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Forget soulmates, the newest, buzziest relationship term that celebrity couples are embracing is ‘twin flame’.
Blame American rapper Machine Gun Kelly, who might be responsible for the upsurge in interest in the term – his song of the same name was the closing track on his 2022 album, Mainstream Sellout.
In the song, Twin Flame, MGK addresses his fiancé (the actor Megan Fox) singing: “I was your twin flame from a past life” – but what exactly does the term mean?
“A twin flame is when two very similar people fall in love and mirror each other's traits, values and passions,” says Rachael Lloyd, relationship expert for dating site eharmony. “It can be like seeing all your best and worst traits reflected straight back at you.”
Read more: 'Breadcrumbing': The dangers of the dating trend
Sounds like soulmates right? So how do twin flames differ? Lloyd says that unlike soulmates, “who feel they are destined to be together regardless of their unique personalities”, twin flames are extremely alike “in viewing another version of themselves on an intimate level they get to evolve, celebrate strengths together, and work on perceived weaknesses.”
Lloyd says a twin flame relationship can be both exhilarating and powerful but there is a caveat, as the relationship may become “all consuming and co-dependent”, meaning friends and family are sidelined or take a back seat in their lives.
Senior therapist Sally Baker of Workingonthebody.com agrees, defining the quasi spiritual belief as a pair that feel they are “meant to be together”. The relationship is underpinned by many “a-ha moments, odd coincidences and feeling a deep soulful connection.
She expands saying: “Twin flames have qualities that a couple recognise in themselves and each other that cements their relationship and elevates it in their thinking to be superior to other, lesser relationships. Sometimes twin flame relationships can be built on shared life experiences such as travel experiences or interests in niche activities where finding a mate can feel hugely reassuring and enjoyable. This can aid a very deep commitment in a short span of time. Sometimes twin flame relationships share the same traumatic background and the relationship can be underpinned by trauma bonding”
All of this makes for a compelling and intense ride, says Baker. “Frequently those in twin flame relationships, because of their intense nature, can avoid acting on red flag behaviour. Also because the relationship is exclusive and seen to be created by a higher power they tend to be secretive and mutually exclusive.”
Cassady Cayne is an author, relationship coach, and creator of the blog Twin Flames 11:11. Cayne started writing about the subject back in 2014 and is aware of the historical skepticism around it. “Now, it seems like everyone is really curious and interested,” she says. For her, being a twin flame means having souls that are “made from the same ray of consciousness or energy.”
“Your twin flame is the only person in the universe who shares your exact soul song – your shared core energy frequency. For her twin flames are two separate people in the physical world but because of their “deep unconscious soul bond” they share an “immensely powerful resonance and magnetic attraction” and share a passionate romantic connection unlike any other.
Cayne says that despite the uptick in interest in the term today, the idea has been discussed in spiritual teachings for thousands of years. According to her, common traits of a twin flame connection include “chakra climaxes, kundalini awakening, shared or significant lucid dreams, immense love, telepathy, synchronicities and heart activation.”
She says that although the connection might be characterised by immense love and passion, it can be turbulent and challenging too.
According to Cayne, some examples of celebrity pairs, couples and exes that might share the twin flame connection include Justin and Hailey Bieber, Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker, Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga, Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston, Harry Styles and Olivia Wilde, Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik and Edward VIII, the king who famously abdicated in 1936 and his wife Wallis Simpson.
Watch: 'I like to go in deep right away': Megan fox 'needed to know' if Machine Gun Kelly was breastfed