What It Means To Have A Soul Tie—And How To Break An Unhealthy Connection

by | Apr 23, 2024 | Relationships

Imagine: you’re on a first date. Your stomach is in knots and there’s a string of “what ifs” tangled up in your head. Then, your date arrives and a wave of calm washes over you, making all that anxiety magically disappear. Something about this person is different. It’s like you’ve known them all your life, even though, in reality, you’ve only swapped a few flirty messages on Tinder. Is this really happening and if so, what the heck is going on? Turns out, this may be the work of a soul tie, experts say.

“A soul tie is a spiritual connection where it feels like you’ve known someone before,” says Heather Shannon. “There’s a pre-existing connection between the two souls. Chances are you’ve met someone and felt an instant recognition–the connection was there right away. That’s a soul tie.”

Wondering if you’ve encountered a soul tie? Here’s everything you need to know about this powerful connection, including how it differentiates from twin flames and soul mates, as well as what to do if your soul tie bond becomes unhealthy.

Meet the Experts: Leah Caracappa, LCSW, is a social work therapist, educator and spiritual coach. Heather Shannon, LCPC, CST, is a licensed clinical professional counsellor, AASECT-certified sex therapist and host of the Ask a Sex Therapist podcast. Narayana Montúfar is a senior astrologer at Horoscope.com and Astrology.com, and the author of Moon Signs: Unlock Your Inner Luminary Power.

What is a soul tie, exactly?

A soul tie refers to the phenomenon of meeting someone for the first time and feeling like you already know them, says Leah Caracappa.

The main difference between a soul tie connection and soul mates is that this type of bond is not exclusive to romantic connections. “Anyone can be a soul tie–a friend, a parent, a coworker, or a lover,” Shannon adds. Remember that night you and your bestie met in line for the bathroom at the club and ended up spending the entire night scream-singing Taylor Swift, then having a heart-to-heart that bonded you forever? Yeah, that’s a soul tie, too.

This concept actually traces back to Christianity, says Narayana Montúfar. The Bible talks about the idea of souls being knit together or becoming part of the same person, she adds, but the specific term “soul tie” has become popularised by New Age practices in recent years.

READ MORE: This Could Be Why We Are Obsessed With Soft-Launching New Partners on Social Media

What’s the difference between a soul tie and a twin flame?

Twin flames get a lot of chatter these days. (Thank you, Machine Gun Kelly and Megan Fox.) A twin flame is the idea that you are a shared soul or two pieces of the same soul, says Montúfar. It is a mirror-like connection that “can be explained as ‘two sparks of light coming from the same source,’” she adds. “There is something from that person that reminds you a lot about certain aspects of your own personality, which in the end, teaches you something important about yourself.”

A soul tie, on the other hand, is a strong connection coupled with “a feeling of ‘already knowing each other’ that is hard to explain, most likely coming from a past life experience,” says Montúfar. “Soul ties can be found in any relationship, but twin flames often have a love and romance nature.”

What are some signs you’ve found a soul tie?

Feel like you’ve already met one (potentially more than once)? Here are seven signs you’ve found a soul tie, according to the experts:

1. You’re immediately comfortable around the person.

Comfort is key with soul tie relationships, Shannon says. When you meet a soul tie, it’s like you can’t remember a time you didn’t know them… even though you quite literally just met them last night on the subway. “You feel oddly comfortable around someone and can’t quite put your finger on why,” says Shannon.

2. Communication is easy.

Sometimes, you meet someone and you just *click*. It’s almost like the two of you speak the same language, or this person understands you in an effortless way, says Caracappa: “They just get you and the connection can feel seamless.” If you notice your communication with a new person in your life is clear, open, respectful and even comfortable in conflict, it’s possible you’ve met a soul tie.

3. You feel good around them.

To quote Drake for just a sec, you can be in “sweatpants, hair tied, chillin’ with no make-up on,” and your soul tie still feels like you are the most radiant person in the room. A soul tie just sees you on a different level—and not just physically. “They remind you of what’s great about you just by how they are around you and leave you feeling great about yourself, too,” says Shannon. What could be better than that?

