A soul tie is an emotional bond between two people that goes beyond regular friendship or attraction. It’s a deep spiritual and emotional connection that affects the soul. Soul ties can form between friends, relatives, married couples, and even strangers. While healthy soul ties foster intimacy and bring people closer together, unhealthy ones create dysfunction, control, and toxicity in relationships.
What is a soul tie?
The concept of a soul tie comes from the Bible. Genesis 2:24 says “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This oneness refers to the profound connection between husband and wife. God intends for married couples to share a sacred soul tie.
A soul tie goes beyond the physical connection and into the spiritual realm. It’s an invisible bond that affects you mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. You can have soul ties with different people in your life, including:
- Romantic partners
- Close friends
- Family members
- Mentors or teachers
- Anyone you’ve had sex with
Healthy soul ties bring purpose, meaning, and enrichment. They provide a source of comfort, belonging, and intimacy. However, unhealthy ties exert control, prompt jealousy, and create dysfunction in relationships.
Signs you have an unhealthy soul tie
Soul ties aren’t inherently good or bad. But unhealthy ones need to be addressed for your wellbeing and relationships. Here are signs of an unhealthy soul tie:
1. Obsessive thoughts about the person
Do you think about the person constantly, even when you try not to? Unhealthy soul ties manifest as obsessive thoughts about the other person. You may be preoccupied with wondering what they’re doing, who they’re with, or if they’re thinking about you.
2. Intense jealousy
An unhealthy soul tie could make you feel irrationally jealous about the person’s time and affection. You don’t want them to be close with anyone else. You want them all to yourself. Extreme jealousy usually signals possessiveness and insecurity.
3. Identity loss
In severe cases, your identity may become enmeshed with the other person’s, to the extent you lose sense of your individual self. Instead of “I” and “you”, there’s just “we” and “us”. This lack of boundaries is common in abusive relationships.
4. Feeling that a part of you is missing when apart
When you and the person are separated, you may feel a constant, gaping hole or a sense of disconnection from a part of yourself. You don’t feel whole without their presence. This extreme emotional dependence suggests an unhealthy soul tie.
5. Withdrawal symptoms
Ending contact with the person may cause serious withdrawal-like symptoms. You might go through sadness, crying spells, depression, loneliness, lack of appetite, and even physical pain. The attachment is so strong it mimics addiction.
6. Wanting constant contact
You feel a pull to be in frequent or constant contact with the person. If you haven’t heard from them in a while, you may get antsy and reach out just to make sure the connection is intact.
7. Life revolves around the person
When your world starts revolving around someone else, it’s a red flag for an unhealthy attachment. You organize your schedule around them. Your mood depends on them. You make major life decisions based on them. Essentially, you orbit around them.
8. Lack of usual interests
Activities and hobbies you previously enjoyed now seem less appealing. You’ve lost motivation, drive, or interest in things outside the relationship. An all-consuming soul tie can dominate your psyche.
9. Falling into their habits and ways
You may subconsciously take on the other person’s habits, mannerisms, interests, and ways of thinking. Your soul tie makes you prone to adjusting yourself to be more like them and please them.
10. Wanting to be physically close
An unhealthy soul tie can make you crave constant physical closeness with the person. You want to be touching, hugging, or joined at the hip as much as possible. Too much togetherness signals dependence.
11. Fear of losing them
The thought of losing the person strikes intense panic and dread within you. Any threat to the soul tie, like the person pulling away or becoming close with someone else, feels devastating.
12. Feeling responsible for their problems
You feel an excessive duty to help the person solve their problems. Their struggles and faults become your own. This enmeshment stops you from having healthy emotional boundaries.
13. Unresolved issues sustaining the tie
Powerful soul ties often form due to shared trauma, unmet needs, or a profound experience with the person. The more issues that remain unaddressed, the more you stay stuck together.
Signs you have a healthy soul tie
Not all soul ties are unhealthy – many enrich our lives. Here are signs of a healthy soul tie:
1. Emotional intimacy
The relationship feels emotionally intimate, but still has clear boundaries. You connect on a deep level, while still being independent.
