Karma in Romantic Relationships

Have you ever been through a breakup and are you worried that you will get bad karma for breaking someone’s heart? No matter how you feel about your breakup and the relationship you had before it broke up, let me tell you something. Your relationships create Karma. All relationships create Karma. There is a very good chance that you are with the person you are with now (or were with last) because of some Karma that you had to work out with him.

I can only speak from experience so here’s my real-life example of how Karma works in relationships.

Real Example Of How Karma Works In Relationships

So, I once dated a guy. He was a really good guy and I loved him a lot. It was the kind of love that cracked my heart open and it was the first time that my love for another human being brought me to tears. But then, I grew older and wanted new experiences and wanted to hang out with new people so I broke that good guy’s heart and we parted ways.

Thanks to Karma, 10 years later he is back in my life but it’s not really him. This time, I AM him. And someone else is doing to me all the things that I did to him long ago.

That’s how Karma works. It gives you a chance to square up for everything you have done to others by enduring the same treatment yourself.

Karma in Kali Age

According to the Vedic scriptures and the yoga tradition, we are in Kali Yuga at the moment. Yuga means age, and Kali is the age that is charactarized by time being sped up, human lives being shorter and a lot more things happening in a lot less time. I think this applies to our Karma as well. Instead of doing someone wrong and not having to pay for it till your next life or next incarnation, in this age, you pay in one lifetime for most things.

In the case of the really nice guy who I hurt 10 years ago, I had the chance to experience what I put him through by being put in his shoes. And the thing is, I have been in the “heartbreaker’s” shoes as well, and I can’t even be angry at that person. I know that there is no other way.

There was no other way for me to have behaved back then and that’s why when it happened to me, I had to sit back and observe the identical situation from the flip side.

When you finally stop dating the same guy over and over again, you end up dating yourself

A former version of you turns up in your life for you to learn a lesson from. I suppose it’s kind of like when you become a parent and finally realize how much of a brat you were to your mom and dad. Karma in relationships allows that to happen a little sooner.

A former version of you comes along and breaks your heart in the exact same way that you broke someone else’s. You get to experience being the offender and the offended. You come full circle.

How to deal with Karma For Breaking Someone’s Heart

I wrote a whole post about this but in short, my advice here is not to freak out. You may feel like a mean, old version of you has turned up to hurt and get even with the current version you. I don’t believe it’s about Karma getting even with you. I believe that it is simply a way for you to find empathy for the one you hurt before. It is simply to feel love for them, feel their pain and most importantly, to love yourself anyway despite what you have done in the past.

Love yourself anyway.

Your actions in the past were inevitable. Those actions were destined. Just be at peace with what you did in the past no matter how many hearts you broke. You have probably experienced, first hand, what it felt like to those people when their hearts were broken. If you haven’t, you probably will soon.

Just accept it.

Just love, yourself, anyway.

If you don’t know how, start with treating yourself to a manicure. And meditation always helps when you want a more lasting kind of self-love.

With my love and acceptance,


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Image source: Another Odd Place for a Hill and Unsplash

Originally published April 22, 2015. Updated May 22, 2020.


Ritu is an Atma Kriya Yoga and meditation teacher. A long time blogger and writer, she writes about personal development, spirituality, and meditation.

25 thoughts on “Karma in Romantic Relationships

  1. Very Good artical.
    Most people maybe read this artical and gone away or some may do not believe in Karma. Trust me Karma is real,Whatever we did it created energy,Sooner or later it will come back on us, there is no escape. It also happened with me. I know we human have a nature we do not believe in something until we experiences practically. But Law of God (Karma) is real, Whatever we do to other we also have to tack it.. Does not matter how much he/she loves you and no matter how big promises, If it is meant to give you some lesson then you do not have escape.
    There is no way to escape from the effects of actions without experiencing their results. Just like an arrow already shot cannot be taken back, prarabhda karma that has already set out in motion can not be escaped from. It will in either way catch you sooner or later.

    1. I totally agree. Karma is another form of energy and energy moves in a continuous cycle. Every action has a reaction.

      However, the experience of that reaction doesn’t need to be painful all the time. Of course, pain will be there, but the sooner we accept it, the easier it will become. The sooner we accept it, the sooner we can smile.

      Even pain can be sweet sometimes.

