It was only once I entered my thirties that I first heard about the necessity for many of us to experience at least one karmic relationship.
When I was a kid, like most kids, I thought you grow up, fall in love, and live happily ever after. Even though my parents divorced when I was very young, and my mother and stepfather fought violently throughout my entire childhood and well into my adulthood before my mom finally left.
No wonder I ended up married and divorced by 25.
Table of Contents
What Is a Karmic Relationship?
A karmic relationship is the classic, drama filled, highly turbulent roller coaster of a relationship that seems to never find its happy ending, regardless of how long people stay together.
In the spiritual world, karmic relationships are a necessary part of our human lives to learn the lessons we came here to learn and move into the space we came here to occupy.
Karmic relationships do not even have to be romantic. They can be between a parent and child, between siblings, between friends, and so on. We often think of them as romantic because those relationships are the most common topic of discussion in this realm, but they can truly be between any two people.
Think of all the adults you know, maybe you’re one of them, who have had to cut toxic family members out of their lives.
Think of that one “bad friend” so many of us have, the one always causing drama, using us, talking behind our backs.
Yes, those are karmic relationships.
Is a Karmic Relationship Good?
Is a karmic relationship good? Well, yes and no.
No, it’s not the kind of relationship you want to stick around for and try to work out. It will not work out.
A karmic relationship is by definition not meant to last long. Indeed, some people feel such intensity in their karmic relationship that they force it to last much longer than it actually should.
They are, instead, meant to be fleeting.
You fight. You tear each other apart. You yell and scream. Then you make up. You have a wonderful time together. You are at the heights of bliss.
And then you crash and burn and go around again.
No. It’s not good.
But… it is good for you.
You came here, into this human body, as your spirit self, for a purpose. You wanted to feel something find something, experience something you had never experienced before.
Your karmic relationship, or relationships in the plural, help you fulfill that purpose.
As Abraham Hicks says, you can’t know what you do want until you know what you don’t want.
Karmic relationships are a sort of contrast then, the bumps on the highway letting us know we have driven off the road.
With drugs, too much alcohol, even too much sugar, we overdose so that we understand the hangover, the awful feelings, the toxicity, and then we are supposed to learn not to do the drugs again, not to drink so much next time, not to mainline a one-pound bag of sour gummy worms again. (Just me?)
Karmic relationships are the same thing. We are supposed to see the red flags (so many red flags!) and then learn to walk away.
They are lessons for us that guide us toward who we want to be, and toward who we are actually meant to be with (hint: no red flags).
How Long Does a Karmic Relationship Last?
Again, you’re not supposed to be in a karmic relationship for decades, like my mother with my stepfather.
You’re supposed to learn from it and move on.
The thing is a karmic relationship can be super compelling. Perhaps it feels like the stars aligned. Perhaps being with him feels like the best drug in the world, until it doesn’t.
Or perhaps the person in your karmic relationship is a family member.
How do you end a relationship with your mother? Your father? Your baby brother?
It’s not easy.
But as soon as you realize you are in a karmic relationship, the best thing you can do is end it. Learn your lesson and move on.
In the case of a karmic relationship, learning your lesson means recognizing all those red flags, the things that are really bad for you.
How Do You Break a Karmic Relationship?
But he’s so addictive! Or she’s my mom! How do you break a passionate, intense, and even deeply, though toxically, loving karmic relationship?
Quickly, cleanly, and with no opportunity to return.
If you try to still be friends, if you try to leave yourself a window to crawl back through, you will.
You will. Every time.
I was in a karmic relationship after my divorce. It was as heady as a drug.
It was everything I read about in every romance novel, it was intense and high and deep and passionate and truly all consuming.
I was in way over my head.
Which is saying a lot for a woman proud of her self-control and iron will.
And just as often as it was high, it was low.
It really was like being hungover when we fought. I was playing out my parent’s relationship despite my best intentions.
I was my worst self – insecure, needy, clingy, suspicious, and so much more.
And that, in all my years before and all my years since, I have never been.
When I finally did realize I needed to break it off, about a year after it began, I was straight and clear: “Don’t call me. Don’t write to me. We cannot be friends. I never want to see you again.”
He honored my request, fortunately, against his own desires. He had wanted to remain friends at least.
Then, a few months later, when I tried to crawl back through that window, calling him up late one night to see if maybe we could be friends, he turned me down.
“No. You had your chance. I wanted to be friends, and you said no. Now I’m saying no.” He told me not unkindly.
And I’ll tell you what, that was the best thing that could have ever happened to me.
I say this now, 20 years later, in a strong marriage that has lasted 18 years, with two gorgeous and amazing little girls I get to mother.
I will also say that I needed that devastating karmic relationship in order to be ready to meet and fall in love with the man who would become my husband and the father of my children.
So, once you realize you’re in a karmic relationship, break it off, end it, make it clean, clear, and final.
10 Signs You’re in a Karmic Relationship
Now, how can you tell if you’re in a karmic relationship?
- Instant Connection
It feels magnetic, a pull, and you cannot ignore it. The instant connection is everything in both of you telling you that you need this.
The drama starts almost at once. Your relationship may have even begun in drama – adultery, a crime, etc. The fights, high passions, and cause for high emotions are instant signs of a karmic relationship.
- Red Flags
The red flags will be everywhere! Your radar will go off like “Beep! Beep! Beep!” You’ll ignore it, of course, justifying or explaining away the obvious signs that this is not a healthy relationship.
- No Peace
Together or apart, you can’t seem to find peace in a karmic relationship. Either you’re fighting, making love, arguing, or you’re worried about him, stressed about the partnership.
It never ends.
- Frustration and Exhaustion
You find yourself frequently frustrated to the point of exhaustion in your relationship. You can’t seem to get through to him, or he can’t seem to reach you.
You feel like you just don’t know what to do.
- Addicted to Love
And yet you’re addicted. You may hear yourself saying “but I love him.” Or “but she’s my mom.” You are compelled by a darker emotion to stay. Like a drug.
- Repetitive Cycles
And after a while, you will notice the cycle repeating itself. Fight, make up, feel so high together, come down, fight, make up, and so on.
Once you notice the cycle playing itself out, it is time to leave. Often if you don’t leave, things can get so out of control that someone can get seriously hurt.
You become codependent on each other. One of you needs the other to be needy. It becomes a sick, toxic, caretaking kind of relationship. You forget who you are, and you only imagine yourselves together.
Miscommunication and misunderstanding are hallmarks of a karmic relationship. You just can’t seem to see eye to eye on anything except your addiction to each other.
- Your Worst Self
Finally, you are your worst self in this relationship. You want to be a better person, but you find he just brings out your darkest side.
The best thing to remember if you’re in the throes of a karmic relationship and trying to get out, is that there is life after breakups.
You will find that person who makes your heart feel calm and steady, the person who brings out the best in you, the person who speaks your love language, not your addict language.
And, you know what? You deserve to be your best self, and you deserve that true love.
You can do this.