with additions by MJ Kelly, Flavia Medrut and Ricky Derisz
Have you ever met someone for the first time and felt instantly drawn to them, as if you’ve known this person before? Did you click right off the bat and immediately establish an intense connection? Have you been seeing the number 11:11 sequence at every turn?
If the answer to these questions is yes, then you may be experiencing a twin flame relationship. These mysterious, cosmic, and much-desired relationships are said to be life-changing, soul-elevating, and… extremely challenging.
In this article, we’ll explore the concept of a twin flame, the signs you’re in a twin flame relationship, and offer some practical guidance to make this esoteric concept a gateway to developing a thriving relationship, based on mutual growth.
What is a twin flame?
For a concept as artistic as the twin flame, what better place to begin than Greek philosophy? In Plato’s Symposium, whilst explaining the origin of love, Aristophanes says:
“According to Greek mythology, humans were originally created with four arms, four legs, and a head with two faces. Fearing their power, Zeus split them into two separate parts, condemning them to spend their lives in search of their other halves.”
What’s most telling about Plato’s reflection is that this definition applies to twin flames, more than the traditional definition of a soulmate. Although one person can have many soulmates, there is said to be only one twin flame — the other half, or mirror soul. Plato adds:
“…and when one of them meets the other half, the actual half of himself, whether he be a lover of youth or a lover of another sort, the pair are lost in an amazement of love and friendship and intimacy and one will not be out of the other’s sight, as I may say, even for a moment…”
The twin flame meaning is a soul-level connection, one of amazement, friendship, and intimacy. But deeper than that, a twin flame is the other half of a soul split in two. One soul, incarnate in two separate beings. As you can imagine, it’s pretty intense.
The purpose of twin flame love
Simply put, your twin flame is your mirror. It is said that once you reach a certain level of consciousness in life, meeting your twin flame will catalyze your growth for a divine purpose. This means that two of you are wandering planet Earth. The other “you” is your twin flame and when you cross paths, you immediately feel as if you’re whole again.
But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, but harsh reflections and shadow work. As your mirror, your twin flame reflects your weaknesses, and areas of growth, as well as your greatest strengths. Essentially, their presence ignited a spell of intense and rapid personal growth and transformation.
The twin flame meaning is fully understood after entering the doors of spiritual awakening and starting the practice of self-inquiry. There is where relationships and personal (and spiritual) growth collide. It is a place where all of you exists, unmasked and exposed, and it craves connection like a caterpillar seeking out the perfect branch to build a cocoon.
But this caterpillar doesn’t hope to hide from the exposure. It’s designed to shed its skin — and everything inessential with it — to become something new. Something without the trappings of distortion, lies, misconception, ego, and ignorance that can fly more freely and peacefully.
Spotting twin flame signs in your relationship
The biggest twin flame signs in a relationship is an unspeakable magnetism, familiarity, and mirroring. Other common signs include:
- Meeting this person at a stage of profound personal development.
- A number of shared synchronicities between the pair of you.
- A shared desire for spiritual growth and personal development.
- A sense of timelessness or altered states when you’re together.
- A strong psychic connection — the ability to read each other.
- Seeing your twin flame appear in dreams or during meditation.
- The relationship is intense, with cycles of highs and lows.
- You can’t escape your own shadow or areas that require self-awareness.
In addition, it is said there are distinct stages in any twin flame relationship, which are:
- Yearning for the One: This is a period of perceived lack, with an intuitive knowing someone is out there who will help you feel whole.
- Meeting the One: Finally, you meet, sparks fly, and your world turns upside down.
- Falling in love: The inevitable rapid and unavoidable intoxication leads to a romantic wonderland, where all is bliss, and your twin flame can do no wrong.
- The honeymoon period: This spell might be followed by relative ease. The gift of mutual connection and ways you complement each other take center stage.
- The testing period: Then issues surface, related to core wounds or trauma. Suddenly, you’re on testing ground, and your twin flame is reflecting the deepest parts of you that have to be seen to be transformed.
- The runner and chaser: Due to the level of work involved, it’s common for one of the pair to walk away from the relationship, sparking a period of running and chasing, push and pull.
- The surrender: This is the point where both twin flames accept the divine destiny of the relationship. Both have grown and surrendered to the path laid out before them.
