Life Partner vs Soulmate: What’s The Difference?

The connections we form in life can change our lives for the better, and most of us would love to find someone with whom we have an indescribable and unbreakable bond. Some people would describe such a person as a soulmate, while others would refer to them as “The One” they want to spend their life with. But when it comes to a life partner vs a soulmate, what’s the difference? They’re not the same thing, as it turns out.

Life partner vs soulmate: What’s the difference?

  1. They mean different things. A life partner is someone you choose to share your life with and build a long-term, committed relationship with. Conversely, a soulmate is often seen as a person who you have an instant, deep connection with on a spiritual level. See? Totally not the same thing.
  2. You’re compatible in different ways. A life partner may be someone who shares your values, interests, and goals. You’re on the same page about the big stuff, so you decide to spend your lives together. You likely have a strong emotional bond with them as a result. Meanwhile, a soulmate may be someone who complements you in a way that makes you feel complete. It’s almost subconscious.
  3. They usually come at different times. A life partner may come into your life at any time, while a soulmate is believed to come into your life at a specific time, when you’re ready to receive them.
  4. They serve different purposes. You usually pick a life partner based on companionship, stability, and support. A soulmate is often seen as someone who is meant to help you grow and evolve spiritually. You don’t usually pick them, either. They just are.
  5. They offer a different type of connection. A life partner may provide you with a deep emotional connection, of course. There has to be something bonding you or you wouldn’t be together. However, a soulmate may provide you with a profound spiritual connection that can’t be put into words.
  6. Your attraction to them is not the same. If you pick someone to be your life partner, they’re likely someone you’re physically, mentally, and emotionally attracted to. However, that’s not always the case with a soulmate. They’re usually someone you’re drawn to on a deeper level. In other words, it goes way beyond physical attraction.
  7. You love them differently. A life partner is probably someone you love deeply, of course. Going through so many of life’s ups and downs bonds you. On the flip side, a soulmate is someone you love unconditionally and without reservation. It’s not based on shared experience but rather an intrinsic bond.
  8. They challenge you in different ways. A life partner should help you face life’s challenges and overcome daily obstacles, of course. A soulmate’s purpose is a bit deeper. They’re there to help you navigate your spiritual journey and help you find your purpose.
  9. They stay in your life for different lengths of time. You’re with a life partner for life (or so you hope). However, a soulmate may not stick around that long. They might only be there for a short period of time until they’ve helped teach you a certain lesson or get through a particular phase in life.
  10. People perceive them in different ways. Everyone knows what a life partner is and agrees that finding one is a good thing. However, the concept of a soulmate is often viewed as a spiritual or metaphysical idea that not everyone believes in. A life partner is a tangible thing. A soulmate is something a bit more metaphysical.

What are the similarities between the two?

  1. Both relationships imply an emotional connection. Both a life partner and a soulmate can provide a deep emotional connection that helps you feel understood and supported. There’s no underestimating the power of that.
  2. They both require commitment. Both a life partner and a soulmate require a level of commitment to build a strong, lasting relationship. Even if a soulmate doesn’t stick around, you still need to dedicate yourself to them while they’re there.
  3. Trust is implicit in both connections. Trust is essential in both a life partner and a soulmate relationship to maintain a healthy and secure bond. If you can’t trust them, you can’t open up to them. It’s as simple as that.
  4. Communication is still key. Good communication is crucial for both a life partner and a soulmate to ensure that you understand each other’s needs and feelings. No relationship of any kind can survive without solid communication.
  5. Life partners and soulmates tend to have shared values. You’re not going to connect with anyone on a deep level or choose someone as your life partner if you’re not on the same page about the big things. Shared values are the core of both of these connections.
  6. Both relationships can help you grow. Both a life partner and a soulmate can help you grow and become a better version of yourself, albeit in different ways. All your close relationships serve this purpose in your life.
  7. They’re both forms of companionship. Both a life partner and a soulmate can provide companionship and a sense of belonging that helps you feel connected to the world. It’s nice to feel like you’re not alone in life and that someone’s by your side.
  8. They can provide you with vital support. Both a life partner and a soulmate can provide emotional and practical support during difficult times. They offer you different types of support, for sure — sometimes practical, sometimes emotional.
  9. Intimacy is part of both relationships. Both a life partner and a soulmate can provide a level of intimacy that allows for a deep understanding and appreciation of each other. You get close by sharing intimacy of all kinds, whether sexual/physical with a life partner or spiritual with a soulmate.
  10. They’re both connections you share with someone you love. Both a life partner and a soulmate can inspire deep feelings of love, affection, and loyalty that help build a strong and lasting bond.
Jennifer Still is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience. The managing editor of Bolde, she has bylines in Vanity Fair, Business Insider, The New York Times, Glamour, Bon Appetit, and many more. You can follow her on Twitter @jenniferlstill