According to Bullard, what makes a soulmate connection is the fact that you’re able to move beyond the issues that get triggered in the relationship by choosing love instead.

As Bullard previously told mbg, conscious couples value growth because they know this is the secret to keeping a relationship alive. “Even though growth is scary (because it takes us into the unknown), the couple is willing to strive towards expansion,” she explains. “Because of this, the relationship maintains a natural feeling of aliveness, and love between the couple does, too.”

So, if you find you’re in a stage with your soulmate where you’re frequently triggering each other, don’t be afraid to lean into it. Get curious, and you’ll start to unpack (and unlearn) the very things that keep causing issues in your relationship.

“I encourage you to be very honest with yourself about your triggers and how you react to them,” suggests psychology expert Margaret Paul, Ph.D., in her breakdown of emotional triggers. “Even if this approach feels harsh initially,” she adds, “it will help you learn to be more compassionate with yourself. Thinking honestly about your triggers is the only way to eventually heal them.”

Similarly, Bullard writes, willingness to look at your past and current issues within a relationship—and face those underlying belief systems—is the path to a new relationship reality. “Dysfunctional patterns will dissolve,” she explains, “but only when we take responsibility for them, first.”

None of this is to say that we should remain in turbulent or unhappy relationships indefinitely, by the way; to the contrary, the point is that we either heal the relationship and move toward healthier ways of relating to each other, or we take the lessons we were meant to learn and walk away from the relationship stronger and wiser.

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