There are basic categories of soul-connections that can be identified. We recognize them because of the role the souls play in each others lives and the energy underlying the connection.
Even as I write this, I do so for the purpose of helping you understand that not all soul-relationships are supposed to last an earth life of forever nor are they meant to be a feel good experience in many cases. We experience soul-mates for the primary purpose of helping us remember who WE are and to further our spiritual awakening while in these human bodies. There are numerous soul-encounters that can happen in our lives; this is simply an attempt to clarify the major categories.
While not actually related at the soul-level, we feel warm, comfortable and quickly at ease with these people. We share a profound mutual understanding of people and situations based on our similar soul age, spiritual values, and most likely metaphysical abilities. We energetically vibrate at a similar level, yet do not have the familial ties as with a member of our soul-family.
Primary: Parent, child, relative, friend
Primary soul-mates stay the course with us for years, often a lifetime. We experience the ebb and flow of life together. While these relationships have ups and downs they are about teaching us how to forgive, to love in a sustainable way- not for what someone can give us but for exactly who they are; faults and all (parents and siblings for example). These souls teach us about acceptance in a universal way. Over time we realize that we have chosen each other for lessons that could have come no other way. It is essential that you forgive these souls for any trauma they caused you. It is critical for your own health, but in terms of hierarchy of soul mates, you will never draw to you a high level soul mate until you have completely forgiven all primary soul mates.
Junior Soul Mate: Teacher, friend, person in line at the store, pal you meet on vacation
These souls might fulfill their role in an instant, or can be with you for a period of time. They will not stay with you long, but you will probably never forget them. These souls may say something to you that changes the course of your life. Their impact is powerful and there is no ability to ignore the prompt they bring you. If what they teach you "stings" at first, it will become one of those lessons you are most grateful for after you reach a certain level of spiritual awareness.
Romantic partner, friend, fling
Ready set go with these. There is instant recognition. If it is a romantic relationship, the physical chemistry is intense. It is intense enough that the souls may choose to enjoy the physical expression while ignoring the little voice that says "there are issues here". These relationships burn intensely and typically end on terms that are unpleasant. These relationships are designed to teach major lessons that can only be taught by someone we love. When these relationships end, it's often one sided or out of anger rather than a slow fizzle. The person being "left" learns resiliency amongst other things and there could be many reasons why the leaver leaves; but they must learn how to end a relationship with mutual respect rather than an unexplained departure. If they do not learn this (either party), they will continue these kinds of relationships in this lifetime & the next until they learn the valuable lessons that ONLY these connections can teach. The sting of these breakups whether romantic or from someone you felt certain would be your friend forever can be devastating. This category of soul-mate bond is designed to teach you more about yourself than anything in your life to date. If you learn what is intended, you are preparing at the soul level for a High Level Soul Mate.
Karmic Companion: Friend, romantic partner, parent / child
There is not a lot of drama in these relationships. You've worked through most of your karma with these souls in prior lives. These relationships feel like a break from the intensity of other kinds of soul relationships. That can be a welcome change! They are based on friendship rather than passion. Certainly you will have some ups and downs and disagreements, but the overall purpose is that of companionship. The lessons in these relationships progress over time rather than being shoved down your throat. Karmic Companions can share any length of physical time together. A romantic or friendship Karmic Companion can last a lifetime; however if you separate things generally fizzle out rather than end suddenly. You will sense it's time to move on. There is a sense of maturity – "It is time we go our separate ways" and you will wish the best for your partner. It's a very "mature feeling" soul-mate bond.
Senior or High-Level Soul Mate
Like meeting a Karmic Soul-Mate there is usually instant recognition- through the energy field or through the eyes. The desire to be with and truly know the other person at the soul level is intense. Partners at this level feel such joy to have discovered each other. It is often said there is a feeling of "coming home". There is deep and abiding friendship. The partners are willing to sacrifice something for themselves to benefit their mate. They discover that their mates completeness seems to mean as much as their own … yet they experience that without dismissing their own growth or happiness. There is a perfect and easy balance of "Me / You / Us". When problems to arise- and they will because we're human- the partners have the soul / mind tools to quickly rectify the situation and return to a place of harmony. These are ways in which you'll recognize the difference between a Senior Soul-Mate and a Karmic Soul-Mate. Partners at this level have learned to balance the need to remain self with the skills necessary to be a soul-based team.
Twin Flame- Two Souls Created From the Same Energetic Unit- Your Souls Most Complementary Partner
There is not always instant recognition. Twin Flame recognition occurs at the energetic / soul level rather than at the physical, although physical attraction typically follows. There is a compulsion toward each other that exceeds anything either has experienced in the past. It defies logic or rational thought. The Twins have trouble making eye contact at the beginning. That is because they have knowledge of everything about the other simply by looking into the eyes. This is a major responsibility and it is sensed by both parties. While a Senior Soul Mate can be recognized through the eyes, a Twin Flame perceives everything about their Twin through the eyes. There are elements unique to a Twin Flame pair that do not exist in other soul-connections. While all soul-mate relationships serve to further the spiritual growth of the individuals, Twin Flames meet for a purpose beyond the individual.
They must join their energy / souls to bring light, love and healing to the planet and its inhabitants. When these two unite, there is an exponential explosion of energy that is greater than the sum of the individual parts. Being presented your Twin Flame is the ultimate spiritual responsibility and should not be belittled by romanticizing the nature of the work to be done by the Twins.