There are about as many definitions of soul mate as you can imagine. We've been trying to define this term for literally thousands of years to no avail. I'll try to cut through the confusion by offering mine.
A soul mate is a person with whom you feel a deep connection that may even defy logic. For example, a soul mate can be a close friend who lives a very different life than yours, yet you pick up the old thread instantly no matter how much time has passed since your last connection. A soul mate can be a friend, lover, family member, or mentor.
In love relationships, the term soul mate includes a sexual connection, often infused with intensity. Many people describe their soul mate as the person who got away and can never be replaced. This idea of only one soul mate (lover) who perfectly matches can be problematic.
The reality is that you can connect deeply with many people. With an open viewpoint about love and soul mates, your heart is available to move on and find someone new with whom you can have a very meaningful connection. It won't be like the last one because every relationship is unique, like a fingerprint.
The paradox is that sometimes these very deep and intense soul mate connections are not emotionally healthy because they are not grounded in real life. Couples often describe themselves as soul mates while in the throes of the enchantment stage of love. Those same couples often blast apart later when they re-enter life and discover that they cannot permanently meet each other's every need. Disappointment and hurt follow, and the relationship becomes unstable.
A far better goal is to search for a Soul Partner, someone with whom you share life values, goals, visions, and basic compatibilities. With a Soul Partner, you form a real commitment. That becomes your foundation from which to grow, often by triggering one another. But triggering can lead to healing, and Soul Partners are dedicated to helping each other heal and grow.
Learn all about Soul Partnering and how to nurture your connection through powerful, loving communication in my book, Soul Talk. You can view an excerpt from my books here.