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What Are Soul Ties? Understanding a New Romantic Connection

Delve into the complexities behind this emotional entanglement.

Have you ever met someone you just couldn't let go? Someone who taps into your heart on a completely different level? You might be experiencing a soul tie. This connection goes beyond butterflies in your stomach or feeling smitten: It's a powerful bond that can greatly impact your life. If you're trying to pinpoint exactly what you're experiencing, we've spoken with several experts who can help you figure it out. Learn about the power of soul ties, the different types, and how you can break them if you need to.

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What are soul ties?

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The term soul tie sounds intense—and for a good reason. It's often described as a strong and undeniable connection with another person. James Hook, a wellness professional and MD at Neurogan Health, says, "Soul ties are a concept often discussed in spiritual and religious context, suggesting a deep and spiritual connection between individuals, often resulting from emotional, physical, or sexual intimacy. The idea is that it is quite literally the tying of souls together."

A soul tie describes the thread of connection between two spirits, which can feel almost physical depending on its strength. Soul ties aren't just reserved for romantic connections, but are bonds that can form within platonic relationships as well. Michelle Justice, a yoga instructor and founder of the Nature Sound Retreat, describes soul ties as an acceptance between two people and a human experience that can be deep, moving, and transformative.

Claire Law, a relational psychotherapist, says soul ties are "extraordinary reminders that we're all interconnected in this wildly mysterious existence. By honoring the ties that inspire our unconscious awakenings and activate our core purpose, we can open to ever-deepening currents of soul love, soul friendship, and soul evolution."

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How are soul ties formed?

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Soul ties aren't established as swiftly or magically as love at first sight. They are built through intimate and vulnerable experiences. Justice says this helps create the "energetic resonance that powerfully merges two souls." Here are a few ways soul ties are created.

1. Shared Experiences

Spending time with someone and going through significant life events together can shape deep connections between people.

"Whether it's overcoming hardships, achieving shared goals, or navigating challenges, these experiences often foster a sense of unity and connection beyond words," says Kubanych Takyrbashev, a health and wellness expert. "These shared experiences create a profound sense of understanding and support, laying the foundation for what some may interpret as soul ties."

2. Physical Intimacy

Human touch can play a big role in fostering a strong connection with another person. A mere hug can boost happy hormones inside your body, like dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin. Consistent physical intimacy with someone, especially on a sexual level, may eventually stir deeper feelings over time.

"In certain belief systems, physical union is seen as more than just a physical act—it's believed to establish a deep spiritual connection between individuals," Takyrbashev explains. "I've observed how the intertwining of bodies can lead to the formation of what is perceived as significant and enduring soul ties."

3. Aligned Understanding

It's possible to become captivated by someone else's mind. When you build an understanding with someone, you not only feel fully perceived but in sync with their thoughts and ideas.

"I've encountered cases where individuals report experiencing a telepathic or intuitive connection with others," Takyrbashev says. "People experience a strong sense of knowing or understanding the other person's thoughts, feelings, or emotions without them having to communicate them explicitly. This intuitive connection might feel like you can communicate with each other on a deeper level without words."

This mental connection can help further your bond with another person.

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What does a soul tie connection feel like?

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A soul tie feels different than the typical emotions you might have when you're in love with someone. They are more magnified and can even be a bit overwhelming.

According to Marcus Smith, a licensed clinical professional counselor and executive director at Alpas Wellness, "You might find yourself constantly thinking about the person, feeling a deep emotional reaction to thoughts of them, or experiencing a sense of empathy and connection that goes beyond what is usual for other relationships in your life."

A soul tie feels like being inexplicably drawn to someone who makes you feel at ease and understood whenever you're with them.

"Instances, when a soul tie is discovered, show supernatural feelings of familiarity, strange bond consciousness, and oversized attachment richness with an individual," says Brian Davis, a relationship expert. "This innate sense of attachment surpasses wisdom and judgment, and moves into a realm of raw emotional dependence. People can often find themselves asking why they are so involuntarily pulled to this person, and at other times, they cannot seem to take their thoughts apart from their emotions they are having about this connection."

RELATED: 156 Ways to Say "I Love You" (Without Actually Saying I Love You).

What are the different types of soul ties?

soul ties - couple walking outside near trees

Soul ties can manifest in various forms and, depending on the type, can spring from all kinds of relationships. Here are a few soul ties you should know.

1. Emotional Soul Ties

According to Davis, emotional soul ties are built from comfort and trust. When humans share events that allow them to be weak or vulnerable with one another, it can evoke a strong emotional bond.

"Emotional soul ties can also be present in platonic relationships or friendships, where there is no sexual attraction but two people feel deeply connected," says Kiana Reeves, a somatic sex educator, certified sexological bodyworker, and Foria Wellness' chief education officer. "This can also expand to include familial relationships, including siblings, grandparents, and parents, where two family members experience a unique bond. People have even reported feeling soul tie connections with pets, though this is certainly less common."

