Recognising Karmic Relationships

Lovers - by Olivia Bee
Lovers – by Olivia Bee

“When someone has a strong intuitive connection, Buddhism suggests that it’s because of karma, some past connection.”
~ Richard Gere


Karmic relationships are a big part of our growth. We can experience a karmic relationship with lovers, siblings, children, parents or friends, even work colleagues.

Contrary to popular opinion, not all karmic relationships are soul mate relationships.  Rather, karmic relationships happen because before we came to this life we have made a conscious choice to come together with another soul so that we can share, support, learn, heal, resolve past life issues, forgive and grow.

There are several defining characteristics of karmic relationships, but the most obvious ones are:

  • instant recognition of each other on some level, especially when there is no way you have ever met before
  • strong, and often unexplainable attraction (the sort we can’t justify to ourselves, let alone family or friends)
  • an intensity to the relationship, either positive or negative
  • a tendency for the relationship to become for a time, the most dominant or perhaps even our ONLY relationship
  • a deep emotional or physical connection, often that has an addictive quality
  • an ability to really press each other’s buttons
  • an inability to easily walk away
  • a feeling of the need to stay, even if it is hard, so that you can work through or resolve something

Usually karmic relationships serve to bring you together for a definite purpose, and once that purpose is achieved, the ‘spell’ is broken and the relationship loses its pull. Looking back you might wonder what ever brought you together – even you won’t understand it!

Many of my clients have experienced intense friendships or love relationships that taught them hard lessons, that changed them in some way, and that caused them to move in a new direction.  Often these relationships were painful, uncomfortable and a wild ride.  None of their friends or family understood why they were in that relationship, and it often made little sense to my clients either, but they couldn’t seem to help it or avoid the pull of the other person.

A large number of them then went on to find a lifelong partner, or a satisfying new life direction…

Not all relationships are difficult – some are wonderful, but last only a short time.  They buoy us up and remind us of something positive and important about ourselves, building a stronger sense of self and purpose.

Image from
Image from

Some karmic relationships will support you for your entire life, and if one person dies before the other the one who remains will not find someone to replace that love, and that feeling of deep connection will endure even if that person takes a new partner.  Note – this relationship may not be with a lover, but could also be with a friend or family member.

These enduring karmic relationships are characterised by:

  • the feeling that you understand in each in ways other people can’t
  • a feeling of loyalty and a deep bond
  • a sense of being very comfortable with the other person, as if you’ve known them forever, even if you’ve just met
  • a knowledge that you are sharing a path through life
  • a feeling of deep trust, and a knowledge that you are supported by this person
  • an easiness with one another, even if you do have issues to work through
  • an ability to truly forgive, and to move on, together
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Image from
We are all connected, often in ways we can’t possibly understand from where we are, down here. I find it incredibly reassuring, to know that love transcends time and space, and that we care enough about each other as souls to show up in each others lives over and over again.
If you’d like to read more about karmic relationships and the incredible power of love you might enjoy these posts:
The baby who needed to speak – about the love between brothers and a powerful act of forgiveness and redemption
The lady who walked out of my past – an enduring romantic love across time and space, and the karmic love connections of a soul group and family
Alice’s lifelong invisible friend – how love endures and supports us even when someone has died
Our spooky pup – an argument for pet reincarnation – our pets often come back to us, in that same karmic wheel of love
Hi! I'm Nicole Cody. I am a writer, psychic, metaphysical teacher and organic farmer. I love to read, cook, walk on the beach, dance in the rain and grow things. Sometimes, to entertain my cows, I dance in my gumboots. Gumboot dancing is very under-rated.
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51 thoughts on “Recognising Karmic Relationships

  1. I’m 19 and my Boyfriend passed away a couple months ago before his 20th birthday, and i just was informed that there was a karmic link or something by this app I use, and I had no idea what it was until I looked it up. Everything is spot on and it’s blowing my mind. I gave my all to him, and he was the only person in my life for a long time. It hurts so bad being without him.

