Trying to understand the twin flame stages can be a minefield. Nobody agrees on exactly what the stages are so you’ll see different terms, various orders and (all too often) people arguing over what the ‘real’ stages are.
Don’t get bogged down with the terminology or order. You’ve probably heard me say that every twin flame journey is unique and I really mean every journey. Most of us agree on some of the main themes of the stages you pass through on the journey – but there’s no roadmap for a clear A->Z.
I speak to a lot of people going through their own path and there are some general things you can look for and ways you can help further your path to twin flame union.
Don’t place unfair expectations on your twin or your journey. Use this list (or any list of twin flame stages for that matter) as a rough guideline. Not a hard-set rule. The lines might blur and you might skip over steps or seem to completely backtrack.
This is all a perfectly normal part of the twin flame experience. Mirror souls are pretty hard to pin down to exact specifics at the best of times.
Stage 1: Oblivious
While twin flames tend to be spiritual there seems to be this expectation of them to already be searching for something. In my experience, this isn’t necessarily true.
You might be completely unaware of twin flames and relatively happy with a ‘normal’ 3D relationship with someone else. You might think this is what life is like and be perfectly happy. You might be entirely oblivious to the spiritual path you’re on.
On some level, you’ll know that you’re not complete but we often ignore this. We push away this feeling and sometimes we’re entirely unaware of it.
You could be happy like this and I do mean genuinely happy but there’s often something external that moves you into the next stage.
Stage 2: The Trigger
Maybe you go through a major event in your life or perhaps you just wake up one morning and something has changed.
A spiritual jumpstart has propelled you forward and this can happen at any stage of your life.
Sometimes you don’t even consciously know it’s happened but your world isn’t the same again. Your mindset shifts and your eyes become open to the possibility of something greater.
This can manifest in many different ways but it will almost always be some form of improvement. You may start being more open to spiritual progression or even just a focus on your physical goals. There will be something you’re driven to change and improve.
Sometimes this stage can be a little overwhelming (especially for those who have stayed away from spiritual topics before). On a higher level, you know you’re about to reach a crossroads but this energy is easily confused as doubt or frustration about your path in life.
It can be a hard stage to go through, but twin flames are offered an opportunity that very, very few are.
Stage 3: The Search
After our spiritual awakening trigger, we’ll begin to look for something.
Again, the more spiritually attuned at this stage will know it’s a person but often we just know that something is missing from our lives. That drive to find leads us in many different ways.
For some, it will lead us to search romantically. Often this means the learning experience of a false twin flame as we try and fill a hole we don’t fully understand with… something (or someone).
It feels like something is missing but you don’t know what. Like when you’re standing in front of the fridge but you don’t know quite what you want to take out.
Something is out of place and for short periods we might tell ourselves that it’s travel, a career move or another physical distraction but the more we try to find the answer, the more we’ll feel this sense of searching for something.
Nobody around you will quite understand except, perhaps, anyone close to you who has been on their spiritual path.
Stage 4: The ‘One’
Once we’ve figured out that what we’re searching for is a person… we start looking for our idea of ‘the one’.
Twin flames actually begin this search the moment they arrive on Earth but that doesn’t mean they’re consciously aware of it.
In fact, Hollywood movies fill us with the idea that we’re looking for a soulmate (and you should understand the difference between twin flames and soulmates).
Twin flames are looking for something greater than just ‘happily ever after’. They have a rare chance that few get – a chance at meeting the other part of their soul. True and perfect love. Deep understanding beyond anything soulmates will ever feel.
Often, at this stage, we don’t know that. We’ll be led by Hollywood rom-coms to people we think will make us happy but it never seems to feel quite right. Sometimes we’ll drift from relationship to relationship or stay long-term without really feeling it.
Sometimes we might even counter our twin flame at this stage but we’re not prepared for this level of connection. The high energy between you is often misunderstood by both sides and you repel from each other.
Stage 5: The Dark Night of the Soul
The dark night of the soul for twin flames is a turbulent moment of spiritual development. We might not always use this term but twin flames will always go through this.
After trying to find ‘the one’ we’re often left facing loneliness or an unhappy relationship. Faced with doubt, disappointment and unhappiness something within us stirs.
This stage often comes with grief or even depression. That feeling that something is out of place builds but we still don’t know why or how to fill that hole.
Both twins often go through this stage at the same time but are completely unaware of it. The feeling of hopelessness and loss will reverberate through the telepathic connection mirror souls share and often spring up out of nowhere as your twin experiences a moment of turmoil.
The dark night of the soul is often uncomfortable and there’s no clear timeline on how long it takes. It is a necessary part of the twin flame journey, however. In some ways, it is a moment for introspection and the calm before the storm.
Stage 6: The Shift
The dark night of the soul rarely leaves us the same as when we started. It drives us through immense change that we often call the shift or a triggered awakening.
We begin to connect with our higher selves and gain a better understanding of ourselves. Often at this stage, twin flames begin to live a more authentic life.
You’ll see the world through set eyes. Restrictions that once held you back will fall away.
You still might not have heard the term ‘twin flame’ at this stage. You might not fully understand what you’re searching for but you’re open to it being something more than the average person is seeking.
I’ve heard this stage described as spiritual homework and I think that’s fitting. This shift in perspective will often lead us to explore things we were once closed to or completely oblivious of.
This stage prepares us for an intense encounter with our twin flame. It begins to prepare us for the real spiritual journey that is to come. We begin to wake up to our true path.
Stage 7: The Physical Encounter
Encountering our twin flame after the dark night of the soul and awakening shift is incredibly hard to describe because it’s such a personal experience for each of us. Twin flames find themselves face-to-face with something they’ve been searching for their entire life and the connection hits them like a train.