4. They help you see the big picture.

When life gets busy, it’s easy to focus so much on getting through your jam-packed day that you lose sight of that vision board you made on New Year’s Eve. Not with a soul tie around, though! “Almost effortlessly, that person helps you see the big picture. Something that was hard for you to see or create awareness around before, becomes clear after your interactions with them,” says Montúfar.

5. You can tell them anything and they get it.

Suppose you just met this person at a surprise birthday party last weekend and yet, they already seem to understand some of your most intimate feelings. This could be the work of a soul tie, says Caracappa: “You can say whatever you feel or think and don’t fear retribution.”

6. You’re invested in what they say.

You might find your eyes glazing over when friends talk about work, but when this person discusses their goings-on, you can’t help but listen. Even if you don’t usually care about the inner workings of your pal’s PR job, something about this person is just interesting, no matter what they’re talking about. You can’t help but feel invested in their life.

“When you meet a soul tie, even if there aren’t a lot of common interests, there is a desire to learn more about their interests in order to provide support and create emotional intimacy that deepens the bond,” says Caracappa.

7. You’re more affectionate than usual.

Most times, people are lucky to get a hug goodbye from you, but for some reason, you want to cuddle with this new connection alllll the time. Even if it’s just a new, platonic friend, you may find yourself holding hands or wanting to be close to them. When dealing with a soul tie, this is common, says Shannon. “You may find yourself physically drawn to them and more affectionate than usual.”

Are soul ties always healthy relationships?

Short answer: no. While soul ties can be really rewarding relationships, they can also activate old childhood wounds, or bring underlying mental health issues to the surface, says Caracappa.

It’s possible this person feels so familiar because they behave in similar ways to people who are already in your life, like your parents, siblings, or former friends. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, adds Caracappa, but it can lead to intense emotions (or the desire to avoid those emotions altogether). You might also feel out of control, or unable to manage your feelings or relationship. If you find yourself feeling this way, it’s time to take a look at the situation and see whether or not it is beneficial for you. Being close to someone might not be worth the feelings of anxiety, overwhelm, or even panic.

If you feel codependent or are making unhealthy decisions you normally wouldn’t, this is a surefire sign of a negative connection, says Montúfar. While soul ties can be growth experiences, they are certainly not a reason to ignore red flags or deal with crappy behaviour. At the end of the day, the most important relationship you have is with yourself.

READ MORE What Is Unconditional Love And Is It Healthy To Cultivate In Your Relationships?

How do I break an unhealthy soul tie connection?

Of course, you don’t have to (and shouldn’t!) stay in a toxic relationship. Here are some steps to help untangle yourself from a soul tie:

1. Be aware of your boundaries.

While it is exciting to feel a strong connection with someone, don’t let this be a reason to disregard your emotional safety, says Caracappa. “Verbalise what you are willing to accept and what crosses the line.” This will not only help you stay true to yourself, but set clear limits with others. If this person crosses your boundaries, soul tie or not, it’s time to distance yourself, she adds.

READ MORE: Why You Need Boundaries ASAP

2. Be honest and transparent.

It can be challenging to walk away from any relationship, let alone one that feels as effortless as a soul tie, says Montúfar. That is why it’s important to be honest and explain why you need to say goodbye to this person. “Otherwise, you are not doing the work. When you tell someone you no longer want contact with them and explain your reasons, something magical happens in the sense that the universe listens to you,” Montúfar stresses. “You will notice the energy going in the right direction concerning that relationship.”

3. Do a full moon ritual.

Full moon rituals, like envisioning cutting cords with your soul tie, or burning a piece of paper with their name, can also be helpful, say Caracappa and Montúfar. “Breaking a soul tie consists of energetically preparing yourself to break ties,” Montúfar says. “Imagine the energetic cords between the two of you being cut or burned.”

4. Talk to a professional.

Not only can these relationships be challenging, but sometimes, soul ties can even cause damage, says Caracappa. An intense encounter or relationship can bring any mental health issues you have back to the forefront, having you feeling way more stressed out, anxious, or even depressed as usual. But “psychotherapists are available to support and guide you through any after-effects you may be experiencing,” Caracappa notes. And ultimately, remember that even if your connection with someone doesn’t last a lifetime, it doesn’t mean it was a failure.

This article by Jacqueline Tempera was first published on Women’s Health US.

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