    1. I am so sorry for your loss Arty. Know that love endures, keep talking to him, and know that you will find a way to navigate life, even with this great loss of your boyfriend no longer physically being by your side. What a comfort you would have been to him in his final days on Earth. I am sending much love to you and holding you both in my prayers and meditations. Nx

  2. Thank you so much,for this beautiful work….I was also caught in a big doubt for the past two years.A boy in my class used to show me signs of affection and intimacy whenever he get a chance,without the notice of others.I felt him like a predator and tried to push him awag,but I couldn’t!!!I felt his presence in my room (yeah true..just like a soul,eventhough he is alive)I had a series of dreams about him explaining he is madly in love with me subconsciously, but his conscioys mibd is not accepting it,thats why there’s delay in him proposing me…The saddest part is,by that time I had fallen for him!Now I am trying my level best to forget him,but couldn’t…..Hope this is some karmic relationship

  3. What about a connection with a child? My granddaughters best friend for example. If I believed in reincarnation, I would say that this little girl was my daughter in a previous life. I love her just the same as one of my other 5 children. I get both girls, my granddaughter and her friend Kati, on occasion and Kati acts just as if she were my child. She’ll hold my hand if we’re walking some where, lean on me if the girls and I are watching a movie, and when she not around, I miss her the same as I miss my own kids who have moved away.

    I make sure that I’m never alone with her as I don’t ever want to be falsely accused of anything inappropriate. I’ve talked to her mom and I think she understands to an extent. I know it may sound bad but I wanted to be open and up front about everything.

    I like her parents. They’re very busy as they have two other very busy children but they do allow me to visit. Maybe they see the same thing in their little girl. When I visit or bump in to them at the store just like a magnet she spots whatever she’s doing and comes over next to me. I swear there’s nothing perverted. It’s just everything says this was my daughter.

  4. Hello everyone. I don’t usually comment on these subjects, but I have to talk to someone. I met someone and even before we met (texts), there was such an intense connection that it scared me. I was 46 and he was 34 so I thought it would just be something fun…and being a rational adult, I convinced myself that it was gonna be more of a sex thing and we would go our separate ways, but from the moment we started talking there was such an intense pull. When I found out his complete name, it was like a light bulb went off and I was like wait…he is so familiar and he felt the same way. There have been numerous obstacles for us to be together, but it just seems to make it that much more intense. He knows how I am feeling before I say it and vice versa. He said he was going with his heart and proposed and without even blinking I accepted. We are moving in together soon and from what we are both feeling I am actually excited and petrified. He brings out feelings in me that I didn’t know existed. The pull is just something I can’t get away from even if I try. The age thing doesn’t even worry me anymore, it’s more about the intensity…can a love this powerful really exist? I mean I read about it, see it in movies but have never experienced it. I have decided to stop fighting it because none of my other relationships have ever worked out…it’s like I have been waiting my whole life for him…is that possible?

  5. I don’t understand why I am still draw to my ex, who lives in another state, now. We have been apart over a year. And broken up for 10 months. I feel her in my soul, we were very close and it was a very intense relationship. We could feel each other, and I have never had anyone pull on my soul like this. My heart literally throbs or swells at the thought of seeing her again. What is going, on? Am I the only one feeling this pull, or is it 2 way?

  6. I’d love to hear your thoughts on personal karma and dating. The last three men who have asked me out all live in motor homes. My most recent serious relationship was with a man who lived in a tiny home.
    Is this just a sign of the times or do you think I have some sort of weird housing karma. These men aren’t living with me or even staying with me they just happen to have alternative living arrangements.

  7. I think I got the meaning and I am completely in, giving more than I imagined I ever could and it’s not a lover but a friend. Even in my case nobody can understand my attachment because it seems like not corresponded but in a way I think it is but not shown. I suffer incredibly but never wanted to lose this person! Any solution?? … please!!! Alexa

  8. Hello lovely people, my post is a bit long so sorry in advance but I just want to make sure I’m not going crazy lol
    A friend and I went on holiday 2 weeks ago and we happened to meet some wonderful people out there, especially one that my heart and soul just went crazy over! I honestly can say I met that “tall, dark and handsome” guy everyone says I will come across one day!
    A few guys we met were also friends with the guy I liked but he would never talk and always stay quiet, he came across as though he was very arrogant. a few days passed and no communication and I got fed up so would just ignore him as I’m not the I’m gonna chase you type! The next day he came up to us and asked if we wanted to share a shisha and of course I accepted! That’s when I found out his English wasn’t that great at all. Anyway so the next day he acts the same like he doesn’t know me! so I’m like ok I will do the same but again that evening he asked if we wanted to go beach and smoke shisha which we did and had one of the best nights laughing and joking about and watching the sunrise despite not being able to communicate very well. We even danced and he gave me a little kiss! I thought I died and went to heaven!
    anyway he was going the next day back home and I didn’t get to say goodbye.
    Well since then my intuition keeps telling me I am going to see this man again I have no idea where and when as we live in different countries but there was just something about him that kept pulling me towards him and I’m the sort of person who if I like someone I will go shy, with him around I felt a really calm feeling, no butterflies, just pure happy! and the arrogance I think came across to be because of our communication issues.
    Am I going crazy as I still think this man crossed my path for a reason and he’s still going to cross my path.


