I’ve written quite a bit on the wonders and benefits of a twin flame journey, but it’s also important to understand the darker side of the journey. Understanding the difference between a karmic relationship vs twin flames is important. Very important.

We’ll get into the details of a karmic relationship and how to tell the difference in a moment, but first, we need to understand why it matters. A karmic relationship is, at its core, a false twin flame. Something which can seem so real and so right – right up until it doesn’t.

A karmic relationship can have many of the same early markers as a real twin flame path, from the intense attraction and patterns surrounding the two of you to a perception of the same subconscious communication between the two of you.

But karmic relationships can be very, very dangerous.

twin flame

Firstly, on a spiritual level. They’ll hold you back from furthering your own spiritual journey. It won’t always be obvious at the time, but a karmic twin is going to find reasons to take your focus away from anything that might further your spiritual advancement. Also, the obvious: they’re going to distract you from finding your true twin flame.

It’s also entirely possible for a karmic twin to be emotionally and physically harmful. This isn’t always the case, but in the many, many twin flame stories I hear, I’d say it’s probably more common than not.

Perhaps a karmic relationship phase of your journey is all part of the plan. Sometimes, it takes a destructive force to awaken something in us, but it can be difficult to understand if we’re dealing with a karmic relationship or a rocky phase in a true twin flame journey. If you’d like some help navigating your path together, consider getting a twin flame reading.

What Is a Karmic Relationship?

First of all, I think it’s important to understand that karmic relationships are not evil. They don’t act maliciously towards you or try to punish you. It’s entirely likely that you could be a karmic flame to the wrong person as well.

There’s so much overlap between twin flames and karmic relationships because we experience that same initial pull. I spoke recently about the twin flame intense attraction, and it’s very common to experience the same thing with a karmic twin.

Karmic relationships happen when your souls are pulled towards each other, sensing there’s growing to do.

It’s possible for you to have met your true twin flame and for them (or you) to fall back to a karmic partner because they haven’t yet completed this growing. Even if you do get out of a karmic connection, you’ll likely just wind up back in another one if you haven’t learned the lesson yet.

It’s a loop that (sadly) repeats itself far too often.

Just like soulmates (I’ve also covered the difference between twin flames and soulmates before), it’s entirely possible for you to have more than one karmic relationship. In my experience, it’s likely.

The quicker you’re able to break out of this pattern by focusing on improving yourself and your own spiritual journey, the quicker you’ll be able to reach union with your true twin flame.

Your connection in a karmic relationship is likely to be deep and immediate. These relationships are characterized by:

  • Intensity: You might feel a strong, almost inexplicable pull towards your karmic partner.
  • Toxic Patterns: Such relationships may include toxic behavior, with cycles of highs and lows.
  • Conflict: Frequent tension and conflict are common as unresolved issues come to the forefront.
  • Control Issues: There may be elements of control or manipulation between partners.

Signs to watch out for include codependency, moments when you or your partner exhibit neediness or resentment, and a tendency for drama to unfold regularly.

twin flame

Karmic Cycle and Lessons

The purpose of karmic relationships often revolves around personal growth and learning:

  • Red Flags: Recognizing red flags can be crucial in a karmic partnership. They indicate unresolved personal issues that need attention.
  • Short-Lived Nature: These partnerships are often short-lived, propelling you towards necessary changes after lessons are learned.
  • Karmic Lessons: They serve as mirrors to one’s own behavior, highlighting areas in need of development.

Becoming aware of the lessons to be learned is key. It helps break the cycle and move towards healthier relationships.

Key Similarities:

  • Both are intensely passionate, capturing your complete attention.
  • They serve as catalysts for personal and spiritual growth.

Key Differences:

  • Karmic relationships often reveal one’s ego, highlighting areas that require healing.
  • In contrast, twin flames reflect a deep soul-level connection designed to harmonize and complement your essence.
  • While karmic bonds can be volatile, with a negative aspect potentially leading to frustration, twin flame connections offer guidance and support.
  • Karmic attachments are typically seen as temporary, meant to teach a lesson, whereas twin flames can be lifelong bonds.

What are Twin Flames?

You can skip this section if you’re already familiar with the idea of twin flames and move further down to telling the difference.

Twin flames are fragments of a larger soul entity if you’d like. There’s an indissoluble connection between them because they are both parts of a large entity. That’s why, when they are remotely within proximity of one another, they will invariably gravitate around each other. And yes, you’ve guessed it, such an intense is bound to stir up all sorts of stuff.

Because there’s such a deep soul connection and because there’s a deep kinship between such partners, as they are part of the same higher consciousness, there’s an inescapable pull that is going to trigger a lot of shadow aspects within the partners. The connection is almost visceral, based on similarities that can, at times, be uncanny, and it can bring out the worst and the best in them both – often, at the same time, in fact. In that regard, the twin flame connection has a deeply karmic component to it.

Even though it can go through such a karmic stage, if the partners have done enough work on themselves and are high-vibrational enough to be able to heal and overcome all that triggering, the effect is that of intense and deep cleanse of their energetic bodies.

