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Wine, roses, and compatibility may come to mind when you think of signs of a karmic relationship. A better description would be what we observed in the Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard trial or witnessed long ago with Madonna and Sean Penn.
Karmic relationships start off magically but quickly develop into high-octane connections that burn themselves out with their own vigor and fury. Think Pam Anderson and Tommy Lee or Rihanna and Chris Brown.
These pop-culture karmic relationships demonstrate the passion and volatility that can manifest. Interestingly enough, not all karmic relationships must crumble and end.
There is hope to create a balanced, healthy, even-keel relationship that can last. However, it takes a herculean effort from both people, and success is not guaranteed even then. This rarely happens.
In this article, I’ll explain what a karmic connection is, how it develops in stages, how it’s different than a “twin flame” or “soulmate” relationship, signs to know you’re in a karmic situation, and what to do when it becomes toxic. Now, let’s see what karma awaits.
What is a Karmic Relationship?
A karmic relationship is an immediate, fiery, and profoundly passionate connection with another individual where neither seems to have the strength to let go or back away.
In the beginning, it may seem euphoric. Eventually, karmic relationships turn turbulent, distressing, and detrimental to the point of touching the lives of everyone interconnected.
Ancient Eastern thought teaches that when two people experience a karmic engagement, it is carried over from unresolved concerns in a past life. Karma is predestined before birth to work out and balance energies through these lessons so that the soul can evolve, grow, and move on.
A key aspect is that karmic relationships aren’t just for lovers. You can have one with your parents, children, friends, co-workers, or anyone. Things to look for are how you are instantly bonded and irresistibly drawn to one another despite the toxicity.
The karmic relationship is meant to expand your horizons, change your perspectives, or guide you toward your greater purpose. It is all about learning and growing.
There are at least four stages of a karmic connection. See if you recognize any of them.
As the name implies, this is the initial stage where an overwhelming attraction brings two people together. It’s where you get that feeling that you already know the other person, that you’re cut from the same cloth, or something about them mesmerizes you. It is that “click” moment when you know you are hooked.
Power Struggle Stage
It is normal for human beings to develop expectations for all relationships, but with a karmic partner, a battle ensues for control. As each individual tries to shape and identify their role in the relationship, misunderstandings, and hardened expectations can create tension. It’s important to stay open-minded and flexible to avoid serious problems.
Getting to the integration stage takes work. It takes patience, listening, communication, and acceptance. This is where expectations and compromises are smoothed over to each person’s satisfaction, and the real fun begins. It is the place where you start working together toward shared goals, peace, and harmony.
The End Stage
Karmic connections often end once they have served their purpose in your life and the lessons have been learned. If this is the case for you, the fire you just walked through has prepared you for something bigger and even more beautiful.
Now that you know what a karmic connection is and how it develops, let’s take a look at what it is not.
A Karmic Bond is Different Than a “Twin Flame” or “Soulmate” Relationship
Since the karmic interaction has already been described above, let’s focus on two other relationship types with which it may be confused. The “Twin Flame” and “Soulmate” relationships share some characteristics with the karmic, but the contrasts are glaringly evident.
“Twin Flame” Relationship
A twin flame individual is like gazing into a mirror. This person reflects back to you all of your skeletons, weaknesses, fears, insecurities, strengths, and positive traits too. Yes, it is an intense experience because it shows us what we need to work on within ourselves.
However, living and dealing with your reflection on a daily basis is not always going to be roses. With understanding, communication, and patience with one another’s egos, it can go beyond self-discovery. It can result in an unparalleled experience of joy and acceptance.
The term “soulmate” has become quite a cliché in love stories, movies, and plays. It doesn’t always work out as dreamy as that.
A soulmate can be anyone; a teacher, friend, or companion. This person can understand you like no one else, and there is nothing you can’t trust them with. The connection transcends personalities and preferences and tends to be more spirit-based. You feel that spark and know that they will always care for you.
A soulmate relationship can also be stressful, mainly because this person will challenge you to become the best version of yourself. They will tear down your walls to do this. Expectations from both sides can be daunting, such as the assumption that a soulmate will “complete” you.
However, this relationship type can be beautiful if clear communication and expectations are established. There’s really no reason why you can’t work things out.
There is no strict demarcation line between karmic, twin flame, or soulmate relationships. They are different connections and can overlap or become a complex blend. This is why it is good to know the obvious signs that you’re in a karmic relationship.
19 Obvious Signs You’re in a Karmic Relationship
The signs of karmic relationships have probably already entered your mind. They’re not very subtle and are sometimes excused and or confused for narcissistic behavior, codependency, addiction, or mental illness.
Those things can definitely affect how toxicity develops in the relationship, but separately, they are unlikely to meet all the criteria of karmic relationships. As you review the following list of signs, you’ll pick up on specific traits that will let you know for sure.
