What are "Twin Flames" and Does Everyone Have One?

Carolyn Light

A pragmatist considers spiritual connections

Photo by Anne Nygård on Unsplash

Is Patrick your twin flame? my friend asked me the other day, knowing I’d have no clue what he was about.

Huh? I responded, as expected. Patrick is my boyfriend.

Right, my friend said, but is he your twin flame, too?

Do you mean, like, my soulmate? I asked. I don’t know.

No, he said. Not your soulmate. It’s different.

I have no idea what you’re asking me, I finally said, and he sent me the link to the Reddit rabbit hole he’d fallen into.

In a nutshell: he’d met a woman who told him she thought he was her twin flame. He didn’t know what she meant and Googled it. He didn’t agree with her and it didn’t work out between them — but he fell into an internet pit learning about it — and he took me with him.

It was a Saturday, and my main plan for the day was to clean my condo. I didn’t mind the disruption; I like learning new things. An hour later, I emerged from my laptop with my mind spinning. I felt certain of exactly two things:

  1. There are so many types of relationships and partnerships that I know absolutely nothing about.
  2. Patrick — my partner — is not my twin flame.

So, what is a twin flame?

According to a piece on Mind Body Green, a twin flame can be defined as follows:

Definition: A twin flame is an intense soul connection with someone thought to be a person’s other half, sometimes called a “mirror soul.” It’s based on the idea that sometimes one soul gets split into two bodies.

Apparently, this relationship is not always romantic, but it is always “intense,” and “spiritual.” This is someone who changes your life and causes you to begin seeing the world differently. The relationship is mutual — no one’s feelings are unrequited. Both parties feel as though they’ve met the other half of their spiritual self — and based on what I read — it seems that both parties recognize this quickly. (Sidebar: Reading this made me think that the woman my friend was dating wanted to have a twin flame, more than I think she ever believed he was actually hers).

An example of this connection can be seen in celebrity couple Megan Fox and Machine Gun Kelly. In their first interview together, Fox said this about Kelly:

How is this different from a soulmate?

According to an article on Well and Good, we can have many soulmates, but only one twin flame. Soulmates, are two separate souls that feel connected — whereas twin flames feel like one soul placed into two bodies. Twin flames represent “your strongest mirrored reflection. [They] ‘show up’ to help you find your true self and align with your life purpose.”

Both soulmates and twin flames can be romantic partners or platonic friends. Both yield intense connections and while the terms are sometimes used interchangeably, there is a nuance between them.

I’m admittedly a pragmatist when it comes to relationships. 

Before I met my partner, I figured I’d be single forever, and I was fine with that. I’ve never believed that each person in the world has one perfect match; rather, I’ve always felt that the world is filled with billions of people, and any number of them could be a good fit for any number of others.

Plus, the idea of there only being one perfect person felt daunting to me. Insurmountable. What if my perfect person was in Nepal? I live in the United States. How would we ever cross paths? 

When I met my partner, we clicked right away and were inseparable pretty quickly. I love him and don’t want to imagine my life without him. Still, is he the only person on this planet with whom I could have this beautiful relationship? I think likely there are others. And based on what I read about twin flames — he’s certainly not that.

I clicked back over to the Reddit thread my friend sent me originally, and I read through the comments. The connections seemed emotionally charged and raw — I could parallel nothing they said with an experience of my own.

I feel as though my TF can control my mind, wrote one of the users. My TF is an addict, and when he’s under the influence of drugs, I can taste them [drugs] in my mouth.

My twin and I have had various spirit encounters separately and together, another user wrote. We seem to be amped up and synced together.

The thread continued and I was fascinated. A variety of thoughts and experiences I’ve never considered or had flooded the page. By the time I shut down my laptop, I felt as though I’d discovered another plane.

I don’t know how one finds their twin flame.

I don’t know if there is a twin flame for everyone. The pragmatist in me tells me that this isn’t something I can expect to experience in my lifetime — that the people who find their “twin flames” are people who inhabit a spiritual world to which I will never be privy. If I’m completely honest, I’m not sure that I could ever belong in that world.

But, I’m not one to deny anyone else’s experience — and if others are saying they have experienced these connections — I don’t think it’s up to me to call it bunk, whether I’ve experienced it or not, or whether I believe I could experience it or not. 

If they’re happy with what they have, I’m happy for them. And, I’m happy to have learned something new.

What do you think? Do you have a twin flame, or have you ever experienced this type of connection?

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We're all just out here, doing our best. Pondering: Mental Health | Feminism | Relationships & Dating | Social Climate

Chicago, IL

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