The “twin flame” concept isn’t entirely new, but it’s becoming an increasingly popular trope used by baby witches (of all ages) in the pagan and witchcraft community. The problem with this whole thing is that it appears to encourage the embrace of toxic behavior in relationships and teaches people to be permissive of those toxic behaviors. In other words, it’s a completely unhealthy concept that is dressed up as spirituality and served on a platter to inexperienced, gullible witches who are either new to the craft or they’re easily influenced. The following post will discuss the insidious nature of the twin flame construct.

What is a twin flame?

Basically, a twin flame is someone that you’re “fated” to meet and connect with, according to various new age sources. This person’s soul is the other part of your soul, and you’re bonded through intense attraction — whether it be platonic or romantic. It’s similar to the concept of a soulmate, and people sometimes use the terms interchangeably, but they’re actually quite different. The concept of a soulmate is stable and permanent; A “true love’s eternal” type of situation. On the other hand, twin flames may not even last. They’re just intense soul connections that could either last a lifetime, or fizzle out as soon as they come to be.

To further explain what twin flames are, they are damaged people who bond over their shared pain and damaging experiences. They represent the novel philosophy that each person’s soul is split in two, and they must embark on a journey to “reconnect,” in order to feel whole. To believe in the concept of a twin flame, you must be on a conscious search for your “other half,” which doesn’t end until you feel that you’ve finally found them.

In this new age concept, there are up to five stages in the twin flame cycle. As stated in the previous paragraph, you must be on a constant search for your twin flame. This is the first stage in the cycle, and includes a lot of so-called “self searching” and “preparation” to make yourself ready to meet your “other half.” The 2nd stage involves looking for meaning in ever chance encounter you have with a stranger. Yes, you’ve read that right. The twin flame construct urges you to find spiritual meaning in every small interaction — even as little as a passing nod in a public place. This concept puts emphasis on the idea that you meet your “twin flame” long before you connect in a seemingly insignificant manner — even if it’s in a dream. The twin flame construct urges you to pine and dwell on these chance encounters, and teaches that the more you find yourself thinking about a person you’ve briefly met, the more likely that they are your other half.

In the twin flame construct, you’re encouraged to “awaken” upon your “second meeting” with this special person. You are told that you’ll feel an intense, almost spiritual connection with this person. Beyond this step, you’re supposed to experience a crisis with this person, which is supposedly supposed to strengthen your spiritual bond and deepen your connection as a twin flame. In other words, you’re encouraged to view situations such as betrayal, abuse or other volatile struggles as “tests” to your soul connection. This particular source goes as far as to claim that the ordinary relationship troubles of “being on again/off again” are attributed to twin flame anxiety. The writer even claims that breaking up and then getting back together is somehow part of the twin flame process.

What’s problematic about the twin flame concept

Aside from the fact that it’s just another wordy term to describe a troubled relationship, the teachings behind the concept appear to be rooted in the acceptance of harmful relationship habits and toxic personalities. If you stripped away any new age elements from this concept, it would come across not quite different from fundamentalist Christian teachings on marriage and relationships.

It teaches you to settle for less than what you deserve, and dresses up the whole situation as a meaningful, spiritual experience. It creates the idea that suffering and heartache are somehow part of a healthy relationship, and that in order to achieve a lasting connection with another person, you must first be willing to walk on proverbial coals. It also implies that you don’t have to immediately hold yourself accountable for your own bad behavior in a relationship. It teaches that relationship crises such as cheating (on either side) and other betrayals are just “tests,” and are all part of the overall cycle of finding and connecting with your twin flame.

It also creates the problem of attributing every brief encounter with someone as a deep and meaningful life lesson, as if that isn’t already taught to us in the mundane world. Philosophically every person you meet will have an impact — no matter how small or big — on your life. This isn’t anything spiritual and otherworldly. It is simply just part of encountering new faces and energies in the every day world.

Perhaps the most insidious problem with the twin flame culture is that it teaches gullible women (and men) to embrace harmful dating behaviors. It teaches them that being “boy crazy” is part of a spiritual journey, and that “falling in love” with every person you date is a religious experience. It strips away the need for responsibility and common sense and replaces it with self-enabling and dismissal of red flags. It strips away all self-accountability and romanticizes the concept of pining away for a romantic partner.

It perpetuates the idea that you simply have to have a boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife because being alone means not being whole. It enables codependency, and wraps it up in colorful new-age wrapping and bows that trick women (and to a lesser-extent, men) into believing that they must have a partner, and in order to do so they must be willing to take any mistreatment, disrespect and abandonment that comes from this in order to keep said partner. The twin flame construct makes it okay to allow someone to come in and out of your life, and attributes the emotional and psychological pain that comes from that to “spiritual growth.”