  9. Hello
    I met a man about 14 years ago and felt this instant connection. I then left him and now after all this time I tried to reconnect with him and at first he was eager and then let me down last moment. I am not sure why I feel so connected to him and so sad that he is not part of my life.
    I do not want to have him as my lover but something connects me to him and I want to be free of that. How can I free myself from this affection I feel for this person, It seems to be one sided.
    Thank you so much.

  10. I have been in a long distance relationship for more than 3years and we keep breakin up n patching up and now I want a commitment from him but he isn’t ready for any commitments.i don’t know wether it’s a karmic debt that I have with him that I keep goin back to him ..I feel a very strong connection when I meet him..I’m loosing my mind as I felt he was the one for me

  11. Hi,
    Oddly enough I’ve had a few of these in my life. They’ve never been one-sided, but due to circumstances they always fade away even though they remain in the back of my mind. Connections were so strong that I knew- just knew, it had to be some psychic, unknown, force. It’s truly amazing actually.
    And always, always, when I’m in an emotional struggle I always think about a certain someone who I felt intensely (positive) about. Because for some reason, it makes me cope with whatever I’m going through.

  12. Wishing with a kind of plea almost. His name is Col and is what I consider the anti-thesis of me. It’s been years since we first met outside a cafe. He is a heavy drinker and was a drug user in his past. I didn’t feel drawn, in the beginning. More of a repulsion, actually. We don’t come into contact all that often , but when we do the pull is incredibly strong. Which , I believe, we have both resisted because of our fears. Recently, after yet another tough intellectual bun fight, I felt hurt. First time ever with Col. However, the hurt I felt got me thinking about transformation. Transformation of the game we seem to keep playing with each other. I saw it so clearly. I was playing my own part in this game of attraction that ends up in argument. Now, I will be trying to maintain a conversation with him that is loving and respectful, regardless of what buttons will be pushed. I am still drawn to him, even thinking about him…but he and our “whatever you call it” is responsible for me considering and wanting to transform something in me. Replacing anger and hurt with a weird kind of gratitude. I don’t fully understand that either, but it’s there.

    Apologies for the lack of any question, but your article and the chance to leave any kind of comment was…well..just so inviting.. Thankyou 🙂

  13. Wishing with a kind of plea almost. His name is Col and is what I consider the anti-thesis of me. It’s been years since we first met outside a cafe. He is a heavy drinker and was a drug user in his past. I didn’t feel drawn, in the beginning. More of a repulsion, actually. We don’t come into contact all that often , but when we do the pull is incredibly strong. Which , I believe, we have both resisted because of our fears. Recently, after yet another tough intellectual bun fight, I felt hurt. First time ever with Col. However, the hurt I felt got me thinking about transformation. Transformation of the game we seem to keep playing with each other. I saw it so clearly. I was playing my own part in this game of attraction that ends up in argument. Now, I will be trying to maintain a conversation with him that is loving and respectful, regardless of what buttons will be pushed. I am still drawn to him, even thinking about him…but he and our “whatever you call it” is responsible for me considering and wanting to transform something in me. Replacing anger and hurt with a weird kind of gratitude. I don’t fully understand that either, but it’s there.

    Apologies for the lack of any question, but your article and the chance to leave any kind of comment was…well..just so inviting.. Thankyou 🙂

  14. I have this girl in my life and was I was always her little sister. We share a very strong emotional bond. The relationship has sort of come to a halt for silly reasons. I wonder if things will ever get back to being normal. Also, I have this deep feeling that we’ll go back to being loving sisters again. How do I identify if my feeling is right or wrong?

  15. After reading this post i am feeling really nice. 🙂 It is one aspect of love i was totally unaware of… And the posts, so clearly and innocently portrayed the emotions.

