Primary vs. Transitional Soulmates: How to Know You’ve Found ‘The One’

Our society idealizes passionate, inflammatory relationships, but is that what you really want?

What type of soulmate connection are you ready for? Unsplash/Mayur Gala

Our society perpetuates an overly-romanticized idea of love. We want to find a partner who makes our heart sing, who makes us break out into cold sweats, who we think about incessantly, who we fantasize about marrying, and who we dream about having a family with. There’s just one problem with all of this: The excitement, the fantasizing, the intense passionate connection, the mind-blowing sex, the obsessiveness, etc. is never a real relationship. It is always a lesson.

It’s taken me many, many years to realize this. Every relationship I have ever had starts out with an intense physical attraction followed by an undeniable chemistry that makes you want to melt into each other’s bodies for all of eternity. It quickly develops into a deep infatuation. The world seems to disappear while you are enveloped in each other’s arms.

Then the inevitable happens: The infatuation leads to insecurity, jealousy, controlling behavior, drama and emotional chaos because you begin to realize that that person is their own person and you are not in control of them. There will be high-highs and low-lows. You will love and fight passionately. Your fear of losing that intoxicating connection makes you do things you never thought you were capable of doing. The intensity becomes too much: The fights, misunderstandings, lack of communication, anger, and fear cause indelible rifts in the relationship and breakups ensue. Then social media stalking takes over and this dysfunctional behavior takes on a whole new level. You find yourself mentally and emotionally drained but you are so “in love” with this person that you cannot lose them. They are your world. Without them, your world crumbles. You begin to feel like you can’t live with them or without them. Time passes. You begin to realize that this connection is truly a “fatal attraction.” You know it isn’t making you happy, but you can’t find the strength to end it. You feel that you “love” this person so much that you just can’t give up on them.

Let me tell you something: This is not love. This is a lesson.

You think you are in love with this person, but it is the lesson that you are in love with. You will continue to attract this person until you work out why you attracted them in the first place. There is something in your dynamic that needs to be worked through. The irony is that it isn’t about being with this person at all; it’s about learning the lesson this person is there to teach you. This person is known as a transitional soulmate.

To clarify, a soulmate is a person we have a special connection to. It’s a connection that feels other worldly. We have two different categories of soulmates: transitional soulmates and primary soulmates. But heads up…

Don’t marry a transitional soulmate!

Most of us gravitate toward transitional soulmates because they are exciting and the relationship is so intense. It’s an undeniable connection. But it is not a healthy connection—until it is worked through properly. Most of us don’t do the work to be with a transitional soulmate; we just commit to them and expect it to work. Marrying a transitional soulmate is akin to marrying a lesson. This is why many marriages end up in divorce. Many people marry a lesson instead of learning from it.

Learn to identify a primary soulmate.

This type of soul connection is more harmonious and balanced. It just flows easily. It feels effortless and familial; it’s as if this person is your best friend or family. You feel deeply understood, cared for, and supported. You feel comfortable expressing yourself as you are. You trust this connection. You know it will never leave you. You never have to wonder when the other shoe is going to drop. You both share a similar life path, interests and hobbies. There is a sense that this person feels like you—like home.

This connection feels very different from the transitional connection. It is drama-free and therefore can seem a bit boring. If you long for the excitement of a transitional soulmate, you are not ready for a primary. With a primary, the sexual connection is good but not explosive. So, if you are focused on a deeply passionate, off-the-charts sexual relationship, a primary is not for you. The primary has other deep connections that allow the relationship to grow over time. It has the types of connections built into it that will take you into old age: spiritual connections, intellectual connections, and special interest connections. This is not to say that the sex life with a primary is not good; it just isn’t the leading connection.

Most people walk away from primary soulmates.

They make the mistake of wanting chemistry, excitement and passion, but in reality they aren’t ready for the healthy connection of a primary. They find the primary soulmate boring and don’t want to commit because they think they can do better. So they walk away from their primary soulmate in search of transitional experiences that will light their fire.

Primary soulmate relationships simply work. Transitional soulmate relationships require work.

Every relationship requires work, but primary connections are just easier. Communicating and bringing the relationship to the next level is natural. Transitional soul mates require a lot of work to transcend the inherent dysfunction and emotional chaos.

It is possible to move a transitional soulmate into a primary soulmate status, but it is extremely difficult and requires the conscious awareness of both partners and a dedication to a shared path of mutual healing. In order to move a transitional into a primary status, each partner has to know the work and lessons they are individually working with and do their own work on them. This process can take years—if not decades—and requires communication, vulnerability and patience. It rarely happens. People generally want this type of connection but seldom do the work to make it last in the long run.

This type of metamorphosis can be also difficult because transitional soulmates never go very deeply in their relationships. These types of relationships are predicated in the lower chakras (based on physical attraction, money, home, sex, ego, education, social status, work status, and the like) and very seldom manage to get into the upper chakras, like the heart chakra and the spiritual chakras where personal development takes place. These types of relationships are based on a superficial foundation.

The healthier you are, the less you will reach for transitional soulmates.

The more work you do on yourself, the more you aren’t interested in the drama that comes from a transitional soulmate. As you rise higher in your personal development, your vibration lifts and you attract higher vibrational souls in the form of primary souls. The more you continue to evolve along your path, the more readily you will accept these primary souls into your life. You finally put it all together. You start to understand that transitional soulmates walk you over a bridge to the next phase in your life, but that primary soulmates are the next phase. What type of soulmate connection are you ready for?

Based in New York City, Donnalynn is the Author of “Life Lessons, Everything You Ever Wished You Had Learned in Kindergarten.” She is also a Certified Intuitive Life Coach, Inspirational Blogger (, writer and speaker. Her work has been featured in Glamour, the iHeart Radio Network and Princeton Television. Her website is You can follower her on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn,  Facebook and Google+.

Primary vs. Transitional Soulmates: How to Know You’ve Found ‘The One’