Have you seen MTV’s docuseries Catfish? It’s a documentary-style series that investigates online relationships where two people have never met each other in real life.
There’s something about the show that’s so compelling, and I think it’s because of the strong connections the couples experience. Often they’ve only seen pictures of one another, and yet they talk about an unexplainable bond. Even when they’re presented with evidence that the other person isn’t who they say is, they don’t want to believe it.
The people on Catfish are examples of those who have felt a deep, spiritual connection with another person—a soul tie (a kind of one-sided soul tie).
So, what is it about this connection that makes someone feel like this person is the one for them? Even to the point that they ignore evidence that they’re being deceived? Is it possible for something so powerful to be one-sided? Can soul ties be one-sided? And is it even a good thing?
In many cases, the soul-ties are experienced mutually and both the individuals tend to get even more attached. However, If you’ve ever experienced this intense of a relationship with another person and not have it be reciprocated, we call it a one-sided soul tie. As a psychotherapist, I’ve spoken to clients in these types of relationships, and I’d like to share some of my findings with you.
Understanding deep about a Soul tie:
A soul tie is a deep, spiritual connection one person feels with another. To better understand it, though, we have to examine the four aspects that make up human beings.
Firstly, Physical – Your physical aspect is anything related to the body: pleasure, pain, sexual desire, and bodily sensations like hunger, thirst, and fatigue.
Secondly, Mental – Your mental aspect is anything related to your mind and your thought processes.
Thirdly, Emotional – Humans are also highly emotional beings. Emotions are a natural part of who we are.
and Fourthly, Spiritual – No matter your religious beliefs, it’s clear that there is a spiritual aspect to you as a human being. We are connected: to each other, to all things on this earth, to God and the divine, to a higher purpose. There are many aspects of your spiritual self, and you may feel called to one part more than the other, but it all goes beyond the parts that make up you as a physical being (your body, mind, and heart).
It’s this aspect that a soul tie can take place in. We become connected to someone from the highest aspect of ourselves, the part that’s tied to the universe around us.
Can such Soul ties be one-sided?
The straight answer to this question is ‘yes’. Of course, soul-ties can be sometimes one-sided.
You’ve no doubt heard of a one-sided physical connection with someone, where you’re attracted to them only for the way they look. We often call this “lust” as opposed to “love.”
You can feel mentally connected to someone in many ways. Maybe you’ve read something they’ve written that’s intellectually stimulating, or maybe you’ve had a conversation that you can relate to on a deeper level.
You can have an emotional connection to someone, too, though it may feel harder to define. This is when the other person invokes an emotional response in you.
Just like, a person can feel connected to someone one-sidedly at a physical/mental/emotional level, he/she can also feel one-sidedly connected to someone spiritually.
This is what we call as the one-sided soul tie.
Types of One-sided Soul Ties :
There are many types of one-sided soul ties—some positive, and some negative—but here are the most common:
a) Sexual partners: Sometimes we like to think that sexual encounters are purely physical, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. It affects every aspect of us as human beings: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. Because we’re joined so intimately with another human being, it can make us feel connected on a spiritual level. When that happens, a soul tie can form. This is a good thing when the other person is our lover, but a potentially disastrous one-sided soul tie, when the other person is a one-night stand.
b) Significant others: These are the people we want to have a soul tie with. They are the ones we can tell everything to, who never judge us, who we have the deepest of bonds with. They are our partners in every aspect of the word. However, there can be cases when only one among the partners feels overly attached to the other, thus experiencing a one-sided soul tie.
c) Family: We can also develop one-sided soul ties with family that goes beyond the blood bond. We feel like they understand us completely and that we can turn to them for anything.
d) Friends: These are the people you’ve chosen as family, the ones you know will always be there for you, even without the official blood bond of being a family member.
e) People you’ve never met: With the Internet, we can talk to people all over the world that we’ll probably never get the chance to meet. But sometimes we may feel like the imaginary person understands us better than the people we know in real life; sometimes the anonymity of an online relationship helps us to let down our defenses and connect in a way that we can’t in real life.
The Darkness behind One-Sided Soul Ties..