  16. I have the most unusual experience and i don’t know what it is.
    I found a person that has the same name as me thru facebook. It turns out we look the same. My father passed away last thursday, he is very religious (buddhist). A man my dad picked to do his ceremony with the monk comes to my parent’s home. I was speaking with my uncle and he mentioned my name, this man over heard and said that his son’s name is the same and he looks just like me. I asked for a picture and he didn’t have one on him. I showed him a facebook picture of the person who i contacted in Oct 2010. The man confirmed that was his son.
    Not only my english name is the same, our laotion name is the same. We were born in the same place but 9 years 9 days apart. This man said through karma, i was fortunate to gain another father when i lost mine.
    Going back a week before my dad passed away, i kept on finding dimes. I found 10 dimes in 1 week in the strangest place. It was just so abnormal. This other person who looks like me was born on the 10th of Jan and i am on the 1st. The time when i contacted him, was Oct, 2010.
    My father and his father were friends but neither saw or learned of eachother’s son.
    This man asks me to be his son.
    I will meet the other person who looks like me.
    I am blown away. I can’t describe what is going on.

  17. After reading this I think I have been in a Karmic Relationship for 40 years. There had been an attraction in the past. Now we are both single we come together for a while then wont see each other for ages….we keep in contact by phone in those times we are not together, we talk for a long time….our most recent was spending the last week of the year together..each time we meet up he opens up a bit more,he is dealing with a lot of heartache from his past……the partings are always a little strained when it comes time for us to go..he gets quiet and closes off which makes me sad. We miss each other when we are apart.

  18. Wow! I met someone about two years ago. We ended up living together for 10 months, and just recently broke up. When I met him, I was under the impression that in a past life we had agreed to meet, and that this was simply the point in this lifetime that we agreed to come together. It was an irresistible, yet quiet intensity that is difficult to describe, but we both felt so comfortable with one another…like we were just reconvening after a long absence. I miss him terribly, but we just can’t seem to get beyond one point. I think it is the same impasse that we had in the last life. In this life, a friend of his, who I think was our youngest son in a past life, lived with us for a period of time. It literally felt like part of our family was together again. Really odd, but very much in keeping with your clarification of what a Karmic Relationship is. Thank you!

  19. I recently met a woman on a dating site that I began chatting with and we discovered we had many unusual things in common, being able to discuss topics from quantum physics to alternative history to the deepest and most intricate spiritual mysteries. Never in my life have I felt this sort of connection with another human being and the feeling is mutual.

  20. I’m currently in a situation that I’m coming to see as a karmic relationship. We met over 10 years ago and even then I voiced the fact that he and I had met for a reason. He’s been in and out of my life numerou times since we first met and he’s back again. The difference this time is that I realize that it’s definitely karmic and it will not work out. how do I handle it? Is it ok to just walk away? Will that not bring me bad karma since he is currently trying to hold on for dear life? Or do I stick it through as a friend to complete this lesson? I almost feel like even though there is a lesson for me, there is definitely a greater one for him? I have no clue what to do.

  21. i am not 100% sure if im currently in a karmic relationship. we did have a very hard break up and none of family understands why we even talk or think about getting together. we are not currently together but we do communicate back in forth. during the early part of our break up i could still hear and feel him even though he wasnt there it was very wierd and a little disturbing. i dream of him all the time as well. I noticed that i would have a total of 3 dreams back to back and then he would come into contact with me some kind of way. we defitinietly have a very strong connection and sometimes it was really fun and food and the other times it was pure hell. does this sound like a karmic relationship?

  22. I recently experienced this feeling of instantly knowing someone when our eyes met as I was walking back to my office building. I don’t know if I will ever see them again or who they were but I felt that I knew them from the instant I saw them, and I knew they felt it too because I saw that spark of recognition in their eyes and their eyebrows furrow. Absolutely LOVED this post! 🙂

  23. Hi! I know about this subject very well, and I wish that I would have had this post to explain to me in a clear format of what was going on instead of an accidental meeting with a psychic.

    I was told that years ago I had a very strong love with a man from my past life. She said that he and I follow each other from life to life, and then she said, “but you know this,” and I said, “yes, but I really needed to know that I wasn’t crazy!”

    My soul mate seems to come to me for a period of time and after I advance to the next level within myself; he leaves. When he comes, I see through the person and my heart instantly feels love for them. When he’s with me, I feel surreal, like I’m living in a movie because my passion for him, and his for me is like a unexplainable hunger that can’t be satisfied. The man’s body he occupies always says, “I have never felt like this for someone before.” and I always reply, “I know.”

    When his time with me is up, he begins to pull away from me, and I become like a addict trying to purge myself from his love. He has come to me three times, and I pray that the next time he comes, he never leaves.

    Great post and thank you for sharing this knowledge with the world because it’s true. I am a living witness of it.

