Is the idea of your mirror soul justified obsession, or a genuine spiritual experience?
You’ve met someone, and it’s different. From the moment you laid eyes on this person, you felt a sense of familiarity and magnetic attraction. The more you get to know them, the more similarities you discover. It’s uncanny how they share your weaknesses, and it’s almost like you’ve met your mirror image. Compelled by the uniqueness of this meeting, you google what happened. That’s when you find it — Twin Flame theory. It’s a concept you’ve never heard of but now seems to fit everything you are going through. As corny as it sounds, you wonder if it could be true. After all, this is unlike anything you’ve experienced before. The question is, are you crazy, or could it be true?
Twin Flame theory is a divisive topic in the world of dating. Some say it is no more than an excuse dreamed up by hopeless romantics — a method of justifying obsession and ignoring rejection. Others suggest there could be truth behind the notion that it represents an ascent into higher spiritual development.
This post is for anyone who isn’t sure what to think and is looking for an unbiased opinion. You need guidance but not from the forums of die-hard believers trying to sell you a psychic reading, and not from a cynic who is dismissive of soulmates or spirituality. You need advice from someone who understands the psychology of romantic attraction, is familiar with Twin Flames, and is also tolerant of spiritual beliefs.
Hopefully, today I can fulfill that role for you. I’ve written extensively about the psychology of dating and even had my own experience that led me to discover the world of Twin-Flames. In this post, I’ve used that experience to put forward what I believe are the key considerations for you right now. I do this by looking through the lens of two perspectives — the cynical, and the spiritual. By the end, you’ll have a much better understanding of what you’re going through, alongside being able to decide what you believe for yourself.
What Are Twin-Flames?
Before I get into my core arguments, it’s worth briefly revisiting the basic concepts of Twin Flames, so we are all on the same page.
The following definition comes courtesy of twinflames1111.com:
Twin Flames are two souls who were once one and the same energy consciousness. They represent two parts of the same original consciousness that chose to divide into two to experience the nature of duality, expand learning and evolution of understanding, and ultimately reunite through love.
According to this popular Twin Flame resource, the purpose of the relationship is to help us shed away the ego, heal our wounded hearts, and transform into spiritually awakened beings. The attraction between you is said to be irresistible, magnetic, and intense because you are cut from the same energetic cloth. Many say that your first meeting will trigger feelings of recognition because you are looking at a lost part of yourself. It is also believed that every couple will have a higher purpose to achieve together, usually in the form of some humanitarian effort.
Interestingly, conflict is a primary feature of the entire experience. A core component of the theory is the idea of runners and chasers. One person is thought to be the Divine Masculine (runner) and the other the Divine Feminine (chaser). The premise here is that the runner will shy away from the connection as they are less mature, whereas the chaser who is more developed sees the true nature of their experience. Most sites suggest these roles can switch, and the process will only stop when both individuals realize there are forced outside of their control at work.
If you want to learn more about this ideology, I recommend you read this comprehensive guide.
Let’s take a look at how this concept can be viewed from two differing perspectives — the cynical, and the spiritual.
The Cynical View — It’s Nothing More Than Limerence
Naturally, cynics are quick to dismantle the validity of twin-flames. There are some valid reasons why people take this view.
You need not look further than the Twin Flame threads on Quora. It won’t take long for you to be astounded by the quantity and content of stories from people across the globe. You will read about people who have put their lives on hold and waited decades for their so-called twin to acknowledge their feelings, despite being married with kids. You will even see cases where people genuinely believe they met the other half of their soul online — despite living never meeting them in person.
Add to that the countless rationalizations from people of why someone doesn’t want to be with them, and you can quickly build a picture of the fantasies many are living in.
In truth, it’s entirely possible what many people experience is not meeting the other half of their soul, but rather a psychological state called Limerence.
Limerence was first introduced in the 1960s by psychologist Dorothy Tennov in her book “Love and Limerence: The Experience Of Being In Love.” She defined Limerence as:
The cognitive and emotional state of being infatuated or obsessed with another person, that is involuntary and characterized by a desire for reciprocation of one’s feelings.”
There are five key characteristics of this condition:
- Obsessively thinking about another person leading to the inability to focus on daily activities without drawing relevance to them
- A primary desire for reciprocation of feelings rather a sexual relationship or intimacy
- A focus on winning the person over rather than their happiness or welfare
- Compulsively reading into the person’s behaviors and drawing conclusions
- Refusing to take no for an answer, including viewing rejection as a challenge to be overcome (nothing can dissuade them)
You might be thinking this sounds absurd. One of the most interesting findings of Tennov was that people who had never experienced Limerence would be unable to accept its existence. The idea of being consistently preoccupied with one person and the reciprocation of feelings can appear laughable to anyone without a personal experience to relate it to — but that doesn’t mean it is not real.
Tennov’s research in the 1970s found a surprisingly high number of people who experienced the symptoms of Limerence, including one man who sustained a nine-year obsession for a co-worker. He had filled forty notebooks and several thousand audio cassettes with details of how she looked, whether she smiled or spoke to him, and other minute details that only he could appreciate. His distraction led to poor performance at work, several demotions, and eventual dismissal.
