As someone who experiences both, being a soulbonder isn’t at all like being kin. Soulbonding and fictionkin only have one thing in common, and that is both are a type of connection to a fictional character. The type of connection is completely different.
Being fictionkin is all about your own identity. Its about fleeting memories, and nostalgia. Its about missing people you might never see again, and feeling guilty for things done, or things left undone. Being kin can be a wonderful experience sometimes, but its ultimately wistful, nostalgic, and lonely.
Soulbonding, by contrasts, is about interacting with people outside yourself. Its about sharing conversation with people from radically different experiences and backgrounds. Its about making new friends, and (if you’re kin) getting in touch with old ones. Its about never being lonely in your own mind. Its about sharing intimate thoughts and memories, and receiving support in the things you do, even when no one is physically there.
Being kin is something that gnaws on the dark parts of my mind and keeps me awake at night but my soulbonds have gotten me through many dark parts of my life when I had little other support.
Its an amazing experience to suddenly realize someone else is ‘there’ with you in your mind, someone you’ve admired or been interested in getting to know, and now you can. Its always fun/funny to see a new bond getting oriented in this world and figuring out how its different from their own world. Not to mention seeing how they interact with you and your other bonds.
And its wonderful, absolutely wonderful, to have someone there when you need them, even with just a few kind words. And many of the bonds that I’ve had have such different life experiences, its interesting to see the kinds of advice they come up with when I have a problem. Villainous bonds can honestly be some of the most comforting and entertaining, because in my experience when they’re attached to you, they’re attached. And there’s something really satisfying about someone who very genuinely offers to burn down the houses of your enemies (even if you can’t let them)