Should You Ever Leave a Soul Mate?

Written by: the Editors of goop


Updated on: February 17, 2022


Reviewed by: Deganit Nuur

Should You Ever Leave a Soul Mate?
Photo courtesy of Caitlyn Grabenstein
Deganit Nuur

On the simplest level, you might understand soul mates as two people who are meant for each other. But the connection may go deeper, says clairvoyant intuitive and spiritual teacher Deganit Nuur. She believes soul mates are the result of a karmic connection forged over many lifetimes. Consciously, two people may have just met, but their spirits carry a closely intertwined history. That’s what makes their connection so magnetic.

That said, soul mates who come together over many lifetimes don’t necessarily spin fairy tales every time they meet. Sometimes, Nuur says, they come at each other carrying different karmic loads. Their relationship can feel ambiguous or misleading or just off. Something to have in your pocket in case you run into your soul mate this time around: Nuur’s guide to understanding whether it’s meant to be.

What to Do with a Soul Mate Connection

Every relationship in your life is a spiritual contract. Being human is complicated, and we come with layers of bias, conditioning, and preferences. Each relationship is a divine assignment. A soul mate connection is a special one: a sacred bond between two parties that has the potential to radically heal each person. In a soul mate connection, you may experience a tremendous amount of growth together in very little time. You’ll likely feel safe being exactly who you are in their presence. It feels like “When I’m with you, I feel more like me.”

These contracts are meant to bring out the best in you and align you with your purpose. The electricity may be there. The underlying peace, calm, and trust could be there—along with all the other feelings we associate with love, lust, and romance. All that is great, but what truly differentiates a soul mate from any other relationship is this psychic sense of knowing that is hard to put into words or make logical sense of. You may find you’re extra patient with a soul mate in areas where you’re usually pretty inflexible.

I’ve heard the wildest symphony of synchronicities that have drawn soul mates together: missing a train, uncharacteristically accepting an invitation, meeting on the last day of a vacation. Immediately, your soul will recognize a part of you in the other person. Usually, soul mates come together to pick up where they left off in a previous lifetime. You will come together to experience all you weren’t able to experience together last time.

But all of that depends on where you are in your own personal soul’s journey relative to where they are in theirs. You’ve heard it before—timing is everything. Depending on your past lives, the karmic debris you may have picked up during your journey through time, and how much your soul mate has healed since you last connected, this bond can go in a few different directions.

While a soul mate connection is a truly unique bond and no two will ever be alike, below are three common patterns I’ve noticed when soul mates reunite.

1. Happily Ever After

The Manifestation: The relationship just doesn’t feel like work. (Yup, it happens!) With this person, it’s easy. You bring out the best in each other, and prioritizing the relationship comes naturally to you both. It’s like you start off on the exact same page and continue the book at the same pace.

The Pattern: It’s likely you’ve both healed a lot since you last met, and you’re free to love more deeply in this lifetime. Let’s call this an evolved reencounter. You both stayed the course of your soul work, so when you met again, it was blissful. You get to pick up where you left off and take your love to new great heights.

If you were Romeo and Juliet in a past life, you’ve each spent thousands of years being true to yourselves, mastering your lessons, and fulfilling your purpose in spite of family dynamics or other circumstances you may have incarnated into since you last met. When you reunite again this lifetime, you’re already feeling perfect, whole, and complete. The bond can flourish and grow organically. There’s not a push-pull. Both of you have already worked all that out in your individual ways. You’re ready to align and amplify your powers through joy, pleasure, and purpose.

2. Counterfeit Connection

The Manifestation: All the feels of a soul mate bond, but something’s just a little off. You feel the connection, the intensity, the familiarity, the love…only it feels like an uphill battle. It’s confusing. If there’s so much love, why is this relationship so hard? You may feel like there’s been a bait and switch. You may feel suspicious or reserved, and you can’t quite justify your feelings based on the facts of the circumstance. They’re doing and saying all the right things, but you’re still having a hard time trusting them. It feels more charged than peaceful—so close but yet so far.

The Pattern: It’s been hundreds to thousands of years since your souls have connected like this. In that time, it’s likely one of you has grown and self-actualized and mastered the lessons presented to you lifetime after lifetime, while the other simply hasn’t grown as much. You recognize each other and feel super close, but you’re just in different stages of your soul’s journeys. Sometimes those differences between soul mates can complement each other—and bless you both, this ain’t that. In this connection, the differences feel like distance, frustration, obstacles, and pain.

