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10 ways to tell if it’s a twin flame, soulmate or karmic partner

The words twin flame, soulmate, and karmic partner get thrown around a lot nowadays.

But how do they differ from each other, really?

Well, here are ten ways to determine which is which.

1) Definitions

Not to be interchanged with each other, twin flame, soulmate, and karmic partner come with different definitions.

Twin Flame

A twin flame refers to an intense soul connection.

Simply put, it’s your soul shared across two beings.

That’s because when a soul is created, it’s split into two mirrors of each other (mirror soul) – which is why they yearn to reconnect with each other.

According to psychotherapist Babita Spinelli:

“Twin flames are generally described as two individuals who very intensely connect, usually as romantic partners, because of a shared pain.”

Remember: you can only have one twin flame in your life.

Soulmate

On the other hand, a soulmate is someone who’s divinely meant for you.

Otherwise known as ‘the one,’ they’re the person with whom you share a “special affinity, understanding, or powerful bond.”

There are six types of soulmates:

  • Romantic soulmates. They’re people who ignite your passion – essentially leading to heights of emotional and physical pleasure.
  • Soul partners. They’re someone whom you haven’t seen in a while. Once you meet them, it’s as if time hasn’t affected the depth of the soul connection.
  • Karmic soulmates. Both are made to make a mark on the world. As ideal partners, they have shared skills that help them fulfill a big mission. Unlike other soulmates, they don’t require love – only a commitment to putting their best foot forward.
  • Companion soulmates. These are platonic soulmates who are your ‘ride and die’ no matter what happens.
  • Kindred soulmates. These people agree on anything. When they do disagree, there’s no hint of jealousy or bitterness.
  • Soul contracts. These soulmates are bound to each other by a commitment to speak the truth – and openness to each other.

Compared to twin flames, you can have more than one soulmate.

Whenever you meet someone with whom you share a strong connection, it’s a sign that they’re part of your soul family.

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Karmic partners

A karmic relationship is a romantic connection that is both unstable and unbalanced.

Although it’s a connection of two souls, it will push all your buttons. They aren’t smooth sailing, but they’ll help you grow.

Spiritually, relationship expert Margaret Paul, Ph.D., believes it to be an agreement between two souls.

She explains: “There are numerous unresolved issues from past lives. When people are open to learning rather than trying to control each other, then much healing can occur.”

As with twin flames, you’re bound to have different karmic partners – though you may only meet one for every lifetime.

2) Purpose of the relationship

So, what is the purpose of your twin flame, soulmate, or karmic relationship? You’ll find them all below.

Twin Flames

According to spiritual teacher Todd Savvas, “The purpose of discovering your twin flame is to speed up your growth, to release wounds, remove blockages, and lead you to true self-love.”

In the end, you become a higher version of yourself.

That said, your twin flame relationship is not just a one-way street.

You’re not the only one who’ll learn from your twin flame. They’ll get the same benefits as you – they too will learn lessons from your intense relationship.

“Twin flames come together to achieve bigger things together, and their mission is always related to uplifting humanity,” remarks yoga teacher Amrita Kaur.

Soulmates

As for soulmates, psychologist Dr. Michael Tobin believes that this individual will have a lasting impact on your life.

He adds:

“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.”

Karmic Partners

Karmic relationships act as guides or teachers, according to author Shannon Kaiser.

She explains that “they’re meant to help you grow at soul level in often difficult push-pull ways.”

Likewise, karmic relationships are all about fixing the hurt and trauma one has experienced in this lifetime – or the past.

Karmic partners often choose their paramours “to heal the hurt of what happened in the past perhaps from the predominant parent or partner.”

3) The meet-up

The way twin flames, soulmates, and karmic partners come in contact is also different.

Twin Flames

Finding your twin flame is more of a hide-and-seek game.

But when you do meet them, you’ll feel an undeniable cosmic spark.

“There’s a sense of merging energy where you can’t tell where you start and they end,” explains life coach Lisa Vallejos.

She also adds:

“You meet them, and your life just completely changes. You start seeing the world differently. It pushes you to want to engage with the divine, shift consciousness, and become a better, soulful being in this experience.”

There’s also the chaser-runner dynamic, where you’ll feel a rollercoaster of emotions. The relationship will move quickly and intensely.

As such, it’s something you shouldn’t seek – unless you’re ready to feel a range of emotions that may potentially break you down.