    1. Thanks. Another question for you. . What would cause a karmic connection with a place? I certainly feel like I have one of places, still unsure if its a negative or a positive though. xx

  24. I do feel this exact connection with someone who I have met only this year. Somehow, deep down, I have the feeling that we have been friends for a long time and will continue to be so in this life. Thank you for this, Nicole.

  25. These relationships are certainly very powerful. I’ve definitely experienced a handful, both negative and positive, both with lovers and certain family members. I regard all as important, even the ones that rattled me; sometimes in the latter cases, I have wondered whether it was really time to move on or whether I was meant to stick it out longer and suffer through some greater lesson, but I suppose the fact that leaving was even a serious thought that could spawn the resultant action meant at least *my* lesson was learned.

  26. I love this post. It has helped me to in part decipher some of the ties I have had over my lifetime. I also think I’ve had a number of the other type you mention in the comments re past life triggers. Certainly makes interesting (and intense). Wouldn’t have it any other way.

    Thank you for sharing. xo

  27. I am just in awe. These past few months have just brought the most compelling events and confirmations into my life. have been noticing these “symptoms” for a while, & thought that I was going a bit crazy. Putting a name to all of it is phenomenal & overwhelming. Makes the unclear a little bit clearer. I do not believe in coincidence at all, & running into this surely makes sense considering that I was planning on contacting someone within the next week. I have felt my Guides within all of this & truly, & finally feel that it is time to acknowledge this overwhelming intuition regarding this person. It seems so important. I can’t thank you enough for posting this.

  28. Oh, I’ve had a few that I wish I never had, but had it not been for these people and the experiences they gave me and the lessons they taught me (learned after a long time afterward), I wouldn’t be where I’m supposed to be in life. Except for the bed wetting incident. Yep – could’ve done without that 😛

  29. I have a person like this in my life, I always wonder if I will see them again. I’ve never felt such a connection with anyone else, one of those people who when you look in their eyes you get lost in another world…… we could never figure out why we had that connection and were instantly obsessed with one another… strange.

  30. This is such an imThank you for explaining both enduring and non-enduring karmic relationships even though both are hard oftentimes! It gives me a greater faith that I will grow because of the relationships! Have a blessed week!

  31. What do you do if the “strong, and often unexplainable attraction (the sort we can’t justify to ourselves, let alone family or friends)” appears to be one-sided, as in the other person truly doesn’t know that you exist? Not necessarily romantic, by the way — for example, when you hear about someone in the news who seems totally unrelated to your life and who you don’t know personally, but you can’t get that specific person out of your head for a long while.

    I get the concept of karmic relationships, but there have been times when I see people I do not know and cannot get them out of my mind for months. It gets quite disturbing because I have no idea what to do with the situation (not to mention it gets a little too close to “obsession” for comfort). Do I look at their current lives for inspiration? Warning? How do you stop thinking about that person when you don’t want to think about them, but you can’t figure out why you’re thinking about them in the first place?

    Sorry to be so wordy, but I’ve had a couple of these incidents since 2011, and they’re really kind of freaky. Thanks.

    1. Hi Jesann,
      That doesn’t sound like a karmic relationship to me, and I also don’t think it’s an unhealthy and weird obsession. I had similar things happen to me when I was younger, and was just waking up to my more developed psychic gifts.

      I would try journalling around the person to see what comes up for you, or even try using my dream analysis technique on them:

      You could also try meditating on the person and what they stand for or mean to you, or ask your Guides for clarification.

      Hang in there – you’re definitely not going mad. I’m sure it’s freaky for you, but trust that there’s a purpose to it. The more you pay attention to these sorts of things, the more they settle down and you find yourself opening up to deeper and deeper levels of connection instead.
      Love and Light, Nicole xx

    2. Thank you, Nicole. I’ll try that. I have no idea why I focused in on these two people (there were random things in common, but nothing that really should have led to thinking about them for *that* long). It would be nice to find out why them….

    3. I had actually wondered that about the first one. The second one, not so much, but the first one, could be….

  32. Thank you for this insightful piece. It has helped understand a destructive relationship I had and finally healed from to now feel lighter, happier and focused for the first time in my life, thank you for letting the last piece fit x x

    1. You’re welcome, Annette. Often, once we begin to understand karmic relationships we recognise the ones we’ve had or continue to be in. Glad to hear it’s allowed you to move to a better space. Much love to you xoxo

    2. Me too, Annette. A relationship from not so long ago, which was destructive where I found it incredibly difficult to walk away. I definitely feel lighter without this person in my life and am far more cautious about who I let in now.

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