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A life partner refers to a friend or lover who is a consistently positive presence in one's life. A life partner is there to offer friendship, love, and support. Relationships with them may be platonic or romantic. At the core of the partnership is mutual love, respect, and support.
A life partner is different from a soul mate. While a life partner can be relied on for one's intellectual, emotional, and even physical needs – potentially for the rest of one's life – a soul mate is only around at crucial points of life. A soul mate is someone who provides the needed push in order for a person to achieve higher levels of awareness and personal growth. They are aligned to one's soul, but only stick around during brief windows of a person's life.