  2. Namaste Ritu, I had broken someone heart 12 years back and got punished 7 times after that by being dumped. Since I was good to this guy for good 6 years I accepted the insults and believed that I will be rewarded for my love n good deeds as well the way I am punished for hurting him. However, again now same thing happened and I got dumped and insulted by the one I love…so can we get punished multiple times for same mistake..another question is that my believe in good deeds and all good that I did to all these people is in question n so is my faith in God. Please help.! I have never judged them or cheated was always helpful caring and motivating even if their background specially of the first one and this last one were not a
    strong. My faith in being good is shaken how do I restore it.

    1. Another question….now since this guy has done wrong to me….more than what I did to the first one.. also the fist one wanted to get physical and was forcing me and I said no…..he has this intentions even now…will this guy be facing his karma… he prays God…and unfortunately this is what troubles me. Will this last guy face his karma….will the first guy face his karma for bad intentions. And why am I being punished….and not them for wrong intention and using people in life?

      1. Hi Geetanjali, I’m sorry to hear that it keeps happening to you over and over and you are being faced with the same heartache over and over. In terms of the first guy facing his karma or not, who knows. And also about the last guy. Their karma is not your responsibility. The only thing that you have control over is your own karma. Let God deal with them. Your only job is to be loving and kind to yourself and to treat yourself with utmost respect and gentleness.
        Could it be that you haven’t forgiven yourself for hurting someone 12 years ago? Could it be that you are still hanging onto your action from the past and therefore, punishing yourself over and over again by going for the wrong guys?
        There’s only one thing I can suggest here, and that is to let yourself off the hook. You did what you did and that’s OK. It is in the past. You can’t change it anymore. You can, however, accept yourself even though you made an innocent mistake in the past. That’s all it was. It was an innocent mistake. Forgive yourself, accept yourself and your innocent mistake and love yourself now and also love your old self.
        It is also super important to protect yourself. Don’t let yourself be punished by anyone else. Protect yourself from people who have bad intentions. You are pure, and people are attracted to purity. It’s up to you to protect that purity. Be strong about it and be firm about it. If people misunderstand, so what? You are simply doing your job, which is to protect yourself.
        I hope this helps. Sending you lots of love, sister. Don’t lose faith. It’s the strongest armour in the entire Universe.
        -Love, Ritu

        1. Thank you So much for your reply Ritu đŸ™‚
          Will for sure keep the faith. You are right I think I have not forgiven for my mistake as I believe in good karma. But now I do forgive myself.
          Ironically I have been a mentor to many of my trainees and helped them come out of negative thinking and motivated them but some how could not help myself.
          Thank you and
          Lots of love and blessings for you!

          1. Hi Ritu,

            Wanted to share this with you. I had let him go and decided to move on doing what I wanted. But in the month of August he contacted back and proposed me for marriage and said he will make up for last 2 years. Families met and agreed and he was to come in October for engagement but could not then in December . Now a week before coming we ended up in a fight because of his taunts n continuous no for marriage. He again backed out and we parted again. The major issue he has to get his sister married and buy a home n felt it’s waste to spend money on me and I am bad in every aspect. Everyone knows he came back he piste on fb n all our friends knew about it n his relatives too.

            Dnt knw what next.

          2. Hey Geet,
            I’m so sorry to hear that. The worst part for me was that the whole thing was made so public because he posted stuff on Facebook. There are two things I can suggest:
            1) Take a stand and be firm about your position in this. You did you best and if he is still blaming you without taking responsibility himself, then take a stand and make it clear that you won’t allow anyone to walk all over you.
            2) Practice humility. This is not contradicting 1) because there is immense strength in humility. Humbly accept him and what happened and pray for Grace get through this. Pray that you get through this gracefully and come out the other end with dignity.
            Keep me posted, love! Let me know how it goes.

  3. Hi Ritu

    He broke this relation and left. With all kinds of reasons and allegations. Frankly he is far more good to his ex who left him within a month of breakup and started dating someone else n got married to him. And now she is seeking divorce and has a kid. He is in talking terms with her but me I am bad who was with him when he had no money, no career success, nothing. I never judged him or compared him to anyone be it looks, career, family background etc. For me it was him that is it loving a person for being him. I was happy to get another family… two sis two moms two dads…. for me the feeling was woooow…. he and we all together …. my world.. My question is where is God??? I did my best and gave my best ..forgave him also. And this is what I get! Forget him..where is God! And the so called do good to others n good happens to u!