2. Physical/Sexual Soul Ties

Some people develop deep connections with one another based on their physical intimacy or sexual chemistry. This bond leans heavily on sexual attraction, which often creates an emotional one as well.

"Sexual intercourse and physical flesh tearing can build up those person-to-person emotional strings," Davis notes. "These interdependency traits most likely form a solid relationship between people, typically leading to strong bonds that often force individuals to hold on emotionally after the physical relationship has ended."

3. Spiritual Soul Ties

Spiritual soul ties are often confused with emotional ones, but the roots of their connections are very different. According to Reeves, "Spiritual soul ties are driven by connection through faith, rituals, and shared beliefs."

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What is the difference between a soul tie and a soulmate?

Shot of a young couple standing together and sharing an intimate moment at home

"Soul ties" and "soulmates" are often used interchangeably, but it's important to note that despite their similar names, they are not the same: Soul ties describe the depth and intensity of a connection between people, while soulmate refers to the type of relationship.

The term soulmate refers to the fate of two people who are meant for each other, but "soul ties are not necessarily predestined nor do they imply a lifelong connection," Smith says. "A soulmate connection is typically characterized by harmony and a sense of mutual completion, whereas soul ties might not always lead to positive outcomes and can sometimes necessitate separation for personal growth."

If you're familiar with soul ties and soulmates, you've probably heard of twin flames. They are usually described as your other half or perfect match. Twin flames mirror who you are and have a very familiar essence that pulls you in. The bond between twin flames is passionate, profound, and usually positive. They often help you become a more evolved version of yourself. Unfortunately, you won't always meet or even end up with your twin flame.

What are the dangers of soul ties?

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Soul ties can be a beautiful experience, but anything that involves such a deep part of yourself should always be handled with care and mindfulness. Having a soul tie not only leaves you extremely vulnerable to emotional pain, but also puts you at risk of forming destructive connections.

"Sometimes, toxic soul ties form that bring up unhealthy needs, jealousy, or an overwhelming feeling of emptiness when apart," Justice says. "You might feel incomplete without that person, have obsessive thoughts, or struggle to set healthy boundaries. These kinds of soul ties can drain you emotionally and hold you back."

Think about the unhealthy habits that form within a bad relationship. If you are experiencing a toxic soul tie, you can multiply the intensity of those factors by 10.

Takyrbashev says one of the hallmarks of an unhealthy soul tie is a loss of sense of self. It can also look like "an inability to move on from a relationship, potentially resulting in emotional or psychological distress," Smith says.

RELATED: 35 Facts About Love That Will Make Your Heart Smile.

How do you break a soul tie?

Angry couple ignoring each other, relationship troubles.
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If you ever find yourself experiencing a toxic soul tie, the good news is that it can be broken. You can learn to identify and sever unhealthy ties through mental and emotional healing.

"As with any relationship, the key is learning to discern which soul ties uplift you and which ones bring you down," Justice says. "Look inward honestly at the role each bond plays in your life and well-being. Carefully tend to connections that help you grow while gently releasing ties that breed negativity or keep you stuck. It's like untangling a messy knot one careful loop at a time."

To break a soul tie, Davis suggests acknowledging that the toxic bond exists through self-reflection and introspection.

"Scrutinizing the significance of the soul tie as it affects one's life on an acutely emotional level may prove pivotal in helping individuals appreciate the route map to their wellness," Davis says.

Couple Going Through Break Up
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Davis also encourages connecting with a mental health expert or therapist, as they can help provide the support you need to get over this emotional hurdle.

Setting healthy boundaries and limiting contact with the person you have a soul tie with is also a great way to reclaim your emotional space and kickstart your healing process. Prioritize self-care and personal growth by incorporating emotionally healing activities like mindfulness and meditation. Davis says these practices can be a great contribution to your growth and emotional recovery.

"Focusing on personal welfare, equilibrium, and growth can possibly help you to let go of emotional dependency that you could have developed because of the soul tie," Davis says.

Breaking a soul tie and healing yourself is a journey that takes time. So, remember to manage your autonomy within your soul tie responsibly.

"Ultimately, navigating soul ties shows you the beautiful dance of bonding deeply while still honoring your individuality," Justice explains. "It's all about balance—nurturing meaningful ties while always staying true to your authentic self."

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Wrapping Up

Although soul ties can be profound and transformative, they should not be taken lightly. One of the most important parts of experiencing this bond is recognizing it so you know what to expect and how to heal. Your mental and emotional well-being are essential, so refer to this soul tie guide to protect your mind, spirit, and heart.