Twin Flame Vs. Soulmate — What's The Difference?

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twin flame couple, woman riding on man's back, looks at sunset
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Love

Have you met your twin flame? Would you know if you did?

There's a lot of confusion surrounding what "twin flame" means, how it's different from a soulmate, and exactly why our hearts long to find our twin flame. 

Many people assume they've met their twin flame because they met and fell in love with their soulmate and have a deep connection.

This soulmate relationship may be far from anything they had known — but that doesn't necessarily mean they've met their twin flame.

Confusing, right? Don't worry, we are here to answer your questions, and the truth is really beautiful.

What is a twin flame?

The ancient Greek philosopher Plato described the concept of twin flames in his play Symposium. Plato wrote that the Greek god Zeus took all primeval men and split them apart into two halves.

One half represents the masculine and the other represents the feminine essence. Plato explains that since then, these two halves constantly search for each other.

The resulting "twin flames" represent a love that is liberated from the boundaries that are the human condition.

When you cross paths with your twin flame, your life is never the same.

The moment your eyes first meet, you can feel life as you know it ceasing to exist. This one person whom you just met touches unknown depths of your soul and heart with a twin flame connection.

But while everyone has a twin flame, not many people meet them.

And your twin flame is definitely not the same thing as a soulmate. In fact, you can have more than one soulmate, but there can only be one twin flame for you. 

RELATED: If You Feel These 5 Things, You're In A Twin Flame Relationship

Can soulmates be twin flames?

Yes! But they often are not.

I like to think about the soulmate relationship as a reward.

Living with your soulmate is natural and easy. You two are on the same page, and when issues come up, you move through them quickly and without much extra pain due to your soul connection. 

Twin flame love is about everything but romance. Your twin souls don't make anything easy.

It pushes you to grow beyond your imagination. It’s like winning a golden ticket to fast-track evolution without being offered much time to catch the breath. You enhance each other’s evolution and trigger the deepest wounds that you didn’t know existed.

Your twin soul can also be someone who isn't a lover: a friend, a family member, a non-romantic partner. That's your flames soulmate. 

After the initial phase of bliss, you go apart to work on the inner healing, because it all surfaces in your life at once.

You'll feel that you’re losing your mind sometimes in a twin flame relationship. Your heart is bursting with unconditional love for your twin, and there has never been anything that you ever wanted more than to be with them.

Yet at the same time, you instinctively feel that you can’t be together and this triggers the most intense pain you’ve ever felt.

Then you’ll come together for a short period of time, only to say goodbye to each other again. However, once you've completed the growth and learned the lessons you're intended to learn, you can come back together and live in harmony — though it may not necessarily be romantic.

You may end up as friends or partners in life or business and projects. Or, you may simply drift apart. But that twin flame love doesn't end, because it's actually a part of who you are. 

RELATED: 18 Signs You've Fall Into True, Genuine Love With Your Soulmate

If you are both soulmates and twin flames, your partnership will be easy and beautiful — like a soulmate relationship —  once you've done all the work that a twin flame relationship requires of you, personally, you can simply connect on a soul level. 

The dynamic is like a dance of fire when you feel attracted to each other’s light, and then your ego fears that it would get burned, so you run away.

You may dance together for long years or decades without ever staying in each other’s presence for too long.

Distance and time don’t change anything about the magnitude of your connection. On the contrary, as you become more energetically aligned with each other, you may feel an even stronger bond with your twin flame.

As you may see, meeting your twin flame isn’t the easiest path to walk. There is no guarantee that you’ll ever be together in a typical relationship. Moreover, this isn’t what the twin flame connection is about.

It’s only the mind trying to label something that is beyond understanding.

Are twin flames meant to be lovers?

The answer to this is complicated. Yes, twin flames can make amazing lovers to one another — inside and outside the bedroom. 

Some say the connection is intense but easy, since you are already a part of each other. 

However, due to the emotional nature of being with your twin flame, the intensity of this connection can be too much to maintain a physical or romantic relationship.

Whether or not to make your twin flame your lover is something you have to decide when you are in the moment, because you need to see where you are in the evolution of your twin flame relationship.

