One of the key things you need to do to further your twin flame journey is to understand (and be able to spot) a false twin flame. Getting this wrong can cause you to waste time away from your true twin flame path and cause you (both) a lot of pain, and it’s not as easy as you might think.

We’ll look at the difference, how to spot a false flame and what you should do if you find yourself in a relationship with one.

Before we get too far into the details, however, you must keep one thing in mind. A false twin flame isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Not in the long term.

A relationship can certainly cause you both pain in the short term (and you need to remove yourself from that relationship), but it’s commonly part of your true journey and something many of us will go through.

karmic twin flame

False twin flames usually arrive when they feel you need to learn something. It’ll be a subconscious drive on their part. They don’t (usually) mean anything intentionally bad or have ill intent towards you, but the sooner you can spot the signs – the better.

So. First thing first.

What IS a False Twin Flame?

A false flame relationship is divided into two parts. The empathic, spiritually awakened one commonly known as the twin flame victim (likely yourself if you’re reading this) and the false narcissist flame.

The arrival of a false twin flame is not luck, chance or karma. They show up when both of your energies are calling out to each other because you’re not yet ready to find your real twin flame. Or, sometimes, you have found them but are yet ready to take that next step. It is going to be an emotionally painful experience, but both of you will be better off afterward.

If you take nothing else away from reading this, remember a false flame serves a purpose. They’re here for a reason, and while it will hurt in the short term, there is a reason for all of this.

So what is it?

A false twin flame goes by a lot of different names. You might have heard counterfeit twin flame, narcissist twin or toxic twin flame (although the connection isn’t exactly toxic… we’ll get to that). A false flame is a catalyst soulmate who appears immediately before a connection with your true twin flame.

This catalyst is an important step, and while not everybody on the journey will have one, most of us seem to. Anyone on a twin flame journey has already (relatively) ascended to have reached this stage, but it’s still easy to mistake a false twin flame for their true twin.

This is often unavoidable, but it’s a necessary part of the journey.

Our twin flame story archive is full of people who spent far too long in toxic relationships because they believed it was part of their twin flame journey. I’ve seen (more than one) example of narcissistic people using their claimed ‘twin flame connection’ to keep someone in a relationship that really wasn’t healthy for either of them.

false twin flame

I’ve seen false twin flames referred to as ‘the karmic attachment from hell’ and this pretty much sums it up. I’ve spoken about the differences between twin flames and karmic partners (people you vibe with).

At first, a false twin flame can appear as someone you get along with extremely well. If it’s your first time experiencing this, it’s incredibly easy to mistake it for twin flame soul shock, and it’s very much NOT your fault. Finding yourself in a relationship with a false flame is incredibly common.

Both people are going to feel the shock of this connection. At first, it can very much feel like the real thing. The difference is what happens after that initial meeting. Fairly quickly, the false flame will begin to be an energy vampire. They’ll emotionally feed on the empath by manipulating them. The empath (or victim) will usually respond to this the only way they know – by becoming increasingly dependent on this false flame.

They tend to throw themselves further into the relationship, leading to deeper pain later on. This is not something that is your fault. It’s entirely normal, and a response the false flame is subconsciously counting on.

All you want is to love and be loved. On a conscious level, you won’t understand what doesn’t feel right or why. The victim usually blames themselves and starts to feel like they’re doing something wrong.

This is why it’s so important to learn to spot the signs and get out of these relationships as quickly as possible.

It can be tough to spot, especially from inside a relationship already. If you’re willing to tell me the details of your journey so far, then I can help work with you on a custom twin flame reading.

I’ve been doing this for a long, long time and avoiding false flames is always my first step while trying to further someone on their spiritual path.

twin flames already married

Do You Have Multiple False Twin Flames?

Again, this is one of those questions where the answer depends. It depends on how you react to the first one and what stage you were in when you met them. Some of us may have just one false flame, and that’s enough of a catalyst to spur us onward. Sometimes, there can be aspects of healing you require from multiple meetings.

I don’t want anyone to compare their journey to others, so I don’t want to share the statistics I see. I will say you absolutely shouldn’t worry if you (or your twin) are dealing with a false twin or even multiple. It’s all part of the journey – and an important one.

Are Twin Flames Toxic? Are They ‘Bad’?

I’ll be honest: I don’t like the term false flame for exactly this reason.

Certain aspects of this connection are not… great. On some level, both you and the false flame know this isn’t right for either of you, and that can manifest in many different ways. A relationship with a counterfeit flame can become unhealthy by traditional 3D standards.

