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.
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.”
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.*
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.