But this often doesn’t go as you’d expect. I’ve talked about the idea of love at first sight between twin flames before and remember this is not a Hollywood movie.
When twin flames meet there is high energy. Explosively high. Sometimes this means intense attraction right away but sometimes you might actually hate each other.
Hate is not the opposite of love. Indifference is. If there’s one thing I can tell you about this first encounter – it will not go unnoticed by either of you.
Here is where things get tricky. In almost every twin flame relationship, one twin awakens before the other does which means you’re usually not on the same page for that first encounter.
One is usually more open to the spiritual journey and they know they’re looking for a real connection. The other is most often still confused about exactly what they’re looking for.
For some, this physical encounter leads to a physical relationship quickly. If this happens, it will stand out and previous relationships and false twin flames won’t even begin to compare.
Stage 8: The Spiritual Connection
Twin flame telepathy begins the moment you’re both on Earth. You’re always connected and using this link to silently nudge each other onward.
Sometimes you can be aware of this connection before you physically meet. I see this from time to time when I speak to people but in general, it’s more noticeable after the physical meeting.
After the physical encounter, the spiritual connection really begins.
Our subconscious has become used to these silent guiding nudges but now they’ll start to manifest in our consciousness. There’s a lot of different signs from this such as a feeling of them being around, strange synchronicities in our day-to-day life or even blatant messages popping up.
You’ll experience a wonderful feeling of connection unlike you’ve ever had before. This is what you’ve been searching for all this time.
In this stage, twin flames begin to mirror each other and open up to them (and ourselves) in ways we never have and while this is needed to prepare us for union – it almost always causes problems in the short term.
Whether we’re consciously aware of it or not, as humans we’re often not prepared for this level of connection and openness. One (or both) twins often react by lashing out and becoming overwhelmed (you might have heard this described as soul shock).
The high energy of the connection combined with the misunderstood feeling often fights against the intense love of the connection and brings us to the stage we all dread.
Stage 9: The Runner/Chaser Separation Phase
Perhaps the most complicated stage of the entire journey and certainly the most painful. The honeymoon phase of the connection temporarily ends and one twin is overwhelmed to the point of running.
The runner twin flame will make up an excuse that fits into the narrative of how they understand the world and relationships. They’ll tell this lie to you, to their friends and also to themselves.
When they’re not ready to fully understand the level of connection, they’ll find a reason to not have to deal with it. The spiritual equivalent of sticking your head in the sane.
Understanding twin flame separation is important here.
While it’s physically, emotionally and spiritually painful how we handle this stage will dictate how long it lasts.
Often this is when we start looking for answers and discover the term twin flame. Most of my readers and viewers are dealing with this immense sense of loss and just didn’t have the words to fully explain what they were going through.
A lot of things can happen at this stage. Roles can reverse, you’ll go through periods of doubt and maybe even false twin flame relationships. You might even go through multiple separations and come back together again.
There’s no set timeline here it could be anything from days to decades (I’ve certainly seen both).
There’s only one way to make it through this stage.
By focusing on your healing and furthering the spiritual path. There are many ways to do this (with the twin flame union companion, for example). What we can’t do is wallow at this stage and just wait for the universe (or the mirror soul) to figure it out and end this stage for us.
As much as it can feel like it, if you’re in separation there’s work you can both do move on.
Note: No matter what stage you’re currently on. If you need some help or guidance on the journey, take a moment to tell me about it and let me do a twin flame reading for you.
Stage 10: Surrender
After we go through the turmoil and pain of the separation and accept the path we’re on – we enter the twin flame surrender stage.
We stop worrying about them. We stop spending our time focusing on whether they message us back or what they’re doing. We stop dealing with constant doubt and instead we focus entirely on ourselves.
This doesn’t mean we give up on the twin flame journey or ignore our twin. It means we focus on healing, on furthering our own goals and (whether we know it or not) we prepare ourselves for union.
On some level, we’re spiritually aware at this stage and we know what’s coming. We know that our twin is taking their time to prepare themselves as well and we will be together again after this stage is done.
We surrender to the journey, the process and the path we’re on. Our vibration rises and we grow in various aspects. The energy shared between both mirror souls pushes each other to new heights.
Stage 11: Illumination
Once both twin flames enter the surrender stage and complete enough self-improvement to move onward you both enter a stage of vibrational alignment known as the illumination stage.
Your past wounds are open to each other and you hold a perfect mirror of each other’s love and imperfections. You are open and honest with each other and set your ego aside. No relationship can compete with this level of connection and trust.
At this stage, twin flames will stop running away from each other and start to move towards each other. Sometimes you might repel for short separation phases if you’re not quite ready but these will become shorter and less frequent as you prepare for the final stage.
Stage 12: Twin Flame Union
The final twin flame stage.
Once both of you have gone through this spiritual awakening and emerged on the other side as better versions of each other – you’re ready to come back together as one.
You’re both ready for complete surrender of the self and the one to become part of something greater.
Calling this the perfect relationship doesn’t do it justice. It is a loving harmony between two people but comparing twin flame union to a happy couple is like comparing a goldfish to a blue whale.
This is two halves of the same soul coming back together. A spiritually attuned connection of selfless love and an understanding beyond anything two other people can share.
Frustratingly, this stage is possibly the hardest to put into words. When you experience it, you just know this is the final stage and it’s forever.
The twin flame journey is not easy. It requires you to go through stages of pain and anguish that can feel like torture at times, but it’s worth the end result – union with your mirror soul.
The only way to survive these stages is by focusing on healing yourself and continuing down your spiritual path. No matter what stage you’re in now, I promise you it’s worth it.
Don’t become distracted in the short term. Focus on furthering your journey and once you reach union maybe you’ll be able to describe it better than I can.