But them having had another soulmate before you came along certainly does not take away from your connection. You have met to share and teach each other new things.

Can you fall out of love with your soulmate?

For some people falling in love will be forever, but for others it is temporary.

There is a misconception that soulmates will remain in love forever because this type of connection is often unfairly attached to unrealistic expectations.

Soulmate love is still experienced by human beings and is never perfect.

Real love changes over time, and that may mean that sometimes soulmate partners are no longer right for each other. They have reached the end of their journey and it is time for them to go separate ways.


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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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