It’s actually a childish concept that inhibits true growth

Think about any teenage girl that you might know, and apply your own memories to being that age. You were young and inexperienced with the realities of the world around you. You were full of hormones, while coming-of-age, and just discovering the concept of “boys,” as well as dating and future marriage. If you were raised in a Disney household, you likely had princess-like expectations of what the future would hold for you and your potential “prince-charming.”

Teenage girls are boy crazy. They “fall in love” with every crush they encounter. They experience emotions on a more intense level than people who have grown and evolved. While the leveling of hormones helps us move on and evolve, life experience and being taught about our own self worth also helps. When you introduce a concept like the twin flame construct to someone who hasn’t quite made it past that “every crush is true love,” phase, you simply hinder that growth. It teaches emotionally immature people that infatuation and love are the same thing, and therefore enables them to “fall in love” with every person to whom they feel attracted.

Why this is dangerous territory for baby witches

Baby witches — or people who are novices in the craft — tend to eagerly absorb as much info as they can find. That is especially true when it comes to concepts related to love, sex and marriage. While there’s nothing wrong with doing as much studying as possible, the eagerness to learn certain aspects — along with confirmation biases — make it easy for these newbie witches to be misled. When a baby witch learns about the concept of twin flames, they’re more likely to accept it as spiritual truth than an experienced witch who knows better. They’re more likely to accept the concept as face value without reading into the numerous red flags, and they’re more likely to begin applying the term to every “meaningful” encounter they’ve had with someone on a romantic basis. What’s more, they’re likely to read into it as a spiritual reason to be accepting of their own mistreatment. To say the least, it turns them into insufferable bots who believe that any common ground or mutual attraction must be a twin flame situation.

When a baby witch enters this construct, they allow themselves to be under constant energetic attack. They allow toxic partners to drain them and they end up focusing all of their energy on the relationship as a “twin flame” situation, when in reality it’s just inhibiting their abilities. The stress and anxiety from a toxic relationship doesn’t simply go away just because you’ve been taught that it’s a spiritual experience. It simply festers and keeps you from growing. This leads to self-doubt and lower self-esteem, which affects your ability to meditate, focus your intent and direct energy in spell-casting. In other words, when baby witches fall prey to the twin flame concept, they immediately cut off their own potential for self-growth. They put their own spirituality in the hands of another person under the belief that their souls combine to make a whole, and therefore rendering themselves essentially unable to be effective as witches.

Your lousy boyfriend is not your twin flame

Let’s pretend, for just a minute, that twin flames exist — that there is someone out there sharing a piece of your “soul” and is waiting for you to discover them. If this is true, then clearly not every single person you meet is going to have the potential of being your twin flame. Not every man who tells you what you want to hear is your twin flame. Not every person you share a bed with is your twin flame. These are all just people. There are over 7 Billion people on the planet. Divided by two, that means your twin flame is in a pool of over 3.5 Billion people. Some of that 3.5 Billion would be children or a gender that you’re not attracted to (pick one), so that means your odds of actually finding your twin flame is closer to around 1 in 2.45 Billion. Logically, that means your twin flame could be thousands of miles away from you — and if you’re like most people, you’re not going to travel to every foreign country on the planet, on the intentional search for “the one.”

Just because you have a crush on someone doesn’t mean your souls are calling out to one another. Being attracted to people and developing crushes on them is a totally mundane, every-day thing. It’s normal. There is nothing spiritually significant about being attracted to someone.

Just because you really, really like someone doesn’t mean they’re your twin flame. This doesn’t mean anything at all other than the fact that you like them. Your feelings of infatuation or even developing feelings of love aren’t spiritual indicators. They’re natural chemical and hormonal reactions.

Just because you have intense feelings for someone who is treating you in a less-than-civilized manner, doesn’t mean they’re anything even remotely similar to a soulmate. Your lousy boyfriend who cheats, hits you and ghosts on you for other women is not a soulmate: He’s a toxic crutch that is hurting you more than helping you, and it is not your duty to wait for him to mature and it is not your responsibility to forgive, forget and allow it to continue, just because some new-age blog told you that his mistreatment of you is a “test” to some twin flame construct.

Furthermore, just because a new-age blog told you that this shady behavior is a “test,” doesn’t excuse your behavior. We are all responsible for our own actions in life, and that means your own toxic behavior is your own fault. It’s not a “test” to your relationship if you cheat on someone — just as it’s not if they cheat on you. You don’t get to hurt people under the idea that you’re simply going through a “phase” in a spiritual journey.