Throughout life, we form a variety of relationships – from partnerships to relationships at work and friendships. Having strong bonds with the people around us is satisfying and improves our well-being. It has been shown that positive and compassionate relationships with partners, friends and the environment directly impacts our health, happiness and success.
In Ayurveda there is no such thing as a bad match, the only important thing in a relationship is our unique constitutional type (Prakruti). In order to form positive and fulfilling relationships, it is important to get to know ourselves and balance our doshas first. It is only when you are able to fully accept yourself and keep yourself in balance that you will be able to respect others as they are and empathise with them rather than judge them.
The better you know yourself, the more you will realise that each one of us is a unique human being, with unique needs. This will help grow your understanding, compassion and acceptance towards your partners. Your expectations will also become more realistic, as you will take the time to understand yourself and others more, rather than creating them from your point of view only. It will leave less space for disappointment and more space for true magic to unveil. You will also learn that there is no such thing as one universal rule of best practice that applies to all, but rather there are as many best practices out there as there are individuals.
Knowing yourself and your partner
Often when we begin a new relationship, we forget about ourselves and what is important for us to connect deeper with our partner, yet in the long run, this does not benefit or strengthen the relationship. It is important to always clearly state your needs in a relationship, while at the same time respecting the needs of the other person to find a compromising balance.
Below are the main characteristics of possible partners as characterised by the three main doshas. They are, however, only to inspire and guide you and to prevent you from categorising everyone around you. Keep in mind that no one can be categorised by one single dosha! If you would like to dive deeper into this topic then please contact an experienced Ayurvedic practitioner or me.
Relationships with a Vata personality type brings playfulness, enthusiasm, spontaneity, as well as constant unpredictable changes. Due to their quick and lively way of being, they also tend to tire more easily than the other types, therefore it is always good to bring snacks with you and be ready to take spontaneous breaks.
Meeting and romance
If going on a date with a Vata type, it is best to take them somewhere warm, quiet and not windy, and to partake in an activity such as walking, hiking, cooking or anything else creative. It is always good to have a warm blanket and a bottle of hot tea with you when being out with a Vata type as they get cold quickly. Avoid taking them anywhere with loud music, to a crazy party, or to the cinema, and do not create too much sexual stimulation as it may disturb their sleeping pattern.
Vata types are very romantic and appreciate traditional values. When with the right partner, they transform into a sex god/goddess and like to sexually fulfil their partner, however, sexual activity does not represent their main focus as it is purely a process of love rather than a results-driven activity. They are able to stay completely balanced and go without sex for long periods of time.
However, there is a tendency, especially when they become dis-balanced, for them to engage in stimulating activities such as jumping from one relationship to another. Vata types tend to have more partners than the other types. Yet, once they accept you as their partner, get ready for a very vivid, exciting time, filled with lots of variety and even some calming and nurturing time. It is recommended for a Vata type not to over-engage, thus having sex two times per month is more than enough.
How to support them being themselves
Patience is key! Gently and little by little, you will be able to guide your Vata partner into embracing a stable and balanced routine. It is also good to introduce them to calming, grounding and creative practices, such as hiking and yoga. Start by giving them a weekly massage with calming essential oils (bergamot, vetiver, rosewood or cinnamon), this will allow them to stop and relax. Keep in mind that it might take time before a lively Vata grows in humility and accepts the fact that a relationship with a Kapha-Pitta, Pitta-Kapha, or Kapha-Vata type, may actually be best for them as they have already conquered the crocodiles and tigers of excessive passion and sexuality.
When under pressure and stress, Vata easily feel guilty for doing something wrong and can become anxious, scared and overwhelmed with the situation. As their partner, you can help calm their inner critic down by offering them a safe, nurturing space, and providing them with warm foods, soothing words, and many compliments. Encourage them to practice forgiveness, especially towards themselves, to let go of the past, write a gratitude letter to themselves and maybe try a non-violent communication course. Let them know, that you understand their best intentions despite what they perceive as failure.