Soulmates

When it comes to finding your soulmate, the timing is not as immediate either.  You’re bound to meet a few before you get down to your one true love.

As per Dr. Tobin:

“Everything in life is about timing. 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.”

When they come, the feeling is often likened to calm and storm.

There’s an instant connection, a passionate spark, and an inexplicable understanding between the both of you.

For romantic soulmates, it’s often a feeling of comfort – as if you’ve known them for your entire life.

So how do you know if you’re about to meet your soulmate?

For one, the universe will send you signs that you’re about to meet them once and for all. Here are some of them:

  • You recognize your soulmate – even if you haven’t met them personally (yet.)
  • You dream about your soulmate.
  • There are a lot of coincidences.
  • You keep on seeing angel numbers, such as 818 or 1213.
  • You’ve fully healed from your past heartbreaks.
  • You feel happy, confident, and ‘loved.’
  • A psychic has told you so.

Karmic Partners

Like twin flames and soulmates, karmic partners feel a solid connection to their paramour. It’s so magnetic that it feels like you can’t live without them.

Once you meet them, you can’t stop thinking of them.

It’s like a sort of addiction.

This makes it harder to focus on your work or other commitments.

4) Resulting relationship

Meeting your twin flame, soulmate, or karmic partner is one thing – the resulting relationship is another.

Twin Flames

Your mirror soul could be your romantic partner, although they could also be your friend, student, or mentor.

A lot of twin flames often wonder if they should marry each other.

According to psychic and spiritual guide Aycee Brown, you could – as long as both of you have healed personally.

However, she does not recommend it because of the “mental and emotional toll a twin flame relationship can have on you.”

Soulmates

And while soulmates often equate to a romantic relationship – it’s not always the case. You could have a family member or friend for a soulmate – just like a twin flame.

Karmic Partners

Given the intense passion between Karmic partners, they often end up as romantic lovers – even married couples.

However, some have karmic partnerships with family or friends as well.

That said, it’s something that doesn’t last for long.

As neuropsychologist Sanam Hafeez, Psy.D. puts it: 

“A karmic relationship is one that’s filled with all-consuming passion but is extremely difficult to maintain.”

5) Communication

Twin flames, soulmates, and karmic partners share connections that allow them to communicate in mysterious ways.

Twin Flames

While it may be hard to find with your twin flame, communicating with them is much easier.

Frequently, there is no need for words. You can communicate with your mirror soul non-verbally, thanks to both of your auras.

Twin flames often connect telepathically through:

  • ‘Talking’ eyes
  • Silence
  • Dreams
  • Warning signs
  • Hiccups
  • Burning cheeks
  • Goosebumps
  • Psychic confirmations

Soulmates

Soulmates also experience communication – verbally or non-verbally – in a heightened way.

According to clinical psychologist Mary C. Lamia, Ph.D.:

“Nuances of communication occur through facial expression and body language, especially when you are tuned into another person. At an unconscious level, we communicate with others, and certainly, this is so with a soulmate.”

Karmic Partners

Whereas twin flames or soulmates communicate on another frequency, karmic partners find communication a struggle.

The partnership is rife with miscommunication, where each person finds it hard to interpret each other’s signals. As a result, they end up arguing (passionately) over the littlest of things.

6) The intensity of the relationship

Each relationship is passionate – though differing in impact and intensity.

Twin Flames

Twin flame relationships are often intense, if not challenging.

For one, it can be hard to connect with them. After all, mirror souls have to deal with the unresolved issues within themselves.

“All your insecurities will be amplified so you can address them within yourself,” explains Brown.

Soulmates

On the contrary, a soulmate relationship will make you feel like you’re home.

The relationship feels excellent and balanced.

Such is especially the case for romantic soulmates.

According to Tobin: “The flame burns continuously because they’re both committed to keeping the fire lit throughout their time together.”

Likewise, your soulmate can give you a boost of confidence.

Karmic Partners

Like twin flames, karmic partners will feel a lot of passion and excitement in their relationship.

In fact, it’s marked by a roller coaster of emotions.

While there may be ups, the downs often take center stage.

Generally, karmic partners often feel unsettled, as if things aren’t going the way they should.

7) The challenges

All relationships have their own set of challenges – much more for twin flames, soulmates, and karmic partners.

Twin Flames

While twin flame relationships are often branded as toxic, they’re not. They’re tumultuous, according to Savvas.