2. Secure attachment
The bond feels secure and sustaining, without being clingy or dependent. You feel connected even when physically apart.
3. Supporting growth
Rather than stunt personal growth, the tie helps you expand as individuals. You feel inspired to pursue your interests and evolve.
4. Encouraging autonomy
You support each other’s autonomy. The relationship gives you freedom instead of trying to control you or make demands.
The tie doesn’t come from a place of wanting to possess the other person. There’s no jealousy over outside relationships or friendships.
You build each other up and help each other feel understood, valued, and confident in being yourselves.
You communicate openly to maintain closeness and articulate feelings. This prevents repression and confusion.
8. Spiritually enlightening
The relationship encourages spiritual reflection, growth, and practice. It comes from a sacred place of divinely inspired love.
9. Secure sense of self
The connection makes you feel more spiritually whole. Your identity remains strong instead of enmeshed.
You energize and inspire each other. The relationship doesn’t drain you but makes you feel alive.
Can you break an unhealthy soul tie?
It is possible to break soul ties, especially unhealthy ones causing dysfunction. While it requires effort, cutting cords from harmful attachments can be quite liberating. Here are some tips:
1. Gain awareness
The first step is noticing when a soul tie has become unhealthy. Recognize obsessive thought and emotional patterns. Be honest with yourself about how the relationship affects you.
2. Distance yourself
Put physical and emotional distance between yourself and the person. Reduce contact and interactions. This helps you detach and regain perspective.
3. Release obsessive thoughts
Let go of obsessive thoughts about the person mentally and emotionally. Imagine the thoughts floating away like balloons. Refocus when the person dominates your mind.
4. Visualize cutting the tie
Visualization exercises help cut psychic cords connecting you energetically. Picture yourself cutting the tie then pulling the cords out from your heart.
5. Stop romanticizing the person
View the person realistically, not idealistically. Recognize their faults along with their positive traits to break emotional dependency.
6. Resolve underlying issues
Reflect on issues binding you together, like unmet childhood needs or shared trauma, and actively process them. This releases their hold.
7. Limit interactions
Interact with the person as little as possible. With less contact, their emotional grip on you loosens.
8. Explore your interests
Reconnect with hobbies and activities you enjoy. Focus on what energizes you as an individual.
9. Create physical symbols
Make something tangible, like a collage or list, to represent releasing the soul tie. Destroy or discard it as a symbolic act.
10. Seek closure
Have an open, honest conversation with the person to help find closure. Expressing feelings can help untangle them.
11. Ask God for help
Pray for spiritual support in severing unhealthy ties. God’s love can fill emotional voids left after detachment.
12. Seek counseling
For chronic or traumatic attachments, seek professional help from a therapist. They provide tools to rewire thought patterns.
What does the Bible say about soul ties?
The Bible mentions soul ties in various contexts. Scripture makes it clear God designed certain soul ties to be sacred and unbreakable bonds:
“A man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24)
“How could I curse those whom God has not cursed? How could I denounce those whom the Lord has not denounced?” (Numbers 23:8)
“For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body – whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free – and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.” (1 Corinthians 12:13)
However, the Bible warns against unequal yoking with nonbelievers or anyone who leads you to sin:
“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14)
“Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers.” (Psalm 1:1)
When to seek help
In some circumstances, soul ties require professional help to break:
- Abusive relationships
- Addictive relationships
- Repeated unwanted soul ties
- Trauma bonding
- Grief over lost relationships
- Identity loss
- Attachment disorders
- Relationship OCD
Seek support from a psychologist, therapist, or counselor trained in attachment therapy. They help you safely dissolve damaging relationship bonds.
Soul ties have profound effects on relationships and wellbeing. While healthy bonds nurture, unhealthy ones cause dependence, lost identity, and obsessive attachments. Assessing your thoughts, feelings, and interactions provides clues about whether soul ties are enriching or detrimental. With self-reflection and help from God, friends, and professionals, you can break free from attachments causing dysfunction and pain.