Pitta types bring great efficiency, organisation, and intellectual dialogue to any relationship and thrive best when with someone who can communicate equally, who loves physical activities and has the same passion for the beauty of nature as them. You will soon notice their drive for constant improvement but this may result in intense criticism from you. To rein in their perfectionist mind as well as their large appetite and quick metabolism, make sure they always get big substantial meals that consist of cooling foods, or scents (peppermint, rose, jasmine), as well as a place to offer them support and understanding until they cool down.
Meeting and romance
When planning a date, the best and smartest option is to leave it to them to organise. If you would prefer to arrange the date then make sure you take them somewhere cool and refreshing, with limited stimulation and competitive activities. The best dating options for Pitta are those that provide a mental rest, such as walking in nature, walking near water, or a full moon walk. Try to encourage them to engage in activities that promote compassion such as charity events. Any acts of kindness and selflessness will have a very positive effect on a Pitta, as it will make them think about their priorities. Whatever happens, do not make last minutes changes or turn up late as they get very heated if their time is not valued. Pitta types, like in all other aspects of their life, date with great precision. Saying this, they will either make it very clear if you have potential or simply drop you like a hot stone.
Although Pittas believe they are great lovers, they lack patience and humility towards their partners and often manage to sabotage their true gentle nature due to their need to show off and reach their goals. To satisfy Pitta, sex has to be conducted in a noble and caring way. Yet, in order to benefit most from their relationships, nourishing their juices, rather than suffering from frustration over conceiving, impotence and premature ejaculation is very important for them. It is of utmost importance for Pitta types to redirect and focus more on expressing their emotions through their hearts rather than through their genitals. Therefore infuse your Pitta relationship with inspirational methods, rather than focusing on achievement: flowers, partner yoga, poetry, holding hands, working out together, relaxing together...In order not to kindle too much of a fire, it is the best for Pittas to engage in sexual activities once every two weeks.
How to support them being themselves
It sounds ironic that it is actually Pittas, the most potent of all the types, that actually need to learn how to be patient before they can profit fully from their own potential. Instead of redirecting their energy up towards their heart, fiery Pittas usually block the energy which leads to the suppression of their partner, killing the relationship and even burning themselves out before they can make a change. As a Pitta's partner, it is important to be compassionate, understanding and to be able to provide a quiet space in times of heated eruptions. This will bring your relationship back to balance and harmony. Naturally, the most suitable partners, who are capable of balancing Pittas are: Kapha, Kapha-Pitta, Pitta-Kapha.
As already mentioned, in times of stress, Pittas are the ones who start to pinpoint, looking for an explanation as to why and where everything started to go wrong. They may not be able to control their temper, becoming too critical, judgemental, angry, controlling and hurtful. So in order to prevent yourself from becoming the central focus of their heated emotional eruption, keep calm, provide love and understanding, and then simply remove yourself from the scene until the heat cools down. As a partner you can agree on balancing solutions in case of turmoil, such as allowing them 10 seconds to breathe before they start speaking, trying to soothe disagreements with kind words, as well as engaging in something fun and relaxing that will bring you both together. You can also try a soothing massage with cooling oils (geranium, jasmine, ylang-ylang) every now and then, this will help cool them down in the long run.
Being in a relationship with a Kapha type may sometimes feel too good to be true as they not only bring steadiness, consistency and balance into a relationship but also offer a great amount of nurturing energy, support and understanding, as well as great loyalty and sustainability. It might take time until they open up completely to you, yet once their trust and love is established, you have them for good. They love to listen but at times you might get a feeling you are having a one-sided conversation if this happens just ask them meaningful and stimulating questions to focus their attention. Due to the predominance of the stabilising earthly element, this type needs the most stimuli, physical activity and engagement, as well as stimulating and creative projects and conversations.