  4. Hey beautiful, I just wanted to asked about my situation. I thought my ex boyfriend really loved me but at the end of 20 months together I realized he didn’t, he didn’t really forgave my mistakes, he said we will get marry and just one Sunday he said that he didn’t feel the same about me and of course that broke my heart into pieces, I tried to fix things, I asked him to give me another chance and he didn’t want it. Now I know he talks bad about me to other people and blames me for everything. My question here is, would he pay for this? He actually broke (before me) another’s girl heart and he payed it being single for about a year, got a girl and she left too. The deal with mexican men is that when those things happens to them, they try to come back to the one that actually loved them.

    1. Hi Dear, thanks for sharing your situation with me. The short answer is, YES, he will pay for it. He’ll pay for it in the exact same way that he hurt you. Some girl will promise to marry him and then leave him. One day, someone will blame him for things he has never done, just like he did to you. If he does come back to you, try to remember how he treated you. If you forget the pain he put you through, then you’re giving him a chance to hurt you again.

      1. Yes, well to be honest a part of me doesn’t want him to suffer as much as I did, I made lots of mistakes with him, I don’t deny the fact that he could’ve given me a chance but, I was a nice guy after all. Not Christian. I pray for him to come back, I’m seeing someone now but I still hope that before I move to Europe he’d come back (it’s been now 5 months) lots of men come back after a year, I won’t wait more. Thanks for your reply beautiful.

  5. Hey ritu can i ask you how karma is good for me when i was cheated by a girl in ap eriod of 5 months and after that i vame to know the whole matter. i really love her a lot and for being a very loyal to her but he brole me and till now i am suffering with my emotion…from the day i know every thing about her…she cheats me dil dukhta h mera aaj bhi bhot rona bhi aata h apne aap ko thappar maar kar move on karna sikha raha hu duur rehta hu ab usse but fir bhi kya meri life pehle jesi happy nhi ho skti h but ab mujhe apni happy life m.woh cheater nhi chahiye.

    1. Dear Faizal, if she cheated on you, then she was already, or she will be in the future cheated on by someone else. That’s just how karma works. Maybe she is used to being cheated on too? Is that a possibility?

  6. Hello Ritu.
    I was cheated by my ex not once but multiple times. He broke up with me saying that his parents wont approve of our relationship. But recently I got to know that he already started dating another girl when we were in a relationship. Now his parents know about this girl and have no problem with their relationship. I have been crying everyday for him since the past 2years. And this news broke me even more. I am not able to move on. I hope Karma gets back to him.

    1. Dear Aishwarya, don’t worry. Karma WILL get back to him and I have a feeling, it will be sooner rather than later. I love this one quote about cheaters – “If your man is a cheater, let the other girl keep him. That’s the best revenge.” He will sooner or later cheat on her too. OR if Karma wants to give him exactly what he gave you, then SHE will cheat on him. Leave this in the hands of Karma and forgive yourself and him as much as possible. Read my post on Karmic Relationship Healing – it will help.

  7. After 3 yrs of marriage i came to know my husband has been cheating on me with another girl.i ave been sending him money for his expenses.they stay together

  8. Hi Ritu, I resonate with your article, which made me approach to you. I can’t figure out where and why am I lagging behind in my matrimonial life (I am single, NRI and chartered accountant by profession). 6 years back, I met a guy (it was an arranged marriage meetup in India), I liked the guy but he and his parents found me dark (in reality the guy was darker than me). so it was a no, soon my close aunts made me realise that I need to do something about my completion. Like seriously, as an NRI we don’t give importance to people based on their skin tone. But i faced the bitter truth of Indian matrimonial market. I kept my focus firm in my career. Sooner after 2 months of this incident I got to an international project where I got to travel to world, to all 5 continents and thats when I realised that the people I dealt for matrimonial were narrow minded. I realised my own importance, people around recognised me Indian based on my skin tone. They found me beautiful. That moment I realised that god has something very special in store for me and only the one who deserves me will be my life partner. Had that proposal materialised I would not have got this opportunity to explore myself, explore the world and instead would have got into a routine circle of married life Had that proposal materialised I would be holding a baby and a diaper bag today instead of a Louis Vuitton handbag and Dell laptop (no offence of motherhood, someday I shall carry my own baby).

    I dont like to discuss such silly, racists things but in last 6-7 years, the proposals we approached rejected me because they wanted to some white chocolate fair girls. Everyone has their choice to make but how can one scale beauty based on skin tone alone? Isnt talent, smartness, knowledge an important criteria. No offence but majority of Miss India winners are brown and not white. My friends say I resemble like Priyanka Chopra.

