Your twin flame is purported to be everything you’re not and everything you need—they're truly your other half. This explains why twin-flame relationships are regarded as one of the most passionate relationships people can experience.
Since you’re likely wondering if you’ve already met or will meet your twin flame (not to be confused with your soulmate ), you’re in the right place.
Keep in mind, though, that whether your potential lover is your twin flame or not, twin flame bonds only represent one idea of a happy relationship—you're free to choose what a successful relationship looks like for you.
Read ahead to learn about a possible phenomenon behind twin-flame bonds, the eight signs of a twin-flame relationship, where the concept originated, the stages of this type of relationship, and what to do if you think your partner isn't your twin flame.
Do Twin Flames Exist?
It's important to get this question out of the way—do twin flames really exist? It depends on who you ask.
Verywell Mind spoke to Lastenia Francis, PhD, LMFT , a marriage and family therapist, and founder of Meaningful Emotion Therapy, who notes the possible existence of twin flames. Dr. Francis says, "It's very common for people to have an instant connection. In fact, it can often build and blossom into more than that connection and lead to almost a self-discovery process."
Based on what the general public and spiritual teachers say about twin flames, a possible explanation for deeply passionate relationships involves what scientists call ‘limerence.'
Limerence describes a state of obsession and desire for another person. The infatuation held for the other person can cause people to build up an idealized version of the object of their affection, also referred to as the limerent object or LO.
Psychologist Dorothy Tennov coined the term limerence after conducting numerous research studies on romantic love. Her work is based on the subjective experiences of those she interviewed, and the compiled observations are the basis of Tennov's Limerence Theory.
Many of the people Tennov interviewed detailed experiences of deep yearning for another person. While some people's love was unrequited , others noted their love was reciprocated.
So, while some people may not believe that twin flames are real, limerence suggests that it is certainly possible to feel a nearly unexplainable attachment to another person.
Signs You’ve Met Your Twin Flame
Now that you know a twin-flame relationship is possible, you probably have someone in mind. Maybe this person is someone you’ve known for most of your life. Or perhaps you came across a random person on social media and just had a hunch that there’s something special about them.
Regardless of the meet-cute, you just know that you're really into them.
Though it can be tough to know for sure if the person in question is your twin flame, here are some signs that could indicate a twin-flame relationship:
- You feel connected to them : Twin flames are tethered by mind, body, and soul. It’s the ‘spark,’ or the magnetic pull you feel toward the other person. You may even feel like you need or crave this person.
- You feel like you know them : Considering your twin flame is your missing piece, you’ll likely feel a deep sense of familiarity and safety in their presence.
- You share an intense romantic passion: Romantic love and lust are intoxicating, and you will likely feel elation and ecstasy in a twin-flame union.
- You feel despair if you think your feelings are not reciprocated: If you’re unsure of how your twin flame feels about you, you might feel despair or even physical pain until their feelings for you are confirmed.
- You experience physical sensations : Limerence may produce bodily reactions such as sweating, a racing heartbeat, or trembling.
- You cannot control your feelings for them : Limerence theory suggests that limerent feelings are uncontrollable and involuntary. So, even if you try to repress your feelings , you likely won’t be able to when it comes to your twin flame, and it'll be very hard not to think about them. You might even meet a twin flame even if you’re already in a relationship with someone else.
- You don’t feel this kind of intensity for someone else : It’s believed that you can only experience limerent feelings for one person at a time.
- Upon meeting, you fulfill a sense of longing : Twin flames spend the better part of their lives searching for each other. Upon meeting, you’ll likely find that a void in your life has been filled, and you’ll feel whole.
Where Did the Concept of Twin Flames Come From?
Although love is explored in numerous texts, movies, poems, and love songs, our general understanding of it and why it happens remains elusive and mysterious. But, Greek philosophy accounts for a lot of beliefs on love.
Twin Flames in Greek Mythology
The ancient Greek philosopher Plato sought to determine the meaning of love and did so in his seminal work—"Symposium."
The "Symposium" is a dialogue consisting of varying speeches that explore the meaning of love. Each speech is an ode to the Greek god of love—Eros.
One of the speeches in the dialogue, given by Greek comedic playwright Aristophanes, introduces the concept of twin flames.
In his speech, Aristophanes says that humans used to be round and had four arms, four legs, two pairs of genitals, and two faces on one head. He said that one day, however, the gods believed these humans had far too much power and cut them in half, creating the human form we know today.
Thus, humans spent the remainder of their lives desperately searching for their other half—their twin.
The Stages of a Twin-Flame Relationship
If we use the concept of limerence to explain twin flame bonds, the Limerence Theory suggests that there are distinct stages of a limerent union:
- Initial meeting : A relationship begins when you meet someone you are attracted to .
- Feelings of uncertainty creep in : After this person catches your eye, you wonder if they might reciprocate your feelings.
- Obsession : This uncertainty may lead you to ruminate about this person.