Both parties are feeling the exact same thing: the depth, the connection, the significance of this bond. But you’re responding to those feelings in opposite ways. The more healed partner is elated by the connection and drawn to the chemistry. The less healed partner is frightened by the connection and overwhelmed by the chemistry. If you’re the more healed one, you might feel like you’re doing all the emotional labor here—and you might not be wrong.

Ultimately, you may feel like the relationship starts to bring out the worst in you. That can be hard to admit when there’s this much chemistry and synergy. It’s likely you’ll part ways, but not until you’ve mastered some of the lessons of this union first.

I call this the “counterfeit effect”: If you’ve been broke your whole life and this is your first luxury bag, you might be extra forgiving when one day this beautiful bag starts ripping at the seams. Maybe this is how all luxury bags are? You’re so grateful for the bag and so proud of yourself for manifesting it that you don’t notice the minor imperfections. Until one day, you pull at the string only to realize, gasp! It’s a counterfeit! You thought you were investing in something authentic, but it’s been a fake the whole time.

The deceit of the counterfeit makes most people a little angry. “This is not fair,” I’ll hear. “I’ve done all this work. I’m a good person. I deserve better.” To which I say: exactly. Rocking a counterfeit bag for a little while helps you feel worthy of the bag. It helps you align with all the opportunities and possibilities available to you here. Once you’ve acclimated to this new altitude, calling in the real deal is far easier. It’s not as big of a leap as it was before. You feel a healthy sense of entitlement to it now, where before you may have felt unworthy of it.

If you’ve manifested a counterfeit, you’re getting closer. You’re feeling worthy; your boundaries are fire; you’re affirmed you deserve the absolute best. Make way for the real deal.

3. Unrequited Love

The Manifestation: It’s a tale as old as time—unrequited love. We all know this one well. You swear you two are soul mates, but the other person doesn’t feel the same way. Or they swear you’re meant to be together, and you’re quick to place them in the friend zone. Can this be a soul mate connection if only one of you is feeling it?

The Pattern: Just like the counterfeit connections pattern, this is a reflection of all that’s changed between you two since you were last together. In this case, it’s a lot.

It’s as if you traveled to London when you were three years old and go back the second time when you’re twenty-three. Some things may seem vaguely familiar. You might know you’ve been there before, so there’s a sense of safety or familiarity. But how much of London do you really remember? Likely not much—and how you process London at three is dramatically different from how you’ll process London twenty years later.

Change is the only constant. Even if this is a soul mate of yours, it’s almost as if you’re meeting for the first time because of how much you both have changed since you were last together. It’s still an important and impactful bond, but it’s as if you both have amnesia. The purpose of your connection might not be as immediately obvious. If you’re curious enough to explore it, however, I’m sure you’ll find it.

Usually with unrequited love connections, the purpose lies in the possibilities. Coming together with this person again can offer you a glimpse of how it could have been for you. Their presence can comfort you and affirm your current path—or inspire you to rise up to your pure potential.

Regardless of whether your soul mate is of the happily-ever-after variety, a counterfeit connection, or one where you’re stuck wondering “How can this be so familiar yet so far away?”, you’ve got one. You’ve likely had many.

The power in the soul mate connection is seeing them for what they are: a holy encounter, a blessed connection. Let’s say you have a happily-ever-after scenario. The path is so easy-breezy that sometimes you might feel (gasp!) bored. It happens. When you’re focused on the boredom, the boredom grows. If you focus on the ease, the ease grows. What if the whole purpose of this relationship is to trust the ease? You two worked out all the mess and conflict long ago, so how about enjoying this go-round in the spirit of ease?

How about that counterfeit connection soul mate sitch? You found your Romeo and you got him. Go, you! Wasn’t it so passionate and euphoric for a little while? So what if Romeo incarnated less authentic this lifetime? He’s still helped you realize how powerful you are at calling in all you deserve.

For my loves stuck on unrequited love, we’ve all been there. Relationships exist at the lowest common frequency. It’s okay to see someone’s soul, recognize it, and at the same time trust in divine timing (or the lack of it). Trust in the quality of the connection—and that simply being reminded of this beautiful soul is enough to remind you of your beautiful soul.

Deganit Nuur, DAOM, LAc, is a spiritual teacher, clairvoyant intutive, acupuncturist, writer, and speaker. Nuur teaches people across the globe how to hone their intuition and use it as a practical tool in daily life through online courses, live workshops; and an annual six-month mentorship program. You can book private clairvoyant healing sessions with her team of healers, too. In-person healing sessions are available exclusively at the Four Seasons hotels in Beverly Hills and NYC, where Nuur is a resident healer. Nuur earned her doctorate in acupuncture and Oriental medicine from Pacific College.