It's important to remember that the goal of your twin flame relationship is to grow as individuals, learn from one another, and find your own path — not to simply be together! With all of that in mind, choose growth over comfort, even if you feel lonely.

RELATED: This Is How You'll Know When You Meet Your 'Twin Flame'

Which is better, twin flame or soulmate? 

The answer to this lies in where you are in your life and what you're looking for. They aare different types of relationships with different purposes. 

Soulmates are simply about partnership and being in love (or loving one another in another way). 

Twin flames are about challenge, growth, improvement, and fulfilling your potential.

But the truth is, you don't get to choose which one you meet, only which of these relationships you want to develop once you do meet. 

Both a soulmate and a twin flame are a gift, and you're lucky to come across either one in your life time. So, honestly, it doesn't really matter which is better! Seize the moment and enjoy the gifts either has to offer.

What is the goal of a twin flame relationship?

The primary goal of the twin flame relationship is to experience a liberated love. The liberated love is the love that goes far beyond any concepts, labels, and ideas of how a relationship should be. It surpasses any form and loves without conditions.

Your twin flame will unconsciously trigger all kinds of fears and insecurities related to your worth, inner light, the meaning of your life, and love.

Please note that they don’t want to hurt you — and you aren't trying to hurt them — they can only trigger the unconscious stuff that is already within you.

They’ll do it over and over again until you understand what unconditional love means. As long as you seek a specific form of relationship between you, it’s not unconditional love.

The unconditional love means that they can send you 100 times away, cause you pain, give you empty promises, but your heart doesn’t shut down. None of it impacts the way you feel. When you open up your heart to this level (and anyone can), you make your heart and self independent of others.

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Keeping your heart wide open has nothing to do with naivety; it’s mastery. And the "sending away" is (and should never be) not manipulative, nor used as a form of punishment. If it feels abusive or cruel, that's not a twin flame. 

A twin flame relationship requires a combination of being present enough to recognize the flaws of human forms, both of others and our own. Yet it is also being able to see far beyond that.

You can realize that your twin flame is far from perfect. You’re not blind to their shortcomings, and perhaps you think that your relationship would never work because of that. Yet simultaneously, your feelings for them stay unaffected by anything they do.

This unconditional love isn’t blind to the state of the world or the flaws of others. But it’s far-seeing and can see the essence of others that is forever untouched.

RELATED: The 3 Soulmates You'll Meet In Your Lifetime (And The Purpose Of Each)

Thus your twin flame will train you to drop any expectations and subconscious manipulation to get what you want — a romantic relationship with them.

There also comes the time when you’ll face the toughest decision of all — will I continue waiting for them? Or will I move ahead alone while continuing to love them?

The unconditional love that you may feel here and there will strengthen if you allow it. It’ll encompass others (not just your twin flame), nature, animals, the whole planet, and here it comes — the unconditional love will include you as well.

Therefore, there may come the choice between waiting for them or choosing yourself and creating a life without them.

At this point, people can make a mistake easily and move ahead, assuming they have it under control and the process is over.

Well, it’s not.

The key point here is to keep your heart open, because if you shut it down, you’ll feel lifeless.

When you try to shut down your feelings for your twin (which you can only succeed in doing for a little while, and only with much effort), you also cut yourself off from unconditional love. That’s why it never feels good.

From a higher perspective, moving ahead might be the thing that helps you to drop your expectations. But don’t ever think that this impacts the connection the two of you have.

Which zodiac signs are twin flames?

While your twin flame can be any sign in the zodiac, there are some zodiac signs that may be more likely to match up with you as a twin flame. 

Here is a list of which signs are most likely to be your twin flame match.

(Remember, this list is not about zodiac compatibility, this is solely about your zodiac twin flame compatibility, which, as discussed above, is a totally different thing!)

ARIES (March 21 - April 19): Look for fellow fire signs as twin flames, like Leo and Sagittarius, who will understand the unique aspects of your fiery personality and temperament on a deeper level.

Fellow fire signs will understand that independence is absolutely key to an Aries being happy — and it's also how the Aries is most likely to make growth, on a personal level. 

TAURUS (April 20 - May 20): Capricorn, as a fellow earth sign, can relate to your need for stability, and that can make the twin flame relatationship even more potent.