Meeting and romance
Kaphas can tolerate hot and cold, so you cannot go wrong by taking them to a warm place, filled with interesting activities. Make sure you do not take them to a boring and quiet environment as they will fall into a melancholic and sentimental state of mind. Their endurance is great, so dare to plan a long and exciting trip, filled with activities and interesting surprises. Although they love to eat, their digestion is slow, so surprise them with a light, home-made meal (low-fat, with vegetables and stimulating spices) or prepare a meal together, this will definitely win their heart.
Surprisingly, it is not Pittas, but rather Kaphas that reign the sensuality. They are very feminine with a natural flow of sexual energy, flirting with great innocence wherever they go. Their strength and endurance make them the best carriers of life, procreation and sexuality. In most cases, all they have to do is think about sex and they become pregnant! They are not only the best lovers but also the most caring parents, and the best marriage material out of all the types.
How to support them being themselves
The main pitfall of a Kapha is that they tend to get too wrapped up in their own routines, are generally sluggish and sleep too much. Therefore, it is important that as soon as their partner notices this they introduce some action and stimulation. Moreover, due to their strong constitution, they can engage in sexual activities more often than the other two types: 2–3 times a week. Stimulating, vigorous massages with awakening essential oils (juniper berry, peppermint, pink grapefruit) are ideal for Kaphas.
When under pressure, they tend to avoid confrontation by walking away from it as soon as they can, or they close down and turn inward, bringing out the stubbornness in them. It is important for them to take the time to examine the situation and observe all possible outcomes before they come back with a response. To support Kaphas balance, be patient and little by little, gently stimulate them as they work through their projects, goals, commitments and dreams, no matter how small or big they may be. Be willing to go through hard times together, support them as they surrender to the union, whilst always remembering that you need each other equally and you will not lose your own identity. Try not to ask too much too soon from them, as this will result in a complete dis-balance and definite shut down.
Doshas of a relationship
As well as our individual doshas, relationships can also be assigned doshas as they pass through their varying stages. Realising this, and knowing how to stabilise relationship doshas can lead to healthy and balanced relationships. Although remember, there is no secret ingredient to a healthy and happy relationship! It may even be that the stability of a relationship does not depend on the stability of two people – it is possible that two completely balanced individuals cannot provide a healthy union, no matter how hard they try. Our relationships are like a dance, we can learn the steps, however, the best dance comes when we surrender, learn to listen, feel, understand and love unconditionally. Let this general knowledge inspire you to create your own dance.
The beginning phase
As we start our relationships, there is a predominance of fire – Pitta. This is the attraction that brings people together; there is ambition, desire and lots of vitality in all the actions we do. The Pitta stage (when in balance) represents an active, healthy sex life, passion, similar interests and hobbies, inspiration for others, digesting ideas, experiencing each other together in harmony, honouring each other's personality and alone time, and moving through change with understanding.
The deepening of a relationship and commitment
The longer the relationship lasts, the more obvious the Kapha characteristics become, especially as there are more routine, predictability and comfort. At this point, we may decide to make a commitment, physical manifestation of the relationship, a home, reality check, or an exchange of energy to keep the bond strong. There is an abundance of endurance and willingness to continue together, a sense of humour about mundane reality, somewhere to call home, regular kissing and affection, and structural agreements about the relationship.
The ageing and the end
Finally, as we age, our relationships naturally become dry, cracked and brittle and if we do not pay attention to this last phase or simply do not care, the relationship may break easily. Yet if we know how to moisturise and nurture it, it can actually become a sweet time, allowing us to experience wisdom and maturity. It can incorporate sentiments of non-violent communication and compassionate understanding, equivalent intellectual status, spiritual compatibility, lack of manipulation, sweet words and complementary attitudes, mental connectivity and stimulating conversations. A great way to keep your relationship going!
From what has been said above, the relationship we have depends on us, rather than the relationship itself. In order to keep your flame burning, engage in exciting as well as relaxing activities but make sure they are in accordance with the phase your relationship is in. When too hot, cool it down, when too dry, moisturise it and when too sluggish, bring excitement in!