Their vibration grows higher as a result, and it launches them both on an upward spiral of high vibration. Should the union be successful, the twin flames merge into a high-vibe entity, which is all the closer to getting into unity.

In a sense, a karmic connection is like an upside-down twin flame connection, where the result of the partners coming together is that of downgrading their personal vibration instead of upgrading it.

Because the end result depends largely on how much work the partners have done on themselves and how much work they’re able to do once they come into contact, a twin flame connection can end up remaining at the karmic connection stage. So a twin flame connection is karmic and could remain that way, unfortunately. But if both partners are prepared to put in the work and grow, they use that karmic stage to propel them forward on a journey of growth and ascension.

karmic relationship

Can a Karmic Relationship be a Twin Flame?

Much like the denial or bartering phase of grief, I’ve been asked this more than a few times.

The short answer is no. A karmic relationship is not and cannot become a twin flame connection. It’s very important you understand that a rocky twin flame stage is not the same thing as a karmic relationship. Some phases of a twin flame journey can suck – and they often do. I hear many twin flame stories, some of which would melt your heart.

Just because you’re struggling with a runner twin flame or a tough phase doesn’t automatically make it a karmic relationship. It’s an important distinction to make. Sometimes a twin flame journey sucks too. It can be emotionally, spiritually and even physically painful.

Karmic Relationship and Twin Flame Similarities

  • Both the karmic and the twin flame connection trigger shadow aspects of both partners, allowing them to grow as a result.
  • These connections can be quite intense, especially in the beginning, and may be heavily based on sexual attraction and chemistry.
  • In some cases, both types of connections can be quite traumatizing, especially if the twin flame connection doesn’t have the desired growth and ascension effect on the partners and essentially remains at a karmic level.

Karmic Relationship and Twin Flame Differences

  • The shadows triggered in karmic relationships become inescapable swamps, and partners get bogged down in the murky waters, while the shadows triggered in the twin flame connection are overcome by the partners and help them grow and evolve.
  • Intense karmic relationships bring out shadow aspects of both partners and tend to keep them in a low vibe. In contrast, intense twin flame connections bring out shadow aspects that are then processed by the partners, helping them get on a higher vibe and thereby overcome karmic issues.
  • In a sense, both karmic and twin flames connections can start off as karmic connections. But while the karmic one will stay that way and will likely take both partners on a downward karmic spiral, the twin flame connection transforms into a blossoming connection once both partners have processed their shadows and karmic issues enough to reach the true flame union stage.

Twin Flames vs Karmic Relationship: How to Tell the Difference

Now, we get to the tricky part. It’s one thing to know the theory behind the difference, but it’s quite another to tell them apart when you’re there. Both twin flame separation phases and karmic relationships can be very emotionally charged. A lot of the same indicators and patterns arise.

Some things you can try to look for:

  • Commitment issues.
  • Emotional unavailability.
  • Lack of support.
  • Resistant to change.

I’ve seen a lot of different opinions on how to figure out when you’re on a false twin flame journey with the wrong person. I’ve spoken to thousands of people now and heard their stories and struggles. I think one of the most important things to remember is that twin flames build each other up. They push each other to improve even in the tougher stages.

One of the clearest and most common signs of a karmic relationship (or any type of false flame, for that matter) is they’ll be more resistant to you changing and improving yourself. When it’s a true twin flame connection, they’re more likely to be your cheerleader and join you on your path to self-improvement.

You can also look for signs and patterns from the universe, follow your intuition, or take a few moments to do a twin flame reading, which can help give you some guidance.

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Lessons from Karmic Partners

Karmic relationships often act as a mirror, reflecting the parts of yourself that require healing. These intense partnerships are designed to teach you valuable lessons through challenges and sometimes pain.

They prompt you to confront aspects of your character that may be hindering your growth.

Your experiences in these relationships typically revolve around themes like forgiveness and the release of old patterns. Each karmic encounter is a step towards greater self-love and spiritual awakening.

Evolving with Twin Flames

Conversely, a twin flame relationship accelerates your evolution more harmoniously and profoundly. These connections are rooted in an innate understanding and mutual respect that can feel both challenging and nourishing.

Your twin flame acts as a spiritual mirror, reflecting not only your flaws but also your greatest strengths, pushing you toward enlightenment. It’s a bond that promotes inner healing and significant transformation, encouraging you to become the most authentic version of yourself.

As you evolve with your twin flame, you will likely experience a profound sense of completion and unity that propels you toward a higher state of consciousness.


After struggling with my own twin flame journey for many years I became (I'll say it) almost obsessed with the twin flame journey and this path of self-discovery and improvement.

Now after sharing the stories of thousands of people going through their own journey I want to share my own thoughts and the patterns I see on twin flames.

I'm wary of speaking in absolutes on a subject like this. There's too much that any of us will really ever *know* (at least in this lifetime) so my opinions are based on my experience and the experience of those I speak to and who share their stories with me.

There are no two journeys that are ever going to be entirely alike but when you see enough of them, you do see definite patterns emerge.

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1 comment

  • I may have a karmic or a true twin flame I’m kinda thinking she is a karmic though

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