Certainly, at times, these relationships can be loving, but while they’re no substitute for your mirror soul, these connections still serve a purpose in helping you toward union. They don’t have the same unconditional love that you’ll experience with true twin flames, but they are a step towards that.

The quicker we can move past them, the quicker we can further our journey, but we must remember they are here for a purpose.

Remember that a false flame is still a person. They’re not trying to hurt anyone. They might even be on their own twin flame journey this lifetime, which is a stepping stone in their healing process.

Are You With a False Twin Flame?

Step 1 of 3

  • Tell me about your journey so far. This will be used to put together a twin flame reading to help steer your path but won't be shared or published.

  • Your Details

  • MM slash DD slash YYYY
  • (This is where we'll send your reading. Just make sure you agree to our privacy policy).

False Twin Flame vs Real Twin Flame Connections

Every journey is different, and it can sometimes be tough to tell the difference – especially the first time. However, there are some things you can do and signs you can look out for to spot the difference.

If I had to narrow it down to just one main thing you had to look out for – it would be this.

Your true twin flame will build you up and help you both grow together. Your false twin flame will harm you both in ways you can’t always see at first.

Unsurprisingly, in the twin flame journey (where things are rarely straightforward), there isn’t a top 10 list you’re guaranteed to see, but there are certain things you can look out for.

Past Issues Arising

While progressing with your twin flame will often involve dealing with past karma, a false twin flame will drag up past issues that you’ve already dealt with.

It might start as a subconscious attempt to help you heal and improve in an area, but false flames have a habit of creating a loop. A vicious cycle that becomes harder and harder to escape over time.

If someone keeps dragging up an issue you know in your heart has been addressed, it’s a common sign they are a false flame.

false twin flame

A Selfish Tint

A false twin flame will teach you how to help yourself. A true twin flame will teach you how to help others. There’s an important distinction there.

The twin flame journey will force you both to improve and be the best versions of yourself, but a false twin flame comes with a vicious edge. It can be incredibly hard to spot this one in yourself, but if you find yourself being there for others less or having selfish thoughts more often – it might be a sign you’re dealing with a false twin flame.

When you’re ready to help yourself and others, a real twin flame will arrive. They’ll push you to be the best version of yourself while you do the same for others around you.

Commitment Issues

A real twin flame bond only gets stronger over time (even when you go through a period of separation), but a false twin flame is more of a fair-weather friend.

They’ll tend to leave when challenges arise. While a twin flame will make you feel protected and safe, a false twin will not only leave you to walk the spiritual path alone – they’ll leave you alone anytime it suits them.

A false flame will find all sorts of excuses to avoid any commitment unless it’s lopsided and entirely suits them. Often, they’ll try and blame you for the lack of commitment.

Remember that there’s a big difference between a separation phase with a real twin flame and the commitment issues of a false one. A false twin flame will never seek to completely separate from you unless they know for certain that you’re not going anywhere.

They’ll often use excuses that center around them, like “I need to focus on my work” or “I can’t be tied down right now”. They might even tell you that you are the problem.

Constant Anxiety

While a real twin flame will make you feel at ease and relaxed, a false twin flame will do the exact opposite. They’ll sew the seeds of doubt and uncertainty constantly, and you’ll never quite feel sure about where you stand.

Consciously, it can be very hard to spot a false twin flame, but our subconscious knows exactly what you’re dealing with. It will be screaming at you to get away, and a rising feeling of anxiety is a common manifestation of this.

It’s completely normal to experience doubt and uncertainty during some stages, but if it becomes a constant pattern, you’re likely dealing with some form of false twin.

fake twin flame

No Deeper Connection

False twin flames connection is entirely limited to the physical dimensions. While your true twin flame might physically separate from you, that connection is always there, and you’re constantly communicating.

With a false twin flame, that communication isn’t there. Your soul won’t feel connected to them and it will try and let you know.

When your soul feels connected to your real twin flame elsewhere, it knows something is wrong. This is going to manifest as a feeling that something isn’t quite right. Something will feel missing or out of place with them.

With a real twin flame, you know you’re still connected even when you’re separated. You feel that level of bond that is hard to explain to someone who hasn’t yet experienced it. Your soul won’t be crying out for someone else because you’ll know.

Energy Drain

Perhaps one of the easiest signs to spot is the energy drain from a false twin flame.

Thinking about them (let alone spending time with them) can quickly become draining. Twin flames elevate each other; they share energy throughout their bond, and that comes with a positive energy shift. A real twin flame will never take energy from you.

