Understanding Soul Ties: What They Are, What’s Involved, And How To Break Them

You’ve probably heard of “soul mates” and “twin flames” — but what about “soul ties?”

Some believe the concept has biblical roots; others trace the idea back to ancient Egypt. 

Whichever the case, relationship experts, spiritual advisors, and psychologists increasingly use the phrase to describe intensely bonded relationships.

The intriguing — and frequently confusing — thing about soul ties is that they can cut both ways.

So today, we’re dissecting the good, the bad, and the ugly.

With any luck, by the end, you’ll better understand what soul ties are, how to spot the associated signs, and how to cut soul ties when necessary.

We’ll also explore the question of “unbreakable soul ties.

So grab your favorite beverage, and let’s dive in.

What Is a Soul Tie?

“A soul tie,” explains psychologist and author Dr. Carla Marie Manly, is an “emotional or spiritual cording.” She describes them as “an inexplicable, powerful emotional bond to another person.”

Simply stated, soul ties are strong relationships that frequently start with a noticeable spark.

Though many are, soul ties don't need to be romantic relationships. Parents and children often enjoy soul tie relationships, as do close friends.

Tanya Carroll Richardson, author of “Self-Care for Empaths,” says the term is all-encompassing and can describe any bonding experience, including past life connections.

How many soul ties do we each have? It could be one; it could be a million. People who believe in past lives, for example, tend to have more than folks who focus solely on the here and now.

But generally speaking, most people have more than one soul tie throughout a lifetime.

What Is a Toxic Soul Tie?

The thing about intensity — a central characteristic of soul ties — is that it’s not always healthy. When personal connections metastasize into dependency, obsession, and even addiction, the soul tie turns toxic.

If a relationship reaches a point where one or both parties feel like they cannot spend time apart, it’s likely crossed into the danger zone, which feels suffocating and manipulative.

One-sided soul ties are also fraught with perilous possibilities. Sometimes they start as a bonded relationship, but one party loses interest, and the other grows increasingly attached.

Other times, only one person ever feels the connection. In these lopsided scenarios, the person who feels bonded is under the illusion that they cannot function without the other person.

Toxic soul ties can lead to unhealthy and dangerous behavior, including stalking and severe depression.

Different Types of Soul Ties 

Soul ties aren’t a one-size-fits-all proposition. Just as there are different types of love, soul ties come in various intensities and styles.

  • Protective: This soul type occurs when you go through a traumatic event or period and are “saved” by someone. Protective soul ties are anchored in a strong hormonal connection and can be challenging to break. 
  • Bonding: Have you ever met someone you initially despised but eventually developed a bond with? Or perhaps lust or a shared painful experience brought you together. These types of relationships can be bonding, and soul ties may develop. If you want to break these links, discussing your circumstances in detail with each other may do the trick.
  • Sexual: Physical intimacy creates hormonal bonds — even casual sex! But soul ties can form when that corporal closeness becomes enmeshed with genuine emotional understanding. When sex is part of a well-rounded partnership, you and your partner share mental, spiritual, and bodily links.
  • Binding: Do you have someone in your life who has always had your back, no matter the circumstances — even when you’re in the wrong? Through thick and thin, they encourage you to keep moving forward, and you share a sense of unconditional love. These types of relationships often qualify as a bonding soul tie.
  • Permanent: Permanent soul ties happen with romantic partners, family members, friends, and even acquaintances. They often result from two people working to create a healthy relationship. Other times, two souls merge on subconscious and spiritual levels.

How To Break a Soul Tie: 8 Actions To Sever the Tie

As we mentioned above, soul ties aren’t always a positive force. When they morph into something dark and constrictive, it’s usually best to sever them. 

The process can be complicated, but there are many lessons to cull from cutting soul ties. Moreover, for folks who believe in past lives, the exercise can shed shadow energy clinging to your karma through lifetimes.