    Last on 14th Sept 2019 I got engaged with a guy, he had everything I always wanted, he was a chartered accountant too and settled in Sydney(Australia). He was very fair, financially he was better off, academically I was intelligent. But once the courtship started I he lacked at many things and he along with his family lied about many things. The ones I am going to share will grab your attention.
    1. On the engagement day the shagun or the blessing envelope gifted by the inlaws to me had peanuts, but I ignored it. (Note I am not a gold digger, but if I am gifted something way below than the adhered standard, it means when it comes to taking they want a lot, but when it comes to giving they wnt to give peanuts).
    2. On engagement my fiance gave me a men’s perfume worth AUD $1 i.e less than INR 60. At first place who gifts a lady, men’s perfume. He just wanted to gift me cheap stuff. But I ignored it.
    3. There were many occasions like Navratri, Diwali on which my mother-in-law never gifted me anything, not even a box of sweet. My mom found it weird and so did I, but I ignored it.
    4. We realised they are miser. On 1st week on December 2019, when we announced the wedding dated to immediate relatives, the guy and his family asked for dowry. At first place, they have a 4 storey bunglow in Ahmedabad and only 3 people are staying, the guy was staying in Sydney. The guy and his dad asked my dad for INR 8 lakhs to arrange my spouse visa for Australia. It was a complete shock to me. Moreover the guy told me and my dad that I already have enough savings, I should have come forward to pay him rather than him asking me. If he had this issue he should have discussed this mater in September before the engagement. I was shocked but I was strong enough to say No to the proposal. The guy tried to emotionally blackmail me but I stood firm, with my decision. The relationship lasted for 3 months but it took me 6 months to overcome. I have become even stronger, and did many creative and new things. All my friends and relatives supported me, but one important thing is our strong will power, there were some people who tried to prick my pain, but I answered them very well.

    I was upset with god, for putting me in this trouble, but thanked my Karma for saving me, but now its tough for me to choose another person in my life, it difficult to judge whether he loves me or he wants the money.

    I seldom ask myself, what wrong did I do in my previous birth, which resulted to these problems. Dear Ritu please suggest.

    1. Dear Ms Mehta, thank you for sharing your story. I’m so happy to see that you saw the good thing that came out of the seemingly bad experience with the first guy. Finding out your own value is priceless! Honestly, I can’t say this more earnestly.
      The fact that this guy rejected you because your complexion is dark is a sign that you have not yet accepted your own skin tone. I understand this since I also sometimes have this issue. Once you accept it, this comment will never ever come up from a guy again. I recommend doing some mirror work (look up mirror work by Louise Hay) which has helped me.
      The second guy and his family are certainly misers based on what you said. I’m glad you were strong and stood up for yourself and said no to him and his family.
      To answer your question about what you did wrong in a previous birth which resulted in these problems, well, it could be that you also rejected someone romantically because of their appearance, specifically their skin tone. You might have also tried taking advantage of someone who was wealthier than you. That’s why you had to experience it from the other side. It is difficult to tell though because it’s not always so black and white. Have you ever tried past life regression? It is something that helped me too.

  9. Hello Ms. Ritu,
    I loved one guy at an early age and both were together for almost 10yrs. He too loved me but he was not too serious about our marriage as I request him to go for a job so that my parents will accept our marriage, but he didn’t. I am a graduate and he’s only grade 10 and poor. But I didn’t care at all, I just asked him to work for temporary until our marriage and then resign. I said I will work instead him. But he was not at all serious about career. I asked for a break up which he doesn’t want to. One final day he accepted for breakup but he thought of raping me so that no one will marry me. He took me out very long from my home and didn’t allow me to go home. He planned to spend one night with me so that my parents will accept only him as he spoiled my life. But his plan didn’t go well as I got fits due to his weird behaviour. He brought me back to home. But the very next day planned to inform all our friends, as we’re in 10yrs of relationship and if suddenly breakup, all our friends will laugh at him bcz he can’t even go for a temporary job and that’s why his girl left him. So he intentionally create an illegal relationship between me and one of our friends. He asked me to tell all our friends that I am loving another guy who is our friend too… he called all our friends and I told them that I am loving another, so that he will accept for break up. He created like I cheated on him and left in all our friends, relatives and all the people in our home town.