Pisces, however, may be an even better twin flame match as they can help you tap into a softer side of your personality, which may be exactly where growth is needed in your life.  

GEMINI (May 21 - June 20): Being a Gemini means that you've always got a lot more going on than what shows on the surface, that's why Libra and Aquarius can be great signs to hagve a twin flame relationship with. They are patient, and less likely to judge you based on a first impression. 

CANCER (June 21 - July 22): Loyalty is going to be key for you in any relationship, and probably even more so with a twin flame. That's why Cancers should keep an eye out for Capricorns and Scorpios when looking for their twin flames.

These signs will be loyal and stay true, which is a wonderful breeding ground for growth.

LEO (July 23 - August 22): Leo, you are so strong and passionate, you are going to need someone who is equally strong in order to keep up with you and to make sure you won't steamroll over them. That's why Aries are a great choice for your twin flame.

Also look to Sagittarius, who may offer balance in some areas of your personality while keeping up with your passion and fire.

VIRGO (August 23 - September 22):  As an analytical type, Virgos need a little help getting out of their own heads from time to time. Look for a fellow earth sign, like a Taurus or a Capricorn, to help keep you grounded while understanding your lovely earth sign nature.

RELATED: How Your Zodiac Sign Wants (And Needs) To Be Loved In A Relationship

LIBRA (September 23 - October 22): Your twin flame needs to be someone who understands your intellectual nature as well as your desire to be independent.

That means fellow air signs are likely the best matches for you when it comes to twin flames. They will be able to keep up with your intellect while also respecting your independence while the two of you grow and inspire one another.

SCORPIO (October 23 - November 21): Twin flame relationships are often intense and emotional, and that's the type of relationship Scorpios can have with Cancer signs.

While Scorpio can also be highly compatible with Capricorn and Taurus, it just might be the Cancer who inspires the most growth in a Scorpio.

SAGITTARIUS (November 22 - December 21): The best bet for a Sagittarius, when it comes to a soulmate, is a fellow fire sign like an Aries or a Leo, and they can work as a good twin flame for Sagittarius, too.

Sometimes we need to find someone different to balance us out when what we're looking for is growth. If that's the case, Sag might keep an eye out for a Libra for a twin flame, too. 

CAPRICORN (December 22 - January 19): Capricorn is driven and goal-oriented, and that's a wonderful aspect of their sign. When it comes to personal growth, it can be helpful to find someone who would want to grow alongside you.

For Capricorn, then, it's smart to keep an eye out for a Cancer or a Taurus who is also ready to grow, learn and challenge one another in that special way a twin flame should.

AQUARIUS (January 20 - February 18): Whether you're looking for a soulmate or a twin flame, as different as they are, an Aquarius needs an intellectual equal.

While Libra and Gemini, as fellow air signs, may work great for this purpose, an Aquarius may need a bit more of a nudge toward change, and that's what a twin flame is really best at. 

PISCES (February 19 - March 20): While a Capricorn or Taurus may be mellow, complimentary partners — and could be great soulmates or even suitable twin flame — a Pisces might find that a Cancer is a perfect twin flame.

Cancer can connect with a Pisces on a deep, even spiritual awakening-level, and that's where real growth can start to happen. 

Your bond and love rewrite the story of what love means.

It’s not the classical, romantic love that wants to possess the other person subconsciously. It’s the liberated, free love that exists when you don’t place any conditions on the other person, even if it hurts you, because you realize that pain comes from ego, not from pure love.

There are no attachments, neediness, possessiveness, control, or manipulation.

Your heart will be purging until you reach the point that you stop caring if your end up with your twin flame. You gift them and yourself with freedom, while not allowing anything to shut your heart down and never doubting the true love that exists between you.

This is true power and love.

RELATED: Having A Twin Flame Leads To A More Fulfilling Relationship (And 5 Ways To Find Your Twin Flame)

Sylvia Salow is an author, public speaker, and a life coach who encourages people to grow into their potential by moving past any fears and mind limitations so they can create life which they deeply desire. Join her free monthly challenges and watch her TEDx talk on how to find your life purpose.

This article was originally published at Thought Catalog. Reprinted with permission from the author.