What is a Karmic Relationship? Signs & Impact

Is a karmic relationship healthy?
on February 12, 2024
Read time: 15 mins
by Moraya Seeger DeGeare

Love can be a rollercoaster, but it’s important to know when to get off the ride. 

Karmic relationships are defined by their intensity, with passion and pain in equal measure. With such an intense and passionate connection, it’s easy to be blind to the inevitable red flags that come along with it. 

Karmic relationships are designed to come into your life for a season or a reason — but not a lifetime. Even though you may not have found your soulmate, the life lessons you learn from a karmic connection may bring you one step closer to that happy ending you deserve. 

Therefore, it’s important to know how to spot signs of a karmic relationship, and how to let go of such an impactful connection. 

Key Takeaways
  • Karmic relationships are rooted in Eastern spiritual beliefs and are characterized by their intense emotional and passionate nature. These connections are believed to stem from karma and past lives, designed to address unresolved issues or impart life lessons.
  • These relationships are marked by passion, emotional volatility, and a series of highs and lows, often leading to a cycle of drama and breakups. Despite the initial magnetic attraction, karmic relationships are not meant to last, serving instead as a catalyst for personal growth and self-discovery.
  • Although challenging, karmic relationships play a significant role in personal development. They teach valuable lessons about love, self-worth, and the importance of resolving past issues. This growth can pave the way for healthier relationships in the future.
  • Love between karmic partners can be deep and genuine, yet fraught with challenges. These relationships are a journey of overcoming obstacles and evolving together, often requiring significant emotional and spiritual work.
  • Identifying a karmic relationship involves recognizing signs such as intense connection, repetitive patterns, and emotional triggers. Ending such a relationship requires self-reflection, honest communication, setting boundaries, seeking support, and embracing the healing process.

What is a karmic relationship? 

The concept of a karmic relationship is not a scientific or heavily researched term, so there are many different definitions of this type of romantic relationship. 

A karmic relationship is derived from Eastern spiritual beliefs, particularly from Hinduism, Buddhism, and certain New Age philosophies. 

"Significant terms can often become whitewashed and lose their deeper meaning as they gain popularity in Western and pop culture,” says Seeger DeGeare. 

“It's important to keep this in mind as we discuss the concept of the karmic relationship. This deeply connected relationship is based on a connection to a higher energy source. If you're thinking of casually using the word Karma, you might want to consider using the words luck, fate, or destiny instead. In this article, the word Karma refers to the significance of this connection, keeping in mind the cultural origin.”

What is a karmic connection? 

A karmic connection refers to a deep bond between two people that is believed to be rooted in the karma from past lives.

The idea of karma is well known in popular culture, with this law of cause and effect suggesting that our actions have consequences that come back to us — in this life or the next. Therefore, a karmic relationship is a special connection between two individuals, where two people are brought together by the force of karma to deal with unresolved issues from the past. 

While this theory connects karmic relationships to your past life, others simply see this karmic connection as the foundation of a toxic relationship. In this case, a karmic bond is full of highs and lows — defined by red flags and a lot of drama. 

Although the origins of karmic relationships or connections differ, they’re generally defined by their passion and emotional volatility. Even though there is an intense connection, these relationships are not destined to last — with this rollercoaster of emotions inevitably leading to breakups and drama. 

How does a karmic relationship work? 

Even though a karmic relationship may start with an instant connection, they don’t lead to a healthy or sustainable partnership.

However, since there is such a rush, it can be hard to know you’re in a karmic relationship until you’re already in too deep. Due to the magnitude of your magnetic connection, even though it’s complicated, you can’t help but be drawn in. 

In this way, the relationship feels addictive, with studies showcasing that these obsessive-compulsive behaviors can mimic love. Research connects this addictive toxicity with the reward circuit of the brain — so even though it’s bad, it feels good. 

Since you feel like you’ve found your soulmate, justification comes from believing that destiny has brought you together. Therefore, this makes it very difficult to see your partner’s flaws — even if it’s damaging your mental health and well-being. 

Despite all of these traumas, the idea is that karmic relationships have a greater agenda, working to grant you important lessons that you can carry into all aspects of your life. With these experiences, you can identify and avoid toxic relationships later on.

Do karmic partners love each other? 

The nature of love between karmic partners can be complex and multifaceted, reflecting both deep affection and significant challenges. 

While karmic partners can indeed love each other, the path of their love might be more complex and challenging than in relationships not viewed through the lens of karma. It's a journey of navigating intense connections, overcoming difficulties, and evolving together that defines the love between karmic partners.

Karmic relationship vs twin flame 

Karmic relationships and twin flame relationships are both driven by spiritual concepts but represent different types of connections. 

Twin flame theory aligns with the concept of soulmates, believing that everyone has another half — you just need to go find them. Similar to the karmic connection, this also plays into the concept of destiny. In this case, this theory believes that one soul was split in two and the twin flames need to reunite to become whole again. 

Although there are some similarities, they have very different endings or end goals. While twin flames aim to achieve a sense of oneness, karmic relationships naturally dissolve after the resolution of past karma.  

Therefore, although both are defined by an intense and profound connection, twin flames believe in a happy ending across lifetimes — karmic relationships do not. 

Are karmic relationships soulmates? 

Twin flame theory aligns with the concept of soulmates, but karmic relationships do not have this same affinity. 