- Passionate feelings increase : Whether the person reciprocates your feelings or not, passion will be high at this stage.
- A decline in feelings : Limerence Theory suggests that once a person’s love is reciprocated or denied, the uncertainty (which fueled the romantic feelings ) is gone. Thus, the feelings begin to lessen in intensity or decline altogether.
While these intense relationships often run out of steam, Tennov’s research does indicate that the passionate stage can last for a lifetime.
Are Twin Flames Different Than Soulmates?
Yes! Since limerence can be a possible explanation for twin-flame relationships, we can use Tennov's observations and compare them to various soulmate definitions.
Twin Flames vs. Soulmates
A twin flame is your other half, and a soulmate is defined as “a person who is perfectly suited to another in temperament.” Another definition of a soulmate is “someone who you have a special relationship with because you share the same feelings, attitudes, and beliefs."
Based on the definition of a soulmate, it’s implied that your soulmate is someone you’re compatible with —this can be a romantic partner or platonic friend.
Based on intense romantic passion
Typically romantic/sexual in nature
Usually short-term but can be lifelong
Both partners are opposites
Based on compatibility
Can be romantic/sexual or platonic
Can be any length of time
Both partners share similar qualities
So, you might share similarities in character and personality with a soulmate. On the other hand, your twin flame is more than likely your opposite.
Can Twin Flames Break Up?
Sadly, yes. Not all twin-flame relationships will stand the test of time. Dr. Francis says that "twin flames, like anything [any other relationship], have the potential to not be the greatest because it paints an unrealistic expectation of such an instant connection."
Additionally, based on Tennov’s observations, twin-flame relationships are likely to result in a breakup. Tennov found that limerent relationships last an average of two years. Lifetime limerent bonds, according to Tennov’s observations, are rare.
Remember, though, that any relationship (twin flames or not) that's strained by unhealthy patterns, incompatibility, distance, or even bad timing can lead to a breakup.
Are Twin-Flame Relationships Toxic?
There isn't any conclusive evidence that says twin-flame relationships are inherently toxic. It is possible, however, to become addicted to love.
Love addiction (also known as pathological love) describes an obsessive form of love . A person with love addiction might become so interested in another person that they neglect other aspects of their life.
So, if you find that thoughts of your love interest are taking over your life, it's recommended that you reach out to a mental health professional .
Also, if you're experiencing any form of abuse in your relationship or feel unsafe, seek help immediately.
What If My Partner Isn't My Twin Flame?
It’s totally OK if you don’t know or are unsure your partner is your twin flame. Because most evidence suggesting the existence of twin flames has been gathered from personal anecdotes, it is difficult to know that twin-flame relationships are 100% real.
Dr. Francis says that it's important to consider the commitment level in any relationship. "The importance of striving to be your best in any relationship Most relationships can work if you are committed to the work."
It's worth mentioning that how you view your partner can also impact your relationship quality.
For example, one study noted that people who believed their partner was their ideal mate reported greater relationship satisfaction than those who did not believe they were in a relationship with their soulmate.
Given this, how you view your partner may have more weight than how you've decided to label your relationship.
Lastenia Francis, PhD, LMFT
If we drop this notion that someone is 'the one,' we make space for meeting our partner where they are at and doing the work necessary to build a thriving partnership.
The Concept of Twin Flames Is Subjective
Remember that the idea of twin flames (and soulmates) is highly subjective, and people develop romantic feelings for various reasons.
So, before you start side-eyeing your partner and taking relationship compatibility quizzes online, understand that the goal of any relationship is to create a bond in which you feel safe, secure, and respected. With that said, if you're happy in your relationship—embrace that!
What Makes People Fall in Love?
If you're still worried about whether your special someone is a twin flame, other factors are said to play a role in what makes people fall in love (hint: none of them are twin flame- or soulmate-related).
Research shows that biological and personal preferences influence your attraction to another person . For instance, natural body odor , sex drive , and qualities such as kindness, intelligence, body shape, and commitment level are important factors.
Keep in mind that love feels and means something different to everyone. What one person views as a soulmate relationship, another might view as a twin-flame relationship. Additionally, some people may not believe in either of these concepts.
Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
There doesn’t appear to be any definitive way to find a twin flame. Most evidence is anecdotal. Basically, if you feel as though you’ve met a twin flame, it’s quite possible that you have. You’re free to define your love in any way that feels most accurate to you and your partner.
Based on Tennov’s Limerence Theory, you can have more than one twin flame in your lifetime. However, because of the intensity of the connection, it’s unlikely you’ll meet two at once.
No. Any relationship can come to an end. Aside from feelings of intensity and passion, several other factors determine the success of a relationship (e.g., shared values, goals, friendship, and good communication). So, rather than figuring out if your partner is your twin flame, it’s best to assess how happy you are in your relationship and if you genuinely see them as someone you want to spend your life with. If you’re experiencing any roadblocks or rough patches, a couple’s therapist can help you navigate any challenges you may be experiencing in your relationship.
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