Soul mates have been with each other from lifetime to lifetime and cycle through many different roles with each other. They are brought together to complete something left undone in a past life. Often there is a spiritual lesson involved.
Some soul mates are difficult for us because we need to clean up our karma with them. Not every soul mate brings peace and love. Nevertheless, you will always recognize your soul mate. Sometimes you can be in different locations on the planet and may not encounter them. When you meet them you will know!
Twin flames are actually the same person’s soul split off into two bodies. This configuration is much rarer than the already rare soul mate. They share many of the traits of soulmates, such as finishing each other’s sentences, thinking the same thing at the same time, and sharing many uncanny characteristics.
Sometimes twin flames can even be born at different times but still be twin flames. That even throws more complexity into the mix. For example, I know a twin soul that recently incarnated as a baby in California. Her counterpart will be born in Texas in a few months. Many things account for this and they are beyond our human comprehension.