Love and the Doshas

Love and the Doshas

What do doshas have to do with love? The doshas and love have more to do with the mind than the body (constitution). What? Yep, our natural way of thinking, or manas prakriti, impacts our inner and outer relationships, while our attraction to certain people and their doshas may or may not manifest into a relationship. 

This is confusing to folks, as it would be so much simpler to apply the Ayurvedic motto, like attracts like. This motto is true when looking at tendency and initial attraction. However, for the longer lasting relationships—friendship, romantic, or business—it is the state of your mind that matters most!

When looking at relationships through the Ayurvedic lens of the doshas, the elements, and how they are composed to give each of us our “super-secret sauce,” there are many subtle connections that will increase our self-acceptance and shed insight on our mysterious attractions. Personally, I am pitta-dominate (full of fire) with a side of kapha (earthy) and vata (airy). When looking for a relationship I generally gravitate to other fiery folks—yet not for long. I may find a better match with a kapha- or vata-dominate person than with a fiery pitta.

On the surface, this may seem simple, but when we're dealing with real people and real relationships, we often have to go beyond the limits of our ego and mind and embrace a larger overarching reality of self-acceptance and balance in our relationships. This approach allows us to truly see a person for who they are and what they have to offer and doesn't limit us to a specific dosha-type. 

And if all of this is new to you, taking the Ayurvedic Profile™ quiz is a wonderfully simple way of making some sense of the doshas and how they pertain to you. Maybe take this quiz with your partner and see how you match up! 

Legs in sneakers dangling from high surface as couple talks.

Looking Deeper at the Doshas

Let's take the notion that constitutions are the predictor for a great relationship. Then, as a pitta, I would be beautifully balanced with either a kapha-dominate lover (steady and stable, great endurance, and so sweet!) or a vata partner (charming, fun, eccentric, and on the go). Yet those same tendencies that initially attracted me might be what eventually repel me, as over time the intoxication of the new relationship would wear off, and what first drew me to the lover might be the thing that ultimately leads to irritation.

When you are a sweet, steady kapha who doesn't want conflict and lives by the motto “let's all just get along,” it can be hard to relate to a direct (sometimes sharp) pitta response. Pitta is interested in what is most efficient; cooperation is not their primary focus. Kapha is stimulated and enjoys the fiery nature of the pitta but is easily hurt by their often-pointed responses and directives, a hallmark pitta tendency.

What about a vata partner? Vata flows and adapts with an agility so attractive and charming that kapha or pitta can't help but be enraptured by them. Yet over time kapha might become exhausted by all the activity or irritated that the schedule keeps changing. No longer is the vata lover adorable and ethereal, and they can too soon become flaky and unreliable, which drives pitta crazy. Truth be told, the behaviors might be the same as the ones that attracted you in the first place but, with the vata personality being so different from the kapha or pitta tendency, it might ultimately be tough to find understanding of the vata personality.

What to do? Well, Ayurveda says that like attracts like, so here I am with another pitta. What are potential outcomes based on fire meeting fire? We are either so passionate we cannot leave the house to get the mail, or we have disagreements that need a referee!

Truly, while dosha tendency is important to acknowledge, it is the state of our mind that determines how we ultimately relate, date, and live with each other with compassion, understanding, appreciation, and love.

A couple on a date in nature

The Importance of a Sattvic Mind

One of the disciplines that connects Eastern and Western science is psychology. While each has its own perspective, ultimately both East and West look toward the goal of establishing a sense of conscious awareness, compassion, and self-acceptance. These are traits of a sattvic-minded person, and each dosha tendency will be unique in the expression of this goal.

With sattva in mind, our lovely kapha-vata couple, whose initial attraction became a source of irritation, might work out. If they cultivate an ability to acknowledge their own dosha tendencies with appreciation, there is a greater likelihood that they will approach their partner's tendency with compassion and understanding, too.

And remember those two fiery folks, the pitta-pitta passion that burns? What would that relationship look like with a more sattvic mindset? The ability to self-reflect and want the best for their partner would create a willingness to compromise their position for the greater good. This softening of the sharp pitta tendency would bring a warmth of love and appreciation to the partners, and they would be able to get the mail without having to call the referee!


Couple's legs in jeans and sneakers outstretched in back of car looking out at a field of yellow flowers.

A Guide to Dosha Love—Sattvic Style

Keep Your Kapha Sweet!

  • Bake something with the sweet taste and add some extra love (the special ingredient!).
  • Fuel their flame with an extra dash of spice! Incorporate kapha-balancing spices like ginger and pippali.
  • Give them a warm oil foot rub—try Kapha Massage Oil. Keep lights and music soft and sweet and they will melt with joy.
  • Add some vanilla and clove essential oils to a diffuser for extra romance.
  • Take them on a walk in the woods, on a beach, or in the park. Trees and water are a plus!
  • Make them a card, or any homemade gift! Kapha's love language is attention to detail.

Please Your Pitta!

  • A little something shiny is always appreciated! Extra points for a velvet lined box or bow.
  • Sensual scents always fan the flames: try rose, ylang ylang, and amber candles and oils.
  • Tend their inner fire by offering up a pitta-balancing meal, cooked with an extra dash of love.
  • Help them release and let go of the built-up stresses with a calming oil massage—check out Pitta Massage Oil for those fiery pittas!
  • If your pitta craves the sensation of calm centeredness, offer some mental support with Mental Clarity or Stress Ease.
  • Build a fire, tend it lovingly, and watch your pitta glow.
  • Share a game with them, or watch their favorite team—but be sure to check the odds to make sure it will be a victory.

Validate Your Vata!

  • Surprise them with a night out at the art gallery or a play and watch them dance in deeelight!
  • Take a weekend away at an ashram, or spiritual gathering, and their heart will soar.
  • Help them feel serene and grounded with the help of herbal formulas like Tranquil Mind or Stress Ease.
  • Treat them to a delicious warm oil massage—try Vata Massage Oil
  • Put some lavender or sweet orange essential oils in a diffuser for a vata balancing aroma.
  • Cook them a sumptuous vata-pleasing feast.
  • Buy them a weighted blanket, then tuck them in for a little poetry reading.
  • A trip to an amusement park with your vata might be just the fun needed for the two of you to share.

When two people find each other and both are working on their own self-acceptance, there will be the potential to create a sattvic relationship, as they are attracted not just to the dosha tendency but to the harmonious, balanced, and altruistic nature of their thoughts and actions—both moving toward a more loving and accepting nature within and directly influencing how they express themselves in the outer world, especially in relationships.

About the Author

Kathryn Templeton, AP, LPC, AYT, E500RYT, C-IAYT

Kathryn Templeton, MA, E-500 RYT, C-IAYT, and Ayurvedic practitioner, has devoted her life to the health of others. A psychotherapist for 30 years, Kathryn...

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