However, there are some aspects of a soulmate connection in a karmic relationship. Even though defined by intensity and conflict, there can be a connection beneath all the drama that gives the relationship a level of depth. 

Even though this soulmate relationship may be present, it’s naturally overridden by the natural volatility of the karmic connection.

How do you know if you are in a karmic relationship?

Due to the rollercoaster nature of karmic relationships, it can be easy to overlook the red flags in favor of a strong connection. 

There are several common signs to look out for to help you identify and overcome the nature of a karmic relationship. 

Signs of a karmic relationship

Intensity: The kind of relationship is defined by its intensity. Full of passion and pain in equal measure, it’s easy to get caught up in the intense nature of the connection — often to your own detriment.
Repetitive patterns: Karmic relationships are cyclical in nature, with the same rollercoaster of emotions on a loop. Just as you think you’ve overcome your issues, they come back to bite you again.
Constant triggers: As part of this rollercoaster, there are constant triggers that set you back. These triggers stem from miscommunication and insecurities, with your self-worth knocked at every turn.
Jealousy: Due to the magnetic nature of the connection, jealousy can lead to possessiveness and co-dependency. Even though a little jealousy can showcase how much your partner cares about you, a co-dependent relationship leaves no room for mistakes — leading to conflict without resolution.
Temporary nature: Even though it may seem like you’ve found your soulmates, these relationships come into your life for a definite reason — not a lifetime commitment. Due to their toxic nature, they likely won’t last, even if part of you wants them to.
Karmic lesson: While it may be toxic, this type of relationship always comes back to personal growth. Even though an unhealthy relationship is not exactly desirable, life lessons can make the sting a little easier to bear.

Impact of being in a karmic relationship 

By design, karmic relationships can have a profound impact on your life. 

Due to their addictive nature, and how they make you feel, these relationships are not easy to shake. 

Karmic relationships spark intense emotions, such as anger, frustration, and sadness. But they also trigger feelings of great passion and love, with such a constant contrast feeling incredibly overwhelming and confusing.

Are karmic relationships meant to last? 

Karmic relationships are not usually destined to last, as their volatility and unpredictability usually trigger the end of the relationship. No matter how long the relationship lasted, the intensity of emotions contributes to the longer-term impact on your life. 

When this kind of relationship breaks up, it can feel like the end of the world — with the final hit of intense emotions almost taking you out in the process. However, this can prompt deep self-reflection and introspection, with closure bringing clarity. 

This opens up an avenue for personal growth and healing, from the wounds inflicted from the relationship itself, as well as any unresolved wounds or traumas from your past. In this way, the relationship acts as a catalyst for facing emotional burdens — allowing you to break old patterns and move forward as a changed person. 

Although it may seem like you’re simply justifying the relationship by looking for positives or lessons, these relationships really can help to deepen one’s understanding of human relationships and what you want (and deserve) from love. 

Are karmic relationships abusive? 

By their nature, karmic relationships are intense and challenging, but they should not be inherently abusive. 

Abusive behavior in any relationship is not acceptable and should never be excused by a spiritual concept, including a karmic relationship. 

There are many different forms of abuse in relationships, all of which involve one person exerting power and control over another. While karmic relationships involve repetitive patterns and unresolved issues from the past, this should not be equated with abusive behavior. 

If you find yourself in a relationship where you feel unsafe, manipulated, controlled, or abused, it’s crucial to prioritize your own well-being and seek help from a licensed professional.*

How to end a karmic relationship

No matter the love you may share, it’s important to know when to leave a relationship. 

With a karmic relationship, their intense nature usually allows them to come to a natural end. However, despite their challenges, ending any relationship with someone you love (even if it’s in your best interest) is tough. 

Letting go of someone you care about is never easy, so here are a few tips to guide you in the process. 

  1. Self-reflection: When you’re in the depths of a relationship, it can be hard to see the other side. Take some time for self-reflection to understand your own feelings and intentions.

  2. Honest communication: If you feel safe to do so, have an open and honest conversation with your partner about your feelings and the reasons why you believe it’s best to end the relationship.

  3. Boundaries: At all points of a relationship, boundaries are essential — even at the end. Make sure to put healthy boundaries in place to protect yourself during the transition. Depending on your circumstances this may involve cutting off all contact, or you could agree on what communication you think is acceptable or respectable moving forward.

  4. Seek support: The end of a karmic relationship can be incredibly difficult and debilitating. Lean on your trusted friends and loved ones for support, or if you need it, reach out to a mental health professional or therapist to help you through it.

  5. Embrace healing: Time is the best healer. With the virtue of time and space, it’s easier to heal and embrace the life lessons that you’ve learned along the way.

*National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233

National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline: 800-656-HOPE (4673)

If you are in immediate danger, call 911 and ask for the police.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the purpose of a karmic relationship?

    The purpose of a karmic relationship, according to spiritual beliefs and theories, is to provide individuals with opportunities for personal growth, to heal from unresolved issues, and to take these learnings into the future. Even though these relationships are intense, their significance never fades, with their healing and transformative powers often seen as worthy of greater purpose.
  • Can a relationship with a karmic partner work?

    By definition, karmic relationships are transitory and transformative experiences — not designed to last a lifetime. However, if both individuals are willing to work together to address the challenges of the relationship and learn from this experience — things could be different. If there is open communication, this kind of karmic relationship could defy the odds. If this doesn’t happen, it’s best to know when to let go.
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