When I look at some of the stories of those who claim to be experiencing the Twin Flame journey, I can’t help but see similarities with the condition of Limerence. When looking at cases objectively, we can find evidence of each of the symptoms in the behavior of people who believe in Twin Flames:
- They are often obsessed with the person they deem to be their twin, unable to focus on anything else.
- The focus is more on that person reciprocating feelings by acknowledging there is some divine connection between them.
- There is often an in-depth analysis of the reasons why the person knows it is their twin, including a detailed analysis of behaviors and signs such as synchronicity alleged telepathy.
- The believer is usually fixated on what they want from this individual rather than if that person is happy.
- In many cases, the person refuses to accept rejection because they deem their twin is running from their true feelings.
I could go on providing endless examples of where I’ve seen evidence of Limerence in the Twin-Flame community.
The condition is dangerous because, as demonstrated by Tennov’s research, it can last for years. The romantic and spiritual connotations of the theory make it incredibly effective at consuming someone’s psyche. We love the idea of destiny and romance — it fits with our ideals that there is someone out there for us. Moving on can be extremely difficult when we believe we met the one, and the basis of the Twin Flame movement is that this struggle between runner and chaser is inevitable. The danger here is that it’s easy to become attached to an individual and justify it as destiny or part of the journey.
When it comes to the cynical view, there is a solid argument that most people who think they are in a Twin Flame encounter are merely experiencing Limerence. There are too many stories that go into painstaking detail of minute behaviors and extraordinary claims of telepathy without validation e.g., “I know what he feels because his soul speaks to me.”
I’m all for Romance, but I can’t ignore the possibility it is simply Limerence.
At this stage, the question for you is — are you experiencing any of the symptoms listed above? If you are, then maybe it’s time to re-assess what you are thinking and take a timeout. There is no shame in suffering this condition — Tennov’s research showed that far more people had experienced Limerence than we think. It takes immense courage to distance yourself from emotion and admit when you’ve lost control. Be strong, and be honest with yourself — nobody knows you better.
The Spiritual View — At Minimum, An Opportunity For Growth
While there is a genuine possibility a person is merely suffering from this psychological state, I don’t think it’s fair to discredit the idea of Twin Flames completely.
There is something to be said about the fact that so many people report the same experience. The stories of alleged Twin-Flame encounters are eerily similar, and often the situation is unlike anything the reporter has have ever encountered before. I see the same words repeatedly used to describe encounters (magnetic, irresistible, a feeling of recognition), and many people don’t know what Twin Flames are until some unforgettable meeting made them search for answers.
The only reason I know about Twin Flames is that I had a situation that left me confused and needing clarity. That’s coming from a person who has been in multiple relationships and know’s what infatuation is. It was unique, and I soon found the words I mentioned above of magnetic and recognition were synonymous with this theory.
What this could suggest is that what is happening is real given it triggers something within. Most of these stories involve a person bringing up emotional baggage and insecurities that have plagued them for years. It’s hard to overlook this consistent pattern of people having a crazy moment that has the potential to them healing past wounds. For me, I had to deal with issues of self-worth, esteem, and jealousy. These were real problems I had kept buried for years — they only surfaced when I met this person, and when I was ready to handle them. I feel confident in saying that at minimum, anyone considering themselves as on the Twin Flame journey has a chance for personal growth — irrespective of whether the mirror soul exists or not.
Let’s also not neglect the truth — none of us know what is possible. Nobody can say for sure why we are here or what happens after we die. Equally, it’s impossible to prove or disprove past lives or the existence of souls. It might not make sense to some, but for others, there is no reason not to believe.
While many are quick to jump on science as the barometer of truth, I prefer to edge with caution. Yes, it’s a field we trust, but there is also a lot to be said for gut feel and having faith. Things happen that science can’t explain — that’s why some of the most intelligent researchers believe in something beyond this world despite their knowledge. If you have any inclinations towards religion, multiple lives, or even a generic faith in a higher existence, then buying into twin-flames makes sense.
Delusion, Or Spiritual Awakening? It’s Up To You
Ultimately, it’s your choice what you believe in any area of life. With that said, I want to leave you with a few thoughts to consider when thinking about Twin Flames.
Two things are clear:
- Many people who believe in Twin Flames become obsessed and demonstrate signs of Limerence
- Many of the situations people describe as Twin Flame journeys represent opportunities to grow and heal past emotional baggage
Maybe it’s worth worrying less about proving the validity of the theory (you never will) and focusing on what you can learn from the experience. Something about your meeting with a person has brought you here — there has been a trigger within you that needs to be addressed.
For me, healing my issues transformed my life in ways I can’t do justice. I went through an immense period of internal struggle, but I am so much stronger now I can’t even fathom where my mind was before.
The existence or validity of Twin Flames is not as important as making progress yourself. Avoid getting sucked into the fantasy of Limerence, and stay focused on what you can control — how you respond to this situation. You can choose to sit on forums debating signs of synchronicity, or you can do the work to heal and grow. You’ve been given a gift; it’s up to you to use it.
The choice is yours.
Make it happen.