1. There is an Immediate, Almost Magical Connection.
In most relationships, it takes time to develop a meaningful connection. With a karmic connection, the chemistry is instantaneous and powerful. The force field between the two individuals is magnetic and undeniable.
Everything about the person seems perfect for you: their intellect, interests, habits, likings, tastes, and morals. The excitement of finding someone who is so much like you provides an overwhelming adrenaline and dopamine rush.
2. The Passion is Intense.
If the passion between you is intense, and it will be in a karmic connection, then the emotions that go with it will also be. For instance, passion turns to obsession and ownership, which leads to possessiveness and jealousy.
3. It Feels Like Divine Destiny.
Karmic relationships arise from a place of spirituality and emotions, so it is natural to feel that the strong bond between you is divine destiny. Ironically, this will be the ball and chain that keeps you locked in when things start to sour.
The belief that divine destiny must be right and you must overcome any obstacles together, no matter how bad it becomes, will only increase the agony if you cannot be flexible. Always keep an open mind.
4. You Notice Unhealthy Dynamics.
Unhealthy dynamics of the relationship will show up as a test of your values and morals, bringing out your dark side, dysfunctional cycles, pleasure in causing pain or turmoil, or a quest for total control.
Other unhealthy tactics that come into play may be anger, rage, manipulation, or cutting the other person down.
5. You Ignore the Warning Signs.
Sometimes, our passion and excitement about meeting someone so perfect for us mask the red flags that we would generally recognize. Without that acknowledgment, we may fail to proceed cautiously or hesitate to see how deep the water is before jumping in headfirst.
Then again, in a karmic situation, we may convince ourselves the warning signs aren’t that big of a deal or extend our measures of what a deal-breaker might be.
6. There is No Shortage of Drama.
In karmic relationships, there is no shortage of drama. You will notice it. The emotional circus show for the struggle for power reveals the extent to which each of you will go in order to gain it for yourselves individually. It’s clearly not a team effort.
Dishonesty, lies, manipulation, and increasingly horrible arguments become commonplace. Then, harsh judgments, ridicule, and taunts flood your interactions.
7. You Feel Misunderstood and Frustrated.
Karmic relationships are all about facing what is within yourself that needs to learn and grow.
That’s not a comfortable process, and it often leaves you feeling misunderstood and frustrated. Also, a lot of feeling misunderstood stems from a lack of good communication.
8. Their Intensity is Unpleasant to be Around.
When the other person’s presence is so intense and unpredictable it’s unpleasant to be around them, you may still find it impossible to disconnect and leave them. Even if they are obnoxious, cruel, or volatile, you won’t leave, but instead find ways to avoid being near them.
9. Daily Life Never Feels Normal or Settled.
Because of the daily drama, tug-of-war for control, and other toxic characteristics of the relationship, life may no longer feel normal or settled. If you think an explosive argument may erupt at the drop of a hat, it will be hard to feel comfortable.
10. You Feel Addicted to the Other Person.
In this situation, it is extremely common to feel addicted to the other person. The relationship began with such a powerful draw that it may feel like no one else in the world can understand your deep love for the other person.
Even if you know you should leave them, you just cannot make yourself do it.
11. Communication is Lacking.
You may tend to assume things rather than communicate because you have such a close bond with your karmic person. This leads to a mess of tangled misunderstandings.
Communication is misconstrued, misinterpreted, and skews way off course. Communication includes body language, which can also increase frustration and conflict.
12. Your Daily Life Feels Manic, with High Highs and Low Lows.
The manic feeling of shifting swells of highs and lows is the crux of a karmic connection. It feels wonderful, heavenly, and euphoric when times are good. But when the negative toxic patterns loop around, the lows can drag you into a devastating depression.
13. Patterns in Daily Life Begin to Emerge.
Unhealthy patterns in daily life will begin to manifest. It may be constant break-ups and make-ups. It could look like the same old arguments recurring over and over again. Soon, you see the cycle but don’t know how to stop it.
14. The Other Person Brings Out The Very Worst in You.
Human nature causes us to default to our belief that we have a good nature and good characteristics, while the characteristics of other people are less good. That’s why we have beliefs. We value them and think they are the best. This also causes people to be blind to their dark side.
All people have a dark side. It’s the side you choose to feed that matters. In a karmic situation, the other person reflects the darkness in you so that it bubbles to the surface more and more.
15. Codependency Appears.
Codependency rears its ugly head from the perspective that the other person holds the key to happiness, security, and worth.
You’ll recognize it when you realize you can’t do anything on your own, have fun, be with friends, go shopping, or make decisions without permission or input from the other person.
It’s all a fallacy because no one but you holds the key to your happiness. Remember the old saying, “Happiness is an inside job?” It’s true.
16. You Feel Overwhelmed and Exhausted Too Often.
Trying to maintain a karmic connection is consuming. Overwhelmed feelings of trying to figure out how to mend it, change it, and improve it while it is constantly being sabotaged is exhausting.