- Homecoming: Through this process and the integration of shadow elements and healing from trauma, an even deeper level of connection is created, without the turbulence. However, due to the intensity, not all relationships make it to this stage.
With this in mind, it’s worth noting that the twin flame dynamic isn’t for everyone. Conventional romance, harmony, or life-long companionship, can all be nurtured with a life partner, or soulmate. If this is the relationship for you, it doesn’t make it any less valuable than the twin flame journey.
Relationships can offer incredible, radical personal growth as powerful as any spiritual practice. And there’s no better example of this than in a twin flame relationship. A twin flame relationship is when two people are perfect matches as a result of shared pain or another difficulty.
The important part is in the dynamic between the two people, though, and it’s where the difference between a twin flame and a life partner (or soulmate) really exists.
3 subtle differences between a twin flame and a life partner
“What greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel that they are joined for life? They are there to strengthen each other and to be at one with each other in silent unspeakable memories.” – George Eliot
1. A twin flame relationship isn’t about love – life partners are based on it
A life partner is someone you have true love for. You know you’ve found your life partner when you’ve identified a real, unconditional love for another and they have expressed (and showed) it towards you. It’s all about love.
But a twin flame isn’t about love — it’s about truth. Twin flames can often cause radical personal awakenings for one another because they can see straight through to one another.
They’re a perfect match, most specifically with regards to the internal challenges they face, so meeting one another head-on is like being able to face yourself and work through your internal issues.
According to Dr. Lisa Vallejos:
“The real purpose of Twin Flame is not about great sex, emotional highs, and an epic love story — it’s to wake you up, shake you up, and call you higher. It is a gift presented by the Divine — one you can only grasp fully when you’ve released all the smaller things you’ve been clinging to for so long that no longer serve you.”
In this way, while a life partner is about cultivating a deep connection through love, a twin flame is about cultivating a deep connection through shared pain, understanding, and the growth that comes from that. It’s really about cutting away the layers of noise to get to the truth of your life and all things as a whole.
For that reason…
2. Your twin flame is supposed to cause you pain – a life partner isn’t (but probably will)
Relationships are tough. That’s just the way it is. Even two people who are made for one another, life partners through-and-through, often cause each other quite a bit of pain along the journey of their relationship. It’s inevitable when two people seek to come together in such an intimate fashion that conflict would arise.
However, a twin flame is, to some degree, supposed to cause us pain. Without any pain inflicted, we’re probably not going through any real transformation.
It’s in the very definition of intense personal growth that one must experience great pain to realize a great transformation. The pain experienced in a typical relationship with a life partner can and often does help us grow, but it’s more about learning to work together between one another and live with one another.
Whereas with the twin flame, it’s about unearthing dirt from one another so that it can be cleansed — but it hurts like hell to raise that dirt before the cleansing.
3. A life partner is someone you want to spend your life with, a twin flame is someone you want to get away from
But that’s not to say you have to follow the desire to flee, which is often the ego’s way of avoiding its own surrender into personal growth. Returning to the twin flame stages, it is possible to reach a level of mutual harmony and calm after the work has been done. But being unable to reach this stage is common — the destiny for some twin flame relationships is for a special moment in time, not necessarily a lifetime.
Twin flame relationships are rare. It pays to be open-minded, to be self-aware, and to always strive to create meaningful bonds. Relationships can be healthy or unhealthy, regardless of how they’re written in the stars. Although some twin flame signs mirror codependent behavior, its intention is for both people to be free, independent, and self-sustaining — whilst choosing, not needing, each other.
The source of a twin flame relationship is a mystery, like life’s great existential unknowns. Rather than becoming attached to the story behind the mirror soul, identifying the twin flame signs, and exploring how this relationship can be utilized for mutual growth, is what matters.
Whether approached from the cosmic perspective or the humbling and imperfect attempts to make things work with another human, there’s inspiration to be found in a meaningful narrative. Research The Gottman Institute, a clinical center for relationship health, discovered that relationships most likely to last a long period of time are those that focus on creating something of shared meaning.
Ultimately, if the twin flame definition allows for a shared vision, one leading to longevity and growth, that alone is worth its status as something worth exploring.
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