For one, meeting your twin flame can be likened to looking at yourself in the mirror. You see everything you don’t want to see, from self-doubt to the feeling of inadequacy.

In other words, meeting them will heighten and activate all the fears you feel deep inside.

Soulmates

While soulmates seem to be the best among the three relationships, it’s not without challenges.

Soulmates are humans – they have imperfections as well.

These cause two problems, according to author Kyle Benson:

  • Solvable conflicts come up once in a while and are resolved efficiently.
  • Unsolvable problems are pestering challenges that can’t seem to go away. They’re often the result of the fundamental differences between each soulmate. In fact, it’s what soulmates debate about 69% of the time.

Karmic Partners

Being drawn to each other, Karmic partners will find it hard to give each other space.

Both are so consumed by their feelings that they are blind to each other’s flaws.

The relationship is often filled with red flags, including angry outbursts that are highly personal.

There’s also a lot of codependence, where one is entirely reliant on the other.

Some are one-sided, where one is self-serving – while the other does everything to keep the relationship afloat.

8) Separation

While twin flames, soulmates, and karmic partners share strong connections with their paramours, the nature of their relationships makes them prone to separation.

Twin Flames

While some twin flame relationships may last, most are doomed to fail.

“It is common for those relationships to separate because they are challenging to maintain,” remarks Vallejos.

That said, you shouldn’t fret if your twin flame relationship ends.

Instead, it would be best to think of it as a catalyst.

According to experts:

“Your twin flame is not someone you should wait around for, as not everyone meets one in this lifetime. Should you find them, don’t expect them to be your life partner.”

Soulmates

Soulmates may separate too, and it’s usually due to unsolvable problems.

The lack of communication is another stark reason.

Unless they find a way to deal with these issues healthily, they may end up going separate ways.

Karmic Partners

Karmic partnerships are so emotional – but not in a good way.

They’re exhausting, so they end up draining each other throughout the relationship.

As marriage counselor Andrew Aaron puts it:

“It grips both partners tightly, and despite the damage done to both, they don’t seem to be able to let go of each other, even though everybody around them is telling them to end it.”

That said, those in toxic karmic partnerships are often advised to walk away. If not, it can harm your mental health irreparably.

9) The lessons

What do you stand to learn in your twin flame, soulmate, or karmic relationship?

Twin Flame

A twin flame relationship is one that’ll teach you a lot of life lessons.

As mentioned, they come up with many challenges – issues that will change the entire course of your life.

It will help set you on the right path – and help you heal (and face) your deep wounds.

While it may not last as you hoped, it’s something you’ll remember for a long time.

Soulmates

The same thought goes for soulmates. Whether you stay together or not, you’ll learn a lot from your time with them.

“These individuals usually come into our lives to teach us painful lessons,” remarks Kaur.

Adds Winston:

 “They are here to serve us as tutorials for our souls to hopefully be better people and correct past hurts. The theory is that before you two met on this plane, you knew one another from another lifetime and consented to meet again to sort issues out. You can grow or break up.”

Karmic Partners

According to Hafeez, Karmic partnership can help you “learn and grow.

It’s often complicated and painful in the short term.

That’s because it strives to teach you about the world and others, whereas soulmates help you realize your self-worth.

As Psychotherapist Carrie Mead puts it:

“The most important thing to know about karmic relationships is that you (your soul) has chosen to learn this lesson for its advancement toward knowing, enlightenment, and understanding.”

10) One and the same?

Given the many differences between twin flames, soulmates, and karmic relationships, you can’t find everything in a single person.

According to spiritual author Shannon Kaiser, twin flames are one soul split in different bodies. It’s essentially a person mirroring everything about you.

On the other hand, your soulmate is another soul that’s meant to awaken and challenge you.

The same goes for twin flames and karmic partners. They’re different from each other.

The former is supposed to improve you, while the latter will only hold you back.

That said, twin flames and soulmates may be considered a sort of karmic relationship. They both teach life lessons, after all.

“They come together for a divine purpose and to balance out karma,” remarks Kaiser.

Final Thoughts

While twin flames, soulmates, and karmic partners seem the same, they have a lot of differences. Knowing all the signs below will help put things in perspective – no matter how hard they may be.

What do you think?

Written by Raychel Ria Agramon

I'm Raye, a nurse licensed in both the Philippines and the US. I also have a Master's degree in Public Management.

Just like helping my patients, I like to empower & motivate readers with research-backed articles.

You can reach me at [email protected]

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