Soul Mate: Someone who is aligned with your soul and is sent to challenge, awaken and stir different parts of you in order for your soul to transcend to a higher level of consciousness and awareness. Once the lesson has been learnt, physical separation usually occurs.
Life Partner: A companion, a friend, a stable and secure individual who you can lean on, trust and depend on to help you through life. There is a mutual feeling of love and respect and you are both in sync with each others needs and wants.
It’s common to conflate the idea of a soulmate with that of a life partner – you might think they’re exactly the same thing, or that any difference between the two concepts is purely academic.
A soulmate is a person who who arrives in your life specifically to enrich it, encourage your development and push you to grow into a higher state of consciousness. A life partner is someone trustworthy and dependable with whom you spend significant time.
Both are incredibly important!
HERE ARE 5 KEY DIFFERENCES BETWEEN A SOULMATE AND A LIFE PARTNER:
1. A SOULMATE TEACHES YOU A VITAL LESSON
A soulmate can be a friend, a lover, or even a family member, so it’s important to let go of the idea that there’s necessarily a romantic connection. That being said, they always inspire passion of some sort, and nudge you towards fulfilling some aspect of your potential.
Many times, they will leave your life in one way or another once you’ve learned the important lesson they’re there to impart—and this can hurt a great deal, but doesn’t negate their status as a soulmate.
In contrast, a life partner shares your interests, supports you, and helps to empower you to take risks. They are likely to be with you in the long haul, regardless of challenges encountered, and they share a profound and reciprocal bond with you (one that has nothing to do with what they “get” out of the relationship).
2. THERE IS A HUGE DIFFERENCE IN SOUL CONNECTIONS
The kind of connection you have with a soulmate involves the heart and consciousness.
The lessons that soulmates teach will improve your life and transform you into an elevated form of yourself, but going through those lessons can be both exhausting and exhilarating!
On the other hand, the connection you have with a life partner usually develops when you are both already in a state of self-love and self-acceptance. This is a more peaceful kind of kinship, and it is often the turmoil experienced with a soulmate that creates the space for this type of bond with a life partner.
“A soulmate’s purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to tranform your life.” ~ Elizabeth Gilbert
3. THERE IS AN ATTRACTION THAT GOES BEYOND THIS TIMELINE
When you meet a soulmate, you will feel like you’ve known each other for your whole life.
You understand each other and have similar ways of thinking. Your childhoods have similar stories. This is where the intensity in soulmates starts. There is a “knowing” that magnetically attracts you to each other. These relationships can be chaotic and destructive since there are levels of mirroring one another: the flaws and habits.
Meanwhile, your life partner probably comes from a different background, creating curiosity in both directions. You feel comfortable around each other, and this eases you into a deep and abiding friendship or love that feels like it grows with each passing day.
“Important encounters are planned by the souls long before the bodies see each other.” ~ Paulo Coelho
4. A SOULMATE KNOWS YOU INTUITIVELY
There is a higher connection between thinking and feeling. You know each others’ thoughts and desires.
Soulmates do not need words to convey their ideas and emotions. They have been where you are. They know how it is to feel a certain way.
Life partners are attracted to one another physically and crave to learn the other’s values. The relationship is based on logical and intellectual stimulation rather than an emotional one driven by soulmates full of highs and lows.
5. THE TIMING OF THE MEETING DIFFERS
Soulmates show up in your life when you somehow need to find closure of some sort and desperately need to a learn a specific lesson if you’re going to evolve. The resulting experience is ecstatic, causing you to encounter both the best and worst about yourself.
In contrast, a life partner shows up in your life when you’re ready for something easy, soothing, and capable of focusing on the present moment. A life partner can often make a wonderful spouse, as a healthy marriage is typically based on a willingness to be “one” in a sense while remaining interestingly distinct at the same time.
Finally, note that it’s possible for your soulmate to be your life partner as well, and that it’s possible for a life partner to develop a profound connection with you. The crucial distinction is that you can choose a life partner and you cannot choose a soulmate. However, neither is better than the other—and while a soulmate creates more profound change, that’s not to say there’s nothing to learn from a life partner!
“Your soulmate makes you feel entirely intact, like no piece is missing from the puzzle. A life partner, on the other hand, can be a great supporter and long-time companion, but is limited in his or her capacity to enrich your spirit.” ~ Dr. Carmen Harra