A false twin, on the other hand, will drain you. They might leave you feeling tired or unwell, and while they might not be doing this consciously or intentionally, they’ll continue doing it more and more. A false twin will feed on your energy and use it to forward their own goals.

Remember, the longer you stay with a false twin flame, the harder it can be to escape. False flames do serve a purpose on your journey, but this is not a connection you want to draw out, and the sooner you can get away from a false flame, the sooner you can reach union with your true twin flame.

False Flame Numerology – A Warning

There’s a common theory I hear a lot online:

A common numerology pattern can be a powerful one to look out for. This type of karmic link will commonly involve numbers 8 and 11. Both of these numbers refer to karmic wounds and past healing (a common trait with this kind of encounter).

While I can understand the logic here, I must caution that both numbers are a common sign in a real twin flame connection for much the same reason. Used in conjunction with the other signs we’ve already looked at, numerology can help, but I would strongly advise against using just these numbers alone.

If you look for twin flame numbers for guidance on your journey in general, you allow them the freedom to help push both of you toward union.

karmic twin flame

Getting a False Twin Flame Reading

I say this constantly. Every single twin flame journey is going to be different. Every. Single. One.

We put a lot of time and effort into compiling as much information as possible here, but it’s hard to account for all the variations our readers might be experiencing. Getting a reading with either myself or someone local can really drill into the details and help you figure things out. This isn’t always required, but if you’re ever in doubt, it can be worthwhile getting a personal reading to make sure you’re on the right path.

Nobody (including myself) can truly see into your relationship, but sometimes we can hold up a mirror that helps you see the truth for yourself.

False Twin Flame Synchronicities

One of the main signs of a real twin flame connection is the synchronicities you see together. We’ll not get into that again here, but it’s important to keep an eye out for similar ones with a false flame. You’ll also notice some very specific ones you’re far less likely to get with your real twin.

  1. You’re likely to feel stuck in a rut with your spiritual growth.
  2. Your intuition might be telling you something is off and this usually results in feeling awkward and uncomfortable in conversation sometimes.
  3. If you try and take charge you might find yourself manipulated or threatened. This can be hard to spot from the inside, however, and is tricky to notice unless it’s within someone else’s relationship.
  4. You’ll never really feel stable in a false flame relationship.

False Twin Flame Telepathy

I’ve already covered twin flame telepathy, but one of the synchronicities people don’t always expect is telepathy here.

Remembering that these energy vampires are led by their subconscious desires, it’s hardly surprising that it spreads through telepathy as well. Rather than the positive benefits you get with a true flame, however, this only leads to further manipulation, deceit and negative energies heading in your direction.

This is one of the reasons why they can do so much damage to us. Moreso than any normal manipulative person – they subconsciously get access to your thoughts and feelings that they shouldn’t have. They know exactly what buttons to push to cause the most harm.

Breaking Up with a False Twin Flame

Breakups are intense at the best of times with any relationship. Once you’ve established this is not the right person, I prefer the term counterfeit or dark twin flame. You know what’s going on – and it’s time to get out of there.

Breakups are going to vary from person to person. The counterfeit flame will know subconsciously that the breakup is the right thing to do, but they’re unlikely to be able to process that feeling. Sometimes – you’ll get lucky. You’ll both go your separate ways and be better off for it in the long run.

Other times, the break-up can be explosive. The dark twin flame will likely magnify their attempts at getting you to remain in the toxic relationship. In some cases, they’ll try to change their ways into making you think you’re throwing away your real twin flame journey. However, it becomes easier to keep your resolve once you study the signs and differences between a real flame connection and a fake one. You know what has to happen at that point.

There is one common trend between this kind of breakup – the immense wave of relief both sides will usually feel afterward.

Is Letting Go of a False Twin Flame Easy?

We’ve talked about what happens when your twin flame is married, and if you’ve gone through this (whether it’s you or your twin), you’ll know there’s generally no easy here.

Usually, I’d say that it seems difficult to let go of a false flame because there’s still something to be learned there. Still, some work needs to be done or some healing to be completed.

Sometimes, you’ll see things like obvious emotional manipulation from the false twin flame in an attempt to keep them when the work is not yet done. Sometimes, this itself can be enough of a trigger to spur you onwards.

Once the veil has been lifted and you can see the truth of the connection, letting go becomes a lot easier. Resolves grow stronger, and both you and the false twin will move on better for the time you spent together.