Ultimately, the most important thing to remember is that the Universe is a positive force. Breaking a soul tie can be scary because it comes with the fear that you’ll never be able to replace the bond.

But that’s not true. The Universe provides what you need when you need it. Nothing is permanent.

1. Acknowledge the Toxicity

The first step in conquering any addiction is acknowledging the problem. When soul ties turn toxic, they’re ruinous. Recognize how the relationship is eroding your emotional stability — are you more anxious or depressed due to the situation? 

Also, consider practical aspects. Is the soul tie relationship causing you to be flaky, irresponsible, or untrustworthy? Is it adversely affecting your personal or professional lives?

Be brutally honest with yourself. It may hurt, but the pain will help unearth the truth. And once you’ve completed that process, healing can begin.

2. Enlist an Energy / Soul Worker

Energy work may sound far out to some folks, but it can make an incredible difference if you’re open to the experience. After all, the bottom line is that we’re made of and surrounded by energies. 

Sure, we have different ways of interpreting and understanding these forces, but their existence is undeniable. One-hundred percent of scientists agree that the universe is a force field.

Energy workers — aka soul practitioners — can realign spiritual access points on your body and help cleave you from a toxic soul tie.

3. Cultivate Confidence

When a soul tie turns toxic, it can crumble your confidence. After all, the person may have been integral in building up your self-esteem.

To clear this hurdle, build a plan to get back on track. Consider starting a gratitude practice or trying a mindfulness routine. Both are excellent ways to focus on a more positive path, and the shift often leads to a healthier self-assessment.

4. Perform a Ritual

Some folks swear by “breaking” rituals, and the options are endless. Traditional Yoruba and Santeria ceremonies are popular, and others succeed with Wicca spells and incantations. And then some who listen to their gut and devise their own.

Popular options include burning goodbye letters in a sacred fire and hosting separation shindigs. Both involve ridding yourself of physical and emotional attachments related to the toxic bond.

5. Have Faith in the Universe

Faith isn’t the exclusive domain of religion. People from all walks of belief and non-belief increasingly find deeply personal ways to enjoy everyday spirituality. 

The way you choose to do it doesn’t matter, but connecting to something outside of yourself can help alleviate considerable stress when going through difficult life transitions.

6. Practice Forgiveness

Forgiveness is powerful. Letting go of grudges and resentments is freeing and makes way for positive energy. Even the world-renowned Mayo Clinic cites several health benefits that forgiveness affords, including:

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Healthier relationships
  • Improved mental health
  • Less anxiety, stress, and hostility
  • Improved heart health
  • Fewer symptoms of depression
  • A stronger immune system
  • Improved self-esteem

Don’t forget that you, too, deserve forgiveness. So cut yourself a break. Sometimes, we can be our own worst critics. Remember that everyone messes up in life — every single, solitary human. 

Sure, some folks may think they don’t, but they’re wrong. Part of maturity is recognizing your missteps, apologizing for them, learning from them, and moving on.

7. Detach From Your Toxic Soul Tie on Social Media

Before everyone walked around with pocket computers in the not too distant past, detaching from people was much easier. 

Social media didn’t exist, and people only stayed in touch with the folks they genuinely liked instead of passive-aggressively competing through pictures with everyone they’ve ever shared a smile and passing conversation with since the age of eight.

When you need to break a toxic soul tie, tap into this “ancient” way of life and banish the person from your digital life. People pushing through particularly rough situations may take a few weeks off from social media altogether, and they’re often surprised at how great it feels to cut the cord.

8. Develop a Meditation Habit 

Many folks associate meditation with religious monks; others link it to new-age sensibilities. But the scientific community has definitively concluded that meditation is helpful to anyone who wants to level up their mental and physical health. 

According to research, regularly sitting in quiet contemplation changes the brain’s wiring for the better. Studies show that people who’ve established a consistent meditation practice enjoy better cognitive function, less stress and anxiety, and improved physical health. 

