Relationships
Karmic relationship vs. twin flame: what's the difference?

What's A Karmic Relationship, Exactly?

Plus, how it’s different from a twin flame connection.

by Jessica Estrada
Anastassiya Bezhekeneva/Moment/Getty Images

You fall fast and hard for a new person. Sparks are flying. You instantly feel like you've known each other forever and want to spend every waking minute with them because they get you like no one else does. You think this new romantic flame is The One. Yet, it may be a karmic relationship instead.

These passionate and often short-term connections are meant to help you learn something. According to Megan Firester, a psychic medium and aura reader who goes by Mystic Michaela, "Karmic relationships feel like past life connections who come in to teach us a lesson and leave when the lesson has been fulfilled." Below, she shares signs that you're in a karmic relationship, how it differs from a twin flame connection, and tips on how to get out of one.

The Signs You're In A Karmic Relationship

They Surface During A Transition

Firester notes that karmic relationships often begin seemingly out of nowhere and typically during huge life transitions, such as when you decide to do self-work or after a spiritual awakening. "When navigating a spiritual awakening, we are often faced with parts of ourselves that are underdeveloped," she says. "Karmic relationships are our soul's way of creating contexts in order to nurture those into maturity." And the other person may also be going through something similar, Firester adds, so you're both "along for the ride."

You Feel Like Soul Buddies

"Karmic relationships often feel like you've known this person forever," Firester says, adding that they may make you feel validated, at ease, and at home with them. "They can feel like a best friend, a romantic interest, or a connection which is inexplicably intense." She refers to them as "soul buddies" because they are meant to help accelerate your growth and solidify the lessons of whatever it is you need to learn.

You Connect Very Quickly

Not only is the connection in karmic relationships strong, but it also forms very quickly, Firester says, which comes with its pros and cons. "You can have increased energy when they are around, and suddenly you are up to doing things and going places you normally would never go or do," she says. But, they can also be "terribly addicting," as in you only want to spend time with them and no one else. This can create negative consequences in other relationships in your life if the relationship lasts too long.

Karmic Relationship Vs. Twin Flame

There are some similarities and differences between karmic relationships and twin flames. Firester notes that both of these types of relationships tend to appear during life transitions and result in big changes. However, the difference has to do with when the relationship surfaces. "Twin flame relationships always spark a spiritual awakening, whereas karmic relationships seem to come along right after you've been awakened," she says. And, she adds that while twin flames are almost always romantic, karmic relationships may not be.

The biggest difference between a karmic relationship and a twin flame relationship is how they end and how you remember them. With twin flame relationships, Firester says they tend to feel bittersweet and painful even years later. "One song on the radio, one dream of this person, or even one mention from a mutual acquaintance can have you immediately in the same state of mind and emotions as when you were in the relationship with them," she says. On the other hand, she says, with karmic relationships, even if they were tumultuous, you’ll likely look back at them with fondness because you recognize the lessons they helped you learn.

How To Get Out Of A Karmic Relationship

While some karmic relationships can last long-term (for instance, if both partners are on the same page and continue to grow together), Firester says they are generally seasonal connections. "The point of the karmic relationship is the lesson, not the person," she says. So the way to navigate or get out of the relationship is to acknowledge the lesson you are meant to learn.

"Start seeing this relationship as a reflection of yourself, what you need in life right now, and a metaphor for what you really need to change," Firester says. "Asking yourself questions such as, ‘What major changes have I just been through, and how does this relationship in my life reflect that?’ is a great start. Reflecting and analyzing a karmic relationship will help you be the observer and less of the participant, thus giving you more control over your future actions."

If the relationship lasts longer than needed, it can become negative. "Clinging onto a karmic relationship instead of using the lessons within it to launch yourself into the next chapter are how they can become toxic," she says. "In an attempt to reshape your life, you can become dependent on these relationships to stick by you and see you through.” But, that’s not the point of these partnerships. “They were here to show you what it is you need assistance with, what you are still scared of, and in what places you need to grow."