This can negatively affect your physical and mental health and extended relationships with family, friends, and co-workers. You probably want to consider getting professional help at this point.
17. You Cannot Find An Escape.
Escaping from a karmic situation can be challenging, especially if the other person has removed your sense of identity, self-confidence, self-reliance, and self-esteem.
This will often happen during the battle for control over the relationship. It is best to reach out to family and friends for encouragement, support, and ideas if you truly want to escape the relationship.
18. Either of You Weaponizes the Other’s Fears.
Weaponizing the fears and vulnerabilities of someone you love and care for is the epitome of manipulative behavior.
It is abusive and should not be tolerated by either person in the relationship. Communication about boundaries must include this topic.
19. You Realize there Will Likely Be No Happy Ending.
Tumultuous relationships can sometimes turn around and become healthier and less toxic. However, it is not common. In karmic relationships, the end will come when karma has completed its energy work on you.
This relationship has only one purpose: to complete unfinished business from a past life, teach you important lessons, and ignite your soul to grow. It isn’t meant to stay in your life forever.
What to Do if Your Karmic Connection Becomes Toxic
Whether your karmic bond is with your partner, parent, child, co-worker, or anyone else, recognizing when the toxicity is too much is critical to your well-being and others. Karmic relationships seldom heal and become better. It’s best to keep your expectations reasonable.
The following are things you should do in a toxic situation:
Recognize the Toxic Traits
Recognize the toxic characteristics and potential damage they can cause. Know your limits and meditate on whether it’s worth it to keep the relationship going.
Here are a few toxic traits to consider:
Evaluate Your Options
After you identify the toxic aspects of your relationship, you need to evaluate your options to either improve it or leave it. There are many resources to help you.
Societal norms have shifted significantly over the years, but the cause and effect remain the same. When I was young, there were no resources to draw from. You were expected to do as told and let the men and elders have their way, no matter what.
I remember growing up and having it pounded into my head that no matter how much my father flew off the handle or my grandmother demanded when we could sit and eat, I had to tolerate it. I loved my family passionately and was forever drawn to their charisma and intellect.
As an adult, I reflect now, and it’s easy to see the lessons I learned from them. They shaped me into who I am today. Yet, even as a child, I knew those relationships would come to an end because they had turned abusive and unhealthy.
I only wished the information on how to handle karmic relationships had been available back then.
If you want to try improving the relationship, the following is a list of things you can do:
How to Spot the Signs that the Karmic Connection is Ending
Acknowledging signs that the relationship is ending may or may not come too late. In any case, you should know what they are to prepare yourself for the impact.
Here are some to watch for:
Sometimes, when you love someone so much, and the bond is tight but unhealthy, doubting yourself, your options, and your future is tempting.
You know the situation is toxic, and you should leave, but you cannot do it. The panicking thoughts of severance, permanence, fear, insecurity, and loneliness can consume you if you allow them.
You may wonder, if you leave the relationship, whether or not you will be doomed to pick it up and repeat it yet again in your next life.
The mental gymnastics involved with “What should I do?” are exhausting. Live in the present moment and do what you need to do to have healthy relationships in this life first.
Stand back, meditate, calmly look at the bigger picture of your life, and regain your self-confidence. The main priority now is absorbing and applying what you have learned to improve your life and help others.
When you recognize the signs that a karmic bond is ending, it will be life-changing one way or another. The best way to survive it is to groom yourself to be okay with however it turns out and never give up your self-respect.
If you can heal the relationship, wonderful. If you cannot, you’ve gained the wisdom to carry on with your true purpose in life.
Recovering from a Karmic Relationship
Recovering from any broken or ended relationship is challenging, but karmic entanglement presents profound difficulties simply by its intense nature.
Here are a few ways you can begin to heal from your karmic connection:
Stay Strong in Your Decision!
Whether you decide to stay or go, commit yourself to follow through with it. Indecisiveness causes more confusion, frustration, and pain than sticking with your plan and moving forward. You can do this!
Now, you deserve some serious self-care and encouragement. Life will only get better.
Final Thoughts on Karmic Relationships
When you recognize the obvious signs that you’re in a karmic connection, it’s like you can’t unsee what you’ve seen. And when you’ve faced the uncomfortable unresolved issues from your past, the reflection of who you are begins to change.
This is the objective of karmic relationships in our lives. They serve to make us better human beings with a purpose bigger than ourselves. Then, they move on. And for that, I’m grateful.
For the new you, post-karmic relationship, pamper yourself with 60 Affirmations for Inner Peace and Calm in Your Life.
And if you're looking for more articles on relationships, be sure to check out these blog posts:
- How to Get Over Trust Issues in a Relationship: A Simple Guide
- 7 Signs Someone Has Unhealthy Attachment Issues in a Relationship
- 7 Life-Saving Benefits to Ending a Toxic Relationship