What Exactly Is A ‘Twin Flame’ – & How Can It Be Toxic?
Seen the new Netflix doc yet?
The very concept of finding true love has been hijacked by coercive control, financial abuse, and isolation, and is the subject of a new Netflix documentary – Escaping Twin Flames.
The three-part series details the experiences of multiple women who were members of the Twin Flames Universe (TFU), an online group who promise to help you find your soulmate, through engagement with a series of extortionate classes, manipulation, and sometimes even criminal actions.
The group is run by husband and wife Jeff and Shaleia, who have built a multi-million dollar business out of the concept. Sign up to the group, give them your money, take their advice, and you’ll soon be living the life you’ve always wanted alongside your soulmate – a person you may never have met before, or one who actively doesn’t want to be with you.
In the docu-series, women who have since left the group speak of being encouraged to form relationships with strangers, or “creepy” men much older than them.
One former member tells of having a restraining order filed against her by an ex because she was told he was her Twin Flame, and that they had to be together. Another recalls being told by Jeff that she had to have sex with her partner every single day to satisfy him, such was the Twin Flame experience.
The group (which has always denied being a cult) still exists today, and is actively recruiting new members. Jeff, like many cult leaders, still maintains that he is a reincarnation of Jesus, that he can “heal” his followers, and that they should continue to spend more money with TFU to continuously “level up.”
So, apart from all of the above, why is the idea of having a Twin Flame potentially toxic?
The idea of ‘soulmates’ has existed for centuries, but the concept of Twin Flames was popularised in the 1990s. Rather than simply representing true love and ‘The One’, it promises that one other person is your person, the individual you are supposed to be with no matter what.
The supposed spiritual and cosmic aligning of Twin Flames negates any causes for concern around abusive relationships, financial issues, criminal actions, or simply just not liking the person you’re dating. If someone is your Twin Flame, you’ll stay with them forever – even if the relationship is unhealthy, or even dangerous.
The other concern around the concept of soulmates in general is the ease in which people can be become obsessed with one person they believe to be ‘theirs’, especially when this feeling is not reciprocated.
Romantic relationships should be mutually beneficial, and each person should feel safe in that relationship. What’s more is that a relationship should be a welcome addition to a person’s life, not a necessary component that without, a person cannot feel whole.
Finding love is difficult enough without the added pressure of believing that there’s one person out there for you, and that the only reason you can’t be with them, is that you’re not trying hard enough.
Or, spending enough money.