People often confuse the terms soul mate and twin soul/twin flame. They are not the same thing.
Soul mates are key relationships we experience within this lifetime and in lifetimes lived before. These can include friendships, romances, professional affiliations and many other types of relationships. Edgar Cayce often referred in his readings to soul groups, which are groups of people who incarnate together, over and over again. This means my present child might have been my parent in another lifetime. My lover may have been my sister. My parent might have been my teacher. And so on and so forth. Both you and your soul group slip in and out of key roles from lifetime to lifetime in order to help all souls within the group learn valuable lessons. Usually at the beginning of new incarnations each soul within the group draws up sacred contracts or agreements, and these contracts include scenarios the souls will play out in order to learn these lessons. All lessons typically involve one, some or all of the other souls within the group. The members of this group, then, are soul mates. Each one of us is a part of a soul group.
Twin souls are also called twin flames, and are a different matter entirely. Some feel that we only have one twin soul. This has nothing to do with lifetimes; we do not change twin souls from lifetime to lifetime: we always have the same one. There is a complete and unshakable recognition of the twin soul when it occurs. The attraction and communion is undeniable, unbreakable and unconditional. These relationships are not without conflict of course, but all conflict between twin souls can be resolved. It is the purpose of both souls to spend their lives together, and once a person encounters their twin soul that is precisely what they will do.
Plato asserts through the character Aristophanes in Symposium that “in the beginning” each individual was actually two, with two sets of arms (therefore four), two sets of legs (therefore four) and two sets of genitalia (therefore two). The gods, fearing these humans would somehow overpower them, decided to essentially split them apart. Plato’s idea in this regard, while steeped in mythology and evocative fictional imagery, is not too far off the mark in terms of how some presently believe. It is thought that we were created with a double. It is thought that we, doubled, were indeed split apart, and that our split-apart, now called our twin soul or twin flame, dwells in the universe with us at all times. Like the pull of a magnet, we are inextricably and completely drawn to them, whether through dimensions or lifetimes. When we arrive at the discovery of this twin soul, the connection cannot be destroyed.
Does everyone have a soul mate? Not only is the answer yes, but the answer is yes — everyone has many soul mates.
Does everyone have a twin soul? That is subject to belief and interpretation.
I believe that each person does have a twin soul, though I am not sure I ascribe to the method of twin soul creation (being created in doubles and then split apart, etc.). Rather, I feel that each and every one of us does in fact have one poignant and important relationship that stands above all other relationships. We don’t always meet our twin soul in each incarnation, but the twin soul connection does not die.
Is our twin soul the opposite sex (or same sex if we are homosexual)? I am not sure. My ultimate thought is that this relationship can be any relationship, friendship, parent-child, lover, yet due to the intense intimacy involved in love relationships, we are likely to encounter them as lovers.
Irrespective, from lifetime to lifetime, the twin soul connection is the most significant relationship we experience.