4 Signs You're In A Karmic Relationship And How To Free Yourself (If You Want To)

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couple in a karmic relationship

So many of us are programmed from a young age, through adulthood, to dream of having that fairy-tale relationship and a "happily ever after." Some of us spend our whole lives looking for our "soulmate" or "The One."

But among the relationships we trip over along the way — usually without recognizing them — are karmic relationships.

While being in a karmic relationship may feel like you've stepped on a landmine, they do have the power to teach us more about love and ourselves than any other relationship we stumble across along the way.

What is a karmic relationship?

While there are currently no clinical, scientific data to prove whether or not karmic relationships exist, writer, reiki master and clairvoyant Amanda Linette Meder describes karmic relationships as "a romantic bond formed with someone in your soul group," notinh these relationships are "designed to heal past life lessons and pain."[1]

Karmic relationships are the type of relationships that no one necessarily wants but likely has at some point in their lives, at least once.

However, it's important to note that karmic relationships don't always present themselves in the form of romantic relationships. They could be friendships, acquaintanceships or from your family of origin.

Nonetheless, all karmic relationships have one thing in common: they come into your life to teach you a lesson — and likely aren't going to last very long once that lesson has been learned and you or the other person is ready to call it off.

RELATED: What Is Karma And Is It Real? 3 Types Of Karma And How It Works

Identifying such a bond often isn't easy, as the person in your karmic relationship might seem like your soulmate or your twin flame, but there are certain signs of a karmic relationship to look for when you meet someone who makes you feel something you never have before that are unique to karmic relationships alone.

Signs you're in a karmic relationship

1. It started as "love at first sight" — accompanied by a wave of déjà vu.

Whether or not you believe in love at first sight[2] is one thing.

But if you were instantly attracted to someone for reasons you can't really put into words — yet you feel like a sense of familiarity, as though you knew this person in a past life — chances are there is a karmic connection at play.

2. The relationship is an emotional rollercoaster.

It's true that no relationship is easy, and they all take work. However, karmic relationships will regularly thrust you into a cycle of blissful highs and devastating lows that normal relationships just don't experience.

There is constant dra-muh, and over time, you often fight about the same things over and over again. It's as if you've learned the lesson you were supposed to take away from the relationship and it's time to let go.

3. It's a codependent relationship.

This is a huge red flag in any relationship. And, as with any instance where codependency monopolizes the relationship, karmic relationships are all-consuming.

In a codependent relationship, you don't feel at ease unless you're with your partner all of the time, you begin to have a warped self-image, and boundaries are basically non-existent.

In short, you're physically and emotionally dependent on this person and your relationship.

In a karmic relationship, though, things usually go a step further, in that, even when you are with your partner, you feel uneasy — as if something just isn't right, no matter what you do. Also, your self-image plummets, you devalue yourself and take a wrecking ball to your boundaries.

None of these things lead to a happy ending, for you or your codependent partner.

4. It doesn't last.

Because of the factors above, karmic relationships are known for being a mercurial nightmare, where the partners break up just to make up, over and over again. It's tiring for one's support system to have to watch and still remain supportive, time and again. Think of how exhausted the people in the relationships themselves must be.

As you can likely imagine, that level of volatility simply isn't sustainable in the long run, unless the partners in the relationship manage to beat the odds by really taking to heart the lessons meant to be learned by their younger relationship and they manage to truly experience personal growth so they can grow stronger together.

But for most karmic relationships, no matter how toxic they are — and there is a high current of toxicity running in every karmic relationship — the connection between the two people is so magnetic that they feel as though they can't help but be drawn back to being together.

It doesn't matter that one or both people know in their hearts that it may not be what's right for either of them. They just can't seem to help themselves.

Karmic relationships can be seen in a positive light because they do serve a purpose and an opportunity to grow.

Karmic relationships are a source of personal growth for those in them. You gain a sense of awareness that gives you the opportunity to change yourself for the better.

In summary, karmic relationships are lessons that enable us to heal and evolve.

RELATED: 3 Signs That You Have Instant Chemistry Because You Loved Each Other In A Past Life

Differences between karmic relationships, soulmates and twin flames

Karmic, soulmate and twin flame relationships may feel similar, especially while you're in them — but they have marked differences.

You don't really know the lasting effects and true label of each until you've had time to process them.

Karmic relationships are typically those with people whose purpose is to teach us a lesson.

Though the love in these relationships is fierce, it's often toxic, one-sided, rife with miscommunication and not built to last.

Partners in karmic relationships aren't soulmates.

On the other hand, soulmate relationships make us strive to be a better person alongside the other person, whose soul is parallel in how it lines up with yours.

There is no codependency; instead, a deep, steadily growing relationship between two souls. There is none of the constant brawling, uncertainty or disequilibrium.

Twin flame relationships transcend all labels when it comes to a karmic relationship.

Your twin flame may not even be a romantic relationship; they could be friends, family members, or someone you just have an overwhelmingly strong bond with.

A karmic relationship can't be a twin flame because the love you experience with your twin flame is so extraordinary and incomparable; it encourages profound soul growth without the volatility that you'll find in a karmic relationship.

Karmic connections are, as Meder puts it, "challenging to say the least, and heartbreaking, to be more clear."

Understand that every karmic relationship is fleeting.

Suppose you've found yourself in the cycle of a karmic relationship. In that case, you already know how undoubtedly painful it is and, likewise, euphoric and filled with the power to exhilarate both partners.

Remember that, for the grand majority, karmic relationships don't last — that isn't their purpose. Like any relationship, though, it's designed to help you grow.

RELATED: How To Tell If You're In A Karmic Relationship Based On Astrology

Marla Martenson is a matchmaker, Reiki practitioner and author of The Buddha Made Me Do It, A Field Guide To EnLITEnment.