    My friend whom I said I was loving to break up with my ex started moving closely and used to heal me as I broke. Love started between us and he said what happened has happened, let’s start new life. He said he was accepting me and he has no any problem with my past. I thought I was so lucky that my life partner accepted my past and there will be no any mis understandings between us as we know each other very well.
    One day he got a call from his company and he has to leave abroad. He decided to marry me, and we both got married privately in no any other presence and indulge in physical relationship. We didn’t inform our parents too.
    After 2 days he left abroad, but daily used to talk in phone and he used to care so much. Suddenly my ex started following and torturing me again, and I informed my husband. My husband got too disturbed and decided to take me over there.
    He asked for dependent visa in his company but they refused as there is no marriage certificate. Then he searched job for me and I faced interview and got selected. So they approved to provide work visa. I informed my parents that I got job offer abroad and planning to go. They accepted. So finally After 10 months of our marriage, we both met again abroad.
    We were so happy over there for 3yrs. We decided to inform our parents about our love and planned to get married grandly in their presence. We came home back, he asked my father and got approval, but in my husband’s house they didn’t accept as they knew about my relationship with my ex. They started fighting with me and my parents. His mother is so harsh on me and even abused me.
    Then my husband said, I will slowly convince them and asked not to worry. But our parents don’t know that we got married already and were staying together.
    We both went back again abroad, slowly disputes started between us, he started misunderstanding me, he used to get tensed and angry even for small things.. I thought bcz of problems in his home and used to calm him.
    One day his mother called him and asked him to come home back as his father and herself health condition was not good. So he alone gone hometown, suddenly started avoiding me, and when I am calling him, he started abusing me and asked me to leave him as his parents not accepting for our marriage. I was completely blank and resigned my job came back home. He started avoiding me and I got a news like he is getting married to another girl
    I broke out in tears and gone to confirm with him whether it was true.
    Also I called his mother and informed her about our marriage and relationship, but she didn’t accept even though
    I met him and asked whether it’s true? He said no, it’s a rumour, and his father’s health was not ok. So he needs some time to convince his parents.
    But suddenly when i checked my phone on the next day I met him, he blocked me, deleted all our pictures and conversations from both of our phones. I was completely unaware what’s happening and waited for his message. I thought he was drunk and slept and waited for the whole day. But no any response, I broke in tears and informed my parents whole thing. My parents took me to his house but, he already got married by that time, he’s so happily playing holi festival with his wife and family by the time we reach his home.
    He simply said that he loved me but as his parents didn’t accept he married another girl. And when I asked him about our marriage and relationship in abroad. He lied that he didn’t marry me and didn’t stay together with me and asked me to prove as he knew he deleted all our photos and conversations.

    I loved him from bottom of my heart and even didn’t care about his financial status as he was just a skilled labour and his earnings he used to send his home. I used my earnings for paying all Bill’s rent and everything. I thought he was my husband so its our money not mine.

    How he can do this to me?
    It’s a five year relationship of not only love but as wife and husband, how he can cheat his wife and marry another??
    I truly loved him and can’t even imagine another guy.. I really want to die. I can’t live without him. I can’t tolerate this pain.. I am really done. He broke me.

    Still I am waiting for him, if he comes back knowing his mistake and apologises. Will he?
    Everyone is telling that he will not as he intentionally married another girl and not by his parents force. I don’t know what happened and still waiting for him…. will he?

  10. Hello Ritu…i want to share with you a little bit of my story. My ex partner of 13 years cheated on me with my sister. When I noticed he broke up with me. They played an evil and disgusting game for 3 months, he’s a narcissist so you can imagine the manipulations. While he was with her, he was also giving me hopes all the time. And then in June she moved out with him. The whole family is broken and my heart is in million pieces. I hope they face their karma soon. This is so painful and disgusting .

    1. Dear Nana, believe it or not, I have personally seen this type of awful thing happen twice. Once it was the roommate of someone I was dating. She used to hang out with her sister’s ex-husband all the time and was often gone overnight. It was pretty obvious what was going on. It’s not comfortable for anyone to witness this.
      The second time was a case study that I studied in a Social Work class in University where a family was broken up by a husband having an affair with his sister-in-law. I don’t know why this sort of thing is so common. I am positive there is a lot of couple Karma as well as family Karma in the situation. In the end, I suppose it is trying to teach us how to forgive and above all, to RESPECT AND LOVE OURSELVES despite whatever embarrassing thing happens to us. You are above them. They did the “dirty” thing, not you. I’m not saying that you should victimize yourself but you can see it as something low that happened to you by two lowly people. Rise above it. Don’t let their dirt touch you.

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