A soul tie is a deep, spiritual connection one person feels with another. On the surface, this can sound like a good thing. Unfortunately, tie is the operative word. In most cases, a one-sided soul tie is a relationship where a person feels so tied to another that they are easily manipulated and deceived. These relationships are also almost always one-sided. It’s usually a situation where one person has a very dominant personality and the other is empathetic.
One scenario I see often in therapy is a client who struggles with codependency. They want to please others and help them to the point that they forsake themselves. These types of giving, caring people are often attracted to those with narcissistic, abusive, or dominating personalities. They find themselves entrapped in a relationship where they’re experiencing abuse—emotional or physical—and yet they can’t seem to break free. They feel connected and deeply in love with the other person even though they’re suffering such intense unhappiness. But the soul tie is just masquerading as love. In reality, it’s intensely harmful to your well-being.
5 Actual Reasons why One-Sided Soul Ties Are So Harmful:
One-sided soul ties can cause intense destruction to your well-being by bringing forth many negative feelings. Here are some of the most common you might experience:
1. Obsession. You can’t stop thinking about the person to the point where you can’t leave them (if in a harmful relationship), can’t concentrate on your work, or function in your normal daily life.
2. Entrapment. You may logically recognize that the relationship is harmful in some way, but you still can’t break free. You feel tied to the other person, and you don’t know how you’ll find the strength to end the relationship.
3. Addiction. It can even get to the point where the other person becomes like an addiction to you. It may feel like they’re the only one who makes you happy, or understands you, while at the same time, they’re the ones who are hurting you.
4. Manipulation. Because you feel so deeply connected to the person, you are open to being manipulated, both emotionally and mentally. It can be hard to recognize that this is happening to you, and you may struggle to believe that the other person you think you love would do this to you.
5. Deception. This can happen in any relationship, but it’s especially likely to occur in a one-sided soul tie. I gave an example from the beginning of those who were on the docuseries Catfish, and these are people who have experienced deception in their relationships with people they’ve never met. It’s easy to get in a situation where you’ve been deceived into thinking something is real when it’s not. The Internet too, with access to every stranger in the world, can make such deceptions much easier.
How to Break an Unhealthy one-sided Soul Tie and Move On:
If you’ve entered into a one-sided soul tie, and you know you need to break it and move on, it can feel impossible. You’ve formed this deep relationship with another person, and they’ve become a huge part of your life.
Have you ever found it difficult to let someone go? Maybe you’ve had a bad breakup, and you just can’t stop thinking about them. But then when you see the other person, they seem like they’re getting along just fine without you. This is another example of a one-sided soul tie.
So what can you do?
The first step is to ask yourself what it was about that person that made you feel so connected? More importantly, what did they fulfill within you that you feel like you’re missing in your life?
Maybe you have low self-esteem, and this person made you feel needed. Or maybe you couldn’t talk to anyone like you talked to this person; you revealed aspects of yourself you never would with other people in your life.
Here are some steps you can take to work toward breaking that soul tie and moving on:
- Journaling – Journaling can be a therapeutic way to explore your thoughts and feelings. It’s also very safe because you never have to show anyone what you’ve written.
- Letter writing – Write to the person you formed the soul tie with. You don’t have to send the letter, but it can help you vent out your feelings.
- Reach out – Reconnect with your other friends and family. Have them help you with accountability. They can make sure you really have cut all ties with the person you had an unhealthy relationship with.
- Talk to a therapist – A therapist can help you delve into all your thoughts and feelings related to the soul tie and be there to guide you toward moving on from it in a healthy way.
- Self-help – If you determine that the one-sided soul tie was unhealthy because you’re struggling with something in your life, there are so many great resources out there that can help you. There are online resources, books, and podcasts. There are even books specifically written about soul ties, like Breaking Unhealthy Soul Ties: Do Your Relationships Produce Bondage or Joy? by Bill and Susan Banks.
Soul ties are harmful to you spiritually, emotionally, and mentally. They’re almost always one-sided because it’s usually a relationship with someone who wants to use you and deceive you in some way. It can be mistaken for love, but a soul tie is hurtful while love is healing. It’s important to take the time to think about what you’re seeking from that relationship and find healthy ways to satisfy those needs.