Often, you’ll both move on feeling lighter and move toward your true twin flame.

Stages of a False Twin Flame Connection

Your journey through a relationship with a false twin flame often follows discernible stages. Knowing these stages helps you navigate the complexities of such a connection.

Initial Meeting and Attraction

In the Initial Meeting and Attraction stage, you experience an instant connection with your partner that feels magnetic and destined.

This is often mistaken for the honeymoon phase (one of the earlier twin flame stages), where the attraction is intense, and you may feel as if you’ve found “the one.”

Intense Bonding and Turmoil

Following the initial euphoria, the Intense Bonding and Turmoil stage emerges. Here, the relationship intensifies quickly, fostering a deep emotional bond. It’s common to experience a mix of passionate commitment and equally intensive conflict, which can lead to emotional distress and anxiety.

Disillusionment and Awakening

You then enter the Disillusionment and Awakening stage, characterized by growing doubt and discomfort.

You may begin to notice toxic patterns and a one-sided nature in the relationship. This is a pivotal moment that often leads to a spiritual or personal awakening, causing you to question the true nature of your connection.

Separation and Self-Reflection

Finally, the Separation and Self-Reflection stage is marked by either a physical or emotional breakup. This is a phase of setting boundaries and dealing with denial.

It’s a period for deep self-reflection, understanding your own needs, and recognizing that this relationship may have served as a mirror but ultimately is not aligned with your true path.

Emotional and Spiritual Impact

false flame

Encountering a false twin flame can lead to significant emotional upheaval, challenging your perceptions of spirituality and connection.

You must understand the personal growth, potential traumatic experiences, and the eventual healing accompanying such relationships.

Growth and Trauma

Your journey through a false twin flame relationship often results in a dual-edged sword of growth and trauma. You may experience spiritual growth as you navigate the deep soul connection you feel. Still, the presence of red flags, such as jealousymanipulation, or even abusive behavior, can correspondingly cause past trauma to resurface.

Awareness of these patterns helps in recognizing the unhealthy dynamics at play.

Healing and Recovery

Post traumatic experiences with a false twin flame, healing becomes a pivotal part of your journey. 

Support systems and personal strength are fundamental as you recover from manipulative tactics that might have led to self-doubt or a weakened sense of self. Aligning with your gut feeling to leave an unhealthy situation marks the beginning of recovery.

Lessons Learned from False Twin Flames

Every encounter with a false twin flame bears lessons to be learned. Identifying the wounds and understanding your own role within the dynamics sharpen your insight into personal weaknesses and strengths.

This often culminates in a spiritual awakening, where you come to terms with the necessity of these painful experiences for your long-term awareness and growth.


After struggling with my own twin flame journey for many years I became (I'll say it) almost obsessed with the twin flame journey and this path of self-discovery and improvement.

Now after sharing the stories of thousands of people going through their own journey I want to share my own thoughts and the patterns I see on twin flames.

I'm wary of speaking in absolutes on a subject like this. There's too much that any of us will really ever *know* (at least in this lifetime) so my opinions are based on my experience and the experience of those I speak to and who share their stories with me.

There are no two journeys that are ever going to be entirely alike but when you see enough of them, you do see definite patterns emerge.

View all posts


  • Hi

    Why won’t my false twin just go away now that I have met my real one. I know the difference between the two by the way. Why can’t he just go away now his job is done?

  • Hi. I would like to pose two questions. Firstly, do false twin flames come back? And secondly, do they ever understand how much pain they leave behind? Do they ever regret for the way they treat people? Why so much ego? Thank you in advance.

    • I ask myself the same thing as I today come to terms of letting go
      of my dark twin. When I finally made the decision sometime between 3-5 am I felt an unexpected peace.

    • Narcissistic flame here. I can’t speak for all, but I’ve accepted the pain I have caused, and it hurts very much. I’ve accepted how awful I can be at my worst–I didn’t intend to cause pain, and yet my own selfishness and ego led to that outcome, consistently.

      Having progressed somewhat, I actually succeed in bringing my dependent/empath flame some happiness–when I have the humility to apologize every time I cause harm, to process my shadow side, and to take advice. It’s a sacrifice. Reading this article makes me think I will always need that kind of humility in my interactions with her, no matter how close or distant she wants those interactions to be.

      For her part, my dependent/empath flame seems to produce growth in both of us when she speaks boldly, stands up for herself, and takes charge of her own needs. Learning to care for herself in spite of me. Holding her boundaries.

Twin Flame Reading Session