You don’t have to drop out of life and join an ashram. A mere 10 to 20 minutes a day can miraculously change your life. Commit to giving it a shot for one month and then assess from there.

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What Are Some Soul Tie Symptoms?

What are the symptoms of soul ties? What are the signs? Every person is different, as is every soul tie bond. But several characteristics are typically associated with the experience.

You Feel a Deep Connection

The central emotion related to soul ties is a deep connection. Many people describe it as a feeling of completion — like a found missing puzzle piece. Other folks characterize the experience as a gravitational pull punctuated with a sense of euphoria.

Romantic soul ties often involve an element of attraction or lust. Platonic ones may feel like an invisible thread that connects you to the person on a deep friendship level.

They Evoke Strong Reactions from You

Soul tie meetings often involve strong emotions and reactions. After all, you’re in the presence of someone with whom you share an inexplicable bond. As such, you may experience a surge of energy, a cosmic nudge, or even something as simple as goosebumps.

Individuals often describe feeling immediately comfortable with their soul ties.

You Feel Like You’ve Known Them Before

In addition to feeling immediately comfortable with a soul tie, the initial meeting may be infused with familiarity — or a sense of déjà vu. Those who’ve experienced the sensation describe it as a magical embrace from the Universe.

The Timing of Your Meeting Feels Predestined

Soul ties frequently show up at auspicious times in our lives. To borrow a phrase from Charles Dickens, they may not be “the best of times,” but are significant nonetheless.

For example, if there’s a death in your family, and you’re having difficulty coping, an unexpected soul tie may swoop in to help you.

That’s not to say soul ties only show up in times of toil. Many people commit to the hard work of self-discovery and are rewarded with a healthy soul tie when they’ve completed the “course.” In fact, Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Eat Pray Love” chronicles this type of journey.

You Constantly Think About Them

Day, night, and afternoon, soul ties are constantly on your mind! They're one of your first thoughts in the morning, and you dream about them all night. They're embedded into our souls on both conscious and subconscious levels.

It's important not to confuse soul ties with infatuation, though. Healthy bonds don't feel heavy and ominous. Instead, they're like presents.

They Fill You With Confidence

One of the most positive aspects of a healthy soul tie relationship is the confidence boost. The other person knows you’re capable, worthy, and talented — things that we frequently find difficult to see in ourselves.

As a result, soul ties can help you overcome self-doubt, which will have an immeasurably positive impact on nearly all aspects of your life.

How To Break a Soul Tie With an Ex

Breaking a romantic soul tie can be especially stressful. But it’s a must if the relationship is marked by manipulation and isolation. If you find yourself in this situation:

  • Acknowledge the toxicity
  • Don’t leave the door open for reconciliation
  • Declutter your life of their stuff and mementos
  • Visualize enjoying life without them
  • Cut them off digitally

Of course, it will be painful, but you will heal in time and recognize that your life is better without this person in it.

Are Some Soul Ties Unbreakable?

The jury is still out on whether unbreakable soul ties exist. One school of thought believes they do and that these tethered bonds persist throughout lifetimes. Think of it as your wolf pack. Some of these relationships are fulfilling; others are more challenging.

On the other end of the spectrum are the self-determinists who insist that every person has the power to direct the course of their lives, making and breaking bonds as they go by leveraging the power of free will.

Bonus: How To Create a Soul Tie

We’ve discussed the symptoms of a soul tie and how to break toxic ones, but what about creating healthy soul ties? Sometimes, they happen naturally. But there are also ways to lead a relationship down the soul tie path. These include:

  • Getting married
  • Becoming intimate
  • Committing to an honest relationship with another individual
  • Choosing to be completely emotionally vulnerable with a friend or lover
  • Asking the Universe to create a healthy soul tie for you
  • Welcoming a pet into your life

Soul ties are unique relationships. Whether good or bad, they exist to teach us lessons. Collect the nuggets of wisdom they drop into your lap, and use those to become the person you want to be.